Laith Khalaf of A J Bell looks at some of the reasons the Bank of England might be right not to concern itself unduly with inflation, with the effects of the oil price and rising wages set to work their way out of the system before long. However, with the call on inflation being so hard to make for certain, he suggests that investors should ensure their portfolios aren't unduly skewed towards a low-interest-rate environment, reckoning it important that they ensure they are balanced.
Ahead of the banks' results, Russ Mould, Investment Director of A J Bell asks if the markets are saying something is not quite right in the sector. With all banks trading below book value, are they screamingly cheap or is it the case that the underlying valuations will prove to be highly inaccurate? Investors' attitudes may depend on whether they are optimistic for the economy as a whole or fear the worst.
Have you seen what's happening to second-hand car prices? Tim Price, director of Price Value Partners, is convinced that inflation is returning and feels he has the most compelling investment opportunity of his entire life. He argues that investors should be inflation-proofing their portfolios and he discusses types of shares, sectors and countries that should fare better than others. He suggests value rather than growth stocks with an emphasis on companies extracting or highly-linked to commodities (at their cheapest in 60 years) while he favours Asia (though not China) and, in particular Vietnam and Japan. If the market falls out of bed, wise investors will have ensured they have available funds to take advantage of the fact that quality investments will be even cheaper than now.
For Tim Price, director of Price Value Partners, the only story in town at the moment is inflation. He places little trust in the view of central bankers that the inflation now being seen will be temporary. With the massive rise of government, corporate and consumer debt in so many countries, he considers the situation extremely dangerous and likely to worsen quickly. Although painting a pessimistic picture, he promises next week to suggest some positive moves worried investors can make to protect themselves.
Russ Mould, Investment Director of A J Bell, looks at the performance of the UK market in the 5 years since the EU referendum vote, finding its performance poor against all major markets. He feels, however, that might be about to change with aggregate profit estimates being significantly increased in the past three months alone. He is particularly optimistic if growth and inflation surprise on the upside.
Russ Mould, Investment Director of A J Bell, looks at the rather limited policy options facing the US Federal Reserve and, for similar reasons, the Bank of England. With federal debt mushrooming in 40 years from $1 trilion to $28 trillion and inflation showing signs of returning, what are the Fed's options? Are they right to consider the spike in inflation temporary? What if they are wrong and we return to an inflationary environment after so long with minimal interest rates?
Why invest? Glen Goodman, with the assistance of Annie Weston, explains why investing makes sense and talks you through the merits of the stock market, in this tenth episode of Share Radio's 'Managing My Money' course. What's the difference between saving and investment? It's all in the risk. They discuss shares, bonds and funds, and which perform best over the long term.
Russ Mould, Investment Director of A J Bell, wonders if new floats can help investors determine when the market might turn. He quotes John Brooks writing, "If one fact is glaringly obvious in stock market history, it is that a new issues craze is the last stage of a dangerous boom". Although a few offers ought to warn investors that if it's such a brilliant idea, why are the original investors selling, he does not feel that the UK market is getting IPO-overheated.
Tim Price, director of Price Value Partners, considers the possible ramifications if it comes to be accepted that Covid-19 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan. Investors should, he feels, weigh the consequences of what - intended or not – would be the worst crime in human history. It would have such an impact on investment, business and political psychology that the only historical analogy that comes to mind is the 1930s. Tim's recommendation for investors? Enjoy the party, but dance near the door.
Russ Mould, Investment Director of A J Bell, looks at mounting evidence of wage pressure in the United States. Amazon is taking on 75,000 more workers in the US and Canada but is having to offer double the minimum wage together with a signing-on bonus and health & dental care. While it took two years for US incomes to recover after the Financial Crisis, this time it's only taken eight months. What might the ramifications be for central banks and for markets? Russ advises investors to think about the things people are not talking about rather than what they are and to hunt out intrinsic value.