China Trade War? No Worries

Mike Kerley, fund manager for Henderson Far East Income, gives an update on the fund’s portfolio activity and why China’s trade war poses little threat. Click here to find out more…

This is a sponsored post by Janus Henderson. These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation. For promotional purposes.

UK Surveys Reveal Lack of Trust in Casino Operators

Recent data collected by the independent data and public opinion company, YouGov, as well as the regulatory watchdog, the UK Gambling Commission, reveal in this collected research that the majority of UK players lack trust in casino operators.

What questions were asked in these surveys?

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The Only Way is Up

Ollie Beckett, fund manager of TR European Growth Trust, discusses how the trust has outperformed its benchmark and how he is “cautiously optimistic”. Click here to learn more…

This is a sponsored post by Janus Henderson. These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation. For promotional purposes.

A Truer Active, More Idiosyncratic Portfolio

John Bennett, Fund Manager of Henderson European Focus Trust, explains why the board has reduced the minimum number of holdings the Trust can invest in from 50 to 45; and why investors should not be spooked by economic data. Click here to learn more…

This is a sponsored post by Janus Henderson. These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.
Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested. The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation. For promotional purposes.

The Relief of Revenue Reserves

There is no question that we find ourselves in uncertain times. It is during periods of uncertainty that the investment trust structure has distinct merits. That’s because investment trusts, which are listed companies in their own right, can store future income away for a rainy day – a unique function of investment trusts called revenue reserves.

Revenue reserves are the means by which investment trusts can continue to grow their dividends even when dividends across the stock market are falling, typically during economic downturns. Investment trusts do not have to distribute all of their income in each financial year.

They are allowed to hold back up to 15% of their annual income. For example, in a good year for investment income, an investment trust might hold back 5% of its income, while distributing the other 95% in dividends to its shareholders. The 5% that is held back will be added to the revenue reserve. Over the years, the revenue reserve can build up to a substantial sum if the investment trust is able to make further retentions…

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Rail Companies Are Calling for Big Changes

Find out more here

A Year of Two Halves?

Alex Crooke, Fund Manager of the Bankers Investment Trust, explains how the team is preparing for a different investment landscape in the second half of 2019. It’s in our nature as fund managers to continually contemplate about the future, but the level and scope of uncertainty facing investors today is almost unprecedented. What’s disappointing is that many of the questions that dominated 2018 have still not been answered as we move into the second quarter of 2019.

The most prominent of those questions include the ‘trade war’ between the world’s two largest economies; the UK’s expected exit from the EU; a tightening of monetary policy by central banks in key economies and the corporate profit growth outlook. You’d have thought by now we would have more certainty around some of these issues, but clarity is coming. At The Bankers Investment Trust – a Janus Henderson-managed trust – we believe the second half of the year will look and feel very different to the current state of play; and we are positioning the portfolio to benefit from that clarity, which we think will restore market confidence as 2019 rolls into 2020.

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Next Prime Minister: Who’s In The Running?

Guido has compiled some vital stats on betting odds, social media following, and constituency majority for those in the running to replace Theresa May, provided that Parliament passes the Withdrawal Agreement soon. In that situation, the contest will kick off as soon as 22nd May…

This morning Amber Rudd posted a video that looks suspiciously like a leadership pitch, Raab has been touting his hardliner credentials, while other contenders have stayed more muted. Boris isn’t the bookies favourite anymore but he is still the runaway favourite among the Tory membership. With two months to go before a theoretical contest there’s all to play for…

New Proposal to Make Fares Easier for All

This week the rail industry released their proposals to reform the fares system, after consulting almost 20,000 people last year in the Easier Fares Consultation. 84% of people called for change to the current regulation of the fares system…

The proposals recommend a seven day price cap which could remove the need to commit to a rigid weekly season ticket, giving flexible workers the opportunity to save money. The industry wants to work with government to update regulations and create easier fares for all…

Find out more at www.bigplanbigchanges.co.uk/easierfares

We Have a Message For Your Boss

With the World Economic Forum underway in Davos, leaders are gathering right now to set the agenda for global change. Disability inclusion is high on their list of priorities, but there is one issue that they must not ignore.

