News & Politics

MoneyWeek Issue 964

There's a reason MoneyWeek is Britain's best-selling financial magazine. We exist to help you ground your portfolio so that it keeps your money safe during rough patches and growing in the good times. We don't just look at how to maximise your returns and limit your losses, we also like to look at how you can keep more of the money you've made. Week-in, week-out we'll guide you through the financial world as it changes, alerting you to all the opportunities to profit and dangers to avoid, as they appear. Income strategies, rising-star companies, the best funds and trusts, clever ways to preserve your wealth during market turmoil... you will get the best ideas from the sharpest financial minds and investing professionals in Britain.

United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
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51 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
from the editor-in-chief...

“The correct thing for Neil Woodford to do now is to give his investors their money back” Last weekend The Sunday Times ran an article written by an ex-St James’s Place (SJP) adviser. It made for disturbing reading. That’s not because of the way in which SJP charges its clients. We don’t like the ad-valorem model – in which advisers and managers take a percentage of your assets each year. We’d prefer a flat fee model. However that is, for now at least, the standard system – so we can’t single out SJP for criticism. We can, however, single it out for the scale of its fees (most comparisons have it coming out at the extremely expensive end) and for what The Sunday Times’ James Coney refers to as its apparently…

2 min.
scam of the week

TV presenter Helen Skelton (pictured) says she was scammed out of £70,000 after answering a hoax phone call purporting to be from her bank. Skelton, who used to present Blue Peter and has performed numerous feats of derring-do for charity, including cycling to the South Pole and kayaking the length of the River Amazon, says the scammers posed as her bank and told her that “something dodgy had gone on with my account”. They asked her “a few questions” and then the following week, “£70,000, all of my savings, had gone”, she told The Sun. Skelton is making a programme for ITV that she hopes will raise awareness of how easy it is to get scammed. “It’s happening to a lot of people and they are too embarrassed to say,”…

2 min.
globalisation is going into reverse

Markets have been experiencing “a collapse of confidence”, says Adam Tooze in The New York Times. The main problem is not the economic backdrop, but a deeper realisation. It seems finally to be dawning on investors that globalisation is “no longer supported by the combination of... economic policy and congenial politics” they once took for granted. World trade volumes have now shrunk for three consecutive quarters, notes Yasemin Engin of Capital Economics, a consultancy. In August, China’s exports to the US declined by 16% year-on-year, while imports from America fell by 22%. This year is set to be the worst for trade since 2009. The end of an era Between 1990 and 2008, global trade rose from 39% to 61% of world GDP. That brought real benefits. The World Bank reports that more…

1 min.
us data and yield curve spook investors

Conflicting data from the US economy has left economists scratching their heads, says Irwin Stelzer in The Sunday Times. But most shoppers seem to have shrugged off talk of a recession so far. That bodes well, given consumer spending accounts for about 70% of economic activity. The monthly US non-farm payrolls data is seen as a key barometer. Some 130,000 jobs were created in August, fewer than expected and also less than the average of 200,000 per month seen earlier in this cycle. Alarmingly, the ISM manufacturing index also fell below 50 in August, which suggests that American manufacturing is shrinking for the first time in three years. Yet other figures show that wage growth has sped up and that the service sector remains robust. Most hard data has yet to…

1 min.
saudi arabia tries to boost oil

Could oil go to $25 per barrel? Reuters reported this week that Russia’s central bank is not ruling out a plunge in oil prices next year because of weakening global economic growth, which lowers energy demand. Brent crude is down by almost a quarter since hitting $84 a barrel in October 2018. However, this week brought talk of a renewed Saudi effort to raise prices. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman abruptly replaced energy minister Khalid al-Falih with royal half-brother Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman. “Falih has paid the price for an oil price that remains stubbornly beneath the $70-$80 range” and Riyadh needs to bolster its budget, Derek Bower of RS Energy told the Financial Times. The flood of US shale oil has seen Riyadh and Moscow join forces to curb production and…

1 min.

“Much has been said about whether... ‘fossil-fuel billionaire’ David Koch and his brother Charles were ultimately responsible for the triumph of [Donald] Trump… The argument is that the use on a colossal scale of the Kochs’… ‘dark money’… fertilised the harsh soil in which Trump’s support flourishes. But the path was cleared for him a generation ago by another corporate celebrity… Lee Iacocca... who rescued Chrysler from... bankruptcy. Iacocca’s rants against Japanese incursions into the US car market, and the macho persona he projected in Chrysler television ads, won him such blue-collar popularity that he was urged to become a Democrat presidential candidate... if he had he might have beaten George Bush Sr in 1988 — and... the idea was born that business braggadocio plus protectionist rage add up to…