Weak financial and energy stocks weigh on FTSE - The Guardian Weak financial and energy stocks weigh on FTSE - The Guardian

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weak financial and energy stocks weigh on FTSE - The Guardian

Weak financial and energy stocks weigh on FTSE - The Guardian

Financial 15 Split Corp.: Regular Monthly Dividend Declaration for Preferred Share - NBCNews.com

Financial 15 Split Corp. ("Financial 15") declares its regular monthly distribution of $0.04375 for each Preferred share ($0.525 annually). Distributions are payable August 10, 2012 to shareholders on record as of July 31, 2012. There will not be a distribution paid to Financial 15 Class A Shares for July 31, 2012 as per the Prospectus which states no regular monthly dividends or other distributions will be paid on the Class A Shares in any month as long as the net asset value per unit is equal to or less than $15.00. The net asset value as of July 13, 2012 was $13.61.

Since inception Class A shareholders have received a total of $9.85 per share (including two special distributions totaling $0.50 per share) and Preferred shareholders have received a total of $4.57 per share inclusive of this distribution, for a combined total of $14.42.

Financial 15 invests in a high quality portfolio consisting of 15 financial services companies made up of Canadian and U.S. issuers as follows: Bank of Montreal, The Bank of Nova Scotia, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, National Bank of Canada, Manulife Financial Corporation, Sun Life Financial, Great-West Lifeco, CI Financial Income Fund, Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group, JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. Shares held within the portfolio are expected to range between 4-8% in weight but may vary at any time.

  Distribution Details:                                                         Preferred Share (FTN.PR.A)   $0.04375                                        Ex-Dividend Date:            July 27, 2012                                   Record Date:                 July 31, 2012                                   Payable Date:                August 10, 2012                                  

© Marketwire 2012

Mitt Romney Takes Obama Remark About Business Out Of Context - Huffington Post

Mitt Romney on Tuesday seized on a recent remark by President Barack Obama to paint him as anti-business, but he took it out of context.

"If you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen," Obama said Friday.

Speaking Tuesday in Irwin, Pa., Romney called the remark "startling and revealing" and said that it was "extraordinary that a philosophy of that nature would be spoken by a president of the United States.

He ran with the idea. "The idea that Steve Jobs didn’t build Apple, that Henry Ford didn’t build Ford Motors, that Papa John didn’t build Papa Johns, that Ray Kraut didn’t build McDonalds, that Bill Gates didn’t build Microsoft," Romney said. "It's not just foolishness, its insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America and it’s wrong."

But in his reaction to the remark, Romney ignored its original context. When he made the comment in Roanoke, Va. Friday, Obama was arguing that businesses needed infrastructure investment to succeed.

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help," Obama said. "There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen."

The antecedent to "that" is not the business, but "roads and bridges," as well as the "American system" as a whole.

"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together," Obama said.

Soon after Romney made his remarks, the campaign continued to seize on the comment with a 15-second video, which excerpts the one sentence from Obama's speech and replays it five times.

  • With A Little Help From My Friends (Joe Cocker)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/28/mitt-romney-will-not-repu_n_1551540.html" target="_hplink">(May 28, 2012) --</a></strong> Despite a resurgence of <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/25/mitt-romney-s-new-bff-donald-trump.html" target="_hplink">Donald Trump's birther claims</a>, Romney refused to repudiate the billionaire, who has been helping with his 2012 campaign efforts. "You know, I don't agree with all the people who support me ... I need to get 50.1 percent or more and I'm appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people," Romney said. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • Who Let The Dogs Out (Baha Men)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/16/mitt-romney-seamus_n_1429925.html" target="_hplink">(April 16, 2012) -- </a></strong> In an interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer, Romney discussed the political fallout over strapping his dog Seamus to a car roof. He admits that he probably would not do it again. (Handout)

  • It's The End Of The World As We Know It (R.E.M.)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/mitt-romney-medicare-president-obama_n_1403267.html" target="_hplink">WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 4, 2012) --</a></strong> Speaking before the Newspaper Association of America, Romney attacked Barack Obama on his health record, claiming the president "has taken a series of steps that end Medicare as we know it." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

  • For The Love Of Money (The O'Jays)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/14/mitt-romney-i-made-a-lot-of-money_n_1345516.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 14, 2012) -- </strong></a> Romney became testy on Fox News while discussing his appeal to lower-income voters. On the same day, Occupy Wall Street protesters staged a demonstration outside Mitt's Waldorf Astoria hotel fundraiser. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People Are Strange (The Doors)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/mitt-romney-south_n_1334478.html" target="_hplink">PASCAGOULA, Miss. (March 9, 2012) --</a></strong> While on the trail in Alabama and Mississippi, Romney got in touch with his Southern side, learning how to say "y'all" and liking his grits. With those new experiences in hand, he admitted that "strange things are happening to me." (Photo: AP/Evan Vucci)

