Investment insight

Latest articles

Keeping up to speed with the issues that could affect your investments is important for all smart investors. Read our latest articles to discover topical economic and market insight, investment ideas, and some of the trends which are shaping the world today.

The value of investments can fall as well as rise and you could get back less than you invest. If you’re not sure about investing, seek independent advice.

Autumn Budget 2018 at a glance

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament. We examine some of the key announcements which could have implications for savers and investors.

Autumn Budget 2018 Review

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament. We examine some of the key economic announcements which could have implications for investors.

Guide to ethical investing

The Good Money Week campaign takes place every autumn and aims to grow and raise awareness of sustainable, responsible and ethical finance opportunities. Barclays is a lead sponsor of this campaign, reflecting our commitment to support clients that want investment options that align to their financial, social and environmental objectives.

We look at how sustainable, responsible and ethical finance has grown in popularity in recent years, what sort of opportunities are available, and how putting your money into companies that make a positive contribution to society or the environment doesn’t necessarily have to mean sacrificing financial returns.

Q3 in review – America first

With the US diverging from the rest of the world, can investors expect a reversal of this trend?

Investing in global health

We explore how today’s healthcare challenges are being tackled, and where opportunities may lie for investors.

Investing in water

Global water supplies are under pressure, but there are innovative companies aimed at helping to efficiently preserve, treat, and recycle water. Here, we examine how you can invest.

Investing in renewable energy

The renewable energy sector is seeing rapid growth, driven by falling costs and global energy demands. We examine the outlook for the sector. 

The enduring appeal of Japan

The Japanese economy is experiencing a long period of growth. We examine the pros and cons of investing in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Three alternative sources of income

Low returns on bonds and deposits mean that investors are often keen to explore other ways to secure a steady income. We look at three alternative income sources.

Four reasons to consider going global

Funds investing in international markets are proving popular with investors. We explore some of the reasons why a global approach might appeal.

Time to invest in smaller companies?

Smaller companies tend to particularly benefit from favourable economic conditions. We explore some of the reasons why.

Five bad investing habits to break

It can be easy to slip into bad investing habits which could have a negative effect on your portfolio. We look at how to overcome them.

Four ways to stay ahead of inflation

Often labelled the ‘silent assassin of savings’, inflation represents a hike in the cost of everyday living and the higher it rises, the less your cash will be ultimately worth.

The outlook for the Eurozone

Unemployment continues to fall and investment rise in Europe, although escalating trade tensions are among potential headwinds facing the region.

How interest rate rises affect you

The Bank of England has raised interest rates for the second time in a decade. Here, we take a look at what rising interest rates could mean for your investments.

Should you hold AIM shares in your ISA

August 5 marks five years since Alternative Investment Market (AIM) shares first became eligible for inclusion in Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs). Here, we weigh up the pros and cons of holding them.

Top of the stocks

We take a look at some of the stocks that are at the top of fund managers holdings and why they might prove to be successful long-term investments.

Plan your portfolio for political uncertainty

An ongoing period of political uncertainty can be unsettling for many investors. We look at some of the ways investors can plan for any potential storms that may lie ahead.

Monthly Market Insights – July 2018

As part of our aim to keep clients informed of our current investment views and how these themes are impacting your discretionary portfolios, Toby Cross, Portfolio Management Specialist, talks to Arne Hassel, Chief Investment Officer, about increasing trade tensions, Italian politics and worries about certain emerging markets.

The economic cycle - signs of age

We explore why the economy still looks likely to reward investment portfolios tilted towards stocks.

Should there be a Universal Basic Income?

Universal Basic Income is a proposed welfare system which guarantees everyone an income. We explore some of the pros and cons of such a system.

Is the US still an attractive investment opportunity?

Ongoing trade tensions may be among the greatest concerns for those investing in the US. We consider the impact of President Donald Trump’s recent announcements, and the outlook for investors.

Pension saving reaches record high

More people than ever before are contributing to a pension, now that employees are automatically enrolled into company schemes. We explain why it’s vital to plan for retirement.

Lessons from the second quarter

William Hobbs, Barclays’ Head of Investment Strategy for the UK and Europe, reviews the markets during the second quarter of 2018, including rising interest rates and the political scene in Italy.

