Things I Learnt At Berkshire Hathaway AGM May 6th 2017:

Travelling to the Annual General Meeting of Berkshire Hathaway to hear Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger talk about their outlook on investment, the world and life in general is probably one of the most rewarding and exciting trips any value investor could make.

How much longer Munger at 92 and Buffett at 86 years can keep going is anyone’s guess but there is certainly life in the grand old men of investment showing no difficulty in answering questions for over five hours in total. If the numbers attending (40,000 plus) demonstrated anything it is that as long as they keep going, the crowds will keep coming to hear two of the most incredible investment minds of our time.Continue reading

Europe’s time in the sun

“Elections have consequences” -Scott Walker.

Whilst ‘Brenda from Bristol’ captivated the British public with her displeasure about the upcoming UK election, investors elsewhere in Europe were celebrating as the first round of the French Presidential contest appeared to continue the trend started by the Dutch vote in March of stepping away from the populist brink. The French market was the strongest performer among not only Western European markets, but in global mainstream equity markets during April as the pollsters for once recently got their predictions correct.Continue reading

Another election and lots of earnings

“’Elections are won by men and women chiefly because most people vote against somebody rather than for somebody” Franklin Pierce Adams

If 2016 brought us the Brexit referendum and the U.S. Presidential election, then European politics in 2017 is all about the ballots in the Netherlands, France and Germany, with a few Italian, Greek and embryonic Brexit discussions thrown in for good measure. Continue reading

Spring Budget- Our notes for Investors

This Budget was Mr Hammond’s first – and last – Spring Budget. From now on Budgets will take place in Autumn and there will be a financial statement each Spring. Thus, the next Budget is probably a little over eight months away although, as 2016 revealed, much can happen even over such a brief period.

The backdrop to this Budget was very much dictated by the events between March and November last year. In what proved to be his last Spring Budget, George Osborne performed a range of financial gymnastics to hang onto his one remaining borrowing target, the elimination of the budget deficit by 2019/20. Continue reading

Top AIM pick from the previous quarter (Q4 2016): Scapa Group

Despite a challenging environment, Scapa Group performed particularly well in Q4 of 2016 as a result of strong trading trends in its Healthcare and Industrial segments combined with growth through acquisition and foreign exchange benefits. Over the quarter, the stock is up 25.7%, and 58.2% over 2016. The company announced that after a strong performance so far this year, it should deliver higher returns than previously expected in its full year 2016 financial accounts.Continue reading

Our Key Tips for Investing in 2017

As we enter the New Year, there’s no better time to work on fine-tuning your financial plans for the future and reviewing your current investments. Our team at Raymond James Market Harborough recognise the importance of having a financial plan in place to achieve your financial goals, and we endeavour to help you every step of the way. We work together with clients in different stages of the investor life cycle to plan for a number of life events; including buying a house, retirement, and even when the time comes, we help to plan for the passing down of wealth to the next generation.

To help put you on the right track to achieving your financial goals, here are our key tips for investing in 2017. If you would like more information on our services, we are offering a free New Year review of your investments by our wealth management professionals. Why not start now on your journey to achieving your financial goals?Continue reading

BUDGET NEWSLETTER: THE AUTUMN STATEMENT

The last Budget on 16 March now seems a distant memory from a past era. Back then the Chancellor was George Osborne, the Prime Minister was David Cameron, the UK looked likely to remain a member of the EU after 23 June and Donald Trump was not considered a serious US presidential candidate.

Wind forward just over eight months and there is a new Chancellor, a new Prime Minister and the UK is preparing for Brexit by March 2019 as President-elect Trump prepares to take office. The economics have changed more than a little, too, confounding a wide variety of expert forecasts:Continue reading

FOCUS ON A BLUE CHIP: Novo Nordisk

Company description: Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The Company is engaged in discovery, development, manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceutical products. The Company’s business segments include diabetes, obesity care, and biopharmaceuticals.

Competitive Advantage:

With almost 50% market share by volume of the global insulin market, Novo Nordisk is the leading provider of diabetes-care products in the world. The company’s global scale combined with significant barriers to new competition; provide a strong level of business protection for what we believe is a persistent business.Continue reading

Widespread shock as Donald Trump wins US Presidential Election: An update for our clients

Global markets were shocked yesterday morning as controversial Republican candidate Donald Trump was announced as the 45th President of the USA. The election race ended on Wednesday morning (UK time), with the state of Wisconsin pushing the Property Tycoon over the 270 vote threshold.

Markets had previously been pricing in a Clinton victory after the Democratic candidate was acquitted by the FBI following a second investigation into the email arrangements as secretary of state on Sunday 6th November, just two days before Election Day. In an unexpected turn of events, the Republicans won a ‘clean sweep’ victory, taking control of the Senate, the House of Representatives and also the Supreme Court.Continue reading

President-Elect Trump: The View From Europe

‘Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?’ – Robert Orben

Political watching from a European time zone in 2016 has all been about the hour from 2am to 3am (London time). In late June, consensus expectations of a Brexit referendum ‘remain’ vote were quashed, as ‘leave’ surprisingly triumphed. It was around a similar time earlier today that the seemingly iron-clad grip Hillary Clinton had on the Presidential vote started to slip away, much to widespread astonishment here in Europe.

Prior to the last year or two, President-elect Donald Trump was famous for a couple of matters in Europe: his role in the American version of The Apprentice and his interest in Scottish golf course development. Today he is a couple of months or so away from taking the most powerful political office in the world.Continue reading

M&G Property Portfolio to Resume Trading on 4th November

The M&G Property Portfolio held by many of our clients entered a temporary suspension of trading on the 5th July due to uncertainty in the market.  Since its suspension, our investment team has been monitoring the Commercial property market within the wider macroeconomic context and we have received regular updates on the progress of the fund in bringing about the resumption of trading. We recently received an update from M&G CEO William Nott that the fund is now due to resume trading at midday on Friday 4th November. Continue reading

Top Blue Chip from the previous quarter (Q3 2016): Royal Dutch Shell

Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS) is an Anglo-Dutch multinational integrated oil and gas company which explores and extracts crude oil and natural gas around the globe. RDS, headquartered in the Netherlands, was recently named the 5th largest corporation in the world in terms of revenue in the 2016 Fortune Global 500 list. The company sells a number of different products, including gasoline, diesel, aviation fuel, marine fuel, lubricants, bitumen and sulphur in around 70 countries.

RDS was added to our larger discretionary portfolios around March this year after a significant decline in the oil price presented us with an opportunity to buy in at reduced prices. Continue reading

Top AIM pick from the previous quarter (Q3 2016): Telit Communications PLC

Telit Communications PLC is a UK based technological company operating in the Communications and Networking industry. In short, it specialises in the development, manufacture and distribution of communication modules which allow machines, devices and vehicles to communicate on wireless networks. Telit has been a constituent of the AIM portfolio since its inception in January 2015, and it is a company which we continue to view favourably going forward.Continue reading