Crucial October period safely behind
October has ended: time to take stock of market and portfolio returns. In general, stock markets nudged up further while government bond yields recovered, eroding some of bonds’ earlier valuation gains. For UK investors however, the roughly 5% gain of £-Sterling against other global currencies for once lowered the value of overseas investments and also put the overseas income-heavy FTSE under pressure. The end result was a flattish month where the overseas spending power of investors improved without particularly undermining their portfolio valuations. Year to date, 2019 continues to have been a good year for investment returns across all risk profiles, recording single to low double-digit figures with increasing levels of equity exposure. Despite October’s dull returns, the one-year figures have improved markedly into positive territory, due to the base effect of last year’s negative Q4 returns.
China’s unorthodox policy moves make sense – for China
It is hard to overstate how important growth is to China. The country’s ascendance to economic powerhouse since the 1980s has been nothing short of phenomenal, but it has also been carefully orchestrated. The process of reform began with paramount leader Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s but took off spectacularly at the end of the decade. For the communist party, growth was about more than just economic management. After the fall of the USSR and the horror of Tiananmen Square, the state struck a Faustian pact with its citizens: forget about liberty and we all get rich.
Elizabeth Warren, the US’ very own Corbyn scare?
Election fever is all around. While we gear up for a Christmas time vote here, pundits, pollsters and politicians across the Atlantic already have their sights set on 2020. There is sure to be plenty of drama leading up to next year’s presidential vote – not least the fate of President Trump’s impeachment proceedings. Assuming that he will be the Republican candidate, which is not a given, the current hot topic is which Democrat he will end up facing.