The world economy – on solid ground

We believe that global economic expansion will continue, and explain the thinking behind our current recommended investment asset allocation.

UK equity income funds: back in favour?

UK equity income funds have seen significant outflows this year, but income-seeking investors are starting to move back into the sector.

Portfolio Perspectives – June 2018

Arne Hassel discusses May’s market performance, including concerns over trade negotiations between the US and China, and the political scene in Italy.

Investing lessons from the World Cup

As fans consider England's chances in the World Cup, investors could also apply a similar outlook when it comes to appraising their investments.

Investing through volatile markets

The thought of losing some of our hard earned cash when markets are volatile can illicit fear and anxiety. However, it’s not just about the risk of being in the market, investors also need to think about the risk of being out.

The pros and cons of fixed income investments

Investors seeking to generate an income may turn to fixed income investments. Here, we examine the outlook for the asset class, alongside its benefits and drawbacks.

How technology revolutionised the World Cup

Technological innovations made it easier for referees to give quick and clear decisions and improved the viewing experience for those watching football on TV.

What can investors learn from recent insolvencies?

A series of major insolvencies recently may be causing concern among investors. We explain what happens to assets when a company goes into administration and look at ways to manage investment risk.

Black gold

We explore some of the factors vexing oil markets in a little more detail and what they might mean for the global economy and stock markets.

Bringing impact investing to life

Impact investing aims to have a positive social or environmental impact and to generate positive returns for investors. We explore some examples of how funds adopt an impact approach.

Italy – the populist agenda

The political situation in Italy may be prompting concerns among investors. Here, we consider our outlook, and what this means for the eurozone.

The rise of multi-asset investments

Multi-asset funds offer investors exposure to a range of assets within one fund, and they are becoming increasingly popular.

Portfolio Perspectives – May 2018

We speak to Arne Hassel, Barclays’ Chief Investment Officer, about market performance throughout April, including how positive signals from strong economic growth are being offset by concerns that higher interest rates will upset stock markets.

Investing without a deadline

Dr Peter Brooks, Head of Behavioural Finance, explains why it’s the time you spend invested which will largely determine your return.

Lessons from the first quarter

William Hobbs, Barclays' Head of Investment Strategy, reviews the markets during the first quarter of 2018 including the threat of trade tensions, swings in stock markets and the return of inflation.

Three investment mistakes to avoid

Even the most successful investors make mistakes sometimes, which may impact on returns. Here, we consider three common mistakes and how to avoid them.

2018 dividend heroes revealed

Investment trusts are celebrating a major anniversary this year. We examine its reputation as an attractive option for income-seeking investors.

Investing in India

India is expected to be the fastest-growing economy in the world in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Here, we consider the investment opportunities.

An ISA way to invest in your future

Why aren’t more people saving and investing via ISAs? And what can be done to encourage more people to use ISAs to prepare for their financial futures?

Portfolio Perspectives – April 2018

We speak to Arne Hassel, Barclays’ Chief Investment Officer, about market performance throughout March including the recent reaction to trade tariffs.

How to invest in artificial intelligence

The government has pledged millions of pounds in funding for artificial intelligence. We examine whether there are opportunities for investors from the growth of this sector.

How to add value to your portfolio

Investors seeking ways to add value to their portfolio in an uncertain economic climate may take various approaches. Here, we consider some of the options.

Spring Statement 2018 Review

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has presented his Spring Statement to Parliament, responding to the latest UK economic forecasts. We look at the key points.

Portfolio Perspectives - March 2018

Toby Cross, Barclays’ Portfolio Management Specialist, talks to Arne Hassel, Barclays’ Chief Investment Officer, about what lies behind the recent bumpy market performance and what it means to investors.

Four ways to spice up your portfolio

There are various ways to seek returns from specialised and adventurous sectors, if you’re prepared to accept the risks involved.

Are women better investors?

When it comes to investing, women often get better results than men. We explore some of the possible reasons behind their success.

Inflation and the bond market

William Hobbs, Barclays’ Head of Investment Strategy, explores the prospects for inflation and capital markets, amidst diminishing economic slack and a surprisingly timed dollop of fiscal largesse in the US.

South Korea – Going for gold?

South Korea’s economy is expected to benefit from hosting the Winter Olympics, and may provide opportunities for investors.

