Archive for Investing strategies

Post-modern Controlling vs Classical Financial Controlling

When it comes to financial controlling, may CEOs and even CFOs mention that it is boring. After all, controlling rotates around themes such as financials reliability and accuracy, predictability of the forecasting, solid safeguards in place, sound accounting, compliance. And immediately after this, the same senior leaders can be heard saying: “well, this way it should also stay”. Nobody’s hiring a controller to be creative and change the accounting standards, right?
Yet, when you browse through the job descriptions (and through the magazine interviews), the set of skills required looks different. Besides a long list of standard attributes (as per below), the differentiating factors ask for a different story. Many employers list (even in their performance reviews) required attributes such as:
– critical view on the business
– Sparring partner for the CEO/business leader (maybe a hats down to characters such as Sherlock Holmes or Atticus Finch)
– change agent, especially for the local ERPs
– strong communication skills. Read more

How Will Terrorism Impact Investments in Europe?

If you have not heard about the March 2016 terrorist attacks in Brussels, you are probably not watching any news channels at all. But the chances are that you heard about the ISIS attacks in Belgium and the foiled plots to attack nuclear centrals in France or Europe.
What does this rise in terrorist attacks mean for the investments in Europe?
Well, first and beforehand, uncertainty and risk raises. Be it about real-estate investments in the European major cities (deemed to be one of the safest premium investments in the developed countries) or shares of the FMCG companies, there are obviously risks associated with purchasing shares of these companies: that is supply chains might be disrupted, key employees might be trapped or even harmed, or other countless factors might kick in. It means that overall the cost of doing business in Europe will increase: higher security costs money and slows down by travelling and communication, travel will be disrupted, insurance premiums will increase slowly but certainly. Read more

European Bank’s Shares Shattered or Under-valued?

The last few days saw the European bank’s shares substantially going down. Deutsche’s Bank shares went down from around 25 EUR/share in December 2015 to 13,68 today (Feb 12th, 2016). Other German banks suffered also losses of 10-20% on their share prices, whilst French and Italian ones did not fare very well too. Most of the hit banks were from the invesmtent banking sector – but the traditional commercial ones have not been spared too. Unicredit, the biggest Italian bank, has seen a similar fate too (down from 6 EUR/share to 3).
This downfall share price trend is ggetting super-serious for the bank sector itself, badly hurt by multiple factors. Amid most concerns are the (relatively) capitalization rules, which requires the banks to maintain a higher capital-to-loans ratio – and most of these mammoths have failed on the stress tests. Of course, this is a measure of efficiency – and most of the investment banks are trying hard to keep as low a ratio as possible, since this means for them doing business with other’s (mostly central banks) money/funds. A nice business model indeed for the banks, who have become mostly asset managers, rather than loan-making machines. Read more

Why the Housing Market in Anglo-Saxon Countries Will Further Boom

Recently I was reading an interesting article on The Economist about the UK housing market. Whilst I do not agree with 100% of it (after all, the real estate markets have gone through various historical cycles), it is a well-argumented read. It basically says that whilst subventions via free land for the constructors might help, the housing market still has a huge inertia and might continue to grow.
One interesting extra argument (from my side this time) – the quantitative easing has introduced to the US/UK markets a lot of liquidity, which is not yet absorbed. As the liquidity will hardly find its place in new investments, it might find a safe cushion in the real-estate investments. One more reason why this might continue to be a good long-term investment.

Next Financial Crisis

I was reading these days several articles in the financial press. All is so quiet… dangerosuly quiet. Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, LA Times, Forbers etc they are all silent about what the banks are doing or what other financila insitutions are up to. To me, this means only trouble brewing.
Economic data for US looks slightly promissing and the real estate market is slowly growing. Not an accelerated pace (foreclosures in US declined to 650,000 in August, down from 1 million 1 year ago and 3 million 5 years ago), but still… EU is stalling, with Germany and France almost to a halt (industrial production -0.1% to LY, first time in recent history when Germany stumbles a bit). Usually US profits from these moves.
So what next? Read more

3 Ways to Invest in Ecommerce

The percentage of consumers who has made a purchase online is breaking new records each year, with tablet and smartphone usage leading the way. Over 75% of all consumers have made an online purchase, with many making them regularly. Retailers have pushed to offer their services online, and ecommerce start-ups are seeing significant profits as a result. If you are looking for an area to invest in, ecommerce is a good one. However, finding ecommerce stocks to invest in can be a daunting task, as there is no official ecommerce sector or list of stocks out there. There are several ways to invest in ecommerce. The following are three of the most promising.

Ecommerce Stocks

If you wish to invest in ecommerce stocks, the first step is to compile a working list of the top stocks out there. This will involve some time and research, using online stocks lists to comb through multiple sectors. Common sectors to find ecommerce stocks in could include technology, retail, and services. Another way to go about this is to think of your favourite ecommerce retailers, or to research sales figures to find out who has made a strong showing in the past quarter. Review daily charts, and compare individual stock charts to the NASDAQ. In addition to sales figures, take a closer look at the ecommerce website. Do they have a large social media following? Do they have easily integrated payment gateways to enable sales? These are just a few factors to consider when picking and choosing stocks to purchase. Read more

European Crisis – UK and Germany Spared by Standard and Poors

We are starting today an investing blog analyzing the recent European crisis – namely the sovereign debt crisis of the PIGS, as well as their consequences for the investors.
Today, after many threats from Moody’s, United Kingdom and Germany got a relief from the eternal ratings competitor, Standard & Poor’s. Namely, the triple A ratings of UK and Germany have been spared. S&P even got so far as to state that they think that Germany will weather the crisis without big issues, whilst UK will return to economic growth by the end of the month.
If this is not good news for the EU investors, I do not know what it is. Standard & Poor’s basically said that even if Greece exits the Eurozone or if crisis deepens for Spain or for Italy, these two economies will go unabated from their way. It also means that the pockets of the EU are still big enough to cover the debts of the other states (to a certain extent). Whether this is a vote of confidence from S&P or if it is just a sign of support, I do not know. But the markets should be moving up by now…