This week in MoneyWeek magazine: how to pick the best new media stocks; how nationalist politics can damage your wealth; and what to do with your dud stocks.
All that, plus the usual news, features, share tips and comment, can be yours if you take out a subscription. You’ll get the magazine, the smartphone app and access to the MoneyWeek website. Why not give it a try now?
New media: don’t believe the hype
Big huge mega new-media firm Snap listed on the New York Stock Exchange this week. It makes Snapchat, an app for mobile phones that allows young whippersnappers to send pictures to each other, which then delete themselves. That’s pretty much all it does.
Anyway, the launch price was $17 a share. As soon as trading opened, the price shot up $24, which values the company at a mind-boggling $28bn.
A good deal, you might think. But consider Twitter. That rose by 60% soon after listing. Since then, it’s been downhill all the way. It’s lost 75% of its value since then. Shares in Facebook, by contrast, have risen by over 250% since launch.
So how on earth are you supposed to work out which ones will live up to the hype, and which new media stocks are just a load of hot air? Rupert Foster explains. Find out what he has to say with a subscription to MoneyWeek magazine.
The real threat to investors (and everyone else)
Since 2008, says Jonathan Compton, “nationalistic messages have appealed increasingly to domestic voters”. Here in the UK we’ve got our own jolly band of British Brexiteers. France has LePen. The Netherlands has Wilders. And over the water, there’s the Great Tango himself. And let’s not forget Putin. All banging an anti-globalisation, “us first” drum.
And while it’s true that globalisation has hit many communities in the developed world hard, “the answers do not lie in blaming foreign elements for domestic problems”, says Jonathan. In fact, history shows that “taking our current direction is barking mad”. There are direct parallels with the 1930s, he says. The nationalism of those times led to a belief that foreign workers were taking Americans’ jobs. Protectionist laws were passed, things went downhill very quickly and the Great Depression was born.
Now, growth in world trade is slowing. Some of that is understandable. But the imposition of restrictive trade measures and barriers to foreign direct investment are also partly to blame. And “no economy has ever thrived” as a result of a reversal of foreign investment. “The current mood in many countries”, says Jonathan, “is the greatest single threat to investors, wherever they may live.” Read more in MoneyWeek magazine.
What to do with your dud stocks
No matter how good an investor you are, if you’re picking stocks, then one or two of them will turn out to be duds. In this week’s investment strategy, executive editor John Stepek looks at what you should do if it happens to you. He outlines three rules to follow for every stock to make sure that even if you do end up holding a wrong ‘un, you keep your losses to a minimum. Find out what they are with a subscription to MoneyWeek magazine.
Give Alliance Trust another chance, ditch Premium Bonds, and don’t write off annuities
Elsewhere, David Stevenson looks at Alliance Trust. It’s been in the news for all the wrong reasons, and many investors have abandoned it. But maybe it’s time to give it another chance, he says. Ruth Jackson talks about Premium bonds and suggests that while they’ve long had a place in the nation’s hearts, it’s time to move your money elsewhere. And David Prosser has dome good news for those approaching retirement – annuity rates have begun bouncing back, meaning people who cash in their savings today could get “substantially higher pensions”.
Help to buy, pairs trading pubs and the future of insurance
And that’s not all, of course. Sarah Moore asks, just who has the government’s “Help to Buy” scheme actually helped? Matthew Partridge’s trading page looks at a “pairs trade” in the pubs sector. And I examine the future of insurance. You may have heard of “fintech” – the marriage of finance and technology. Now meet “insurtech”. It’s not the most elegant of names, but technology will significantly change the way we buy insurance and the way the industry works.
There’s all the usual features, too – the best of the share tips from around the rest of the UK’s press, plus politics, economics, markets and five pages of property, travel, toys and wine.