Archive for Investing strategies

Multinational Glitches in the Implementation of GDPR

Admit it, you have done this at least once: you were lured by the special offer / freebie / like into signing up for a newsletter… then you forgot about it. Or you installed an IOS/Android/Windows app which asked you for permissions to share with the Martians your accurate location, food prefferences or place of birth.
The personal data requests have become so ubiquitous, that now it is very hard to trace where it lands. It is then perfectly understandable why EU is seeking to make the various companies responsible for minimal safeguards of such personal data.
If you read the law (or the highlights), you would realize most of the requestgs are quite reasonable – and still theoretical. Fortunately for the consumer (and burdening for the companies), the burden of safeguarding and cleaning up the unnecessary data falls on the collectors. Continue reading “Multinational Glitches in the Implementation of GDPR” »

The World is Full of Noise

Let’s face it – almost all of us succumbed to this temptation: we could do the toughest, most important task or we could break all of them into pieces (“eating the elephant” as the management gurus say) and start chewing them. Or just give in to the boss’ latest request and answer his (sometimes lazy) easy to dig emails.
In this world of digital enrichment, our human brains are spectacularly assisted and enabled to do so the work. Simple exercise: close your eyes and try to imagine how long and how many people you would need to achieve what you now manage in a working day… without laptops, internet and corporate cloud software solutions. Hmmm… not too much, right? Continue reading “The World is Full of Noise” »

Post-modern Controlling vs Classical Financial Controlling

When it comes to financial controlling, many 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
– (being a) sparring partner for the CEO/business leader (maybe a hats down to characters such as Dr. Watson)
– change agent, especially for the local ERPs
– strong communication skills … and the list goes on Continue reading “Post-modern Controlling vs Classical Financial Controlling” »

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. Continue reading “How Will Terrorism Impact Investments in Europe?” »

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. Continue reading “European Bank’s Shares Shattered or Under-valued?” »

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? Continue reading “Next Financial Crisis” »