MoneyWeek: Shun the benchmark huggers

If you want to put your money into the stockmarket, but don’t want to go to the effort and risk of picking individual stocks, you have two main options. You can invest via an actively managed fund that will charge a relatively high annual fee for a fund manager to invest your money in the hope that he or she can beat the market (unusual, … Continue reading MoneyWeek: Shun the benchmark huggers

MoneyWeek: Don’t ignore the risks of retail bonds

“The biggest retail bond crash in the market’s history has quietly taken place,” says Kyle Caldwell in The Daily Telegraph. A London-listed bond issued by Eros International, an Indian film production and distribution company, has slumped by more than 50% in three weeks, the worst performance of any security since the launch of the London Stock Exchange’s order book for retail bonds (ORB) five years … Continue reading MoneyWeek: Don’t ignore the risks of retail bonds

MoneyWeek: Merger creates upmarket giant in the hotel sector

America’s Marriott International is to buy Starwood Hotels, whose brands include Sheraton and Westin, for $12.2bn. Together they will form the world’s biggest hotel company with over 5,500 hotels, 1.1 million rooms, 30 brands and $2.7bn in revenue. This is the industry’s biggest acquisition since equity firm Blackstone bought Hilton for $26bn in 2007. What the commentators said “The deal comes at a heady time … Continue reading MoneyWeek: Merger creates upmarket giant in the hotel sector

MoneyWeek: Aldi and Lidl hit the big boys

Aldi and Lidl have reached an unprecedented combined grocery market share of 10%. They have doubled their slice of the UK grocery spend since 2012. An additional million shoppers opted for the cheap German retailers over the last 12 weeks compared to the same period last year, while the average spend per trip increased by 4% to £18.85. Meanwhile, Asda, Morrisons and Tesco all lost … Continue reading MoneyWeek: Aldi and Lidl hit the big boys

Sticky post

Times Literary Supplement: Does philosophy have to be obscure?

I recently went to a public lecture at LSE hosted by the Forum for European Philosophy. The discussion was entitled “Does philosophy have to be obscure?” It struck me as a bit odd that both possible responses presume that philosophy is indeed obscure. If we understand “obscure” as “unclearly expressed” or “not easily understood”, so many things seem more obscure – Facebook’s terms of agreement, say, or … Continue reading Times Literary Supplement: Does philosophy have to be obscure?

MoneyWeek: Lonmin still on life support

South African platinum producer Lonmin has launched a third rights issue in seven years. It is selling 27 billion shares at 1p per share, a 94% discount to last week’s price. Investors can buy 46 new shares for each one they own. Lonmin’s stock has slid 90% this year amid a 30% decline in the platinum price. The company also had to cope with strikes … Continue reading MoneyWeek: Lonmin still on life support

MoneyWeek: The end of corporate tax havens?

American companies “are more profitable than ever”, says Ben Levisohn at Barron’s – partly due to how little tax they are paying. The corporate tax rate in America is among the highest in the world, at 39%. But the actual rate paid by companies has fallen to 29%, from 35% in 1990. And some pay far less: cruise-ship operator Carnival has paid an average of just … Continue reading MoneyWeek: The end of corporate tax havens?

MoneyWeek: Economy loses momentum

Preliminary figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest the UK’s economic recovery may have lost momentum in the third quarter of the year. GDP is estimated to have grown by 0.5% between July and September, compared to growth of 0.7% in the previous quarter. The service sector continued to lead the way, expanding by 0.7%. Construction was a large drag on growth, by 2.2%. … Continue reading MoneyWeek: Economy loses momentum

MoneyWeek: TalkTalk hit by a cyberattack

Personal data on four million customers, potentially including bank details, was stolen from UK telecoms group TalkTalk in an “significant and sustained” attack by hackers last week, the company said. TalkTalk CEO, Dido Harding, insisted that the firm’s cybersecurity was “head and shoulders above” that of its competitors, but TalkTalk was unable to confirm how much of the information was encrypted in the first place. … Continue reading MoneyWeek: TalkTalk hit by a cyberattack

MoneyWeek: Spain’s growth is less than it seems

Spain is “the current superstar economy of the eurozone”, says Mehreen Khan in The Daily Telegraph. Four years ago it was “embroiled in one of the worst banking and house-price collapses” in the region. Now it’s the fastest-growing of the big eurozone economies: over the next two years, GDP is expected to expand by 3.2% and 2.5% respectively, according to the International Monetary Fund. But … Continue reading MoneyWeek: Spain’s growth is less than it seems