From furlough to support payments, one knock-on effect of the coronavirus pandemic has been a huge increase in the required levels of government spending. In order to pay for it, government debt around the world has been rising. The US alone is expected to add $2 trillion to its balance sheet this year. As the numbers become ever more unfathomably large, we consider whether we are headed towards a different, debt-shaped, crisis. Does the debt matter?
During the coronavirus pandemic we have witnessed interest rates fall to historic lows globally. For now, they are set to remain low or, as some have suggested, even turn negative. We explore the often misunderstood topic of interest rates with a brief look back to their early origins in the ancient region of Mesopotamia, and what negative rates might mean for savers and borrowers.
The proportion of different components within a portfolio - otherwise known as its asset allocation - has the biggest impact on its risk and return. Over time however, different assets tend to perform well at different points. This can cause the asset allocation to drift away from its target.
In this insight piece we consider one way we can avoid the risk of this portfolio drift, while at the same time ensuring we adhere to the mantra “buy low, sell high”.
The last decade has revealed a story of post-crisis recovery and stock market growth. All this despite years of economic uncertainty and political disorder.
So what might the 2020s hold for investors? Looking back, we identify the key themes of the past and pick out some enduring principles for the future.
They say it’s wise to not put all your eggs in one basket. For investors, that often means looking for opportunities abroad. But when it comes to investing overseas, good performance is not just about how well the underlying companies or bonds perform. Foreign exchange rates can significantly impact returns – in either direction.
We explore how this mechanism works and what can be done to mitigate the impact of currency fluctuations on portfolios.
It has been hard to miss the term “trade war” over the last year or so. It has featured regularly in the headlines to describe the ongoing dispute between the US and China. Wars sound ominous, so should we be worried?
We explain why the two nations are now arguing over trade, what the impact might be, and the significance of a 200 year-old history lesson from Thomas Jefferson.
The prospect of winning or losing can have a great impact on our emotions. Whether we’re looking at casinos or coin flips, evidence suggests our rational decision-making is frequently overtaken by intuition – a process much more open to emotional influence.
For investors, the possibility of gains and losses is often a daily occurrence. We explain one method to steer investors on the more rational path to help achieve both financial and emotional well being.
The relentless, thundering rumble of a rocket blasting into space is more than just a spectacular sensory overload. It is the result of planning, scientific know-how and management applied to achieve a goal. We think science and goals matter when it comes to investing too. “Are we nearly there yet?” explains why they are so fundamental to successful investing.
Investing large single sums in volatile markets can feel like a leap. An alternative to making one single investment is to spread it over time, known as phasing. It is often deployed as a means of reducing the risk of investing ahead of a dip in the markets. It can feel reassuring to a first time or cash investor for whom phasing addresses the obvious emotional cost of short term drops in value. Here we look at whether phasing actually achieves what it sets out to do.
If you wanted to make money from the next World Cup would you place bets on the teams you think have the best players or would you buy shares in FIFA?
The debate on whether active or passive investments are the best way to participate in the market rages on, with strong arguments on either side. We take a data-driven look at the evidence and how both active and passive can have a place in investment strategy.
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The value of investments and the income arising from them can go down as well as up and is not guaranteed, which means that you may not get back what you invested. Past performance is not necessarily a guide to the future. The information contained in this website does not constitute advice. The FCA does not regulate tax advice. The FCA does not regulate advice on Wills and Powers of Attorney. The Financial Ombudsman Service is available to sort out individual complaints that clients and financial services businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves. To contact the Financial Ombudsman Service please visit www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.