How long can the good times roll?

Despite all the doom and gloom that has dominated our headlines for most of 2019, Britain and most of the rest of the developing world is currently enjoying what has been a very long economic expansion.

Boris Johnson final election speech, London, UK - 11 Dec 2019

Britain will definitely be leaving the EU in 2020
(Image credit: Copyright (c) 2019 Shutterstock. No use without permission.)

Regular readers will know I have a tendency to look for the downside in most investment situations. But from an investor's point of view, it's very hard to be anything other than deeply relieved about last week's general election result. Regardless of who you voted for, you have to accept that the outcome delivers on the thing that markets crave more than anything else some certainty.

We now know that the UK isn't about to embark on a campaign of wholesale renationalisation. We now know that most voters aren't naive enough to look at a seemingly endless list of electoral bribes and simple solutions to complicated problems without wondering about the credibility of those making the promises. And we now know that whatever else happens, Britain will leave the European Union (EU), thus showing that our democracy is not broken as many have claimed in the last few years, but in fact working pretty much as it is supposed to ie, facilitating change in power structures without the need for violent revolution.

There's always plenty to worry about

There's no way of knowing. But on the upside, Britain even after the post-election bounce still looks cheap relative to other markets. So if you've been avoiding the UK because of Jeremy Corbyn or the Brexit chaos, now looks a good time to bring some of that money back home for some ideas on how to do it, see this week's cover story.

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That said, don't bring too much of your money home too many investors have too much cash invested in their own country and if you do stick to the UK then you'll miss out on the opportunity to invest in some of the fantastic ideas dished up by our regular contributors in this week's magazine. Our editor, Andrew, reckons Poland is looking good. Our columnist Mike takes a closer look at biotechnology. Crislooks at Singaporean real estate, while Richard checks out a cheap global consumer goods company and that'sjust a handful of the ideas they've comeup with.

Next week's special New Year double issue features one of the best roundtable discussions we've had yet. Meanwhile, a very Merry Christmas to you all.

John Stepek

John is the executive editor of MoneyWeek and writes our daily investment email, Money Morning. John graduated from Strathclyde University with a degree in psychology in 1996 and has always been fascinated by the gap between the way the market works in theory and the way it works in practice, and by how our deep-rooted instincts work against our best interests as investors.

He started out in journalism by writing articles about the specific business challenges facing family firms. In 2003, he took a job on the finance desk of Teletext, where he spent two years covering the markets and breaking financial news. John joined MoneyWeek in 2005.

His work has been published in Families in Business, Shares magazine, Spear's Magazine, The Sunday Times, and The Spectator among others. He has also appeared as an expert commentator on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, BBC Radio Scotland, Newsnight, Daily Politics and Bloomberg. His first book, on contrarian investing, The Sceptical Investor, was released in March 2019. You can follow John on Twitter at @john_stepek.