Storm-tossed: how will our plucky portfolios fare in such choppy waters?

All at sea

Just two forces will determine how the ‘storm-tossed barque’ of your portfolio fares in the choppy waters ahead. One of…

14 Nov 2015
A reassurance: Ben Bernanke

Clueless and uncertain

During his time as the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke was notable for taking bold, often controversial…

14 Nov 2015

Thinking ahead

As the nights draw in and the year-end approaches, we should all take stock of how our finances fared in…

14 Nov 2015
Yes, yes, yes: Margaret Thatcher campaigning before Britain’s last European referendum in 1975

Bray new world

The City will crumble as major banks decamp for Frankfurt and Paris. Japanese car makers will rip up their British…

14 Nov 2015
Industrial revolution: gas from shale — as here in Pennsylvania — has transformed the US energy economy

To frack or not to frack

What a curious world we live in. It is now conventional wisdom that we have all embarked on a journey…

14 Nov 2015
Wheels of fortune: Keith Richards poses in 1967 with his Bentley Continental ‘Flying Spur’, which sold for £600,000 at auction this year

Marques that touch the heart

Buying a beautiful car that speaks of a bygone era of motoring style is for many people the fulfilment of…

14 Nov 2015
Because I’m worth it: an art deco emerald and diamond necklace sold for over £300,000 at Christie’s in 2007

Sparkling value

We all know diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But what can they do for your investment portfolio? Jewels have…

14 Nov 2015

Trough oil: time to buy the black stuff

Right, here goes. I’m saying it. Now is the time to buy the black stuff. Yes, I know — people…

14 Nov 2015

In praise of broom cupboards

Eric Pickles would not make the ideal occupant of the original London broom cupboard — a 60 square-foot former janitor’s…

14 Nov 2015

My FTSE prediction? I don’t have a clue

Seasonal madness is soon upon us. No, not the Christmas spending splurge, but the time when City strategists are asked…

14 Nov 2015

Choices, perspectives and dreams

After pension rules were relaxed by George Osborne in April, savers were reported to be ‘cashing in their pension pots’…

3 Oct 2015
Myth and modernity: China is feared and revered by the West

The next horizon

Given that the chaos which engulfed China over the summer included the bursting of the stock-market bubble, a double currency…

3 Oct 2015

After the Brics, the real growth story

As acronyms go, it wasn’t quite up there with Abba, named after the four founders of Sweden’s greatest export. For…

3 Oct 2015
Crowd fever: Hindus at India’s Janmashtami festival form a human pyramid to claim a pot of prize money.

Is it wise to follow the crowd?

Investors are pouring into the crowdfunding arena. Barely five years old, the sector is growing in the UK at an…

3 Oct 2015

The minimalist optimist

When you put your money into an actively managed investment fund, it’s as well to remember that you are putting…

3 Oct 2015

Sail away

You see them in harbours from the Med to the Caribbean: retired British couples sitting on their yachts sipping gin…

3 Oct 2015
Eclipse, foaled in 1764, was an ancestor of 95 per cent of thoroughbredsracing today

A business of dreams

The buying, selling and training of the thoroughbred racehorse is a multibillion-pound global concern that tends to be 18 months…

3 Oct 2015
Worth a lot of notes: Yehudi Menuhin tries out a Stradivarius at Sotheby’s in 1971

Fiddle fanciers

As with vintage wines, there is a finite supply of violins made before 1785 by acknowledged craftsmen such as Antonio…

A boom in naughty weekends

As with the awkward play-off between the possession and consumption of cake, there is a conundrum behind most property investment:…

3 Oct 2015

Teaching prudence at primary school

As a mother of two, I’m discovering that education has changed dramatically since my 1970s schooldays. Maths is now called ‘numeracy’;…

3 Oct 2015

Mad politics make betting fun

Never mind ‘Tories for Corbyn’: what about gamblers for Corbyn? We all know the new Labour leader was a 200-1…

3 Oct 2015
More downside than upside: knife jugglers at a fair in Texas

Catching falling knives

There is a curious pleasure to be had watching stocks plummet — as long as you don’t own them. It’s…

3 Oct 2015

A season of new optimism

How long will the post-election rally last before the next round of market jitters kick in? Whether it’s ‘Grexit, Brexit,…

23 May 2015
Counting the cost: Labour offered nothing for the aspiring middle class

Conservative gains

At a party in London’s St James’s on election night, the many senior business figures present were ecstatic. We’d had…

23 May 2015
Missing man: Carney’s policies matter as much as Osborne’s

Like Christmas, but not in a good way

Well, few saw that coming. After a drearily overlong campaign, election night managed to surprise us after all. This election…

23 May 2015
A sudden glut: the shale revolution has come at a time when western oil demand is falling

Big Oil: not over yet

It was the kind of megadeal that sets pulses racing in the City. When in early April the oil giant…

23 May 2015