The changing face of the media and entertainment industry

Growing demand for streaming services means media and entertainment companies are exploring new ways to expand the reach of their content. We look at whether this changing landscape may create opportunities for investors.

Should you buy at market highs?

It’s understandable to feel nervous about investing when markets are very high, as there’s always the risk they could suffer a sudden reversal of fortunes.

10 golden rules for investors

Investing is never an exact science, but there are certain rules which may help investors achieve their goals.

How to invest in the transport sector

There are several ways investors can gain exposure to the potential growth of Britain’s rail network, airlines and electric cars. We examine where they may be opportunities for investors.

Can the Trump market rally continue in 2018?

It has been a year since Donald Trump was inaugurated as President of the United States of America, and during this period US markets have shown solid gains.

Investing in frontier markets

Frontier markets are markets in the very early stages of development and are less established than emerging markets. Although there may be potential for growth as their economies mature, there are significant risks involved in investing in these fledgling markets.

2018 Outlook – A bumpier ride?

Arne Hassel, Chief Investment Officer, considers the five key themes for 2018 and how investors may benefit.

How stock markets performed around the world in 2017

World stock markets have enjoyed strong performance in 2017, despite economic and political events that threatened to cause turbulence. Here, we look at how some of the biggest investment sectors have fared over the past year.

Lessons from 2017

There were plenty of surprises in 2017, not least how markets responded to political events. William Hobbs, Barclays’ Head of Investment Strategy, looks at the lessons that can be learnt.

The pros and cons of absolute return funds

In a climate of economic uncertainty, many investors are opting for targeted absolute return funds to limit any potential losses, but how do these work?

Should you reinvest income?

If you’re investing for long-term growth, you may want to consider reinvesting income. We weigh up the pros and cons.

Where next for smaller companies?

Smaller companies are outperforming the wider market, but can this winning streak continue? We consider the outlook, and the risks involved for investors.

The rise of the silver economy

As the global population ages and amasses more spending power, companies providing services ranging from healthcare to cruises look well placed to profit.

Time to invest in housebuilders?

A series of measures announced in the Autumn Budget may provide a long-term boost to housebuilders. Here, we consider the outlook for the industry, and whether it might be time to invest.

Autumn Budget 2017 Review

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament. We examine some of the key economic announcements which could have implications for investors.

What is impact investing?

Impact investing aims to protect and grow investors' money, while at the same time having a positive social or environmental impact. Here’s what you need to know.

How long could the emerging markets rally last?

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index has climbed steadily in 2017, but can its winning streak continue? We examine the outlook for the sector, and explain the risks involved in investing in developing economies.

Navigating the fear of calmer waters

Investing can be emotionally draining, even when markets are positive. We examine why investors often worry more during less volatile periods.

The Bank of England raises interest rates

The Bank of England has increased interest rates for the first time in a decade. We explain how markets have reacted and look at what rising rates could mean for your investments.

How the currency market can affect your portfolio

Movements in the foreign exchange markets could have an impact on your investments. We explain what investors generally might need to know about exchange-rate risk.

Five strategies for investment success

Putting money into individual stocks can be a risky approach to investing, but there are expert strategies that might help those wanting to add specific companies to their portfolio.

How new regulatory changes affect you

New rules due to come into effect in January 2018 should provide greater protection for investors. Here, we explain what MiFID II is, and how it will affect the way your investments are managed.

The fight against cybercrime

Businesses, consumers and governments are becoming ever more vulnerable to hackers. So, companies specialising in cybersecurity could profit handsomely in the years ahead.

How to find long-term share investments

Stocks which might build wealth or provide income over a lifetime are the holy grail for many investors. We explain how to identify long-term share investments for your portfolio.

Merkel wins the German election

Angela Merkel will serve a fourth term as German chancellor following her federal election win, but now faces coalition talks to build a government. We assess how markets and currencies reacted to the result and what it means for investors.

The future of China

Pessimists expecting China’s economy to crash are too gloomy: in our view, its development is on track and the long-term outlook remains encouraging.

Should investors go global for growth?

Investors are favouring global equity funds, but which regions offer potential for profit? We consider where opportunities may lie, and how to gain exposure.

Six basic rules of share investing

Investing in individual shares is a risky approach - but for those wanting to add specific companies to their portfolio that they believe have the potential to profit, there are some basic rules that it’s worth following.

