Money Observer: Barclays’ impact fund is a first for a bank – but should it be investing in military aircraft?

In September, Barclays announced the launch of the Multi-Impact Growth Fund, the first impact fund to be launched by a major high-street bank. Impact investing aims to invest in companies and funds to generate a measurable and beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return. But does this new fund practise what it preaches? It is encouraging that a mainstream bank has created an … Continue reading Money Observer: Barclays’ impact fund is a first for a bank – but should it be investing in military aircraft?

Money Observer: Three financial lessons from Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler

How do we decide what to buy and how much to save, and how do we experience these financial transactions? For his work in answering questions such as these, the US economist Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in economics yesterday (October 9). Thaler, who is a professor at Chicago Booth business school, is best known for co-writing the bestseller ‘Nudge’, which explored how people … Continue reading Money Observer: Three financial lessons from Nobel prize winner Richard Thaler

Money Observer: How to measure the social impact of investments

People who invest in socially responsible funds can easily find out how their portfolios have performed financially, but historically it has been very hard for investors to get clear information on the social and environmental benefits of their funds’ holdings. That is changing with the growth of ‘impact investing’, which aims to generate measurable societal benefits as well as financial returns. To help people assess … Continue reading Money Observer: How to measure the social impact of investments

Money Observer: Active fund managers – are two heads better than one?

Some investment funds are managed by a single manager, often with the support of a team of analysts, while others are co-managed by a pair. Co-managers argue that, as no individual can know everything, it’s better to have two managers running a fund. But are two heads really better than one, or do too many cooks spoil the broth? Research in 2010 on investment clubs … Continue reading Money Observer: Active fund managers – are two heads better than one?

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Jewish Chronicle: An interview with Deborah Levy

Hot Milk, the book for which Deborah Levy has been nominated for this year’s Man Booker Prize, explores hypochondria and the troubled relationship between a mother and daughter. It is characterised by a wicked sense of humour and sublime rhythm. Previously nominated for Swimming Home (2011), a novel on the insidious harm depression can have on apparently well-turned-out people, Levy is the only female British … Continue reading Jewish Chronicle: An interview with Deborah Levy

Money Observer: On fine wine, rare stamps and coins

Fine wine and rare stamps have been used to pass on wealth for many generations. Janet Yellen, who cautiously keeps interest rates down at the US Federal Reserve, owns a formidable collection of stamps. Friedrich Engels, who co-wrote The Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx, had personal assets that included 924 bottles of claret, 588 bottles of port and, of course, 156 bottles of champagne, as … Continue reading Money Observer: On fine wine, rare stamps and coins

Money Observer: How do women invest?

Judging by the increasing amount of gender-specific investor research, the financial services industry has woken up to the realisation that there is an investment gap between men and women. About 80 per cent of women do not have an investment portfolio, compared with 66 per cent of men, according to research by TD Direct Investing. Men invested £4,741 over the past year while women invested … Continue reading Money Observer: How do women invest?

Standpoint Magazine: The Medium Isn’t Always the Message

“We have just seen the civilised world gathered as one family around a common sick bed, hope and fear alternately fluctuating in unison the world over as hopeful or alarming bulletins passed with electric pulsations over the continents and under the seas.”  “Just as in a theatre you speak directly face to face with five or six hundred persons.”  “All the corners of the earth … Continue reading Standpoint Magazine: The Medium Isn’t Always the Message

Philosophy Now Magazine: What did Mary know?

Imagine a girl called Mary. She is a brilliant neuroscientist and a world expert on colour vision. But because she grew up entirely in a black and white room, she has never actually seen any colours. Many black and white books and TV programmes have taught her all there is to know about colour vision. Mary knows facts like the structure of our eyes and … Continue reading Philosophy Now Magazine: What did Mary know?

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The Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine: The Latest Beauty Product: Concern

On Sunday, the cosmetics company Dove released a three-minute video on YouTube called “Dove Real Beauty Sketches”. By Friday it had nearly 9m views. The video features a former forensic artist from the San Jose police department sitting behind a white curtain as several women tell him, one after another, what they look like. “Tell me about your chin…your jaw,” he asks, as he sketches. Their replies are … Continue reading The Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine: The Latest Beauty Product: Concern