April 2024 Update My earliest days in the City were during the Nikkei boom – everything was, as The Vapors sang in 1980, ‘Turning Japanese’. It was quite normal to have a sizeable allocation to Japanese equities within a portfolio since these ‘always go up’. Their stockmarket peaked at 39,000 at the end of 1989 […]

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Season’s Greetings From Longbon & Company 22/12/2023 Festive Update December 2023 I look back over 2023 with a sense of relief. We started the year with interest rates climbing precipitously; they were at 3.5% this time last year having, of course, risen from their low of 0.25% a year before. Because of stubbornly high inflation,

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High Noon for Magnificent Seven 07/10/2023 October 2023 Update The one investment market that has confounded the professional investment industry has been the recent performance of the so-called ‘Magnificent Seven’ (M7) in the US (Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Nvidia, Tesla and Meta). These techcompanies have driven nearly all of the US stockmarket index (S&P 500)

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April 2023 Update 07/04/2023 April 2023 Update The past six months have been another period of great turbulence in the world and it is difficult to be anything other than rather pessimistic about it all. Certainly, the wilting of the Truss lettuce was a serious blow to the sensibilities of this country and should remind

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Christmas Newsletter 15/12/2022 Season’s Greetings From Longbon & Company 2022 is one of those (few) years that, were my grandmother still alive, she would have used a very, very large broom to sweep it away, on the strike of Big Ben.  The world has been ravaged.  Not only has it had to deal with the

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Update on Ukraine 04/03/2022 The War in Ukraine The dreadful news from Ukraine has, in one fell swoop, woken Europe from its reverie.  The world, suddenly, looks more dangerous and that danger is uncomfortably close to home.  Putin has decided that the world order should be that of pre-1991.  It seems fairly obvious to most

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A New World Order 13/11/2020 A New World Order? A week is a long time in lockdown.  Certainly, a long, long time in politics.  I am, generally, politically agnostic: given that my job is to advise and mange client finances, the flag-colour of incumbents in their parliamentary citadels is largely irrelevant, especially as over the

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Shell Shock 01/05/2020 Shell Shock Not, perhaps, the most original title to this note but apt, nonetheless. Yesterday (Thursday) Shell ‘shocked’ the markets with the announcement that they would cut their dividend by two-thirds.  This, of course, is the first cut since World War II.  The cut was not entirely unexpected but it still managed

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Markets React to Coronavirus 28/02/2020 Markets React to Coronavirus   The stock market has caught the flu! Or COVID-19, more precisely.  It looks like two weeks in isolation might be required for Wall Street and other exchanges to correct themselves, before they can head back to work. The headlines will undoubtedly be unsettling, and the past seven

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Bond is Back 23/12/2019 Bond is Back (Almost)! Yes indeed, bond(s) are back.  The bond market (as measured by the UK gilt market) returned 7% last year – yet interest rates remained at 0.75% (bonds and interest rates are inexorably linked).  It was an extraordinary performance in what has been, on reflection, an extraordinary year.  Again, investors have misread the direction

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