Weekly musings

Our researchers

Our research team provides relevant and easy to read articles on topics that you may find interesting as an investor. They visit Fund Providers and attend conferences regularly to keep up to date with market and industry news. Find out more

You can filter the articles for words that are contained anywhere in the title or body of the article by simply typing in the Search Box at the top of the list of articles. You can also filter articles by one of the article categories to focus on an overall area of interest. Browse our articles and please feel free to use our feedback process to let us know what you think.

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The lessons from the downfall of Neil Woodford

Published on 14 Jun 19 by Adrian Lowcock  (69 views)

Last week, late on Monday evening Neil Woodford’s flagship fund, the LF Woodford Equity Income fund, was suspended with immediate effect.  This week we look at the lessons we all need to learn from the events that led to this sorry situation and to consider what to look out for when choosing a fund. 
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Who wants to live forever?

Published on 07 Jun 19 by Liz Rees  (100 views)

Ageing populations are producing some of the biggest social and economic upheaval of modern times. Advances in medicines and healthcare, along with rising standards of living and relative peace, have contributed to longer and healthier lives.
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What’s driving dividends?

Published on 30 May 19 by Liz Rees  (145 views)

For investors who depend on an income from their investments, the stability of dividends is important. The Janus Henderson Global Dividend Index (JHGDI) report, covering the first three months of 2019, highlights the latest trends.
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Pension planning through the ages

Published on 24 May 19 by Ian Taunt  (103 views)

Retirement planning is something we should all think about throughout our working lives. A little time invested can really pay off in the long term.
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Europe-will the tortoise become a hare?

Published on 17 May 19 by Liz Rees  (135 views)

European stock markets have been out of favour for some time; growth is lacklustre, shares are not outstandingly cheap and political uncertainty abounds.
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The global warming debate heats up

Published on 10 May 19 by Liz Rees  (171 views)

Recent demonstrations in London by climate change activist group Extinction Rebellion have served to highlight the risks of global warming.
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The UK housing market - booming or broken?

Published on 02 May 19 by Liz Rees  (204 views)

Home ownership is something the British, in contrast to much of Europe, passionately aspire to and house prices are always a popular topic of conversation.
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Investors full of the joys of spring

Published on 25 Apr 19 by Liz Rees  (239 views)

Despite entering 2019 shrouded by an uncertain prognosis for the global economy, stock markets have actually been leaping ahead as investors regain confidence.
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MAPS to guide you: the new Money and Pensions Service

Published on 11 Apr 19 by Liz Rees  (262 views)

As the burden of planning for the future, particularly in the case of retirement, falls increasingly on individuals, the government is overhauling its own free financial guidance services.
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Safety first for the cautious investor

Published on 05 Apr 19 by Liz Rees  (284 views)

The current era of low interest rates means it is nearly impossible to find a single asset class that can preserve your capital at all times.
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Following the stars

Published on 29 Mar 19 by Liz Rees  (314 views)

The media loves to promote the cult of the ‘star manager’ but is it a worthy label or a burden that becomes impossible to live up to?
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Where in the world for your ISA?

Published on 22 Mar 19 by Liz Rees  (379 views)

If you’ve decided to contribute to your ISA before the end of the tax year, the important next step is to think about where to put your hard-earned money to work.
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Ocado-delivering to order

Published on 15 Mar 19 by Liz Rees  (449 views)

Ocado is a UK based technology company, set up to take advantage of the huge potential for home delivery of food. The brainwave of three investment bankers, it is now a fully operational business with significant revenues.
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Putting your faith in Investment Trusts

Published on 07 Mar 19 by Liz Rees  (239 views)

Investment Trusts, also known as investment companies, do not generate as much publicity as the larger universe of funds, made up of OEICs and Unit Trusts, yet there are over 400 to choose from with assets of around £185bn. 
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Food for thought

Published on 27 Feb 19 by Liz Rees  (1,355 views)

Food and beverages are the staples of life, but should they also be a core ingredient in our portfolios? At first glance they might seem the ultimate defensive investment, after all everyone has to eat.
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Is gold set to shine?

Published on 21 Feb 19 by Liz Rees  (298 views)

Gold is a unique asset. Once extracted from the ground, it is not consumed like most commodities so lasts forever, albeit in small and finite supply.
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A new dawn for Japan?

