Investment Note

Market Insights 2017

Nowhere to hide...

There doesn’t seem to be any stopping equity markets this year, which continue to climb higher and higher due to a genuine absence of anywhere else to go in order to sustain a reasonable return. As equity markets keep rising, valuations continue to stretch (at this point not excessively), yet investors keep buying in and notching up gains. The scenario is starting to look like a self-fulfilling prophecy and it seems there is nowhere to go to make alternative gains.

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Passive vs Active: The game has changed but the rules are the same

Sir John Templeton famously said, “The four most expensive words in the English dictionary are ‘this time it’s different.’” Whilst poignant quotes are ten a penny, this particular quote by the founder of Templeton investments struck home, namely because we are now well into one of the longest and ‘most hated’ bull markets on record, as some like to call it.

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TAM goes exotic in the hunt for yield

Ask any investor what the major difference is between holding a company’s debt and a company’s equity and they will tell you bond holders are protected as, in the case of bankruptcy, it is the bond holders who get their cash back first. 

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Why we're banking on banks

The financials sector has had a shaky start to the year following strong performance towards the end of last year on prospects of growth and inflation from a stimulative economic agenda from the Trump administration. Despite this, the sector is up approximately 7.6% for the year to date and in our opinion, poised for further strong performance into the second half of the year.

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To serve and protect: Protecting clients' wealth through turbulent times

'To Serve and Protect' is a phrase of singular simplicity coined by the LAPD in the 50’s to embody its mission statement. Since then, it has cemented itself as the cornerstone of US, and arguably global law enforcement.

So what’s a US law enforcement adage doing in an investment update to our clients?

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Message from the CEO

"The time has come", the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes - and ships - and sealing wax - Of cabbages - and kings - And why the sea is boiling hot - And whether pigs have wings." 

- The Walrus and the Carpenter, Lewis Carroll

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Another Binary Event - UK General Election

In a strange twist of fate, with just two weeks to go until the anniversary of the Brexit referendum, the UK electorate is back in the polling booth, voting on the direction of UK politics. Now, for many this will be a proxy vote on allowing Mrs. May to continue what she started with the issuing of Article 50.

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Could Trump bring the bull market to a halt?

The recent high profile news in the US is about Trump (no surprise there then!) and his seemingly irrational behaviour with regards to the abrupt firing of his FBI Director and the Russian influence that portended it. This has taken centre stage and caused the first real overnight market setback for months.

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Domestic disappointment, international success?

For all of President Trump’s posturing on Twitter, we don’t envy his position. If people came to you with the notion they would be closely judging your achievements in your job over the first 100 days, would you be concerned? At the very least, keen to make an impression perhaps? Now, imagine that group is over 322 million strong and your office is the highest in the land. Having 100 symbolic days to come through for 161 million expectant voters whilst trying to prove another 161 million distrusting voters that you are the man for the job, would almost certainly give most of us sleepless nights.

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May's u-turn: Why now?

From the toppling of a Prime Minister and flash crashes in the pound, all the way down to the callous downsizing of our nation’s Toblerone bars, the UK’s historic Leave vote from the EU continues to run more like a suspense-filled thriller than a political motion to leave the single market. In the latest twist to the story, Prime Minister Theresa May announced last Wednesday that she would ‘reluctantly’ hold a snap General Election on 8th June 2017 to reaffirm the strong and stable leadership of her party, during such a moment of enormous national significance.

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Millennials: Well-educated, tech-savvy and ready to change the world

Some say they’re just out of nappies, others say they’re the next world leaders, we say that the Millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 1999) are transforming the image of socially responsible investing (SRI). Knowledgeable and well-connected, the Millennials are using their power to drive the investment universe to cater to their demands for investments which not only provide competitive financial returns, but also deliver measurable environmental and social benefits...

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A journey through Europe’s political minefield…

I don’t think we’re alone in saying 2016 will go down in history as a watershed moment for global politics - a year when the people stood up and voted for wholesale change. Arguably the only thing upstaging 2016’s propensity for shocks, is 2017’s potential to deliver more of the same, and possibly on an even bigger scale.

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Hammond keeps powder dry ahead of Brexit

Philip Hammond delivered his first, and ironically his last, spring budget yesterday, in what was considered by many as a budget designed to set the stage for Brexit. With Brexit being the obvious elephant in the commons yesterday, commentators quipped that the Chancellor managed to get through the entire speech without even mentioning the word!

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Diamonds in the rough...

Emerging markets (EMs) is the well-worn phrase coined to describe the group of countries considered to be underdeveloped, but which are rapidly growing and urbanising. Despite their reputation for carrying significant economic and political risk, EMs present opportunities to invest in companies looking to take advantage of the growing population of consumers. The result? Potentially higher investment returns compared to investments in developed countries.

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Trump takes his throne

The dust had settled, the shock had begun to subside and the hecklers had… well they’re still heckling… but nonetheless, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, taking his throne as leader of the world’s most powerful nation.

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100 days to deliver

2016 was tumultuous in the context of political upheaval but 2017 promises to be no less interesting. Decisions made by the electorate in the UK over Brexit and the US over Trump, will see their expectations or fears unfold in 2017-2018. For once, the politicians have to deliver on the electorate's wishes.

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2016 Review / 2017 Outlook

2016 in politics - Four down, one to go

Harold Wilson is attributed as saying that a week is a long time in politics. One wonders what he would have made of the political drama throughout 2016, an extraordinary year of political upheaval where the improbable became routine.

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