The News Archive 

Skerritts View

  • Has The Ugly Contest Just Got Uglier?

    Skerritts View - December  2016

    The ugly contest appears to be a recurring theme in our monthly bulletins, having featured in the last two and now making its hat-trick appearance, but with the US election result one has to wonder whether the contest just got uglier. 

  • How’s The Ugly Contest Coming Along?

    Skerritts View - November 2016

    Last month we mentioned that we were in an ugly contest, with there being almost nothing attractive to buy in any market. Since then, virtually every market has gone up.

  • We’re In An Ugly Contest

    Skerritts View - October  2016

    So the September correction that was forecast didn’t happen. The market equivalent of Hurricane Matthew has passed us by. Does this mean that we can pack our brollies away and enjoy a clear sky Autumn? We’re not convinced.

  • A Correction is Coming

    Skerritts View - September 2016

    These are not our words, but those of BCA Research who have issued a report with that title. 

  • After the Speculation - The Reality

    Skerritts View - August 2016

    It’s a few weeks since we awoke on the morning of Friday June 24th to the news that the UK electorate had voted to leave the EU. 

  • It’s all About Brexit: At Least for Now

    Skerritts View - July 2016

    They think it’s all over, well it is now. The referendum that is, and after four months of vigorous campaigning on both sides, it’s probably fair to say that the result came as a surprise to most people, and certainly to markets. 

  • Leicester City and Brexit

    Skerritts View - June 2016

    Sterling has behaved in recent days as though it is a near certainty that the UK will vote to remain in the EU after the referendum in less than a month’s time. 

  • Negative Interest Rates – The Unintended Consequences

    Skerritts View - May 2016

    The whole idea of negative interest rates, as introduced by the Bank of Japan recently and mooted (if not actually quite reached) by the ECB, is one that our clients are struggling to understand.


  • Have We Missed Out?

    Skerritts View - April 2016

    In February’s edition we stated that, having witnessed the worst January for markets for twenty years or so, “we’re going to play it safe and treat any rally with suspicion, preferring to play safe and let others play the “buying opportunity” game in the short term.”


  • Brexit – It’s Not Whether We’re In Or Out That Will Cause Uncertainty

    Skerritts View - March 2016

    We’d love a Pound (or a Euro for that matter) every time we heard or read the word “Brexit” in the next four months.  Its’ coverage will be wider than Demis Roussos’s kaftan in the run-up to June 23rd and we don’t doubt that most people will be growing mighty weary of the in-out debate well before then.

  • If It looks Like A Bear, Sounds Like A Bear, and Feels Like a Bear...

    Skerritts View - February 2016

    Last month we wrote the following: “In our opinion, a market correction is a near certainty in 2016. It’s just a question of when, and by how much. And will a correction turn into a full blown bear market? We’re certainly due one.”

  • Will 2016 Be The Year Of Enlightenment?

    Skerritts View - January 2016

    At the time of writing this, we’re less than a week into the New Year yet it feels that the mood has been set for the rest of it. 


  • What Is “Normal” Any More?

    Skerritts View – December 2015

    In just a few short weeks since our last communication, a number of things have happened to make it even more difficult than usual to forecast what to expect in the coming weeks.

  • Bring The Washing In Or Get The Sandbags Out?

    Skerritts View - November 2015

    There is an air of pessimism around at the moment which is proving hard to shift. 

  • October, The Most Dangerous Of Months

    Skerritts View - November 2015

    What is it about October that makes it historically the most dangerous of months for investors? 

  • Not Exactly Unexpected

    Skerritts View - September 2015

    Well, that was exciting. There must have been some kind of record set in the last week of August as the media went into overdrive trying to find succinct ways to get the message across that the markets were acting somewhat turbulently. 

  • Chinese Whispers (Loud Ones)

    Skerritts View - August 2015

    It’s fascinating in the investment world how quickly we move on from one major worry to the next.

  • Feeling Nervous

    Skerritts View - July 2015

    We were speaking to a fund manager the other day and we came to a similar conclusion – it just feels as though something nasty is due to happen

  • What People Really Think

    Skerritts View - June 2015

    The surprise that followed the General Election result got us thinking about how people behave. There are two main aspects that have an influence on our job as investment advisers. 