Time to invest in Western Europe?

The Eurozone economy is growing twice as fast as the UK’s, as its recovery gathers pace. We examine the outlook for the region, and where investment opportunities may lie.

Where next for inflation?

Inflation is expected to remain above the government’s 2% target for the foreseeable future. We examine the latest forecasts and what they could mean for investors.

The health of the world economy

With 2017 in the rear view mirror, we start to examine what this year has in store. William discusses why 2017 was a positive year for investors and whether we can be expecting more of the same in 2018.

Investing in ‘dividend heroes’

There are dozens of funds with a long-running history of increasing payouts to investors, according to The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) - but how can you search for your own dividend heroes, offering consistent and sustainable yields?

Keeping calm during turbulent times

Periods of market volatility, like those we have seen in February, will undoubtedly be unsettling times for most investors.

Bitcoin - a new asset?

Bitcoin has yielded astronomical returns in recent years, sparking debate amongst investors as to whether it should be treated as a regular asset class. We weigh up the pros and cons.

How to invest in the rise of the electric car

The Chancellor pledged millions of pounds of funding for electric vehicles in the Budget. We examine whether the move towards electric cars could create opportunities for investors.

How to profit from healthcare innovation

Developments in the healthcare industry could provide an opportunity for investors willing to take some risk. We consider the outlook for the biotech sector.

Investment approaches for all budgets

Do you only have a small or a large amount to invest? We consider your options, whether you have £100 a month to spare or a big lump sum.

The story of a trade

What’s going on behind the scenes isn’t always your first thought when you place a trade through your stockbroker. However, understanding more about how your orders are carried out can help to make you a more effective trader.

Are we seeing another dotcom bubble?

Recent stellar performance from many technology companies has prompted some to draw parallels with the dotcom bubble of 2000. We consider the outlook for the sector.

Options beyond the FTSE 100

Investors often favour the FTSE 100 index of Britain’s biggest companies, but there are plenty of opportunities to invest outside of this, with thousands of smaller and medium-sized companies to pick from.

Five ways to prepare for a market correction

No-one can predict when a market correction will occur, but that doesn’t mean investors can’t be prepared. We offer tips to help, including the importance of understanding that corrections are a normal part of the investing journey.

What is contrarian investing?

When it comes to investing, choosing to go against the consensus can understandably be an uncomfortable decision and is not for the faint-hearted. We explain how contrarian investing works.

What next for sterling?

Sterling has had a bumpy ride in recent months, not helped by political uncertainty. We assess the outlook for the pound.

The rise of the experience economy

In recent years, consumers have been devoting more of their spare cash to having fun, providing a boost to companies in the ‘experience economy’. Can the party continue?

Exchange Traded Funds and tracker funds compared

Investors are putting record amounts into ETFs, but how do these passive investments differ from trackers? We look at how these investments work, and if they might be right for you.

How to gain exposure to property

Changes to buy-to-let tax relief, coupled with rising house prices and the introduction of a stamp duty surcharge on second homes, mean buying a property to rent out is no longer a viable option for many. We examine how to gain exposure to the property sector, without physically owning bricks and mortar.

Should you look to Asia for income?

Income-seeking investors may profit from opportunities around the world, including Asia, where companies are increasingly paying dividends.

What a hung Parliament means for your investments

The general election has resulted in a hung Parliament, without any party securing a majority. We consider the impact of the election and its outcome on your investments.

Investing in the future of smart cities

Cities are growing rapidly, putting huge pressure on infrastructure and the environment. However, companies and governments are using new technology to help address some of these challenges.

Investing for income or growth? How our Ready-made Investments can help

The decision whether to invest for income or growth will depend on your goals. Do you need an income stream now, or can you wait for your investment to grow over the long term? Whatever your goals, our Ready-made Investments can help, offering a choice of growth and income investments which you can match to your chosen risk profile.

FTSE 100 Index reaches record high

The FTSE 100 Index has reached a new record high, but can its winning streak continue? We examine the outlook for the Index and explain why it’s important for investors to take a long-term view.

The changing face of retail

The way we shop is changing, prompting many retail outlets to look at increasingly innovative ways to cater for our needs, but does this create opportunities for investors?

