Jonathan Davis

Investment special: Springtime for stockbrokers

You know you’re in a bull market when bad news is simply shrugged aside and even the most indifferent events are greeted exuberantly. The result of February’s Italian general election, which drags the future of the eurozone back into question, would have induced market panic had it come nine months ago. But the world’s equity

Markets love lame ducks

Next week’s too-close-to-call US presidential election must make a big difference to the way stock and bond markets perform over the next few years — or so you might think. Yet experience suggests that investors should probably stifle a yawn rather than place too much significance on whether Obama or Romney comes out ahead. In

Profit among the ruins

The place to look for investment bargains, said the fund manager Sir John Templeton, is not where the news is good, but where it is really bad. Today that means looking for advantage amid the volatility and extreme valuations which the crisis in the embattled eurozone has brought in its wake. The strikes and riots

Investment Special: Contrarianism pays

When pessimism prevails, it’s probably time to buy If one thing puzzles private investors more than anything else, it is the extraordinary capacity of the stock market to move in ways that appear to follow no discernible logic. ‘Profits Up, Shares Tumble’, or even ‘World War Declared, Stocks Rise’: such headlines understandably confuse the uninitiated.

The risk of cataclysm has not gone away

Even before the world’s stock markets had their latest wobble two weeks ago, an interesting debate was gaining currency at some lunch tables in the City. As always, the debate in the moneyed classes is primarily about risk. It’s only those without money who spend their time worrying about beating the market and making the

Investment special: Be very afraid

In The Fear Index, the latest thriller by Robert Harris, now heading for the Christmas bestseller lists, a brainbox hedge fund manager with little in the way of interpersonal skills discovers that his computer-driven trading system has flown out of control and threatens to send the world’s stock markets into a tailspin. Anyone familiar with

Investment Special: Bottom fishing

Here’s the good news. Share prices are falling. Investors are panicking. Talk of crisis dominates the headlines. These are precisely the conditions in which bargains tend to become available on the stock market. Just as history is written by the victors, so the day-to-day stock-market narrative is written from the perspective of those with most

INVESTMENT SPECIAL: Anything but gilts

In search of the next ‘trade of the decade’ Imagine you were sitting in St Paul’s at the 1981 royal wedding, waiting for the mismatched bridal couple to arrive and idly speculating about the best way to save up for a wedding present for their first-born, a generation hence. The odds are you would not

INVESTMENT SPECIAL: This time he’s playing for keeps

For the outspoken Terry Smith, successful investing means never having to say ‘sell’ Terry Smith’s office is high up in Tower 42, formerly the NatWest tower, in Old Broad Street. It has a sweeping view over Docklands towards Essex, the neck of the woods with which he seems to be associated in the popular mind.

INVESTMENT SPECIAL: Brazilian adventure

An intrepid investor’s response to the global food shortage Entrepreneurs are prone to imaginative recruitment, so when the invitation to pack my bags for Buenos Aires came through, it should not perhaps have taken me by surprise. I have known Jim Slater, the veteran investor-entrepreneur, for several years. We meet periodically to discuss the stock

Trying not to be too clever

Before he became one of London’s most admired fund managers, Jonathan Ruffer had, by his own account, two spectacularly unsuccessful spells as a barrister. Not long into our interview, I gain a clue as to why this seemingly harsh self-assessment might be true. We’re discussing the credit crunch, which he predicted well before it hit,

Time to invest in the UK again — or to spread your money abroad?

Jonathan Davis thinks this week’s Budget will prove positive for British investors, but that it’s increasingly important to take a global view of markets and currencies There was nothing in George Osborne’s emergency Budget on Tuesday to contradict the idea that the transition from Labour to Conservative (or in this case Conservative-led) governments tends to

Is now the time to buy back into China?

One tried and tested rule in investment is that the bigger and more widely shared the worry, the less likely it is to be realised. Remember Y2K and the Sars epidemic? Both produced warnings of global disaster. Neither turned out to be anything like the threat that doomsters had predicted. Contrast that with the subprime

A masterclass with the adventure capitalist

Jonathan Davis talks to globetrotting investment guru Jim Rogers about the bull market in commodities, China’s rise to superpower status — and how America lost the plot ‘What do they know of England who only England know?’ Kipling’s question, with its powerful message that true knowledge of a locality can only come with the perspective

Spend more time in the library

Where do most investors go wrong in making their investment decisions? Warren Buffett, whom many like to think of as the world’s most successful stock market investor, has no doubts. People need to spend more time with their nose in a book, thinking about the way the world works, and less time looking at the

Oxbridge investors fail to win glittering prizes

Jonathan Davis says that if Britain’s ancient universities want to remain world-class, they should take tutorials from Harvard and Yale in how to invest their endowments Devotees of the diaries of Harold Nicolson and Alan Clark will feel that they know the cramped apartments at the Albany in Piccadilly as a vicarious second home. It

Toys for boys who play the markets

Twelve years ago, on a rainy afternoon when nothing much else seemed to be happening, I abandoned my desk in Canary Wharf for a few hours in order to track down a new and obscure betting operation somewhere off the Mile End Road. The managing director was a large, florid man in his late forties.

The perma-bear who sees the ice melting

We’re barely ten seconds into our interview when Jeremy Grantham, one-time bedpan salesman from Doncaster, now hugely successful US money manager, is off on a favourite tack — mixing it with his competitors in the investment world. In this case what has drawn his ire are some reported comments from a well-known American fund manager