A third of the people in the world – 2.5 billion – suffer from poor vision without treatment, holding them back from opportunities to get a good education, find decent work and build a better future. It is the world’s largest unaddressed disability, and 90% of those affected live in low-income countries.

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For a Contrarian These Are Exciting Times

With valuations of UK equities looking very low relative to history and other markets, there is a buzz of excitement for UK-focused investors, especially the contrarians among them, says James Henderson, Co-Fund Manager of Lowland Investment Company.

These are the views of the author at the time of publication and may differ from the views of other individuals/teams at Janus Henderson Investors. Any securities, funds, sectors and indices mentioned within this article do not constitute or form part of any offer or solicitation to buy or sell them.

Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise and you may not get back the amount originally invested.

The information in this article does not qualify as an investment recommendation.
For promotional purposes.

The Top 50 Political Influencers

There’s never been a more exciting time to cover politics – but with the media in rapid flux, who really sets the agenda?

Vuelio presents the Top 50 Political Influencers as the definitive guide to the media professionals with the most political clout.

See the full list and find out who’s made the cut…

When it comes to politics, the digital media environment continues to develop in novel, sometimes unanticipated, ways – with some serious consequences. New media have radically altered the ways in which Government institutions operate, political leaders communicate, and campaigns are fought.

Although new media has complicated the political media system, it has by no means dismantled it. Legacy media – radio and television news programs, even newspapers – coexist with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Indeed, content produced by the mainstream is fed upon by emerging influencers, increasing its reach and impact even as it is transformed under the weight of myriad digital judgements.

The Top 50 Political Influencers reflects the evolving media, including broadcasters and print journalists in addition to bloggers and other digital influencers. The list includes the most politically informed, those with the best contacts and membership of the right WhatsApp groups for the inside track on breaking news and the latest leaks, and those able to lead conversations across a range of social media platforms.

With the likes of Andrew Marr, Robert Peston and Cathy Newman rubbing shoulders with Owen Jones, Nigel Farage and Kerry-Anne Mendoza – the list is a true representation of the biggest political influencers in the UK media.

Car Insurance Premiums Fall 8% in January

With the new year in full swing, the cost of the average car insurance premium has fallen by as much as 8%, as UK insurers look to offer more competitive rates.

In December, insurers tend to offer less competitive rates as they wind down for the Christmas period. Hence, the average policy for insuring a car can be 13% higher than compared to the rest of the year. The average policy in the UK now costs around £800 per year, which is the highest on record.

“Most UK households tend to avoid shopping for insurance in December” explains Andrew Speer from price comparison site, Proper Finance. “Instead, the priority falls on spending on the festive season, including days out with the family and presents.”

At the same time, insurers have less incentive to lower their prices unless they really need to hit targets. Also, there are a lot of motorists that like to run their cover over one calendar year, so they are in a position to find new deals or renew their policies in January, when it is also likely to be cheaper.”

“This is a great opportunity to start off the new year with a good saving, especially after an expensive December period. Those that can benefit the most include young drivers and those that have a history of claims in the past.”

Despite the rising costs of average policies, there is now more technology available to help reduce the cost of policies on the road. This includes using a telematics box to monitor your quality of driving and mileage – which typically results in a saving for safer drivers. There is also the use of dashboard cams which can record footage of your driving and any potential accidents and improve the legitimacy of a claim.

At a policy level, savings can be made by avoiding claims and using a no claims bonus and paying off an entire premium in full, rather than monthly instalments. Households can also look at buying group cover through multi car policies, adding an experienced named driver to the account or combining both multicar and home policies too.

For commercial vehicles such as vans, lorries and couriers, companies have the opportunity to buy insurance in a fleet to save money. By putting all your vehicles under one single policy, you save on admin and benefit from one straightforward renewal date. Add-ons to your policy can include goods in transit insurance, business interruption and contents insurance too, and buying in bulk allows you to save as much as 20% on your overall policy. (Source: Fleets Insurance).