Investing in the Land of the Rising Sun

Net inflows into Japanese equity funds have reached their highest level in 20 months, according to Morningstar fund flows data. But is Japan’s economy really back on track after years in the doldrums? We weigh up the pros and cons of investing in the Land of the Rising Sun.

When should you sell shares

Among the most difficult decisions investors face is when to sell their shares. Many people sit on poor-performing stocks, in the hope that they will eventually recover. Here, we look at why it’s important to try to keep emotions out of your investment decisions and some of the strategies you can adopt to help.

Investing jargon explained

Financial jargon can baffle even the most experienced investors, so here, we provide a rundown of some of the investment terms that could confuse you, and explain what they mean.

What do millennials think about investing?

The generation born roughly between 1980 and 2000, now aged in their late teens to late thirties, are often choosing to stay at home longer, not get married, and to have children later, if at all. But how do these life choices influence their investment decisions? We explore what motivates millennials when it comes to their finances, what their priorities are when choosing investments, and how these choices differ from older generations.

Macron wins the French presidential election

After a hard-fought battle between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, Macron has won the French presidential election. We assess what his win means for markets and the economy.

Profiting from pampered pets

In recent years, people have become more inclined to spoil their pets and spend thousands on veterinary care. Does this trend spell an opportunity for long-term investors?

Mexico can thrive despite President Trump

Fears over the impact of US protectionism hit Mexican financial markets earlier this year. But the threat may not materialise – and Mexico’s long-term prospects appear bright.

Where to go in the hunt for global opportunities

The UK and US stock markets have risen to all-time highs in 2017, and some investors may consider them overvalued. However there are plenty of opportunities for returns around the world for investors willing to take some risk.

How the general election could impact on your investments

There are just a few weeks to go before the general election on 8 June, which the Prime Minister Theresa May has called for to “guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead” while the UK negotiates its way out of the EU. We consider the impact of the election and its potential outcomes on your investments.

Taking a multi-asset approach

Dividing your investment money between the various asset classes is crucial when building a diversified portfolio. Multi-asset funds can do the job on your behalf, with a professional fund manager deciding the split of your investments and ensuring the fund isn’t overweight in one particular area.

On the eve of the French election: What political upheaval in Europe means for investors

The first round of the 2017 French presidential election will be held on April 23, in the latest of a series of European elections that has the potential to rattle investors. We assess what the election result could mean for European equities, and whether investors should exercise caution when investing in this region.

Can the M&A boom continue?

A deal-making frenzy has accompanied the rise in global stock markets. Provided the world economy avoids a damaging outbreak of protectionism, mergers and takeover activity looks likely to remain buoyant.

Where to go in the hunt for income

Savers seeking an income from deposit accounts may find that their returns can’t keep pace with rising inflation, but there are alternative options for those willing to take a risk.

Is investor nervousness misplaced?

Investors have piled into the supposedly safer areas of the market in recent months, potentially missing out on some impressive returns with stock markets reaching record highs in 2017. We consider the importance of trying to hold your nerve when investing for the long term.

ISA flexibility

New rules that took effect in April 2016 mean ISAs are more flexible than ever. You can now withdraw money and return it in the same tax year, without it affecting that year’s allowance. In this video, Clare Francis explains how the rules work, as well as what you’ll need to consider before using the new flexibility. Remember, tax rules can change and their benefit to you depends on your circumstances.

How the Dividend Allowance cut affects you

The £5,000 tax-free Dividend Allowance was cut to £2,000 in April 2018. The reduction means that tax-efficient wrappers such as ISAs will become more important for investors with dividends in excess of the allowance who are seeking to mitigate their increased tax exposure.

The enduring appeal of India

Bureaucracy and inefficiency continue to hamper development. But India is slowly getting its act together, and could remain one of the world’s fastest-growing economies for years to come.

Woodford fund: What you need to know

Star fund manager Neil Woodford has launched a new fund, aimed at paying a high income. Here’s what you need to know.

Value investing explained

Value investing, the strategy adopted by famous investors Benjamin Graham and Warren Buffett, has proved unpopular since the global financial crisis, but there are signs that this approach is making a comeback.

