Is it virtue or results that you want?

I am a fan of Terry Smith but I wonder how many others in the fund management business are, given his knack of puncturing some of the carefully-developed myths that help to keep the rest of the industry going. His latest offering. a “sustainable” global equity fund, is a clever and well-judged attempt to highlight the flaws in the way that many other funds in this fashionable sector are in practice put together.

Gerald Kaye interview: the property cycle is not over yet

Gerald Kaye, the subject of my latest Property Chronicle interview, is a 20-year veteran at Helical plc (formerly Helical Bar) and has been CEO since July 2016. His office overlooks Hanover Square, which today still looks like a bombsite, thanks to the ongoing Crossrail construction work. Were it not for the construction site, however, he could look directly across the square at the Knight Frank office where he started work in the property business some 40 years ago. What drew him to a career in property, I start by asking? “I suppose I got into the property business because I was brought up in lovely countryside and my mother’s cousin was a land agent. I thought it sounded like a good way of life”.

Governments are dumb about property

I have recently started a series of interviews with leading figures in the property world for a new specialist publication The Property Chronicle. This month’s subject is David Lewis, a well-known property developer whose interests over a 40-year career included three listed companies and a range of private ventures. He looks back on his highs and lows, gives his views on current market valuations and expounds on his view that Governments rarely make a success of their interventions in the property market. The first interview in the series was with Professor Andrew Baum of Oxford University, a leading property academic (yes there are such things) and a pioneer in property market research. He also has a fair bit to say about the challenges of valuing property in a low interest rate world.

Land prices need to be better controlled

t only takes a few minutes in the company of Andrew Baum, recently appointed as the first real estate professor at Oxford University’s Said Business School, to realise why he now prefers to be an academic rather than the successful full-time property professional he trained to be. His heart is in teaching and research and in having a platform to “speak truth to power”, however unpalatable that truth may be to the natural conservatism and vested interests of the property world or the head-in-the-sand attitudes of truth-averse politicians. In this interview for The Property Chronicle, Prof Baum gives his views on property prices, the need for intervention in the property development market and why valuing real estate has become so tricky in an era of suppressed interest rates.

Japan’s stock market has huge upside potential

The best investment decisions are almost always those that feel most uncomfortable at the time they are made. George Soros says he gets terrible backache when running his biggest positions. ‘If it ain’t hurting, it ain’t working’ is a good motto to put on your computer screen. Those who think Japan is an excellent home for their money at the moment (as I do) are very familiar with this phenomenon.

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