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.
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 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.
Globalisation has to some extent brought us prosperity but it has also brought us cartels and monopolies. Some of these companies have grown so big through the spread of globalisation that they are now very difficult to challenge and so have a virtual monopoly. Facebook, for example, has little competition. There are alternatives in China like QQ but in the western world, Facebook has the power to dominate the market.
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…
Peer to peer lending as part of an investment strategy reduces risk. I’m still lending through Zopa at an interest rate of 4.2% through Zopa Classic. There are three different types of account including an access account paying 3.5% which beats the accounts offered by the banks easily. You don’t get FSA protection with Zopa though. I’ve been investing through Zopa for 5 years now and have accumulated a nice return.
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.
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.
You don’t have to do much cooking when we have summer weather, but here in the heart of England, the rain has returned. The forecast for the weekend is better and so the salad days may return. In Aldi this week the iceberg lettuce, spring onions, celery and radishes are just 29p each so a healthy salad might be on the menu this weekend.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…)
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.
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…)
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.
In life, we always have uncertainty and some periods are more uncertain than others. Most people try to avoid drama and want a quiet life. We want certainty in an uncertain world. It is the same when we are investing our money, we want certainty and stability but politics and religion make for constant uncertainty. Today, it is the referendum that makes markets jittery in the UK, but many problems around the world add to the uncertainty. (more…)
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…)
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…)