Category: Weekly Commentary

Weekly Commentary: 22/02/21 – All Aboard for Mu Mu Land

At midnight, on 1st January this year, the K.L.F. released their back catalogue of music (hits such as 3AM Eternal, Justified and Ancient, Last Train to Trancentral) on Spotify and uploaded their old videos to YouTube. This was their first activity as a band since 1992, when they announced they were leaving the music industry […]

Weekly Commentary: 18/01/21 – Reincarnation as the bond market

In the early days of a new Democrat presidency, the President’s campaign manager observed that: “I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the President or the Pope or a 0.400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate anybody.” The […]

Weekly Commentary: 14/12/20 – Taxes steering behaviour?

After a strong November and start of December the FTSE 100 was largely unchanged this week at 6566. More broadly, the signs of a cyclical recovery are evident: oil price rose through $50 a barrel and copper and other industrial commodities have also been strong. Airbnb IPO’ed with the shares closing on their first day […]

Weekly Commentary: 07/12/20 – Vaccine inoculating risk tolerance

The best performing FTSE 100 stock last week was Rolls Royce, up 19%. The worst was Unilever down 6.5%, which suggests expectations of a vaccine are inoculating investors against risk. On Nasdaq, the vaccine stock Moderna, was the best performing up 44% in the last 5 days, while Zoom was the second worst performing down […]

Weekly Commentary: 30/11/20 – The platform bandwagon rolls on

FTSE weakened slightly to 6300 in the second half of last week, but the bounce of former “Covid losers” continued with Rolls Royce, Glencore, Shell and BP all up 8% in the last 5 days. Nasdaq continued to rise to 12152 and Tesla’s value exceeded half a trillion dollars. airbnb IPO Last week airbnb filed […]

Weekly Commentary: 23/11/20 – Expectations rising

We are beginning to see companies operating in the “real” economy announce raised guidance. Somero (exceeding previous revenue guidance by +7%), but also Headlam (materially ahead), Acesso (comfortably ahead). Saga share price was also up +57% during the week. The FTSE 100 is currently 6378, which is the same level as early March this year. […]

Weekly Commentary: 09/11/20 – Study silence to learn the music

The US Presidential election turned out to be closer than most people expected. Nasdaq up almost +10% over the week to 12078. Tech stocks reacted well to the uncertainty, but so did 10 year US Bond yields, which initially jumped to 0.9% before falling back to 0.78%. I’m not sure if you’d predicted the result, […]

Weekly Commentary: 02/11/20 – Insiders selling at the top?

Last week markets sold off into the rising cases of Covid. The FTSE 100 fell 5% last week to 5561. Large UK banks HSBC and NatWest reported encouraging results, although the sector remained unloved. Directors selling Given the strength of the market’s rally over the last 6 months, and then last week’s sell off, I […]

Weekly Commentary: 19/10/20 – On network effects and fads

“Fad companies are companies with good business models or good products. So, why would we be interested in shorting a company that has a good product? Because of the threat it presents to others and their likely response to that threat. For example, Netflix had a terrific idea of renting DVDs through the mail, which […]

Weekly Commentary: 12/10/20 – On content, distribution and kurtosis

Last week the FTSE recovered to just over 6000. The (perhaps inappropriately named) Bond film No Time to Die, was postponed until next year by its Hollywood studio, MGM, which has left cinemas in trouble. Cineworld is on the brink, a victim of an overly leveraged balance sheet but no product to distribute. Up until […]

Weekly Commentary: 05/10/20 – On uncertainty and confidence

Last week Andy Haldane at the Bank of England gave an interesting speech on “Economic Anxiety” noting that pessimism can be as contagious as the disease. Haldane is most famous for his “Dog and the Frisbee” speech, which he co-wrote with the famous psychologist Gerd Gigarenzer in 2012. Catching a frisbee is difficult; theoretically it […]

Weekly Commentary: 28/09/20 – Beginner’s mind and Buy and Build

Markets sold off last week as virus case rises rose (FTSE 100 fell to below 5800 before recovering slightly later in the week, Nasdaq down 4% to 10,800). The virus itself seems reasonably predictable, everyone has been expecting cases to rise as summer turns to autumn. What hasn’t been predictable is Government responses around the […]

Weekly Commentary: 21/09/20 – The long journey to exoneration

The FTSE 100 just about held its level above 6000 last week. Last week was Chilean Independence Day. It is a little known footnote in history that Lord Cochrane, who was involved in the great Stock Exchange scam of 1814 (accused of starting rumours of Napoleon’s death via the Admiralty’s semaphore telegraph) helped not one, […]

Weekly Commentary: 16/03/20 – Timing is everything

Timing is everything With the current crisis Jeremy dusts off the recovery stocks folder. Airlines that survive will have huge upside on the back of a lower oil price. The opportunity may be in the likely refinancing issues, and Primary bid is a useful tool to enables retail investors to participate. Jeremy registers his interest […]

Weekly Commentary: 24/02/20 – Barbell Portfolio

Barbell Portfolio The tax advantages of technology companies and private equity combined with quantitative easing are shrinking stock markets. Until this changes the shrinkage will continue. In this environment a Barbell portfolio is likely to outperform. Jeremy suggests Alpha FX and Non Standard Finance as two companies at polar opposites of the valuation spectrum. Read […]

Weekly Commentary: 20/01/20 – Culture in payments

Culture in Payments There were no spare seats when I arrived at Panmure Gordon’s offices last week for the Non-Standard Finance investor day titled “Culture driven Performance”. The presentation was riddled with keywords such as “Integrity”, “Clarity”, “Respect”, “Trust”, “Empathy” etc. I particularly liked John Van Kuffeler’s description of the loan correspondence he has from […]

Weekly Commentary: 06/01/20 – The Roaring 20’s

The Roaring 20’s Nothing quite starts a new decade as reassuringly as Greggs Vegan Steak Bake causing late night queuing in Newcastle. With Pizza Hut’s vegan pepperoni pizza, Costa’s vegan ham and cheese toastie, KFC’s vegan chicken burger and M&S’ vegan chicken Kiev and Macdonald’s veggie dippers this could be a good decade to be […]

Weekly Commentary: 30/12/19 – Change Alley

Change Alley Suggesting that Scrooge’s drive and self-discipline was something we should aspire to didn’t go down well with my millennial children. I rationalised the barrage of criticism as the product of low rates, plentiful debt and cheap money making the concept of being economical unpopular. Scrooge’s world was one of narrow dark alleyways -similar […]

Weekly Commentary: 09/12/19 – The Volatility Reduction Trade

The Volatility Reduction Trade The gating of M&G’s property fund caused the press to become excitable last week. The Questor column in The Telegraph advised investors they were “crazy” to have money in open ended property funds as Aberdeen Property fund redemptions accelerated. Brexit crisis and retail gloom also featured as news wires sensed a […]

Weekly Commentary: 04/11/19 – Profiting from Folly and Disaster

Profiting from Folly and Disaster Old fashioned companies such as TP ICAP have started putting strong trading statement out which is strange times indeed. This is an old-fashioned voice broker of financial products. The staff are renowned for loud and boisterous traditional city behaviour which resulted in a £15m settlement with the regulator for their […]

Weekly Commentary: 09/09/19

Business Models I found myself wondering whether models become outdated over time. In this age of diversity, governance reporting, and gender indexes I question whether our parliament using whips may be a little outdated. When I was at university, business models were those of manufacturers, distributors and retailers. We didn’t have “Bricks and Clicks”, “Freemium […]

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