  • Pink Cadillac (Bruce Springsteen)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/24/mitt-romney-cadillac_n_1299740.html" target="_hplink"><strong>DETROIT, Mich. (Feb. 24, 2012) -- </strong></a> While speaking before the Detroit Economic Club at Ford Field, Romney listed not two, not three, but four American-made cars that he and his wife, Ann, owned. Among the vehicles: "a couple of Cadillacs." (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

  • It's The Hard-Knock Life (Annie & The Orphans)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/01/mitt-romney-very-poor_n_1246557.html" target="_hplink">TAMPA, Fla. (Feb. 1, 2012) --</a></strong> In an interview with CNN, Romney noted that he is "not concerned about the very poor," citing the social safety net for that segment of the populace. (Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

  • America The Beautiful

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/mitt-romney-america-the-beautiful-_n_1243908.html" target="_hplink"><strong>THE VILLAGES, Fla. (Jan. 31, 2012) --</strong></a> On the eve of Florida's primary, Romney led his supporters in a singing of the patriotic song. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Successful (Drake, Lil Wayne)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/19/mitt-romney-tax-returns_n_1217708.html" target="_hplink"> <strong>CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 19, 2012) -- </strong></a> During CNN's GOP debate, Romney refused to commit to disclosing his tax returns, offering no apologies for his success. (Photo: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Bye Bye Bye ('N Sync)

    <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/09/mitt-romney-i-like-being-able-to-fire-people_n_1194115.html" target="_hplink"><strong>NASHUA, N.H. (Jan. 9, 2012) -- </strong></a> In a speech about insurance options, Romney tells audience members, "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." (Photo:AP/Charles Dharapak)

  • Don't Know Why (Norah Jones)

    <strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/28/mitt-romney-embraces-climate-change-denial_n_1063905.html" target="_hplink">PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 27, 2011) --</a></strong> Back in June 2011, Romney said humans are somewhat tied to climate change. By October, he had reversed course, saying "We don't know what causes climate change." (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

Vatican’s financial rules found wanting - Financial Times

July 18, 2012 12:55 pm

A brief history of money - BBC News

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Success lights up night of business celebration - This is Gloucestershire

DAZZLING success stories lit up the Diamond Jubilee Stroud Life Business Awards as they celebrated the very best of the Five Valleys and Severn Vale.

Nominees, guests and VIPs filled a marquee at the Old Lodge on Minchinhampton Common in the blue riband event of the business year, held in association with WSP Solicitors.

  1. Stroud Life editor Jason Chare opens the awards gala night.

The gala dinner was opened by Stroud Life editor Jason Chare before he handed over as BBC sports presenter Jill Douglas as the MC for the evening.

Special guests included the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Dame Janet Trotter, former Winter Olympic ski jumper Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards and Stroud MP Neil Carmichael.

The Diamond Jubilee Business of the Year was RDS Technology and MD Richard Danby said the award was for all 85 staff at the Minchinhampton-based instrument maker.

"It's about the people in the company," he said. "It's very much for them.

"Winning an award like this is something we will tell our customers in the UK and all over the world about."

Sandra Barton and Carol Barker from of BarBar Nursery won both the Businessperson of the Year and Small Business of the Year titles. Sandra said: "We are delighted and so are our staff. It's great recognition that we are doing something good."

Ben Ward from World Jungle, which won the Contribution to the Community Award for its work as a social enterprise building bridges in communities through the arts, said: "We are absolutely thrilled and delighted. This is really valuable to us in being able to create more projects."

Clare Janik from live-in care agency Corinium Care, which won the Customer Care and Service Award, was delighted. She said: "It's a great event and to be part of something successful like this is very special."

Wendy Thomson, whose fledgling eco cleaning business won the Environmental Business Award, was ecstatic. "I have to say thank you to the Stroud Businesswomen's Network," she said. "They've really supported me – it's onwards and upwards."

Oscar, Bafta and Emmy Award nominee, Arturi Films' David Pearson said recognition close to home was important. It was named Communicator of the Year.

"Not everyone knows who we are but we do a lot of work locally in helping people understand the film industry," he said.

Animal feed supplement experts Calinnova won the Award for Innovation. It supplies a feed which helps combat attention deficit disorder in horses. Office team leader Charlotte Doheny said: "It means a lot because the company has been going for 18 years and started off doing supplements for birds and grew. We're all very proud."

