In this week's MoneyWeek magazine: how to pick the stars of the future; cash in as the world lives longer; and a veteran fund you shouldn't ignore.
Plus, a look at the world's third-biggest cryptocurrency; the hidden risks of exchange-traded funds (ETFs); and three unusual bonds for large investors.
All that, plus the usual roundup of news, views and analysis from the markets, politics and economics; share tips, personal finance, property and more. Why not sign up now?
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How to invest in the next Google while it's still small
Investing in small companies is a risky endeavour, says Frederic Guirinec in this week's cover story. Sure, there are some attractive tax breaks, but "the risk return is not always appealing the ratio of losses to gains is high and the volatility of returns is significant". It takes insight and experience to identify good prospects, and investors to be patient and be prepared to hold their investments for years. But nevertheless, there's still a lot of demand for this type of investment. If that includes you, take a look at this week's cover story, where Frederic picks six of the best startup funds around at the moment.
Sip from the fountain of youth
Life expectancy has doubled in just a few generations - that's a trend that will continue, and which offers investors plenty of opportunities, says Merryn Somerset Webb. This week, she talks to investor and author Jim Mellon. He, along with Al Chalabi, has written a book: Juvenescence: Investing in the Age of Longevity. It looks at how to boost your chances of living to a hundred. But more importantly, it outlines three portfolios conservative, moderate and speculative with ideas on what to buy and what to avoid if you want to take advantage of this trend. If you want to know more, have a look here.
Don't ignore this veteran fund
Fund launches are exciting things (if that's the sort of thing that excites you) and they can generate a lot of press. But the world is full of funds that have been around for ages, that can generate decent returns for investors, but just aren't sexy enough for financial journalists to cover. They get forgotten and fall by the wayside. But that's a shame, says David C Stevenson. This week, he looks at one such fund, a value fund that invests in fast-growing private businesses. Find out what it is here.
The world's third-biggest cryptocurrency
I image you've heard of bitcoin. Let's face it who hasn't? It's been hyped up to the eyeballs in the last year or two. And, let's face it, anything that returns over 700% in a year is probably worth a few column inches. You may also have heard of it's slightly less famous cousin, ether. It' the world's second-biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, and it's done even better than bitcoin, climbing over 2,700% in the last year. But what about ripple? It's a curious cryptocurrency that's risen 3,300%. I take a look at what it is and why it's doing so well - read more here.
The hidden risks of ETFs
Passive investment is all the rage - it accounts for more than a third of equity investments under management in the US. And much of the passive money is being shovelled into exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Now, some people are asking if it's such a good idea. That much money in passive funds, they argue, is "distorting the market", and could play a major part int he next financial crisis. Are we right to worry? This week, John Stepek looks at the dangers of ETFs.
There's a lot more, obviously. Oliver Butt picks three bonds that offer high returns and an interesting story; Ruth Jackson investigates flexible Isas, and Emma Lunn looks at the "estate agent cartel". There's our usual pages of luxury spending at the back - Chris Carter goes to Vietnam; we look at eight of the best castles for sale right now, and Matthew Jukes picks three affordable wines from an "iconic winery".
I hope that's given you flavour of this week's magazine if you like what you see, why not sign up now?
Ben studied modern languages at London University's Queen Mary College. After dabbling unhappily in local government finance for a while, he went to work for The Scotsman newspaper in Edinburgh. The launch of the paper's website, scotsman.com, in the early years of the dotcom craze, saw Ben move online to manage the Business and Motors channels before becoming deputy editor with responsibility for all aspects of online production for The Scotsman, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News websites, along with the papers' Edinburgh Festivals website.
Ben joined MoneyWeek as website editor in 2008, just as the Great Financial Crisis was brewing. He has written extensively for the website and magazine, with a particular emphasis on alternative finance and fintech, including blockchain and bitcoin. As an early adopter of bitcoin, Ben bought when the price was under $200, but went on to spend it all on foolish fripperies.
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