Martin Gilbert: most assets still look “reasonable” value

Only government bonds seem too expensive, says Martin Gilbert, vice chairman of Standard Life Aberdeen.

The biggest problem for many attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos is where to put their money, Martin Gilbert, the outgoing vice chairman of fund manager Standard Life Aberdeen, tells CNBC. Slow growth and low interest rates mean that wealthy individuals are struggling to find attractive investments, just like the rest of us – but they have options that smaller investors lack.

High net-worth individuals and large funds are continuing to shift out of publicly listed investments and into private holdings in sectors such as real estate and various forms of infrastructure, from student housing to airports. Nonetheless, Gilbert says that valuations in most assets still look “reasonable” to him and only government bonds seem too expensive.

Subscribe to MoneyWeek

Become a smarter, better informed investor with MoneyWeek.

Gilbert will leave Standard Life Aberdeen – created through the merger of Aberdeen Asset Management, which he co-founded in 1983, and Standard Life – later this year. He has already taken on a new role as non-executive chairman of Revolut, the fintech start-up that recently completed a new fundraising round valuing it at $5bn (£3.8bn).

Firms such as Revolut – which specialises in areas such as currency exchange but is expected to offer a wider range of services in future – are set for strong growth, Gilbert tells Scottish Business Insider. There should be big profit margins in banking for them to seize, since they are starting from scratch without the overheads of existing banks – although increasing scrutiny from regulators will soon bring added costs.



Investment strategy

How the fear of death affects our investment processes

Many of our investment decisions are driven by one simple fact: the knowledge that, one day, we will be dead. Here, in an extract from his new book, J…
2 Jan 2020

The good investments of the 2010s – and the bad

John Stepek takes a look back on which investments did well and which did badly in the decade that’s about to come to an end.
26 Dec 2019
Investment strategy

Great frauds in history: Jack Clark’s nursing homes

Jack Clark invented sales, inflated profits and produced fraudulent accounts at his chain of nursing homes to swindle investors out of hundreds of mil…
31 Mar 2020
Investment strategy

How to shield your portfolio from dividend disaster

As the coronavirus shutdown hammers corporate earnings, many dividends have been cut or face being suspended. John Stepek explains what to do if you’r…
31 Mar 2020

Most Popular


What does the coronavirus crisis mean for UK house prices?

With the whole country in lockdown, the UK property market is closed for business. John Stepek looks at what that means for UK house prices, housebuil…
27 Mar 2020

Coronavirus: what it means for your mortgage or your rent

Ruth Jackson-Kirby looks at all the key questions for owners, renters and landlords affected by the coronavirus crisis.
29 Mar 2020
Small business

Furlough: what does it mean and how does it affect me?

Many companies have “furloughed” employees after they have shut down because of the coronavirus. But what does furlough mean and how does the scheme w…
30 Mar 2020

Three things matter for the UK housing market now – and “location” isn’t one of them

The UK housing market is frozen. And when it does eventually thaw out, the traditional factors that drive prices will no longer apply. The day of reck…
1 Apr 2020