EDITOR'S LETTERMerryn Somerset Webb
MoneyWeek’s new look
Over the last few months we’ve been taking a good look at ourselves. We liked what we saw. But not quite enough. So we’ve made a few changes. Eagle-eyed readers will notice a couple of new fonts, a few different colours, some new features on the regular pages and several entirely new pages. We look exclusively at investing in property, for example (key message: avoid London!) and you will find the first in a series of beginner’s guides for those who are just starting out in investing. I hope you’ll like the new look – and that you will (as ever) feel free to complain vigorously if you do not.
However, I also hope that as you read this week’s issue, you will see that our core values remain unchanged. We are committed to cutting through the endless stream of nonsense that pours out of the financial sector; to finding you the best investments we can (whether you are a passive investor, an active fund investor or a stockpicker) at the best prices; to keeping you up to date on the endless changes to the tax regimes around all your investments (your pension in particular right now!); and helping you to build wealth – even in the face of government policies that seem determined to stop you doing so. We want all our readers to end up rich.
So you can find out more about the best (and most undervalued) industrial stocks in the UK. Then move to where Matthew Lynn looks at a couple of exciting but almost entirely overlooked European economies. It is, he says, time to stop thinking of Prague and Bratislava as top city-break destinations and to start thinking of them as homes to the stockmarkets that might perk up your pension. Also in the magazine, I interview Gary Channon, manager of the Phoenix UK Fund (which is not open to retail investors) and, as of a few months ago, the Aurora Investment Trust (which is).
Channon is a rare thing – a genuine value investor (everyone says they look for value, almost no one is brave enough to really do it) making proper money for his long-term investors out of careful, concentrated stockpicking. His new fund (Aurora) also suggests he and his firm have sufficient confidence in their abilities to be genuinely imaginative on fees: you won’t pay a fee to them at all if they don’t outperform.
Not all managers will be able to match this bet quite so boldly – Phoenix makes more than enough money on its other fund to keep it going while it sees how this one does. But I suspect we will soon see other managers having a go at cutting their fees too – read the article on the rise of robo-advisers, something that should be a major catalyst for this. Finally, for those who can still cope with reading about Brexit, we look at how it would affect Britain’s farmers.