A North Korean missile, potentially capable of carrying a nuclear payload, soared over Japan in late August and sunk into the Sea of Japan. In response, 10-year Japanese government bond (JGBs) yields sunk too, from 0.009% to -0.009%.
Like many commuters, my partner and I have a “station” car. In our case it’s my partner’s beloved 10-year-old red Mini Cooper. Tracey, my partner, loves it – I hate it.
It’s heavy on the steering, the air-con doesn’t work and it’s continuously tuned to Vanessa Feltz in the morning. Warning lights flash off and on with a regularity bordering on disturbing. Lately, we have been umming and ahhing about replacing it for a new station car.
Despite my hatred for this abomination of an automobile, I am reluctant to replace it just yet. Why?
Have you tried to buy a house recently? If you have, you may have noticed that despite the invention of the internet, AI and robots, today’s purchase process is not that different (and certainly no quicker) than during the reign of Queen Victoria. The paperwork remains... er… paper, and legal searches still cost a bomb despite the fact there’s no-one sitting in a dusty vault reviewing deeds anymore!
Like a parade of music’s greatest hits, the past year in markets has been crammed full of noise.
Like it or not, the influence of technology on our lives is growing fast – global connectedness and endless information are at our fingertips 24-7, and technology’s advance seems unstoppable. In the case of our financial wellbeing, do we ignore it at our peril?
Welcome to the brave new world of personalised medicine. Potential for huge advances in healthcare could not only disrupt the whole industry. This has wide-ranging investment implications, but it could also bring greater complexity in financial planning as life spans increase and, with them, the need for good professional advice.
Currencies bounced around last month as investors debated the strength of the UK’s Brexit negotiating position, whether the Federal Reserve (Fed) will slow its rate hikes, and if the European Central Bank will soon cut the number of bonds it buys each month as part of its quantitative easing programme.
It’s possible to buy a nice new house, but actually live in the Dark Ages. Not me though.
Europe has long been seen as the unloved problem child of developed markets, beset with fiscal problems, threatened by disintegration and unable to escape from chronic underperformance. Now it’s the new favourite. But can Europe justify its new-found popularity and higher valuations?
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