Central banks are doing their best to de-stress the financial system. First the Fed and now the European Central Bank. This week’s Diary focuses on the latest news from central banks and, as Brexit approaches, how Switzerland has coped with 25 years of trade negotiations.LEARN MORE
Strange times indeed. This week’s Diary grapples with the known unknowns of trade wars and Brexit as the possibility of progress on both fronts moves markets on a minute by minute basis. Also, the shipping news from Malta in the rain.
At times like this stepping back from the daily news is a way of breaking away from the circularity of much of what is currently dominating the headlines. In this week’s Diary, the importance of good engineering, the impact of technology on financial services and a Donald Rumsfeld quote that is not quite as famous as his riff on what we know and what we don’t know.
In this week’s Diary quiet markets and unquiet politics, ebbing confidence, investors becoming more discerning and thoughts about why long-term strategy is more important than quarterly reports when it comes to selecting the right companies to invest in.
Stock markets may have had a quiet week, but beneath the surface all was far from calm. Shares hardly moved, bonds went up, gold was down and sterling was marginally stronger than the rest. Oil was the centre of attention of which more later. The WeWork listing was postponed which was more important than it might seem because it challenges the private equity conveyor belt which extracts maximum value from a company before offering shares to the public. This has not been a vintage year for new issues with a number of high profile stock market entrants now trading at significant discounts to their issue prices.
David Miller is a Quilter Cheviot Executive Director and active investment manager. He makes regular appearances on TV and radio and is the author of the prizewinning weekly, Diary of a Fund Manager which now has a global circulation list of over 20,000. In a career spanning four decades, he has worked as a stockbroker and then fund manager, advising private individuals throughout, for the last ten years at Quilter Cheviot which is part of the Old Mutual Group. He read Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and is a committed empiricist, suspicious of economists with theories.
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