Alex Brummer

Should you invest in nuclear power companies? 

Power companies are the new banks as far as the public is concerned — but does that mean they’re not worth putting your money in? In any troubled marketplace there are always stocks to be picked, but current political turbulence makes that an unusually tough challenge in the UK energy sector. Much anger is currently

What can we expect from Mark Carney?

What the Mark Carney era may offer is a little bit more predictability on monetary policy. Under Mervyn King the main guidance came from the Bank’s quarterly Inflation Report press conferences, MPC minutes, and speeches by committee members. Under the Bank’s new remit, set by the Chancellor in the March budget, it’s likely that Carney, like Bernanke,

Investment special: Gaining from a housing recovery

The long period of dormancy for Britain’s housing market looks as if it is coming to an end — though there are huge regional differences. Central London remains exceptional, with the influx of overseas buyers into Kensington, Chelsea and adjoining neighbourhoods creating a microclimate of surging prices that has little to do with economic fundamentals

Turning toxic again

Five years after the run on Northern Rock, four years after the epoch-making crash of Lehman Brothers, the clouds over Britain’s banking sector remain as dark as ever. We may have been the first country to recapitalise our banks when the crisis struck, but as the years have unfurled the sheer scale of the legacy

Danger in the mines

The London Stock Exchange recently unveiled a glossy new guide to best practice in corporate governance for companies quoted on its platforms. This must be regarded as a timely exercise, given the increasing domination of the FTSE100 by natural resources groups with operations in the most exotic corners of the world. In its desire to

Investment Special: Patently profitable

Here is something you may have missed if your eyes have been focused on the gyrations in bond and equity markets as euroland crises have come, gone and come again. The S&P 500 telecoms and IT index, the bellwether of digital stocks, has climbed 120 per cent from its 2009 low. All of us who

Investment Special: The great savings robbery

The prudent among us can’t expect much reward from the Budget Three years ago, when the Bank of England embarked on its first £200 billion round of quantitative easing (QE), most of us — including some Bank officials — hadn’t a clue how this relatively untried policy would work. There were dire predictions from monetarist

Investment special: Flying through storms

The financial crisis has unleashed a great debate about rebalancing Britain’s economy. The conventional wisdom is that our prosperity during the Nice decade (non-inflationary continuous expansion, that is) was over-dependent on finance and that we need to refocus our attention on high-quality manufacturing. Under New Labour, and the Tories before them, manufacturing was allowed to

Investment Special: The social network bubble

It’s an irritating daily occurrence. The names of two or three people I barely know pop up in my inbox asking me to join their ‘professional network’, LinkedIn. Early on, I was tempted by the idea that being part of this family might widen my range of contacts, and perhaps also my story-gathering capacity. But

INVESTMENT SPECIAL: Nature’s risks and rewards

A beginner’s guide to investing in commodities The arrival on the London Stock Exchange of the Swiss-based mining and commodities behemoth Glencore, valued at £40 billion, has provided a rare insight into the mysteries of the natural resources world. This remains a relatively little understood sector even though the first commodities trades can be traced

INVESTMENT SPECIAL: Passports to China

One of the remarkable statistics to emerge from the euroland crisis is the scale of UK trade with the Irish Republic. Export traffic across the Irish Sea amounts to 7 per cent of the total: more than all our trade with the fast growing ‘BRIC’ economies — Brazil, Russia, India and China. The consequence is

The bond supremacy

The crash has led to a new boom in corporate bonds. When Tesco’s debt yields more than its shares, every little helps When the Bank of England began its £200 billion programme of quantitative easing — ‘QE’, its technical name for printing money — at the height of the credit crisis in March last year,

Despite BP, high yields are still worth chasing

Alex Brummer says blue chip stocks that pay a handsome stream of dividends are — usually — a reliable bet First, I have a serious confession to make. For as long as I can remember, my informal advice to any UK investor considering a share purchase — particularly during the volatile years of the ‘great

Time to break the fat cats’ cartel

A few months ago I appeared on a panel organised by a leading firm of pay consultants, Hewitt New Bridge. The audience, in the City, was packed with ‘human resources’ directors, pay experts and members of ‘remuneration committees’ — the directors who set pay in leading public companies — among whom there was broad acceptance