July Performance

pmx

July Overview
Generally positive economic news as well as a weakening dollar provided the backdrop for investors in July. For UK investors, this meant strong positive returns from almost all asset classes. Politics and Central Bank messaging continued to influence markets, but in a slightly more subdued manner than had been the case throughout the rest of the year. Learn more

Intelligent Investments – 2017 Best Practice in Offshore Award

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Intelligent Investments is proud to announce that for the second consecutive year, we have been shortlisted for Best-Practice in Offshore Award in this year’s International Investment International Fund & Product Awards 2017. Learn more

STIR Crazy

mario-draghi-has-cracked-the-negative-rate-puzzle-for-banksJust over a month ago, the UK was still reeling from the shock result of the general election and it would be another fortnight before Theresa May and the DUP finally hammered out a deal.

Barely had the ink dried on the DUP agreement when the European Central Bank Forum kicked off in Sintra, Portugal, and Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, unwittingly set the cat amongst the pigeons when he said that “deflationary forces have been replaced by reflationary ones”. This caused alarm when investors interpreted his positive tone as a precursor to the central bank slowing its economic stimulus package more quickly than markets were discounting. ECB officials were quick to voice concern that the comments had been misjudged but this didn’t stop sharp price action in rate and FX markets.

Alex Harvey (CFA) of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary fund managers, shares his view. Click here to view.

Real Reason Behind Qatar Crisis Is Natural Gas, as Saudis Issue 24 Hour Ultimatum

Gulf CrisisIn the latest escalation of the Gulf crisis in which a coalition of Saudi-led states cut off diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, Saudi Arabia has now given Qatar a 24 hour ultimatum to fulfil 10 conditions, that have been conveyed to Kuwait, which is currently involved in the role of a mediator between Saudi and Qatar.

Whilst the official narrative for the diplomatic fallout is because – to everyone’s ‘stunned amazement’ – Qatar was funding terrorists, including a report by the FT that Qatar has directly provided $1 billion in funding to Iran and al-Qaeda spinoffs, could the real reason behind the diplomatic fallout be far simpler, and once again has to do with a long-running and controversial topic, namely Qatar’s regional natural gas dominance. Learn more

Firm Targeting Nest Eggs of UK Expats Faces SEC Probe

Securities and Exchange Commission; SECBloomberg reports that an international financial advisory company has charged upfront commissions for years on investments to UK expats, even though its SEC registration didn’t allow such commissions.

There were a lot of charges. In addition to an annual management fee, the company would charge a fee on the pension transfer that could be as high as 7%, spread over several years (known in the industry as an ‘indemnity commission’), three former employees said. Clients who transferred pensions would have to decide how to invest the money, giving salesmen another chance to earn commissions.

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The End of the Car Industry?

Roadster_2.5_windmills_trimmedOne of the most interesting parts of our jobs is having the opportunity to have great debates with some of the best fund managers in the world.

The car industry has gone relatively undisrupted for the past 100 years but is now under threat from the emergence of the electrical car. James Jones (CFA) of Momentum Global Investment Management, one of our UK regulated, discretionary fund managers, shares a recent discussion we had with one of our more aggressive growth managers – Is the way we drive about to radically change, and are we seeing the last days of the car industry?

Click here to view.

BofA – OPEC: Extend and Pretend

00096c2a-1600The last time OPEC (and Non-OPEC) member nations sat down to attempt a coordinated increase in oil prices by cutting production they succeeded… for about three months. Ever since then, oil has been on a gradual declining path, boosted by a surge in US shale output and declining global demand, with WTI recently even sliding sliding below OPEC’s implicit price floor of $50/barrel. Which is why on 25 May, after the failure of the first 6 month production cut, the same nations will try the same exercise, this time looking to cut output for 9 months, and hoping for a different outcome. At least that is the general expectation.

Bank of America’s Francisco Blanch has released a note previewing this week’s OPEC meeting titled “OPEC: extend and pretend“, and which boils down to the 3 choices faced by OPEC: maintain, curb, or hike output.

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