Published on 14 Feb 19 by Liz Rees  (237 views)

Japan has a history of false dawns for investors. Following a ‘tech style bubble’ in the 1980s, the Nikkei index reached nearly 40,000 before a crash took place. 
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A novel strategy for income

Published on 08 Feb 19 by Liz Rees  (324 views)

A growing number of investors are looking for a high income from their investments, without taking excessive risk. It is still possible to obtain decent levels of income, but you may need to cast your net more widely.
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Change is all around

Published on 30 Jan 19 by Liz Rees  (257 views)

The FTSE 100 index, which measures performance of Britain’s leading blue chip companies, celebrates 35 years since its launch this month. I wondered what it might tell us about the type of companies that stand the test of time.
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Returns with sound foundations

Published on 24 Jan 19 by Liz Rees  (312 views)

Commercial property is often overlooked by investors, perhaps because they feel they have enough exposure to the asset class through home ownership and in some cases, buy to let as well.
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Who dares wins?

Published on 16 Jan 19 by Liz Rees  (443 views)

Bouts of volatility, or short-term swings in share prices, are associated with heightened levels of risk yet they can also present opportunities for bold investors.
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Sour tasting Apple

Published on 09 Jan 19 by Liz Rees  (246 views)

An unexpected warning from Apple that first quarter revenues would be below expectations sent ripples through global stock markets last week.
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Financial resolutions for the New Year?

Published on 03 Jan 19 by Liz Rees  (539 views)

The Christmas and New Year break is often a time when we reflect on the year gone by and resolve to make changes to improve our lifestyles and wellbeing. You probably associate wellbeing with your physical or mental health but it is a term increasingly being used to describe our financial health as well.
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The valuable assets you can’t see, feel or touch

Published on 19 Dec 18 by Liz Rees  (453 views)

When asked what we would like for Christmas, many of us preface our requests with a brand name: Chanel perfume, a Burberry scarf, a Mulberry Handbag, Nike trainers, a Nintendo games console and the list goes on.
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No drought in dividends

Published on 13 Dec 18 by Liz Rees  (246 views)

When markets go through a period of heightened volatility, as we are seeing at present, one source of comfort is receiving a reliable stream of income from your investments.
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Is Santa Claus coming to town?

Published on 05 Dec 18 by Liz Rees  (333 views)

As we move into December, thoughts may be turning to Christmas festivities. Yet after a turbulent autumn for stock markets, investors will no doubt be hoping for a traditional ‘Santa Claus rally’ to lift their spirits.
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Investing in retirement – time to think differently?

Published on 29 Nov 18 by Ian Taunt  (317 views)

Following the introduction of ‘Pension Freedoms’ in 2015, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has been keeping a close eye on consumer’s behaviour as they adjust to the reforms. 
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How active is your Fund Manager?

Published on 22 Nov 18 by Liz Rees  (446 views)

When market conditions become more challenging, the skills of an active fund manager can come into their own. Put simply, an active approach introduces a subjective element, such as in-depth research and forecasting, to uncover winners and losers.
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Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?

Published on 14 Nov 18 by Liz Rees  (411 views)

The wolf I refer to is Amazon, the US tech giant that seems to be behind the downfall of many traditional retailers.
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Price is what you pay, value is what you get

Published on 08 Nov 18 by Liz Rees  (275 views)

The above is the philosophy of legendary investor Warren Buffett, aka the Sage of Omaha. His investing success, based on adoption of the value style of investing, has made him the third wealthiest man in the world.
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Deal or no deal?

Published on 01 Nov 18 by Liz Rees  (425 views)

The Brexit clock may be ticking painfully slowly but is it time for investors to reconsider the case for UK equities?
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No sweet treats from Patisserie Valerie

Published on 18 Oct 18 by Liz Rees  (329 views)

Patisserie Holdings, parent of Patisserie Valerie, a high street retailer you may be familiar with, made the headlines for all the wrong reasons last week.
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Speaking up for shareholders

Published on 11 Oct 18 by Liz Rees  (313 views)

Investors in listed companies have voting rights, in proportion to their stake, which gives them a say in the way the business is managed and how it behaves in the wider environment.
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Emerging Markets- down but not out?

Published on 04 Oct 18 by Liz Rees  (401 views)

Emerging markets have given up ground in the third quarter, so this week I look at the reasons behind the recent sell-off and consider whether the investment case remains valid.
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Stop the roundabout, I want to get off!

Published on 26 Sep 18 by Liz Rees  (301 views)

Globalisation seems to be blamed for a lot of the current shortcomings in society so I thought I would take a look at who it helps, who it harms and where it’s heading.
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Lessons from Lehman

Published on 19 Sep 18 by Liz Rees  (404 views)

A whole decade has passed since the collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers on 15 Sept 2008, an event that deepened the Global Financial Crisis.
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The Pensions Dashboard-a worthwhile reprieve?

Published on 13 Sep 18 by Liz Rees  (523 views)

This project, a joint venture between leading pension providers and the government, has been somewhat on-off in recent times but seems to be back on the agenda.
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Thematic investing – Does technology have further to go?

