THE EURO: HIGHER OR LOWER?

By Jaisal Pastakia, Investment Manager at Heartwood Investment ManagementThe euro's resurgence this year (8% higher against sterling and 12% higher against the US dollar) has come on the back of an improving growth backdrop together with receding political risks, following the market favourable election results in the Netherlands and France. So far, the upcoming German election in September does not look to be a market concerning event, whichever one of the two main parties wins a governing majority.Contrast improving events in Europe with the UK, where economic momentum looks uncertain. Monthly factory orders this year suggest that the sector is failing to capitalise from a weaker sterling and a pick-up in global trade. In addition, political uncertainty is weighing on the UK currency. Despite the UK Government softening ...

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2013 Reminiscent of 1998 – Strong Year for Domestic Stocks

Market Digest – Week Ending 1/3 Stocks ended the year triumphantly with the S&P 500 closing at an all-time high and finishing the year with a 32.4% total return, its best since 1997. The New Year got off to a lackluster start, however, as stocks finished the first two trading days in the red. Weak manufacturing activity in China pushed emerging markets stocks lower. Weekly Returns: S&P 500: 1,831 (-0.5%) FTSE All-World ex-US: (-1.1%) US 10 Year Treasury Yield: 2.99% (-0.01%) Gold: $1,237 (+1.9%) USD/EUR: $1.359 (-1.1%) Major Events: Monday – The FAA selected six sites to test unmanned aircraft for the purpose of safely expanding drone use for non-military purposes. Tuesday –Gold prices fell, finishing the year down 28 percent, its worst year since 1981. Thursday – Chinese PMI manufacturing data came in below expectations. Friday- PIMCO's Total ...

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Americans to Spend $1.05 Billion on Thanksgiving Turkeys

Some 85% of Americans will celebrate the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday with a turkey dinner. About 45 million turkeys will give their all to become part of the festivities. With an average price of $23.44 for a 16-pound turkey, Americans will spend about $1.05 billion for their main course. Although that sounds like a lot, it is just $10,000 more than we'll spend on Christmas candy. The data were reported Monday morning by information service and comparative platform Finder.com, and includes only the cost of a turkey. All the trimmings will drive the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner even higher. The researchers also expect Americans to increase their credit card debt to help pay for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays this year. Last year Americans rang up $733 billion in new credit ...

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RETAINING CLIENTS AND WINNING NEW BUSINESS THROUGH CLIENT ONBOARDING

writes Ian Hallam, CEO, 3i Infotech (Western Europe).Client onboarding involves a high proportion of manual processes that create an environment for operational and compliance risks.Initial checks such as proof of identity and anti-money laundering are followed by a series of portfolio management rigours. Wealth managers must also bear in mind theFCA requirements applicableto firms providing investment advisoryand discretionary portfolio management services.A fundamental part of the process is the creation of the client's risk profile. This is a complex and often lengthy procedure. Establishing the risk profile usually involves the client manually completing a questionnaire – sometimes in a face-to-face meeting.It soon becomes evident that if the wealth manager gets the onboarding process correct then there is every likelihood that it will commence the client relationship strongly, with no ...

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Keeping Calm When the Market Goes South

“It's been too good for too long,” my client said. She had every right to feel suspicious. With the markets appearing to be at an all-time high, she was justified in having that waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop instinct. I understood her desire to tread cautiously. The majority of baby boomers are at a crossroad in their lives: They want to retire, they should retire, and it's time to retire. But they are extremely nervous nowadays about the markets' record-breaking levels. Over my many years of experience working with clients in this situation — they're ready to retire, but they can't quite pull the trigger — I've seen how scary it can be to make that potentially irrevocable decision. What if markets go down Should they have waited What if this, what ...

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NPSO widens scope of procurement for new payments architecture

Full prospectus will be published in mid-OctoberThe NPA is a new conceptual model for payments in the UK, which will take over the processing of more than 6.7 trillion of Bacs, Faster Payments and potentially cheque payments every year, from 2021. Bringing them together will catalyse innovation – meaning better payment services for everyone – by simplifying the rules, standards and processes that banks and others need to follow to use the systems.The NPSO is seeking to appoint a strategic partner – whether a single supplier or consortium – which is capable of implementing a scalable, world-class infrastructure for the NPA. The capability for clearing Faster Payments will be migrated onto the NPA platform first, as described in the Payment Strategy Forum (PSF) Blueprint[i].The NPSO will conduct a ...

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WHAT WILL THE LOAN INDUSTRY LOOK LIKE IN 2017?

2016 was a busy year for the UK lending industry. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) continued to tighten regulation, while consumer credit grew at its fastest rate[1] since before the financial crash. As we approach the end of the year, Sarah Jackson, Director, Equiniti Pancredit, looks ahead at the trends and technologies that will shape the lending industry in 2017. Outsourcing will get smarterDeloitte's Global Outsourcing Survey2 revealed that not only is the use of outsourcing increasing, but attitudes among banks about how they engage with outsourcers is also on the move. Once seen as merely a cost-cutting approach – and make no mistake, this remains a significant motivator – service providers have widened their offerings to provide end-to-end solutions that offer a far greater depth of service ...

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Rebalancing May Be More Important Than You Think

Most investors have some notion that they should be rebalancing their investment portfolio, but few have a strategic approach to doing so. This is unfortunate. Increasing evidence suggests that rebalancing is important to long term success. First, what is rebalancing It is the act of incrementally selling things that went up and buying things that went down (or went up less) in order to move portfolio weights back to their intended levels. There are many rebalancing strategies. Having studied them intensely, I have my own opinions about how rebalancing should be managed, but 80% of the battle is won by doing some periodic rebalancing and remaining disciplined about it. Most people, if given the opportunity to try to time rebalancing, will get it wrong by following herd mentality and selling ...

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