Business Features

My year-ahead predictions: Divergence will be a crucial theme

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For the most part, 2014 has been volatile for global financial markets, with several key markets likely to record losses for the year. In the context of a recovering world economy, it has been disappointing. We predict more of the same next year, with the US and UK economies doing well, and emerging markets and much of Europe continuing to struggle.

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It pays to think global – but diversification is no free lunch

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WE ALL know the logic – don’t put all your eggs in one basket, because diversification is the key to success. But so many investors still fall at this hurdle when it comes to investing globally.

The first point to remember is that, when you’re invested in just one market or group of territories, you’re not only at risk from market volatility, but the risk of any political instability or local policy decisions could also impact your returns.

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My 2020 vision for wealth management: A glimpse into the future

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IT’S THE year 2020. You take a pill at birth that remains permanently in your stomach, continuously measuring your health and intellectual acumen.

As part of your education and nurturing as a child, you must select between scarce resources: playing and learning. These selections feed into measurements of risk and reward, and instinct versus due diligence. The data will help us understand your tolerance for risk more accurately than we ever thought possible.

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Growing your savings takes time – you really can’t start too soon

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There’s an old saying that goes: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”. It’s a great analogy for investing – the earlier you start the better, so don’t put it off because you think you are too late. Getting into the habit of regular saving can make a real difference to your finances later in life.

KNOWING WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT
Life and having fun will always get in the way of saving. But when your life and career are on a stable footing, there will be limited excuses for not investing, because it is such an important thing to do.

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UN Universal Children’s Day: Why child rights are good for business - ACCA Comment

Rachel Jackson is head of sustainability at ACCA.

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If firms fail to protect children in the supply chain, they risk harm to their bottom line.
 

City A.M.'s Opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking opinions and views. These are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

It’s maddening that investment charges are still so complicated

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THIS week, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has come under pressure to implement more stringent measures on the way investments are managed, particularly when it comes to communicating fees to customers and improving the overall transparency of charges. But this is all backward. It should be companies leading the charge for transparency, because that’s what customers want.

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The emerging market growth story: Is it due a comeback?

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EMERGING market investors saw spectacular annual returns of around 30 per cent between 2003 and 2007. Over those four years, the developing world enjoyed a virtuous cycle of strong commodity prices, high capital inflows, strong currencies and falling inflation. That cycle is now working in reverse – emerging markets have underperformed developed markets by 50 per cent since 2011.

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ETF essentials: Why low cost funds are often the best performers

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THE ACTIVE versus passive investing debate has been rumbling on for years within the investment industry and the media. Often the views are polarised – fully active or fully passive – but they also regularly miss out a key part of the debate: getting your asset allocation right. Myriad studies have highlighted that this is the key determinant of long-term returns, rather than choosing an active or passive stock picker.

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A second look at portfolio risk: Are you really playing it safe?

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I’VE NEVER been a fan of the “best buy” lists published by the major fund platforms. But I always find it interesting to see what is attracting the hard-earned savings of private investors. The best-selling funds lists for September reveal the usual suspects: UK equity income, emerging markets and a couple of specific sector funds like biotech and healthcare.

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