Tomas Hirst


Mark Carney’s cause: Should the inflation target be scrapped?

Mark Carney’s suggestion that in exceptional circumstances a central bank could target a nominal economic growth rate to help an economy out of a slump has prompted fevered debates over whether he will drastically alter policy when he takes over from Mervyn King at the Bank of England in June this year. In Carney’s speech […]

FE Adviser Fund Index

The resignation of Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond sent shockwaves through the City last week but for many investors it is a timely reminder that the consequences of the financial crisis are still playing out on the banking industry. The news last week was undeniably shocking. One of the UK’s biggest and most respected financial […]

FE Adviser Fund Index

Since the onset of the financial crisis, conviction has been a rare commodity in the investment community. In such an uncertain environment the appeal of convertible bonds could see a resurgence. Convertibles are in effect bonds that can be converted into a specified number of shares in the issuing company. This means they offer a […]

FE Adviser Fund Index

“Gold? Yellow, glittering, precious gold?…This yellow slaveWill knit and break religions, bless th’ accursed,Make the hoar leprosy adored, place thieves,And give them title, knee and approbationWith senators on the bench.”Timon of Athens, Act IV Scene III Even in condemning gold, Shakespeare was acknowledging the unique place gold has occupied between a physical manifestation of power […]

FE Adviser Fund Index

The debate over the appropriateness of structured products continues but, with the RDR looming, will it force a conclusion? One of the central points of discussion, and confusion, among the adviser community has been what the technical requirements of “whole of market knowledge” will require. The FSA’s own definition does appear to leave some room […]

New name, same old problems

The IMA mixed investment 20-60 per cent shares sector, formerly cautious managed, has bounced back after a torrid time over the past few years. Yet the spread of returns suggests there still remains a lack of homogeneity within the sector. Over the past three years, the average return of the 239 funds in the sector […]

FE Adviser Fund Index

Following last week’s FE Adviser Fund Index article on investment timeframes, it is worth digging further into the performance of the three benchmark portfolios over three and five years. One surprising statistic is that despite the difficult market conditions between March 2007 and 2009, the ratio of negative to positive weeks does not seem to […]

Ireland back in recession

Ireland has fallen back into recession, according to preliminary figures released yesterday by the Central Statistics Office. The country’s GDP declined by 0.2 per cent over the fourth quarter of 2011, marking the fourth consecutive quarterly decline. Over the same period Gross National Product declined by 2.2 per cent. While the figures are still subject […]

FE Adviser Fund Index

There has long been a debate about the use of arbitrary timeframes to judge the relative performance of funds. But this problem has become even more acute over the past decade as stockmarkets seemed to contradict claims that Britain had seen the end of “boom and bust” returns. There is no doubt that equity investors […]

Is it time to throw caution to the wind?

Recent rounds of quantitative easing by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank’s long-term refinancing operations mean the case for a risk-on trade may be growing. With central banks maintaining their use of extraordinary monetary policy to avert recession or, worse, a deflationary spiral, the value of a cautious stance may continue to […]

FE Adviser Fund Index

There has been much discussion in recent weeks over the impact of the retail distribution review on fund fees and Fidelity and Vanguard have both called for greater transparency. However, the one-sided nature of the debate should give people pause for thought. Rowan Dartington head of collectives research and FE Adviser Fund Index panellist Tim […]