Published on 07 Sep 18 by Adrian Lowcock  (429 views)

I thought this week I would follow up on thematic investing and look at what is perhaps the hottest area of the market at the moment, Technology.
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Thematic investing- is the trend your friend?

Published on 31 Aug 18 by Liz Rees  (428 views)

A growing number of Fund Managers are adopting thematic investing but is it the new way forward or simply a marketing buzz word?
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Spotlight on the retail energy market

Published on 16 Aug 18 by Liz Rees  (378 views)

I guess the energy sector is of interest to most of us, whether as price-conscious consumers or as investors, so I thought I’d look at the companies that deliver gas and electricity to our homes.
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Interest rates: steady as she goes

Published on 09 Aug 18 by Liz Rees  (321 views)

Last week brought important news for savers and investors. The UK base rate was raised for only the second time in a decade, taking it above 0.5% for the first time since 2009...
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Go east young man

Published on 02 Aug 18 by Liz Rees  (293 views)

In my latest market outlook, I noted the enduring growth prospects in Asia, despite the fact that some countries in the region, notably China, have experienced a setback this year...
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Is too much cash holding back your returns?

Published on 26 Jul 18 by Liz Rees  (662 views)

I discussed the pros and cons of debt last week and now I’m turning my attention to cash. While having an abundance of ready money sounds like an enviable position to be in, it isn’t always the best way to maximise your returns...
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Are we drowning in debt?

Published on 21 Jul 18 by Liz Rees  (504 views)

The latest statistic on the amount of debt in the world caught my eye due to its sheer size. The Institute of International Finance estimates that total debt accumulated by governments, companies and households, reached $247 trillion at the end of March, 40% above the level during the financial crisis...
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Investing with a conscience

Published on 13 Jul 18 by Liz Rees  (309 views)

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) concerns were traditionally the realm of specialist Ethical and Green Funds but, with growing recognition of the consequences, companies are now addressing the issues as a matter of course...
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Happy 70th birthday to the NHS

Published on 06 Jul 18 by Liz Rees  (274 views)

I can’t let this week go by without wishing the NHS many happy returns, an institution in which we all have a vested interest. I don’t suppose too many of us remember its launch on 5th July 1948 but we’re all aware that it has much improved the health of our nation, and the unique ‘free at point of use’ model is admired worldwide...
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How high can the oil price go?

Published on 29 Jun 18 by Liz Rees  (477 views)

A roller coaster performance in the price of oil is not unusual. It has see-sawed considerably over the past decade; touching $100 a barrel in 2008 on escalating demand, then falling below $30 in 2016 as US shale production came on stream...
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Inflation: friend or foe?

Published on 22 Jun 18 by Liz Rees  (521 views)

I’m sure some of us can recall with trepidation the high inflation Britain experienced in the 1970s which contributed to a very difficult period for our economy. Since then, a number of emerging economies, including Argentina and Venezuela, have contended with even worse bouts of hyper-inflation... 
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How much risk is enough risk?

Published on 15 Jun 18 by Liz Rees  (500 views)

When I recently highlighted the epidemic of scams targeting the UK population, anyone would think we are a nation of gamblers, open to ultra high-risk investments. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth when we look at the most popular homes for our savings...
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Inheritance tax: are there changes afoot?

Published on 08 Jun 18 by Liz Rees  (466 views)

This week I’m touching on the intricacies of Inheritance Tax (or IHT). I appreciate that tax in general is not the most popular subject and IHT, in particular, is a poorly understood- and often unplanned for-duty...
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Stealing the jewels in our crown?

Published on 01 Jun 18 by Liz Rees  (460 views)

No, my heading this week isn’t an objection to an American marrying into our Royal family! Yet I must say the wedding of Harry and Meghan really portrayed England at its best and I hope their future is as bright as the sunshine on the day...
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UK Equities: unloved and undervalued?

Published on 25 May 18 by Liz Rees  (454 views)

Having been drawn to the more attractive growth prospects in overseas markets, I'm now starting to wonder if I might be missing opportunities closer to home. Sentiment towards the UK has been poor but, as bargain hunters know, there's a price for everything...
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Spotting the scammers

Published on 10 May 18 by Liz Rees  (297 views)

Every day we hear of alarming cases where people have fallen victim to the current scam epidemic. Indeed, UK consumers and companies lost nearly £1bn in 2017 to financial fraudsters whose modus operandi seems to be getting ever more sophisticated...
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What’s troubling tech?

Published on 04 May 18 by Liz Rees  (475 views)

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that when America sneezes the world catches a cold – well this scenario seems to have affected the technology sector in recent weeks. However, it’s worth noting that tech stocks do make up a much larger part of the US market...
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