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Free trade at any price? #Investments

Free Trade?

The trade agreement being negotiated between the EU and Canada, CETA, was effectively blocked by a Belgian regional government but yesterday a compromise was reached. The agreement runs to 1,600 pages and is a complex, comprehensive economic and trade agreement that demonstrates how difficult it will be for the UK to negotiate a trade agreement with the EU in the event of Brexit. Free trade with Europe will be by lengthy negotiation, if at all. Do we need free trade with Europe? Some controls on imports such as requiring goods to be of a standard that supports sustainability might be a good idea. Many goods imported into France need to have a 2-year warranty rather than the usual one year. Isn’t that a good thing?

free trade

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Interest rates and the markets #investments

Interest rates

I’m watching interest rates around the world. It seems the Federal Reserve will be the first to normalise interest rates. It could be as early as next month but many pundits are betting on December. That could be the trigger for other central banks to raise their rates too. It would certainly have an effect on the value of the US dollar as more money would be invested in the US as international investors look for better returns on their funds. That, in turn, would have a negative effect on other currencies including the GBP.

interest rates

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The pound crashed yet again! #finance

The pound

This week we seem to be seeing a change direction for the government. Teresa May, was by any standards impressive when she made her speech to the party conference. She did, however, praise the record of the Cameron government and still seems a little out of touch. The pound crashed this week down to 1.2454 this morning. She hasn’t got a vote of confidence from the market.

the pound

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Diversity rules, OK? #investments

Diversity

The stock market rallied a bit yesterday after the Federal Reserve decided to delay interest rate rises to later in the year. Uncertainty still worries investors and it seems this morning some dealers are taking profits and so the main market is down. I would be down too, but diversity rules for me and so I’m up as some of my AIM shares come good.

diversity rules

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A strange coincidence #finance #investments

By a strange coincidence, my car insurance is due today and the premium has gone up 20%. This seems the norm this year across the industry. I have my insurance with the AA who have been upgraded by brokers Morgan Stanley this morning to ‘overweight’. The share price has shot up by 4.85% in early trading. Every cloud has a silver lining…

strange coincidence

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How to start in share dealing #investments

Broker

Share dealing is fraught with problems and it is something you have to learn by experience. First, you need a good stock broker and you will almost certainly use a nominee account. This means they hold the shares on your behalf. I think nominee accounts stink, they don’t give private shareholders enough rights or influence over the company that they collectively own.

share dealing

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Perceptions of investment risk #finance

Since the credit crunch of 2008 investors have demanded higher returns on the perceived risks associated with the stock market. Perceptions of investment risk changed in 2008 and made investors more risk averse and Brexit reinforced their fears of another meltdown. We nervously wait for article 50 to be triggered which is another storm warning that could devastate the market once again.

perceptions of investment risk

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Predicting the future #finance #investments

Investors are the experts when it comes to predicting the future but can still be taken by surprise by political events. Brexit wasn’t exactly a surprise but many investors hoped the remain side would win. We now have the triggering of article 50 to look forward to which could trash the markets yet again.

predicting the future

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QE boost #investments #finance

Yesterday the Bank of England announced a QE boost with another 60 billion of quantitative easing and a cut in the base rate to 0.5%. There will be no prizes for guessing who will benefit from this boost.  The stock market surged by 1.5% yesterday and the trend continues today. The base rate cut will see mortgages cheaper and so stoke the London housing bubble a little more while there is stifling of the supply side.

QE boost

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Unpredictable future #investments

The whole economic picture for the UK and maybe for the world is still uncertain. Despite the super-computers running economic models and expert economists making their predictions, the economic future looks even more unpredictable than ever. The future for the UK is even more unpredictable because of uncertainty caused by Brexit.

unpredictable future

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Brexit uncertainty lingers #finance

The stock market has recovered a little since the ‘Brexit’ vote but with Arm Holdings being taken over I have been wondering how much ‘investment’ is coming in from overseas as foreign companies take advantage of the reduced value of the pound sterling. Brexit uncertainty makes overseas investors nervous too, though.

Brexit uncertainty

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Pragmatism in finance #investments

Pragmatism:

An approach that evaluates theories or beliefs in terms of the success of their practical application.

Insanity:

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

pragmatism in finance

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Market manipulation? #investments

We have seen interest rates manipulation in the recent past and banking products mis-sold. On the forums, there are now accusations of stock market manipulation. There is  a petition asking for regulation of market makers.

market manipulation

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Brexit aftershocks #finance

After the stock market was trashed last Friday we had the aftershocks that saw banks and house builders losing up to 30% of their market capitalisation. Then, the dead cat bounced, the market recovered a little this week. So why did it crash so spectacularly on Friday and what can we learn from it? We have to understand the role of market makers in all this. We need to understand the Brexit aftershocks.

brexit aftershocks

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Effects of Brexit #finance

I usually write about finance and investing on a Friday but for obvious reasons, I decided to wait another day. I don’t think we will even begin to understand the effects of Brexit until next week and it could take years.

effects of Brexit

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Volatile market #investments

To say the London stock market is a volatile market would be an understatement. Next week’s referendum has not only caused uncertainty it has caused panic. What can small investors do? (more…)


More lies and statistics #thrifty

Why do we shop around and try to save money? Why do we invest and try to increase our investment and savings income? Are we right to feel financially insecure? Judging by the lies and more lies being bandied about in the run-up to the European referendum we are right to be worried.

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Pharma in focus #investments

pharma in focus

Pharma in focus

Pharma in focus was really the theme of the week with Immupharma soaring as trials of its Lupuzor drug appear to be successful. The inventor of the drug is also due to give a lecture on the developments which is expected to be positive news. In early trading today, many investors were selling and taking profits and so quite a big drop this morning. (more…)


Uncertainty #investments

uncertainty

It seems likely that Britain will stay in the European Union but the uncertainty is depressing the stock market. We could see a surge of confidence once the referendum is over with. The big loser if Britain does leave the EU would be the City of London because they make huge amounts of money from Europe.

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Unusual investments

It was another week of uncertainty for investors as we wait for that dreaded referendum and its unpredictable consequences. So may investors are looking for unusual investments  that offer some predictability. (more…)


political risk #investments

Political risk

There is always some political risk when it comes to investing. The prehistoric tendency for one tribe to go to war with another still exists. We might have developed supercomputers and space travel but many people still have Neanderthal ideas. It makes it difficult for those of us who want a world of entertainment, peace and security. (more…)


Rational decisions #investments

Investment decisions must be rational

Shouldn’t we base our investment decisions on rational analysis instead of prejudice? If you drill a lot of holes in the process of making a living and need to buy a new electric drill. How do you decide which make of drill to buy? Do you look at the specifications and reliability or do you buy an American drill because the Germans bombed the chip shop 75 years ago and some Jap shot Great uncle Albert? Do we base our decisions on hate or logic? (more…)


Spreads and commissions #investments

Money made from large spreads

The government is in favour of staying in the European Union and is at pains to tell us that the City of London is at the centre the global finance industry and makes shed loads of money for ’Britain’. You might think they make their money on the stock market spreads and on commissions. (more…)

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