  • So How Long Have You Got?

    Skerritts View - May 2015

    When this was written the result of the General Election was not known. Regardless of the result, it has got us thinking about something that we mentioned in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and which appears to remain a big problem in Society today – short termism.

  • And So It Begins

    Skerritts View -  April 2015

    The official countdown to the General Election began in the last week of March.  It seems to have been going for weeks already and by the time May 7th has come and gone we hope that the Great British public will have delivered a clear winner for no other reason than to avoid a re-run later in the year if an incohesive coalition is the outcome of indecision.  

  • A Bit Of Breathing Space

    Skerritts View - March 2015

    After a lively start to the year we appear to have reached a period whereby we can catch our breath before, no doubt, the fun and games begin once more. 

  • The UK Election Is A Worry

    Skerritts View - February 2015

    We’ve already seen the start of the countdown to the UK General Election on May 7th this year on numerous TV and radio programmes, and the noise is going to get louder and louder when the clocks go forward.

  • Some Simple Likes and Dislikes

    Skerritts View - January 2015

    2015 has got off to quite a volatile start, which no doubt sets the tone for the rest of the year. Perhaps the most striking feature to date has been the continuing collapse in the oil price. 

  • A Couple of Puzzles

    Skerritts View - December 2014

    We make no apology for leaning very heavily upon the excellent BCA Research for the content of this month’s despatch because they have produced a couple of excellent pieces recently which help to explain a couple of recurring questions that we are asked relating to future returns and inflation. 

  • Were The Ones That Were Right, Wrong?

    Skerritts View - November 2014

    We wrote last month that there was a massive divergence of opinion over whether the markets were primed for a major correction or were simply taking a breather on their way to rewardingly higher levels. 


  • A VERY Confusing Picture

    Skerritts View - October 2014

    We can’t remember a time when there has been such confusion amongst investors.  Usually you have a clear majority of those who are optimistic, or a clear majority on the pessimists’ side of the fence, but at the moment there appear to be equal numbers of people who are deeply pessimistic and those that are hyper-bullish.

  • What’s Normal?

    Skerritts View - September 2014

    There is an air of fatigue whenever interest rates are mentioned now. Ever since Ben Bernanke signalled last year that rates will be going up at some point, people have been speculating over when, by how far and for how long they will do so.

  • Being Aware Of Risk Does Not Mean Not Taking Any

    Skerritts View - August 2014

    We wrote last month about becoming more wary of markets at their current levels.  The reaction that it generated was interesting in that one or two readers thought that we were calling the top of the market and foresaw an imminent crash. 

  • SMILE and I’ll Do It

    Skerritts View - July 2014

    It’s beginning to get a little uncomfortable. Ever since the credit crunch of 2008 (amazingly nearly 6 years ago now – it seems so much more recent) and the onset of zero interest rates, and once the initial shock was digested, markets have been on a pretty strong bull run.

  • No Mention Of The World Cup

    Skerritts View - June 2014

    It’s June 2014 and I’ve promised not to mention the World Cup at all in this month’s bulletin.  FAIL. In promising not to mention it I’ve immediately broken that promise by mentioning it, albeit with the best of intentions. 


  • New Bubbles, Old Froth

    Skerritts View - May 2014

    It seems that nothing is allowed to go up in excess of 20% or so before warnings of bubbles begin to appear in the Press or on TV.


  • Remaining Risk Aware

    Skerritts View - April 2014

    The start of 2014 has reminded us all of one of the features of investment markets.  They tend to go up more slowly than they come down.  We tend to remember the down times more than the ups. However, there are more up times than down.  Let’s look at an example.

  • Playing Chicken In Kiev

    Skerritts View - March 2014

    OK, culinary quips don’t do justice to the gravity of the situation in Ukraine at the moment and we apologise if it appears insensitive, but we’re sure that no one will cry me a river over it.

  • A Wobble Or Something More Sinister?

    Skerritts View - February 2014

    2014 has got off to a somewhat unnerving start. January is traditionally a strong month in terms of stock market performance, but the latter half has seen some uncomfortably large downward movements, primarily due to the increased nervousness over the emerging markets that this newsletter has been predicting for some while now.

