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Automatic for the people

Mark Carney’s comments last week that the technological revolution will ‘mercilessly destroy jobs and livelihoods’ is contrary to certain logic. Greater automation in the UK and other developed markets is the answer to greater productivity and so to GDP growth. To that end, expect companies operating in and around technology and robotics to grow their share of the equity markets in years to come.

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Do portfolio screens affect your bond portfolio’s performance?

Many investors screen sectors or companies out of their portfolios. This might be driven by an organisation’s charter, regulatory requirements, reputational concerns, or the view that some activities are unethical.

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Falling rate of mortality improvement: just a blip?

The chart above shows annual male mortality rates in England and Wales by calendar year. The mortality rates have been standardised by reference to the 2013 European Standard Population (limited to ages 50 to 89). So, even though the population of England and Wales is increasing in size and ageing, the mortality rates in the above chart in different years are comparable.

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How investor action helps cut CO2 emissions

The Paris climate change agreement came into force last month and has now been written into law by governments in 116 countries worldwide, from Sweden to Swaziland[1]. However, if we are to keep global temperature rises below 2 degrees as per the main goal of the agreement, then the actions of governments must form only part of the story. The private sector – both investors and companies – is also crucial, perhaps even more so than the public sector.

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The alternative investment menu post-Trump

As scarce returns from mainstream assets continue to frustrate pension funds, their attention is shifting to alternative investing. To combat low growth and volatility in public markets, many will increase their exposure to these less liquid assets in the next year. The reflation sentiment accelerated by the Trump US presidential election victory should support this trend, at least in part. It is worth taking a step back to consider the rationale for pension investors adding alternatives and then looking at a few particular sectors of interest for 2017.

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Friday View

Friday View

16 December 2016

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