The Great Debate UK

from Global Investing:

Investors love those emerging markets

No question that investors are in the throes of passion over emerging markets. The latest Reuters asset allocation polls show investors pouring money into Asian and Latin American stocks in October to the detriment of U.S. and euro zone equities. Exposure to equities in emerging Europe, Asia ex-Japan, Latin America and Africa/Middle East rose to 15.6 percent of a typical stock portfolio from 14.3 percent a month earlier. untitled

from Breakingviews:

It’s 50 years since shares looked this cheap

-- The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Successful long-term investors buy good assets when nobody wants them, and sell when the risk-averse are piling in. Bonds are considered "safe havens" today, after shares' lost decade. That could be about to reverse; the great bull market in government bonds is probably over.

from Global Investing:

What fund managers think

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's monthly poll of around 200 fund managers had a few nuggets in the June version, aside from the usual mood-taking.

Gold is too expensive.  A net 27 percent of respondent thought it overvalued, up from 13 percent in May. Then again, the respondents to this poll have reckoned gold is too pricey since September 2009.

The rise and rise of online investing

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EdwardCroft- Edward Croft is CEO of Stockopedia, a UK-based website which aggregates research, commentary and analysis for investors, and offers social networking opportunities. The opinions expressed are his own. He will participate in the Reuters Politics Today live blog at noon British time on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, during Prime Minister’s Questions. Please tune in and join the discussion. -

Online investing started with a bang back in the late 1990s, with the onset of the day trader phenomenon and big IPOs for execution only brokers.

from Global Investing:

The art of being passive

Hundreds or even thousands of  "active" fund managers are competing to add alpha to beat benchmark indexes, be it in stocks, bonds or alternatives.

water

The market is so efficient, historical performance is no guide to the future. It's nearly impossible to find a reliable method to pick advisers who deliver the best industry returns year in and out. There are also costs, from visible ones such as management fees and custody and administration expenses to "below water" costs such as trading commissions (due to higher turnover), bid/ask spread (price to buy, another to sell) and market impact costs (larger buy/sell orders affecting price).

from Global Investing:

Who were the investment winners and losers in 2009?

Let's not beat about the bush: the winners in this year's investment stakes were those who cashed out early in the financial crisis, looked at hugely oversold stock markets in March and jumped back in. The losers were those who spent too much time thinking about it or, worse, thought it was a good idea to put all their money in Dubai stocks and  Greek government debt.

For the winners, it all had to do with market timing. Buying MSCI's emerging market stock index at its March 3 low brought gains of close to 110 percent.  It was "only" a bit above 72 percent for the full year. World stocks as a whole gained around 30 percent for the year and nearly 75 percent from the March low.

from Global Investing:

Time to kick Russia out of the BRICs?

It may end up sounding like a famous ball-point pen maker, but an argument is being made that Goldman Sach's famous marketing device, the BRICs, should really be the BICs. Does Russia really deserve to be a BRIC, asks Anders Åslund, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, in an article for Foreign Policy.

Åslund, who is also co-author with Andrew Kuchins of "The Russian Balance Sheet", reckons the Russia of Putin and Medvedev is just not worthy of inclusion alongside Brazil, India and China  in the list of blue-chip economic powerhouses. He writes:

Lehman sparks a year of trading opportunities

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-Angus Rigby is CEO of TD Waterhouse. The opinions expressed are his own.-

Volatility has been the name of the game since Lehman’s collapse, an event which sent shock waves through the global financial markets. The ripple effect on correlated sectors sent share prices on a roller coaster ride of unpredictable fluctuations throughout the year – and yet at the same time this very volatility paved the way for the profit-taking retail trader, if they got their timing right of course.

Volatility, a dirty word for the long term investor, has been the fuel driving traders who successfully shorted on peaks and bought on lows. Even the Bank of England cutting rates by 1.5 percent to 3 – the biggest single cut since 1992 – failed to slow down individual traders. In fact, in many ways, this has been The Year of the Retail Investor.

Where Next For The Stock Market?

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david Kuo-David Kuo, Director at the financial website The Motley Fool. The opinions expressed are his own.-

It wasn’t supposed to happen. Shares were not supposed to rise between May and September. That is if you believe the old stock market adage that says you should sell in May and go away, and don’t come back until St Legers Day.

from Commentaries:

Don’t be fooled by global stock stumble

Don't blame global stock markets for being skittish. It is August, after all, a month that has spelled trouble in the past two years.

Recall that, a year ago, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started wobbling at the precipice while AIG, desperate for cash, began paying junk-like yields in the corporate bond market. A month later, all hell broke loose.

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