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Global Matters Weekly – The quiet investor

In the realm of successful investors, high profile names like Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger, and Benjamin Graham often take the spotlight. However, there’s one investor whose story deserves attention: Ronald Read.

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Global Matters Weekly – Leaping over leap days

I joined the financial industry on 29 February 2016, precisely eight years ago at the time of writing, and on a leap day! When you are a fresh financial engineering graduate like I was, you think everything moves according to formulas and all you need to beat financial markets is a bit of stochastic calculus and a couple of MATLAB libraries. I guess ingenuity and overconfidence are some of the things that make youth so much fun.

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Global Matters Weekly – (il) Liquidity of property

Towards the end of last year, St James’s Place (SJP), M&G Investments, and Canada Life all announced closures and suspensions of open-ended UK property funds. This trend isn’t new; since the 2016 Brexit referendum, property funds allowing daily transactions have faced suspensions several times due to the challenge of matching liquidity with the illiquid nature of property assets.

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Global Matters Weekly – MOVErs and shakers

As someone with a tracker mortgage I’m taking a keen interest in the widely anticipated cuts in the bank base rate that are expected to materialise over the course of this year. I am fortunate (perhaps) to have fixed rate debt elsewhere – so my aggregate cost of funding has remained manageable – but nonetheless, like most homeowners my monthly costs have risen in recent years as interest rates (and utility bills, service charges, insurance etc) have gone up. I even read this morning that that average cost of a pint of beer in London is now £5.90. Please tell me where, as I’m sure I pay more than that!

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Viewpoint – January 2024

Markets began to consolidate in January and returns ended the month in a more mixed fashion, compared to the ‘(almost) everything rally’ seen in Q4 2023. Global developed and US equities both continued their momentum to reach all-time highs, returning 1.2% and 1.7% respectively. Equity markets in Asia continued to show limited signs of agreement, with Japan posting a 7.8% return, while further challenges in China impacted Emerging Asia, falling 5.2%. UK equities ended the month down 1% after some varied data prints, while European equities outperformed, returning 1.9%.

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Global Matters Weekly – China is on the move

Over 13 years ago an episode of US sitcom The Office aired in which Michael Scott tried to raise the alarm surrounding China’s impending global dominance, and in 2023 China dominated a new market – Electric Vehicles. In the final quarter of 20231 Chinese Electric Vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD outsold the western incumbent Tesla, to become the world’s top selling electric carmaker.

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Global Matters Weekly – The fragility of trust

In 1954 two DeHavilland Comets were lost in separate midair accidents for unknown reasons at the time. The aircraft was a pioneering venture by the British aeronautical industry that launched the world’s first production jet airliner. Subsequent investigations found that the gauge of metal used was insufficient to withstand repeated pressurisation and de-pressurisation cycles which resulted in catastrophic survivable failure.

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Global Matters Weekly – The Trump spectre looms large

The political news headlines have been rife with Republican primary drama. If it wasn’t for former president Trump’s chaotic and controversial presidential term that ended with the denial of the following election’s results, accusations of insurrection, and a legacy that has further polarized a country and tarnished its image globally, these headlines would make for very entertaining reading!

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Global Matters Weekly – Big isn’t always beautiful

If one didn’t work in the financial industry, they would be forgiven for thinking the Magnificent 7 was the latest overhyped Marvel movie. If I “google” Magnificent 7 on my home Wi-Fi, the main characters from the 1960 Western, The Magnificent Seven, appear. It scores 7.7 on IMDB and so I’ve added it to my ever expanding ‘Must Watch’ list.

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Global Matters Weekly – A quandary from McQuarrie

McQuarrie’s contribution to the literature provides important new information for investors. By expanding historical and international datasets, the relationship between equities and bonds, in terms of the former’s assumed outperformance, and the correlation of returns between the two asset classes, is perhaps not as straightforward as other studies have implied.

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