Investing tools & techniques

N26 Cards Great, Except…

N26 is a great online challenger bank. Probably the greatest on the DACH space. Yet, you can smell it is trying hard to catch the likes of Revolut or Monzo. So hard, that they are starting to do some small silly errors.

I decided to give it a try – all started good – card arrived far before the deadline (3 days instead of advertised 14). Read More »N26 Cards Great, Except…

Are Italy’s Stocks Worth Investing Now?

Just look at the news – Italy is not so sunny anymore: its public debt is >120% of the GDP (double the EU maximum) and its coalition government plans to borrow 1,6% of the GDP this year. On top of it, the bad news keep coming: a Genova bridge collapsed in August, putting Atlantia S.p.a., the (privatized) builder, under an immense pressure (shares dropped >35% after the news). Fitch downgraded Italy’s economic outlook from “stable” to “negative” at the beginning of September.

But are these bad news as dramatic as they might seem? At Friday’s closing (Oct. 5th, 2018), the FTSE Italia All-Share index stayed relatively stable at 22,455. Read More »Are Italy’s Stocks Worth Investing Now?

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 onRead More »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.Read More »How Will Terrorism Impact Investments in Europe?

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 »Next Financial Crisis