Stock market volatility with Clare Francis, Dr. Peter Brooks and Will Hobbs

Watch Clare Francis, director of Savings and Investments, explore the concept of stock market volatility – what it means, why it happens and how best to deal with it. Clare is joined in the studio by Will Hobbs – Head of Investment Strategy for Europe and Dr Peter Brooks – Head of Behavioural Finance. In a critical look at volatility in changing markets, they explore why it makes investors nervous and why it’s important to think long term.

Financial fitness, Step four: Review your results

Equipped with a portfolio of investments and the tools to achieve your goals, your financial fitness regime should now be well underway. However, you can’t just sit back and relax, or your efforts could go to waste. In the fourth and final part of our series on becoming financially fit, we explain why it’s vital to regularly review your investments so you can be certain your money is working as hard as possible for you.

France at a crossroads

French voters face a stark choice in this spring’s presidential election – between a centrist reformer and a far-right candidate seemingly intent on pulling the country out of the euro.

Financial fitness, Step three: Put your plan into action

If you have been following our financial fitness plan so far you should know that by setting yourself some realistic goals and studying market conditions you can implement an investment strategy that works for you. Doing this will not only help you to make educated investment decisions, but to keep the emotion out of your trading. We have some pointers to help add some discipline to your trading regime.

What can we expect from the Budget?

Ahead of the Budget on March 8, we look at the economic backdrop against which it will have been put together and highlight some of the announcements that we know the Chancellor Philip Hammond will make.

Financial fitness, Step two: Stay motivated

Once you’ve worked out what your financial objectives are, your next challenge is to create a training plan to deliver your goals. Finding the right investments to help you meet your targets isn’t just a quick fix, you’ll need staying power if you want to stay on top of your game. In the second of our four-part guide to becoming financially fit, we offer our tips to help you keep on the right investment track.

2017: The year of Trump trade?

Staying focused on economic fundamentals is important against the rise of protectionist policies and a noisy political backdrop.

Shareholder perks for 2017

Shareholders in some of the UK’s biggest and best known companies are offered perks ranging from discounts to freebies, but while these may appear appealing, there are often catches to watch out for.

Financial fitness, Step one: Set your goals

If you’re looking to whip your finances into shape in 2017, your first step should be to think carefully about exactly what you’re hoping to achieve. What are your objectives and what sort of timescale are you working to? In this, the first of our four-part guide to becoming financially fit, we look at how establishing exactly what your goals are can help you make better investment decisions.

How inflation affects your savings and investments

Inflation has reached a 30-month high, with higher air fares, food costs and petrol prices fuelled by the weak pound all helping to drive up the cost of living. We examine what rising inflation means for savers and investors and look at which companies tend to fare well in inflationary environments.

Will the January effect set the trend for the rest of the year?

The January effect refers to the supposed tendency for stock prices to rise during the first month of the year. What happens in January in theory also sets the tone for the rest of the year, according to the adage “as goes January, so goes the year.” We look at how stock markets performed at the start of 2018, and what could lie in store for the remainder of the year.

Prepare your portfolio for a hard Brexit

The Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that we’re heading for a hard Brexit, and has outlined plans to pull Britain out of the single market, set up a free trade agreement with Europe, and create new trade agreements with other countries. We look at what this could mean for your investments, and why it’s important to prepare your portfolio for any potential volatility.

Is now the time to invest in financials?

The financial sector has shown strong performance since President Trump’s election win last November, boosted by the prospect of rising interest rates in the US and the promise of less restrictive regulation during his administration. We examine the outlook for financials in the US, UK and Europe and assess whether the recent rally is likely to continue.

Fifteen years of the euro: Where next for Europe’s currency?

Euro notes and coins began to circulate in Europe at the beginning of 2002, three years after the single currency was introduced to world financial markets, and more than four decades after it first became a goal for the European Union. Since then, the currency has endured somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, but arguably faces some of its greatest challenges yet as we head into 2017.

Investment outlook for China

The Chinese New Year begins on January 28, marking the start of the Year of the Rooster. We look at the prospects for growth in China, which last year confounded those who had anticipated a hard landing following its shock devaluation of the yuan, and assess how its changing relationship with the world could impact investors.

Africa has a promising future

The region has made encouraging progress in recent years – but it is still an extremely risky investment.

Is it too late for investors to benefit from the FTSE’s record streak?

