17 June 2014

9 financial risks everyone should understand

Useful summary of key risks that every investor must bear in mind when devising an investment strategy (MarketWatch)

13 June 2014

IPO - don't play the sucker's game

New Share Issues and IPO's are usually coming to the market when it is advantageous for the Sellers and not for the Buyers. On top of it the allocation process is less than transparent in most cases - the 'good' clients are favoured by the issuing houses, and I don't even want to imagine what 'inducements' are sometimes given behind the scenes. All this in an age where computerised auction systems could easily be created to ensure that there is a fair process to strike an issuing price that is acceptable to buyer and seller and gives every investor - big and small - a fair shot to get the paper they wish to subscribe for.

10 June 2014

European Bond Markets have come full Circle

A few years ago (2005) we warned that anyone continuing to hold Italian government bonds yielding a measly 15 basis points more then German Bunds would be reckless. Now it is time to put out the warning again. While conditions may not yet be as extreme as in those days it is only prudent to consider an exit and take what is effectively a free option. Unless you believe in full political and fiscal union in the Eurozone this prepares you for the next (inevitable?) economic and financial storm.

5 June 2014

Beware Insiders offering IPO's

Naturally the controlling shareholders want to cash out for the highest possible price when they graciously offer shares to the great unwashed public (and their often not-so-smart professional advisers and money managers). When one prospective IPO candidate refers to the London property market as 'super-hot' alarm bells should start to ring and any potential subscriber should have a really good look before signing on the dotted line.

30 reasons to fall in love with Index Funds

Index Funds are not the answer to all investment problems but they are an important - and simple to use - building bloc. You find a few useful thoughts here.

Do you rely on 'models' to predict market moves?

You should if you think that a model that is able to explain 36% of price moves is a useful tool. I for my part would be sceptical. Remember, investing is part science, part art otherwise we would all be millionaires (or billionaires to bring this up-to-date). As the author of this particular model was a long-serving staffer at the Value Line Investment Service let me mention that I think that publication is the best value product in the market for investment services. Not perfect but for the price it beats all expensive 'research' departments that are housed in Brokerage and Fund Management firms.