When the global financial crisis hit, many investors found themselves unprepared and overexposed. Although a few wise sages warned of the dangers in advance, more often than not, their advice fell on deaf ears. This is typical of human behaviour in the run up to all major crises throughout economic history. In the future, investors need a better understanding of what drives recessions and crashes to spot the next one before it’s too late.
As we pass the half-way point of the year, we look at how 2014 has fared so far and what the rest of the year has in store for each of the main economic areas and asset classes.
The recovery in house prices has received much attention in the media of late. So much so that 12 months on from non-stop talk about what to do with ghost estates, speculation has begun that another property bubble is around the corner. We look at what has caused this shift.
Over the past 30 years no other part of the world has had such a profound impact on the global economy as Asia, and taking a view on where to invest in the world today increasingly requires an understanding of the region.
Over the coming month, the world’s attention will turn to Brazil as it hosts the 20th FIFA World Cup. With over 600,000 foreign football fans expected to attend the tournament, and with an estimated global TV audience of over 3 billion, the World Cup should have been a great opportunity for Brazil to showcase its capabilities on the world’s stage – both on and off the pitch.
One of the key tenets of Technology is that it allows us to do things 'Faster - Better - Cheaper' than we have done in the past. We stand on the cusp of many large secular trends that will change the landscape in more ways than we can imagine. Terms like ‘The Cloud’ and ‘Big Data’ are fundamental elements of a wave of technological change that can best be summed up by: Store it, Secure it, Analyse it, Access it.
European elections are normally considered to be dull affairs. The majority of voters view them as being less relevant to their everyday lives than national elections. However, this may be about to change. The European elections on 22nd - 25th May will be the first since the euro crisis began and the recent troubles in the region have allowed Eurosceptic parties to surf the wave of discontent and gain in popularity.
Savers are quickly becoming one of the biggest casualties of the post-financial crisis world. The simple reason is that, as central banks keep interest rates at close to zero to revive their struggling economies, the yields on both cash deposits and bonds are so low that many are finding it almost impossible to generate enough income from their hard-earned savings.
The recent crisis in Europe has highlighted the shortcomings in the economic and political framework of the region. While in many respects the European integration project has been a great success, if it is to survive, it seems clear that further integration will be necessary to avoid a similar fallout in the future.
Not so long ago, Europe was a place to avoid for many investors. As fears of a euro break-up intensified, understandably many steered clear of the region. However, as signs of stability began to emerge last year, investors once again began to move back into European stocks.