Five things investors learned this week

14th June 2013

  1. Stephen Hester is stepping down as chief executive of RBS. The markets didn’t like it much with shares falling more than 7 per cent before recovering some ground as Sky.com reported. It is also thought that many institutional investors, which hold much of the non-government owned minority stake are concerned about something close to a full re-privatisation happening too early before the toxic assets have been dealt with. However Mindful Money contributor Chelsea’s Darius McDermott is still asking are UK banks now a buy?
  2. What goes up in Japan can come down again. The Nikkei has now given up around half its gains since the pro-inflation QE spree began. The Wall Street Journal is now asking if Abenomics, named after PM Shinzo Abe, can really work.
  3. In the UK, politicians have been dancing around the triple lock on the state pension. It rises by the highest rate of either average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent. Over time, that makes the lock incredibly valuable and – unfortunately – possibly unaffordable. Now because Labour talked about capping all welfare including pensions, the Conservatives then claimed Labour wanted to unpick the triple lock. Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls now says he has no plans to do so, comments reported on Politics Home. But whether the UK can ultimately afford the lock, it represents a nice underpin for your savings and investments in retirement, at least while it lasts.
  4. Barclays Discretionary fund management service will not be offered to direct customers with less than £100,000 in assets nor to clients with financial advisers with assets of less than a quarter of a million pounds as Citywire reports. In general banks have been restricting investment services of this nature to better off clients, but DFMs with lower limits do exist. Here’s one –www.nutmeg.com. That wasn’t difficult.
  5. The IMF has cuts its growth forecast for the US causing stocks to fall at the end of the week as Bloomberg reports. Of course that means the market’s jitters about QE tapering may be even more illogical. On Mindful Money Standard Life Investment’s economist Douglas Roberts suggested we need to break the illusion about tapering. It is surely even more of an illusion now.

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