This week in MoneyWeek: The race in electric cars

In this week's issue of MoneyWeek magazine, discover how to invest in electric cars, and why it's well worth keeping your eye on digital currencies.


Electric cars have come a long way. A decade ago, they barely existed. These days, you can't move for them and their hybrid cousins especially in London. In 2011, there was just one electric car for the eco-conscious in Europe the Nissan Leaf. Today, if you're feeling green, you have a choice of 20. Across the pond, there are 35 electric cars to choose from. And that's just the beginning, says Pelham Smithers Associates' Julie Boote in this week's MoneyWeek magazine cover story. As Julie explains, there are two main "driving" forces behind the electric car revolution. First off, you have the demonisation of the diesel car.

Ironically, diesel cars have been key to hitting emissions targets. While they do give off harmful nitrogen oxide, they actually emit less carbon dioxide the key greenhouse gas that everybody is dead against. "That means sales of other fuel-efficient vehicles electric cars and hybrids must rise to compensate", says Julie.

The other big boost is coming from California and China. They demand that a set number of vehicles sold each year are zero-emission, but could politics get in the way? It's a fascinating story, and one that you can see developing right outside your window. "The reality is that the days of the internal combustion engine are numbered", says Julie. "You should invest accordingly." If you haven't already, sign up to MoneyWeek magazine to find out how you could profit as the electric car market hits the speedway.

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The dollar hits the skids

One asset that is getting into reverse gear is the dollar. No doubt that will come as a surprise to those grown used to seeing the greenback go from strength to strength over the past five and a half years. During that time, it rose by around 45% depending on which dollar index you use. Yet King Dollar has had his worst year since 1985. So what's going on?

Well, says Cantillon Consultant's Sean Corrigan, the greenback's fall from grace is down to how investors see the health of the US economy. It's also a lot down to what's going on elsewhere. But "it's time to stop worrying about the US dollar", says Sean. The real story for investors lies in a certain metal. Grab a subscription to MoneyWeek to find out which one.

Don't get burned by bitcoin

Bitcoin, on the other hand, is definitely going the other way, says Matthew Lynn in his weekly City View column. And at what pace an 800% gain in a single year? "Quadrupling in value in a little over six months? An 87% gain in a single month?" Really? Well, yeah. It's all part of the digital currency settling into the mainstream.

"You can buy and sell just about anything you want with bitcoin", says Matthew. It smashed through the $4,500 barrier for the first time last week. Would it come as any great surprise to anybody if it hit $8,000 by the year's end? How about $10,000? Of course, when any asset is rising at quite that velocity, it's a sure sign that it's firmly in bubble-land.

If you're a regular reader of MoneyWeek magazine, you'll know all about how bubbles end. Perhaps you've decided to steer clear. So what if the bubble pops, you say. Sadly, it's not so simple, says Matthew. Even if you don't hold any bitcoins, there are three good reasons why you could still get burned by the cryptocurrency crashing back down to earth.

Nor is it just bitcoin. New digital currencies are being churned out all the time, as my colleague Ben Judge explains in this week's issue. These so-called "initial coin offerings", or ICOs, are the result of two trends in innovative finance: the growth of peer-to-peer lending and the birth of the blockchain the underlying technology behind bitcoin. It's beginning to resemble a bit of a free-for-all, says Ben. Still, it's worth watching how this exciting field develops. You can be sure MoneyWeek will be sticking with the story sign up now.

The drugs do work too well

President Donald Trump has declared an opioid crisis in America, notes Simon Wilson in this week's Briefing. Opioids are the often prescribed pain-killers, such as Vicodin, Percocet and oxycodone. But they also include the very-much illegal drug, heroin, and they are all ultimately derived from opium. That's led to a lot of Americans getting hooked on the stuff. How much is "a lot"? Well, over a third of Americans that's 97 million people took opioid prescriptions in 2015, and the death rate from drug abuse is rising.

Ten years ago, one US drugs maker admitted to misleading the public over the risks of addiction, and forfeited $600m in damages. That was by no means the last case of that nature to go to court. Expect more to follow. Is Big Pharma having its Big Tobacco moment? Simon investigates.

It's writtenin the stars?

As usual, there's loads more in this week's issue of MoneyWeek magazine. MoneyWeek regular Max King tips the best ways to join the carnival of investors getting back into Brazil. My colleague Alice Grhns casts her eye over French oil giant Total's takeover of Danish shipping firm Maersk's oil business.

MoneyWeek's executive editor, John Stepek, examines whether there's any truth to the long-touted belief that lunar eclipses such as the one we've just had affect markets. And Ruth Jackson explains why it's worth keeping faith with cash Isas. So, don't delay sign up to MoneyWeek magazine now.

Chris Carter

Chris Carter spent three glorious years reading English literature on the beautiful Welsh coast at Aberystwyth University. Graduating in 2005, he left for the University of York to specialise in Renaissance literature for his MA, before returning to his native Twickenham, in southwest London. He joined a Richmond-based recruitment company, where he worked with several clients, including the Queen’s bank, Coutts, as well as the super luxury, Dorchester-owned Coworth Park country house hotel, near Ascot in Berkshire.

Then, in 2011, Chris joined MoneyWeek. Initially working as part of the website production team, Chris soon rose to the lofty heights of wealth editor, overseeing MoneyWeek’s Spending It lifestyle section. Chris travels the globe in pursuit of his work, soaking up the local culture and sampling the very finest in cuisine, hotels and resorts for the magazine’s discerning readership. He also enjoys writing his fortnightly page on collectables, delving into the fascinating world of auctions and art, classic cars, coins, watches, wine and whisky investing.

You can follow Chris on Instagram.