Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 716

Japan goes for broke - how you can profit

6 November 2014 / Issue 716

It’s been a tough year for Japan, but an expanded QE programme and a falling oil price mean investors should stay put, says John Stepek. Read this week's cover story here.
PLUS:
• The next big threat to Europe – a Spanish divorce
• Is it really worth paying off our war debt?
• The man top CEOs call when they need motivating

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Excerpt

Merryn Somerset WebbEDITOR'S LETTER

Merryn Somerset Webb

Judge less and buy more

A few days after the Bank of Japan’s decision to step up its quantitative-easing programme, I interviewed hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry (the interview will appear in the magazine in the next few weeks, and there will also be a video available to subscribers).

Last year, Hugh rather stunned his investors – who like to think of him as a counterweight to the optimistically minded investors they also have money with – when he wrote to them saying he had become very bullish on global stockmarkets.

At the time he explained his thinking as being a simple result of the tendency of the global economy to deflation (due to post-bubble deleveraging), and the tendency of the world’s central banks to react to such deflation with increasingly radical monetary measures.

Once, cutting interest rates below 5% was seen as pretty feisty. Now negative interest rates (where you pay the bank to keep your money) aren’t thought remotely odd – one bank in Germany charges savers 0.25% if they have balances over €500,000 – and if you aren’t printing money, you aren’t doing your job.

As long as this central-bank battle with deflation continues, most equities can really only rise. Or as Hugh puts it, “the structural deficiency of global demand continues to radicalise the central-banking community: you need to own stocks”.

So what does Hugh have to say now? Much the same. 

• Read the full editor’s letter here: Judge less and buy more