Today at the MoneyWeek Wealth Summit

MoneyWeek Wealth Summit

If you didn’t manage to get a ticket to today’s MoneyWeek Wealth Summit, then frankly, you’ve missed out. Below is just a taste of what went on.

It’s been a busy morning at the MoneyWeek wealth summit. After introductions, Merryn led a panel discussion with a long-time MoneyWeek contributor James Ferguson, the Financial Times’ Gillian Tett and Conservative MEP Dan Hannan on the turbulent political and economic world we live in, what it means for your money and what you can do about it.

The discussion touched on many themes: whether young people should vote for Jeremy Corbyn; China’s economy; Trump and trade sanctions; the big tech companies, and, inevitably, Brexit (despite Merryn’s attempts to steer the conversation in a more global direction).

The panel were generally agreed that a new cold war is brewing. Things are going to get very different.

Beware the coming debt crisis

Next up was Russell Napier and his thoughts on debt. It’s fair to say Russell isn’t an optimist. A debt crisis is coming or, at least, there is a 50/50 chance of one somewhere in the world in the next three years. The trouble isn’t so much government debt as private sector debt. Russell outlined where the main problems lie – the eurozone is of particular concern, for example, because of the long-standing issues with the single currency. China is high on the list too, And Bono has almost single-handedly thrust the Netherlands into the danger zone, too.

Russell returned to the theme of a new Cold War. It has already has begun. China will at some point inevitably float the renminbi. And when that happens, the long-standing bull market will come to a sudden stop.

Financial repression is coming – the currently fashionable “modern monetary theory” (MMT) is part of it, so stash your money somewhere safe. Russell recommends Singapore.

Why we like investment trusts

After a break for coffee, Merryn was joined by four eminent investment trust managers to discuss the pros and cons (though mainly pros, seeing as we’re big fans of investment trusts at MoneyWeek), and how you can avoid another Woodford debacle,

Investment trust pros include their ability to use gearing which can multiply gains; the fact that their structure lets them take a much longer view than is possible in an open-ended fund; the advantages when holding illiquid assets; and the fact that their boards (usually) look after the interests of the shareholders rather than the interests of the fund managers.

Each manager let us in what some of their trusts’ best holdings are, and gave a few tasty share tips for the audience to take home with them.

How to profit as we all live longer

Rounding off the morning session was investor and author Jim Mellon. He explained what he believes are the three big themes of our times: climate change, “clean meat” and longevity. Returns from investing in climate change have been “repressed” he says because in many ways its a mature market, with many institutional investors. “Clean meat” – meat grown in a lab from animal stem cells is interesting. And “Moo’s Law” dictates that the pace of development will accelerate very quickly, and the price will drop dramatically.

But what really excites Jim is longevity. His latest book, Juvenescence, deals with the fact that we’re living longer. And recent advances in science mean that realistically, many of us will live to be 120. Jim talked us through some of the science, and picked a few companies that he thinks could be worth a punt.