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Dividend Dilemma 03/04/2020

2020-04-03T18:45:31+01:00April 3rd, 2020|Blog|

Those seeking income from the stock market have been dealt an awful blow in the current rout. What began as an understandable move by companies that foresaw a liquidity problem, as businesses are locked down and revenues interrupted, has mushroomed into something much wider. Cancelling or suspending dividend payments has become almost the thing to do. If most people are struggling then so should those greedy shareholders and any company that [...]

Coronavirus Update 23/03/2020

2020-03-23T11:16:44+01:00March 23rd, 2020|Blog|

Goodness me, could the headlines get any scarier? The constant update of fresh coronavirus cases and new deaths, whilst informative, adds to the depressing atmosphere and exacerbates the panic. The daily political briefings are notable, not just for the necessary updates from the government but also for the constant emotive questioning by journalists clearly seeking to trip someone up for the sake of the next day’s scare story. We could really [...]

Corona Collapse

2020-03-12T14:39:36+01:00March 12th, 2020|Blog|

I had hoped my 50th year in the London Stock Exchange, marked this month, could be remembered with tidings of comfort and joy. I suppose if that half a century were to teach me anything it should have been to expect almost any alternative. In a few short days mother nature has ripped the rug out from beneath global markets and sent a shiver down the spine of anyone falling into [...]

Saga – Time to Throw in the Towel 05/03/2020

2020-03-05T10:05:55+01:00March 5th, 2020|Blog|

Saga – Time to Throw in the Towel When the then CEO of this over 50’s insurance and holiday business, Lance Batchelor, effectively tore up his previous guidance a year ago, cut the dividend and announced a fundamental change of strategy, the damage to the share price was instant and severe. However, the new strategy, which included a novel three-year premium fix on motor and home insurance policies, appeared to be [...]

Gone Viral 27/02/20

2020-02-27T11:51:07+01:00February 27th, 2020|Blog|

Gone Viral I have to admit I am struggling to get my head around Coronavirus. According to the World Health Organisation, worldwide flu epidemics result in up to 5 million cases of severe illness and as many as 650,000 respiratory deaths each year. Deaths are more likely amongst the high-risk groups such as the elderly, infirm, very young and those with chronic medical conditions. The numbers sound terrible but when set [...]

On The Mend 13/02/20

2020-02-27T11:50:11+01:00February 13th, 2020|Blog|

On the Mend  Further evidence of improvement in our economy as house prices have begun to rise again after an eighteen-month hiatus. Anecdotal evidence of growing confidence in manufacturing and construction is apparent, the latter undoubtedly taking heart from the promise of considerable infrastructure spend by the new government. I suspect this trend will gather pace over the coming months. Across the Channel, things are moving in entirely the opposite direction. [...]

More Clarity 28/01/20

2020-01-28T12:55:27+01:00January 28th, 2020|Blog|

More Clarity Well that didn’t take long. In my last post I suggested the calls for an interest rate cut were premature and that the PMI figures moving into the new year would show a marked increase in confidence following months of pre-election and Article 50 deadline stagnation. On Friday IHS Markit’s PMI (purchasing managers’ index) for January reported a very strong recovery from 49.3 to 52.4, a level last seen [...]

Carney Circus Final Act 16/01/20

2020-01-28T11:12:36+01:00January 16th, 2020|Blog|

Carney Circus Final Act  On 15th March the curtains finally come down on a show that has been running for seven years. The outgoing Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, made much of his legacy of forward guidance in his recent speech. You have to laugh. It wasn’t for nothing that he gained the nickname The Unreliable Boyfriend. Almost every message of guidance he provided throughout his tenancy at [...]

Boris Bounce 7/01/20

2020-01-28T11:12:50+01:00January 7th, 2020|Blog|

Well that was a quiet five months! Yawn! Very little in the way of subject matter so our move to Dowgate was clearly perfectly timed to take advantage of the massive news void. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? OK, maybe not. In truth, so much happened that the opportunities to make myself look a complete fool were almost infinite so perhaps the forced silence was a [...]