The FTSE 100 index of the UK’s biggest companies has enjoyed a record-breaking start to 2017, notching up 14 consecutive days of gains by the end of the second week of January. We look at the reasons why the blue-chip index is performing so strongly and some of the arguments for and against it maintaining its upward trajectory.

Is the bond bull market over?

With Donald Trump sworn in as the 45th president of the United States of America on 20 January, could his inauguration mark the end of a 35-year bond bull run? We explore what Trump’s entry into the White House may mean for bond markets.

Are you happy with your investments?

While the start of a new year may be a natural time to reflect on how your investment strategy has fared over the past year, Peter Brooks, Head of Behavioural Finance, cautions against relying too much on the memories of your investing experience.

How trade barriers can impact investors

Protectionism has been increasing over the past few years – a trend that may accelerate under Donald Trump. Should investors be concerned?

Focus on Europe

This year, the stage is set for some of the most important political events in Europe for decades, with several key elections in the pipeline. We look at some of the key events happening this year and explain what potential changes in Europe could mean for investors.

Five ways to take control of your finances

Sorting out our finances is often top of the list when it comes to New Year’s resolutions. There are plenty of simple ways to take control of your money this year, from making the most of new annual allowances to topping up your pension.

Market outlook for 2017

Global markets face plenty of challenges in 2017, with continuing uncertainty over Brexit, the impact Trump will have as president, and key elections in Europe. Here, we consider what may lie ahead for some of the biggest investment sectors next year.

How central banks and governments impact your investments

Developed countries are usually described as free-market economies, where asset prices are set by supply and demand. But central banks can have a major influence on how markets determine prices. Today, their effect on the economy - and investment returns - is more important than ever.

2016 investment market review

World markets have suffered a bumpy ride in 2016, with uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the US presidential election causing plenty of turbulence. Here, we review some of the biggest investment sectors and look at how they have fared over the past year.

Investors discover the final frontier

Enthusiasm for exploring space fizzled out after we put a man on the moon in 1969. But now the final frontier is coming back into fashion – which could be good news for investors.

How political risk drives markets

There is no shortage of factors that can influence the direction markets take, but political risk can be especially unnerving, particularly during periods when there are serious concerns about global economic growth. We look at how political rhetoric can shake markets and what steps investors can take to protect themselves from volatility.

What rising oil prices mean for your portfolio

After slumping at the start of 2016, oil prices have bounced sharply back to hit a one-year high as some of the world’s largest producers have decided to slash production levels. We examine what this could mean for your savings and investments.

Are housebuilders a bargain?

Shares in Britain’s housebuilders tumbled after the EU referendum. Were the sharp falls justified? We consider the outlook for the industry.

How can you prepare for a Black Swan?

Every so often, an unexpected event happens that takes us entirely by surprise. The reaction on financial markets to these shocks can be severe, at least initially.

Investing in emerging markets

Investing in emerging markets can be a rollercoaster ride. We explain what you need to know.

Investing in commodities

Commodities are often dubbed ‘the fifth asset class’ after cash, bonds, shares and property and are widely considered to be part of the ‘alternative investments’ set.

Is China heading for a soft landing?

China has enjoyed decades of rapid growth but some new as well as old threats to the economy look set to put the brakes on this pace of expansion going forward.

Is the shine about to come off gold?

Gold has been one of the best performing asset classes in 2016, but could recent falls indicate that it is losing its shine?

What are smart beta funds?

Historically there have been two types of fund available to investors - active and passive – and for decades it has been debated which is the superior strategy. But recent years have witnessed a new hybrid approach, known as smart beta, enter the playing field.

Vietnam: A new Asian tiger?

It could become the next China – but Vietnam is an investment only for the brave.

Three ways to invest for income

The prolonged backdrop of ultra-low interest rates has meant that a greater number of people have had to look beyond savings accounts and accept the risk they could lose money if they want to try to earn a higher income from their hard-earned cash.

Five tips to pick the right equity income funds for you

With interest rates at record lows, funds holding dividend-paying shares are a popular source of income for investors. Here are some things to consider if you’re adding one to your portfolio.

Will there be an end of year Santa rally?

The festive season typically tends to be a good time for the stock market, but investors who put their faith in this pattern risk being caught out. Here’s what you need to consider.