Content produced by Tudor Lodge Consultants.

Bloody Big Christmas Party

Comedy Unleashed – London’s free-thinking stand-up comedy club – is hosting a Bloody Big Christmas Party for us all. Dominic Frisby hosts a night of comedy and song, along with internationally ignored superstar Vanity von Glow.

White Jesus himself will be making a guest appearance along with libertarian absurdist Will Franken and 6 other comics. If you fancy a good night out amongst friends, in a comedy club with an open-minded, free-thinking vibe, this one’s for you…

Tuesday 11th December, 7.30pm at the Backyard Comedy Club, Bethnal Green, London E2 0EL

Find more details and tickets here.

Join the Comedy Unleashed mailing list here!

The UK’s Worst Overseas Aid Blunder

This has nothing to do with Oxfam. Indeed DFID is also innocent in this. No – this scandal is brought to you by the Department of Health which is the dominant funder of the world’s most counterproductive anti-smoking policy.

Five years ago DH was forced by the EU to allow vaping in the UK. However the department’s true instincts are being unleashed on the rest of the world through its funding of the World Health Organization. DH provides a staggering 72% of the running costs of the WHO’s global efforts to eliminate the competition to smoking. Under the UK’s financial overlordship the WHO is militant in encouraging its 180 member countries to ban anything that smokers would want to use to quit…

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The Sun vs Ashley Cole 

Tomorrow the ECJ gives its verdict on oral tobacco – just days after The Sun caught Ashley Cole using it. Snus is much loved by those The Sun regards as the fittest in the world: England footballers and Scandinavian women. The court will decide whether to end the EU ban on snus which The Sun says is “even more deadly” than the cigarettes Ashley’s girlfriend smokes. So, is the left-back right? Or would the judges be better off listening to the fitness gurus at the Currant Bun?

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Is UK Tobacco Policy A Failure?  

It is the Department of Complacency. For decades DH’s tobacco policy has missed opportunities, scored own goals and only made progress because its greatest errors have been overridden by reality. This is after all the department which repeatedly tried to ban vaping. If MEPs had listened to Jeremy Hunt’s plea then every e-cigarette on the market would have been banned…

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Comedy Unleashed: London’s Free-Speech Standup Comedy Club

Turned off by comedians who simply add punchlines to Guardian editorials or want us to nod along to their wisecrack sermons?

Every second Tuesday each month, Comedy Unleashed puts on comedians who leave their self-censorship button at the door. Every gig hosts comics who challenge the groupthink bubble, whether they are leftwing, rightwing or no wing. As long as they are not clipped wing…

Comics include Geoff Norcott, Lee Hurst, Shappi Khorsandi and Jonathan Pie, plus a host of up-and-coming comedians who have something fresh to say and an interesting take on life. Free speech advocates Dominic Frisby and Ria Lina compere the evening. Anything goes – if it’s funny, it’s funny.

Restricted Lending from Banks Gives Rise to Specialist Finance Industry

The continued reluctance of UK banks to lend to small businesses and individuals has created a sense of frustration amongst politicians, SMEs and consumers. Following the economic crisis in 2007, UK banks have shied away from traditional lending to small businesses and have tightened their criteria on lending to consumers, preferring to diversify into alternative investments.

Stark figures show that the traditional process of business owners going to their bank manager has declined dramatically. Figures show that bank loans to businesses as a proportion of domestic lending has declined from 31 per cent in 1988 to 8 per cent in 2016.

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Spreadsheet Phil Needs to Check His Chart on the Self-Employed

Spreadsheet Phil seems to have got his sums wrong on the self-employed. In this month’s budget, ‘Hollywood Hammond’ is rumoured to be planning a fresh tax raid on the self-employed that will massively backfire for the economy.

Last year, the most glamorous man in politics got his nose almost as bloodied as John McDonnell’s when he tried to raise National Insurance Contributions for the self-employed.[…] Read the rest

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Liz Truss on the next Tory leader…

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