  • Looking Forward By Looking Back

    Skerritts View - January 2014

    Let’s start our forecast for 2014 by looking back at what we said this time last year. 

  • Dear Santa

    Skerritts View - December 2013

    It’s that time of year when all those good little investors put pen to paper to ask Santa to reward them with gifts aplenty for the New Year.  We’ve been able to take a peek at what this particular manager of discretionary funds is asking for.

  • Where Are The Investors Rushing To Get In?

    Skerritts View - November 2013

    Felix Wintle, manager of the Neptune US Opportunities fund, made a very good point recently.  Let’s put the comment into context first. We were discussing markets (unsurprisingly) and in particular their current lofty levels viewed historically. 

  • What’s Just Happened For The First Time In Ten Years?

    Skerritts View - October 2013

    We were wondering whether to run this as a competition to find the best answers but regrettably decided against it for reasons of timescale only.

  • A Surprising Finding

    Skerritts View  - September 2013

    The last couple of months have not been our best, to be honest, as our expectations about the US Dollar and gold have not played out. We are constantly monitoring our performance and it is this that has uncovered something that has surprised us.

  • Why Inflation Won’t Return Soon In The UK

    Skerritts View - August 2013

    Inflation is a bit like one of those creepy films – the kind where the heroine inexplicably goes in search of an unseen threat lurking outside in the garden or deep below in the cellar when by far the most sensible option is to lock the door and call for help.

  • It Was Never Going To Be Smooth

    Skerritts View - July 2013

    After a tremor in mid-May, we’ve seen a somewhat more dramatic response from markets in June as the realisation is dawning that QE will not last for ever. 

  • Correction, Blip Or The Beginning Of The End?

    Skerritts View - June 2013

    May 23rd 2013  saw a  savage 7% daily drop for Japanese equities, following smaller, yet still significant, declines across other markets.

  • The Euro Crisis: It’s All About Cleaning Your Room And Ice Cream

    Skerritts View - May 2013

    You can’t help but feel sorry for the ECB (no, not the English Cricket Board. We’re talking about the European Central Bank).

  • North Korea: The Computer Game Generation In Action

    Skerritts View - April 2013

    One can’t help thinking that we are witnessing the results of the computer game generation in action in North Korea at the moment. 

  • Italy – The Catalyst For A European Correction? We Think Not:

    Skerritts View - March 2013

    The electorate can be odd at times. It seems to struggle to separate make believe from reality when it comes to the ballot box.  

  • Andrew Merricks Comments On Investment Trusts

    Skerritts View - February 2013

    For advisers to remain independent, they must now having a working knowledge of investment trusts. A panel of financial advisers discuss how they approach investment trust due diligence, manage liquidity and handle discounts. 

  • Markets Fall – Panic; Markets Rise – Panic

    Skerritts View - February 2013

    We’re a strange breed, humans. When things go badly with our investments we panic and sell at the wrong time, only probably returning once they’ve shown some level of consistency in returning to where they were when we bailed out in the first place. 

  • How Did We Do In 2012?

    Skerritts View - January 2013

    When we take stock of how we did in 2012, it allows us a slight self-congratulatory bask in the knowledge that all of our tactical and benchmarked portfolios outperformed their targets over 12 months. 

  • The US - The New Europe

    Skerritts View - December 2012

    It may bit a bit of an exaggeration to describe the United States as the new Europe, but there are similarities between the two in market terms as the run up to the Fiscal Cliff resolution (or non-resolution) picks up pace. 

  • As We Go Into The Last Quarter

    Skerritts View - November 2012

    October is a notoriously dangerous month historically for markets, with more than one crash occurring around the same time as the clocks go back. 

  • That’s Europe Sorted. Now Then, What’s Next?

    Skerritts View - October 2012

    Well, OK, Europe might not exactly be sorted in the full meaning of the word, but a huge sigh of relief wafted across markets in mid-September when the ECB’s plans were passed as legal by the German court. 

  • Can You All Just Stay On Holiday?

    Skerritts View - September 2012

    Have you noticed how the nine week rally that we’ve seen on the European stock markets has coincided with the main players being on holiday and a concerted lack of summits?

