Investment Note

Market Insights 2018


Shout loudly and wave your stick around

President Theodore Roosevelt once said, in relation to US foreign diplomacy, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” It seems President Trump has re-tasked that phrase to read, “Shout loudly (over twitter) and wave your stick around as often as possible.”

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“That’s another fine mess you've gotten me into!”

In the wake of the last Italian election, we released an article highlighting the volatile nature of Italian politics. Since then, and true to form, Italy has managed to deliver another bout of political chaos which now marks the longest period of uncertainty for Italian politics since WW2. We will endeavour to explain where we are on this roller coaster and our position for clients.

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Trade Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

When US President Donald Trump came to power last year, he brought with him an ambitious list of goals, including; building a wall between the US and Mexico, preventing some ethnic groups from entering the US, reforming corporate tax, withdrawing the US from climate pacts and addressing the trade deficit with China. He wanted to drain the swamp and fight the status quo -  a rebel if you will. He promised to shake things up and has recently been doing just that, by pursuing his protectionist agenda - much to the dismay of global markets. The threat of a so called ‘trade war’ is rising, and the main target of Trump’s opening salvos – China – can and will strike back.

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Germany 1 - 0 Italy

Much has been made in sporting history about German-Italian football rivalry. The two most successful football nations in Europe have made a collective fourteen appearances in FIFA Wold Cup finals, which is more than the rest of Europe combined. However, more recently, it is very much the German team who showered themselves in glory by lofting the 2014 World Cup trophy in Brazil. This success comes in stark contrast to the Italian team who very publicly failed to qualify for this year’s game in Russia. It would appear then, with all eyes on the German team defending the title at this year’s World Cup, this age-old rivalry is looking decidedly one-sided.

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A Return to Normality - Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff

For the past nine years we have been in the grips of a steady, if not rampant, Bull market in financial products. The financial disaster of 2008 seems long gone...and it is. For almost six years now, it has also been a story of almost unquenched, steady growth in financial assets and benign volatility. Making money on a consistent and steady basis is never so straightforward. So much so, we read article after article declaring “the new norm”. There is no such thing, and markets will always be at the vagaries of buyers and sellers. In short, they revert to type. The real world has returned...it is simply not that easy!

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