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What is next for Japan? 25/11/2014
Ever since his election in December 2012, Japan’s Prime Minister Abe has put into action an ambitious economic revival strategy articulated around three arrows: monetary policy with massive liquidity injections, fiscal policy with expansionary additional spending and economic policy with structural reforms. Of the three arrows, only the monetary policy has fully lived up to expectations with a massive depreciation of the yen of around 30 percent. Support from the fiscal policy has been diluted by hiking VAT in April 2014 from five to eight percent that counterbalanced the benefit of supplementary public expenses, while the third arrow of structural reforms has been morphed into a policy of thousand needles of positive but not game changing decisions. Labour reforms have been timid with a continued reluctance to create more flexibility for workers in large corporations, as well as to open Japan to needed immigration workers. The trade negotiations within the Trans Pacific Partnership – a US-led trade agreement involving 11 major pacific economies - have come to a standstill.

Forget the noise – one fund manager's approach to investing in Europe 25/11/2014
F&C Investments’ Sam Cosh hears macroeconomic concerns over Europe as sheer “noise”, which he has to tune out while running his European Asset Trust (EAT).

ETFs more popular than ever – UBS 20/11/2014
ETFs are becoming increasingly popular, with issuers continually developing products and new launches becoming ever more frequent. According to research firm ETFGI, ETFs/ETPs listed in Europe gathered $8.7 billion in net new assets (NNA) in October 2014 and a record $56.2 billion in NNA year-to-date, which surpasses any full year NNA for the European-listed ETF/ETP industry. thewealthnet caught up with Andrew Walsh, head of UBS ETF sales for UK and Ireland to find out the latest news in the sector and at UBS in particular.

The active versus passive battleground 19/11/2014
Ten years ago, analyst Huw van Steenis predicted that investment management would polarise into commoditised beta and high alpha products. The middle ground – those active fund managers offering benchmark-led products, seeking to generate a few percent of annual outperformance – would be squeezed. Is this a fair interpretation of the market development over the past decade? Or has it held some surprises?

Muddling through and settling in at Rothschild 19/11/2014
Kevin Gardiner gives his verdict on the global economy in his inaugural public outing as Rothschild global investment strategist.

Japan – This time is different, or is it? 18/11/2014
Investors seldom feel like talking about Japan. A geographic outlier relative to other global developed markets, the world’s third largest economy has many times emitted false recovery signals. It is hard to fathom that not too long ago, keiretsus, Japanese conglomerates, were dominant global players. Japan’s weighting in the MSCI World Index in 1987 was roughly 40 percent, twice that of Europe and 10 percent higher that of the US. Today its weighting in the popular market capitalisation equity index is around 8 percent. After 20 years of stagnation we believe that the current combination of policy and reform – Abenomics - may just be creating the right conditions for the economy to reinvent itself and become a lot more relevant on a global scale.

Half Full Or Half Empty? 17/11/2014
Is a half-filled glass of water half full or half empty? Some people see it one way, and some the other, the same way markets can frequently, and quickly, flip from optimism to pessimism – and back again.

Chinese markets open up to investors for the first time 17/11/2014
Analysts mull the significance of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, launched today

EXCLUSIVE: Globalisation and factor investing are reshaping investors' approach, Altaf Kassam of MSCI tells 2014 PAM Annual Investment Dinner 14/11/2014
As factor investing, or “smart beta”, increases its presence, wealth managers need to react to the new investment world, Altaf Kassam, managing director and head of index applied research, EMEAI at MSCI, told the 2014 PAM Annual Investment Dinner earlier this week (11/11/2014).

EXCLUSIVE: US energy infrastructure sector is a strong investment opportunity, Neil Jamieson of ETF Securities tells 2014 PAM Annual Investment Dinner 13/11/2014
Energy infrastructure in the US can provide investors with strong dividends as the energy sector is an important element of the US economy, Neil Jamieson, head of UK and Ireland at ETF Securities told diners at the 2014 PAM Annual Investment Dinner earlier this week (11/11/2014).

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