  • No One Said It Would Be Easy

    Skerritts View - July 2012

    Looking back, it seems laughable that we harboured hope and expectation that the EU leaders would come to some conclusion about their debt crisis even as far back as a year ago. Summit number 19 carries about as much hope of a definitive cure as does an England penalty shoot-out. 

  • Europe Manages By Crisis

    Skerritts View - June 2012

    If anything has been demonstrated in recent years it is that  Europe manages itself by crisis. Because of the complex nature of the Eurozone, with everything having to be agreed by all parties despite the somewhat sizeable problem that they are rarely in the same place to do so, crises tend to come to a head before action to deal with them is agreed upon.  

  • Wasn’t Us Guv

    Skerritts View - May 2012

    Bashing bankers is integrated into UK society nowadays as much as cricket and Coronation Street.  They are collectively blamed for every woe that befalls us. UK back in recession?  Blame the bankers. 

  • Only The Fools Are Dancing, But the Bigger Fools Are Watching

    Skerritts View - April 2012

    This is one of those quotes that doesn’t stand much scrutiny and sounds better than it actually is, but we’ll use it nonetheless to summarise the 1st Quarter’s rally that we’ve just witnessed. 


  • Greek Fatigue?

    Skerritts View - March 2012

    After more than five months of negotiations, the inevitable happened.  Having realised that the country simply didn’t have enough money to service its debts, its creditors agreed to taking a 50% “haircut” – loss to you and I – on what they were owed and agreed to extend the period of the loans by some 30 years to help spread the impact. 

  • Tiptoeing Through A Minefield

    Skerritts View - February 2012

    It really does feel like we’re tiptoeing through a minefield right now. From an investor’s point of view, we know that we’re not going to get anywhere by standing still, but we can hear the bangs going off all around us. 


  • Happy New Year?

    Skerritts View January 2012

    2012 seems to have been coming for ever. The year is etched in our minds from the countless references to it, as, of course, this is our Olympic year. 


  • No Such Thing As Risk Free

    Skerritts View December 2011

    There’s real fear out there. As the Eurozone debt crisis appears to be entering some kind of final phase, we are receiving more calls from individuals who are genuinely concerned about preserving their capital.  

  • Kicking The Can Around The M25

    Skerritts View November 2011

    It’s hard to believe that after what appears to have been one of the most tumultuous financial periods in modern times [forget the “modern” – try “ever” :  Ed] we’ve actually spent the last three years getting back to exactly where we started. 

  • Would You Prefer Hanging Or Firing Squad?

    Skerritts View October 2011

    Whilst having a choice is nice, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the underlying problem is solved. As the Eurozone debt crisis lurches from bad to worse, it is becoming clearer that, despite the best intentions of politicians, bankers and policy makers from all corners of the globe, the solution (if there is one) is going to be mighty unpleasant for some, possibly terminal for others.

  • Feels Like There’s Something Out There

    Skerritts View September 2011

    What have the Wall Street Crash of 1929, our own Black Monday in 1987, the ejection of Sterling from the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992, the sub-prime crisis in 2007 and the Lehman Bros collapse in 2008 got in common?  They all happened during the months of September or October.  

  • It Won’t Go Away?

    Skerritts View August 2011

    If there’s one thing that is becoming abundantly clear it is this ; policy makers and politicians in Europe, the UK and the US may talk, meet, discuss, wrangle, agree, disagree, agree to disagree, convene, consult and posture all they like, but the underlying problem – the mountainous debt crisis -  WON’T GO AWAY. 

  • Greece - Sticking Plaster Or Longer Term Solution?

    Skerritts View July 2011

    Judging by TV pictures of increasingly large and hostile demonstrations in Athens, it was by no means certain that the Greek Parliament would vote in favour of the required austerity measures, a necessary condition for receiving the next tranche of aid. 

  • Sell in May?

    Skerritts View June 2011

    We’ve all heard of the old adage “Sell in May and go away, don’t come back ‘til St. Leger Day”.  Well, last year it was pretty well spot on, with Markets in general selling off and sitting in the doldrums all Summer before picking up quite spectacularly from September through to January.  This year is shaping up to repeat at least the first leg of that pattern but of course past performance is no guarantee of future performance.


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