October 2019: a lousy month

October looked kind of fine, for key equity markets, in local currencies. The S&P hit record highs, for no particularly obvious reason. The the Europe (ex UK) MSCI index went up almost 3%.

However the big news in October was the pound, which rose against everybody. Against the USD, it was up 5%.

So in pound terms, the major overseas equity markets fell.

How about the UK FTSE market? Sadly that fell too, by almost 2%.

Bonds fell off a little bit too, almost everywhere.

So from a pound investor point of view, there was basically nothing going up this month. The markets + forex average (for my weighted alloocation) was -2.4%.

Against a weighted market average of -2.4%, my own portfolio‘s drop of 1.6% must be something to be thankful for. Sigh.


Sep 2019/Q3 review

Well, September was fun wasn’t it.  Proroguing is now A Thing.  Impeachment is back.  The r word is in the media.  

From a markets point of view, nothing dramatic happened in September. Currency movements hit my GBP-denominated portfolio by about 1% in September, as the GBP gained a little against the other major currencies. Equities were pretty strongly up – 2.4% across my mix. Fixed income fell a little off recent highs. My portfolio tracked these market movements closely, rising 1.3% in total.

Returns by asset class/geography, Sep 2019
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July 2019: 3rd best month yet

Boris is bashing the pound, Trump is bashing the global economy. Who’d invest in anything, in this environment?

Well, when the Brexiteers pummel the pound, us globally diversified investors tend to do alright – provided we measure our progress in pounds! And FTSE-100 does alright too. This month was no exception; the GBP fell over 4% versus the USD, and FTSE rose over 2% partly as a consequence.

Bonds went up too, particularly in Europe (inc UK, obvs) – for reasons I’m not sure about.

Elsewhere was a bit more of a mixed bag – Oz equities steamed ahead, European/Asian equities sagged, the US shuffled forward.

Currency movements alone moved the markets I’m in up 2.7%, in GBP terms. Though the UK FTSE rose over 2%, my UK equity weighting is relatively low, so the diversified markets I’m in rose ‘only’ 1.1% in their local currencies during July (more thanks to bonds, than equities!). Combining the two effects means my market benchmark was a gain of 3.9% in July. Such months don’t happen often.

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