Obamacare Update

us healthcare.jpgOn Thursday, October 12, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order which may significantly impact those covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Executive Order would expand access to less expensive policies that provide minimal coverage and benefits and more exclusions and limitations than mandated under ACA. These cheaper policies could either be short-term medical coverage policies offered to individuals and families by commercial insurance companies or policies sold through trade associations to their members.

However, this process will likely take months to make significant changes as federal agencies propose new regulations.

Until then, not much will change.

The ACA will remain in place, including the 2017 tax penalty for those individuals residing in the US that do not have an ACA compliant policy.

For further information with regards to US compliant Medical Insurance or any other services for clients from or moving back to the USA please contact us.  

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Market Update – The Third Way

  • Oil rose 3.4% on the week with Brent at USD 56
  • Gold fell 1.8 % to 1315
  • Haven assets decline, global equities rise
  • North Korea launches second missile over Japan

Thus far President Trump’s leadership has been long on noise but short on results. He has failed to come up with any legislative wins in his first eight months, despite the Republicans’ control of both chambers of Congress and the executive. This is mostly due to intransigence – the White House has simply not been playing its traditional coordinating role to help bills through Congress.

There are also now rumours of another potential deal with the Democrats on DACA, a program to legalise people who arrived in the country illegally as children and have grown up in the US. Yet to be confirmed, this deal would be in exchange for additional border security funding but surprisingly doesn’t mention the wall with Mexico, a key issue for Trump’s base.

Jeromine Bertrand (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

Volatility: Deep Calm in the Markets

“Not since Watergate have our legal systems been so threatened, and our faith in the independence and integrity of those systems so shaken,” These were the words of Senator Richard Blumenthal of the US Judiciary on the incendiary news that President Trump has fired the Director of the FBI, James Comey. The timing of the termination, occurring whilst the presidential campaign is under investigation for possible ties to Russian collusion has raised eyebrows…

Yet those searching for some immediate negative market reaction to events reminiscent of the Nixon debacle would be hard pushed to find much of any real significance: A small slide on equity futures and a brief flight to currency safe havens (a fleeting rally on USD/JPY to a 114.32 high which swiftly retraced to a 113.63 low) were about all- Indeed the S&P500 index even ticked upwards, closing at a record high of 2399.63 on the day. What is more, the US equity markets have remained largely flat since February, whilst volatility on treasuries also remains low. What effect this latest twist will have on Trump’s longer term economic plan of tax reforms, protectionism, healthcare and infrastructure investment remains to be seen. Some indicators that it is stalling were already in place after a tumultuous first one hundred days, and it is hard to see these latest developments helping matters.

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

PortfolioMetrix Market Update and Portfolio Performance Review April 2017

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Politics again dominated in April with the big news for European investors being the relief that centralist Emmanuel Macron progressed to the second round of the French presidential election and has then went on to secure election ahead of Le Pen. Elsewhere, there was an announcement of a snap election in the UK and investors mulled over Trump’s first 100 days in office against the backdrop of weaker than expected US growth. Learn more