I’m sorry to have to tell you that, while I hope you will find MoneyWeek as entertaining as usual this week, you aren’t going to find much in the way of good news in it.
Look to our cover story and you will see that if you are in bonds, there is a strong chance you are about to lose a great deal of money. Next we update you on the currency wars, the almost inevitable result of which is inflation everywhere.
If you don’t find that quite depressing enough for your taste, you can find out why our own currency is likely to be one of the big winners in the currency wars and the value of the pound in your pocket is going to trickle away as a result.
Otherwise, if you can bear it, you can read all the way to the end of the cover story to see how the collapses of the multi-decade bull market could spark a nasty emerging crisis. Finally, you might flick through our news pages and have a think about what happens to markets next week if Berlusconi wins back power in Italy.
According to Matthew Lynn writing on MarketWatch.com (his MoneyWeek column this week tackles the mansion tax), the resulting anti-austerity, anti-euro drive will “shatter the bull market” and “trigger losses right across the world”. Yikes.
Lead indicators for Britain's economy
There’s more. We’ll look at this in more detail next week, but earlier this week, the most recent Credit Suisse Global Investment Returns Yearbook was released. Its conclusion on long-term equity returns over the next 20 to 30 years? You’ll be lucky to get 3.5% after inflation.
There are practical things you can do to protect your investments in the face of all this (diversify your currency exposure, for starters), but one of the main things to bear in mind at all times is cost. If your returns are going to come in at 3%, you most certainly don’t want to be spending 2% on fees. We look at a few fund management companies that have 'seen the light' on this one and have introduced new lower-looking fee structures.
But before you get too excited about this, it is worth looking again at the investment-trust sector. Not only do investment trusts as a whole regularly outperform unit trusts, but they have long offered better value too. That’s something that looks set to continue.
One of the things that has long irritated me about large funds is the way that they refuse to recognise economies of scale by cutting fees as their funds grow. That’s not the case for investment trusts. Nearly 10% of them get cheaper as they get bigger. I like that.
I have a list of the 10% and have put up a short list of the ones I particularly like here.
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