I have never met Philip Green, and am not sure that I want to. I doubt that I have been into a BHS store more than twice in my life (once, I think, to buy a lampshade). So my qualifications for commenting on the High Street’s latest collapsing retail chain are minimal. Nevertheless I take my hat off to accountant Paul Scott for daring to challenge the prevailing media narrative on the BHS story in his regular column for the Stockopedia website.
If you have been wondering, as many investors have, whether to stick with a significant exposure to the Japanese equity market following its recent sharp
Is there a genuinely independent go-to guide for anyone who cares about the future of the UK economy but isn’t sure how to cast their vote in the Brexit referendum? Two-thirds of voters are said by unreliable pollsters to have made up their minds already, which leaves at least a third undecided. As the strident rhetoric and tendentious factoids of the two campaigns intensify, the need for dispassionate analysis could not be greater.
In a world where we’re heading for driverless cars, drones that deliver groceries to your back garden and smartphones that switch your lights and radiators on and off automatically while you are miles away from home, is it strange to think about handing over your money to a robot to look after? No, it’s not such a daft idea as it may first appear — and if the trend to robotise your finances gains traction, it will mean exciting opportunities for investors and potential trouble for the army of financial advisers and wealth managers who make a well-paid living looking after your money today.
When you put your money into an actively managed investment fund, it’s as well to remember that you are putting your faith in a human being you have probably never met. Have you ever stopped to think who you have chosen to be the steward of your savings? They come in all shapes and sizes, from brash and super-confident ‘masters of the universe’ (mostly in hedge-fund territory) to more diligent, understated portfolio technicians who probably drive Skodas and come blinking into the limelight only under duress. Few investment managers, it’s safe to say, are quite as backward in coming forward as Nick Train of Lindsell Train. His track record is exceptional, but largely under the radar. One of his UK funds has beaten the market 13 years out of 15; the other nine years out of ten. The investment trust he runs with Michael Lindsell has done so well that its shares trade at a huge premium to asset value.
The moralisers and instant historians have been out in force over the weekend to comment on the unfolding Greek economic crisis. The IMF, the EU