Five things investors learned in the last week

16th August 2013

1) Henderson chief economist Simon Ward points out that the difference between savings rates and equity yields is close to an all time high. He suggests some low risk savers could be tempted into markets and may lose money. Mindful Money might argue, not if they do it the right way, but it is a worry if new investors don’t understand what they are doing nor the risks of what they are investing in.  They will find little joy in savings plans.

2) There are now 1.4million people investing in a workplace pension who were not doing so previously. That is 1.4million people now owning stocks and shares didn’t. This is a slow but revolutionary change and if enough people don’t opt out, it may even change the savings culture fundamentally. Many small employers will see it as a tax, but we may be becoming a nation of shareholders almost without noticing it.

3) Billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn has bought a billion dollars of Apple Shares and wants the firm to return $150bn to shareholders as BusinessWeek reports. It now emerges that George Soros has doubled his holdings to 66,800 shares. The shares shot up this week, but it is clear many billionaires seem to think the stock still undervalued at around $500.

4) Tapering fears stalk markets again this week with sharp falls in many US indices as jobs figures improved as the Telegraph reports. The roller coaster continues for most markets and assets.

5) The Eurozone is out of recession as the Guardian reports though that is collectively with Germany and France leading the way. Much of the periphery is still struggling though Portugal surprised with improving numbers. Some ‘glass half empty’ commentators are worried that is may not be sustainable.

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