Money Observer: Income funds that don’t trash the environment

Reader: ‘I am a smallish scale investor looking to maintain income in retirement, using easily understandable income funds and investment trusts, which I usually hold long-term. I also aim to limit investment in environment trashing sources (especially fossil fuels, most mining, grossly polluting pesticides and intensive farming, armaments etc. plus tobacco) as far as reasonably practicable. ‘It would be very helpful to those of us … Continue reading Money Observer: Income funds that don’t trash the environment

Money Observer: Fertility and other surprising ways to spot a recession

Economists look to house prices, GDP and retail sales to predict the next recession. But a new study says we could look elsewhere to know when the next downturn is due: by counting the number of women who are pregnant. Previous research has shown that birth rates fall in a downturn, but the current study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that … Continue reading Money Observer: Fertility and other surprising ways to spot a recession

Money Observer: Three hot growth opportunities for sustainable investment

Some people avoid plastic bags, while others have stopped smoking. As awareness around environmental concerns is increasing, investors are considering more carefully how to put their money to work in a way that doesn’t harm the environment. But while sustainable investing might bring to mind solar panels and government subsidies, the sector is much broader than most people expect. People also wrongly assume that investing … Continue reading Money Observer: Three hot growth opportunities for sustainable investment

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: Bitcoin’s rise causes gold demand to slump

Over the last 12 months, the number of first-time precious metal investors has fallen by 20 per cent, according to BullionVault, an online marketplace for metals. Meanwhile, the number of internet searches for ‘buy bitcoin’ overtook the phrase ‘buy gold’ in the month of November. The price of a bitcoin exceeded the value of an ounce of gold for the first time in March, and … Continue reading Money Observer: Bitcoin’s rise causes gold demand to slump

Money Observer: Autumn Budget 2017 – Is the Budget good for young people?

In today’s Budget, chancellor Philip Hammond attempted to make optimistic offers to the younger generation against a background of gloomy statistics, as the UK economy’s GDP growth, productivity and business investment forecasts were all downgraded. Over the last decade the intergenerational gap has widened drastically, as younger generations juggle paying off student debt, while facing unaffordable housing, high inflation and lower incomes. That’s why many … Continue reading Money Observer: Autumn Budget 2017 – Is the Budget good for young people?

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: Will inflation continue to rise?

Since the global financial crisis, the UK and other advanced economies have experienced a prolonged period of low inflation. But following the Brexit vote the wind of change can be felt, as the prices of food and clothing have risen. Once a month, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) calculates the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation figure. For this purpose, it looks at a ‘basket’ … Continue reading Money Observer: Will inflation continue to rise?

Money Observer: What Piketty has in common with reality TV

‘Who says a reality television show can’t convey an important message?’ asked my friend Elly Steinberg, who is a documentary film-maker. She was referring to The Great British Benefits Handout on Channel 5, where three unemployed families who live on benefits were each given £26,000. Some of them managed to get a business off the ground, invest in education and become self-sufficient. The important message … Continue reading Money Observer: What Piketty has in common with reality TV