Common safe haven investment myths

During periods of stockmarket volatility, you might be tempted to head for the supposed sanctuary of ‘safe haven’ investments such as cash, gold or bonds, but it’s vital to remember that none of these are without risk. Here, we expose some common myths about supposedly secure investments.

Understanding the cycle of investor emotions

Optimism, excitement, denial, fear and apathy are all feelings you might experience when you invest. Learn more about the cycle of investor emotions.

What next for interest rates?

With economies across the world facing very different kinds of challenges, how will central banks respond? We examine some of the options.

Autumn Statement 2016: Summary and highlights

On 23 November, Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the Autumn Statement, providing a vital update on the state of the economy following the UK’s vote to leave the EU earlier this year. We outline his key economic announcements.

Investing in e-commerce

Shoppers are expected to spend billions of pounds buying presents online in the run up to Christmas. We explore some of the ways investors might be able to benefit from the seemingly exponential growth of e-commerce.

Common investing myths debunked

In the world of investing, there is no shortage of tips and guidance available, particularly online. But the investing arena is also full of myths too - we look at some of the biggest and highlight the reality.

Trump wins the US presidential election

After months of wrangling between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Trump has emerged the victor of the US presidential election.

How risk-targeted and risk-rated funds differ

The big issue every potential investor must face is risk – specifically, how much risk do they want to take on to get a decent return? Recent years have witnessed a number of fund providers look at ways to make this task easier via the introduction of risk-rated and risk-targeted funds.

The impact of your emotions on your investments

Our hearts rather than our heads often have the greatest say in the investment decisions we make, but this approach could potentially harm your long-term returns. We look at some of the ways your emotions can impact on your investments, and what you can do about it.

Should you buy more shares when the price is falling?

Most investors know what it feels like to buy a share that drops sharply in price shortly afterwards. But some try to take advantage of such market falls. We explain what 'averaging down’ is.

Opportunities in technological developments

Every few weeks we seem to witness the launch of a new smartphone or other gadget, but what opportunities do technological advances provide for investors?

What a volatile pound could mean for your investments

Sterling has been exceptionally prone to sudden ups and downs this year, and has fallen sharply again on fears of a ‘hard Brexit’ from the EU. We consider how its volatility may affect your portfolio.

The outlook for investing in Brazil

It’s often said of Brazil that it’s ‘the country of the future, and always will be’. It has certainly been living up to its reputation for wasting its potential recently. But there may be signs of a turnaround. We examine what the outlook is for intrepid investors.

Six expert strategies on how to invest

Over the years many of the world’s best-known investors have offered nuggets of wisdom in a bid to try and help individuals become smarter investors. We look at some of their quotes and what we can learn from them.

Investing for growth

Growth investing is all about buying assets that will hopefully increase in value over time.

Investment myths

There are lots of myths about how to make the ‘right’ investment decision. Here are five of the most common and how you can avoid them.

Opportunity in volatility

The outcome of the EU referendum is likely to be a period of market uncertainty. Do these uncharted waters pose a threat or an opportunity for investors?

Investing in uncertain markets

When markets take a tumble, you might be tempted to cut your losses and sell out but you need remember the reasons why you invested in the first place.

How to spot a long-term winner

Picking stocks successfully is as much an art as it is a science. But successful investing is not about taking a punt on one or two shares; it’s about diversifying across a spread of companies and investments from a wide range of industry sectors.

Can newspapers survive in the digital age?

Newspaper sales continue to slide, while online revenues are not making up the shortfall. Amid the gloomy headlines, is there an opportunity for investors?

The 2016 Budget explained

Learn about the latest announcement by the Chancellor, including a summary of the key points and an expert analysis of how you might be affected.

The pros and cons of investing in property funds

Commercial property funds tend to be very popular with retail investors but the asset class comes with its fair share of risks. We look at some of the pros and cons.

A beginner’s guide to alternative investments

While the traditional cornerstones of any diversified portfolio typically include equities, bonds and cash, these days many investors are increasingly looking to ‘alternative’ investments to bolster their asset allocation.

Investing made simple

Don’t want to spend all day managing your investments? We do the hard work for you with our Ready-made Investments.

Explore Ready-made Investments
Investments can fall in value. You could get back less than you invest. Seek independent advice if you’re unsure of this investment’s suitability for you.

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