Fay Martin is courting interest from big high street names with her Fay's Studio greetings cards and giftbags. It was named Young Business of the Year. "It means a lot because I have built it up," said Fay. "I've had a lot of support and it's good to get recognition for doing something I've worked so hard for."

Young Businessperson of the Year Lucy Bourne from Expressware was delighted at the recognition the award brings. She said: "It's a local award and there are some great people to work with in this area – I don't intend to stop."

Dave Merrett of Family Business of the Year EC Merrett said: "I'm proud, especially as we are a family business."

Chris Pockett, head of communications at Apprentice Development Award winning Renishaw, said: "It is a great honour for us to be recognised for the work we have done over many years to develop the next generation of skilled engineers."

More pictures, Pages 8-11

Behind-the-scenes payment operation gets e-money capability - The Register

Behind-the-scenes payment operation gets e-money capability

Competition for WorldPay muscling up?

Free whitepaper – Audi-Volkswagen Middle East improves procurement control

Payment processor Ogone has bought up e-money operation Tunz, allowing it to expand into virtual currencies and make the world marketplace a little more real.

Ogone is a competitor to WorldPay, so merchants sign up with Ogone to accept payments using credit cards as well as alternatives such as PayPal or iDEAL depending on the country. Ogone already offers currency conversions which push it towards becoming a bank, so by acquiring Tunz is makes that jump without exposing itself to the full rigour of banking regulations.

Tunz isn't a proper bank, it operates under a "Bank-Lite", e-money, licence. That licence will keep it a separate legal entity even after the acquisition, so Ogone can continue to provide payment services using Tunz whenever those services get a little too close to banking.

Ogone won't say how much it's spending on Tunz, which currently belongs to the two founders with the exception of Belgacom's 40 per cent stake, but once the transaction is completed the whole company and its ten existing employees will belong to Ogone. Ogone then plans to triple the size, pushing into new markets, while increasing its own operation from the current 250 people to 350.

Those 250 people are already providing payment service to 35,000 merchants, mostly around Europe but also in India and elsewhere. Ogone isn't a public-facing brand, unlike WorldPay, but it provides white-label services to customers such as Barclays in the UK, who resells the service as part of its ePDQ brand.

One area Ogone is particularly interested in is virtual currencies, which are offered for in-game transactions or intra-platform offerings (such as Facebook credits). Many companies offering such virtual money aren't properly registered right now, and Ogone reckons there's an opportunity to offer white-label banking before the regulators get too annoyed.

With new currencies popping up all the time, and the 250 payment mechanisms listed by WorldPay making international transactions increasing complicated, there's certainly a need to make lives easier for merchants. Ogone reckons with Tunz on board it can enable a merchant, such as a UK shop, to accept payments from a locally-unknown operation such as Axis iConnect (used by 13 per cent of Indians), just as it can enable an Indian store to take Sterling transferred from PayPal.

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Women spend MORE money preparing for summer break than they do on actual holiday - Daily Mail

By Deborah Arthurs


Britain’s image-conscious women are spending more money getting their body ready for the beach than on the actual holiday itself, according to a new report.

For women spend on average 472 on beauty treatments to make sure they look beautiful poolside - almost double the cost of a seven night trip to the Costa Del Sol, the latest research shows.

Spray tans, manicures, pedicures, waxing and eyebrow tinting top the list of pre-holiday pampering appointments in Debenhams’ Beauty Halls, as women spare no expense to ensure they look and feel their best.

Exhausted by the preparation! Women spend more money getting their bodies bikini ready for their break than they do on the actual holiday itself

Exhausted by the preparation! Women spend more money getting their bodies bikini ready for their break than they do on the actual holiday itself

Sara Stern from Debenhams said: 'Looking good on holiday involves a lot more than finding that perfect bikini.

Women are willing to pay to look great, and while they are happy to snap up bargain holidays, they simply won’t compromise on the cost of feeling their best.'

Waxing is just one of the treatments women embark upon before their beach break

Waxing is just one of the treatments women embark upon before their beach break

Far from being a last-minute rush, women are spending almost 11 hours - the same time it takes to fly to Mexico, to beautify themselves. Preparation starts around three weeks before the trip with haircuts and massages, finishing the day before with waxing and spray tans.

Said Ms Stern: 'The shocking weather we’ve had so far this summer means women want to treat themselves even more as they prepare for their breaks - many of us haven’t even been able to bare our legs this year, so a spray tan is definitely up there on the priority list.

'Our survey results show that even for a one week holiday, women are prepared to invest serious money and time in looking body-beautiful on the beach.

Our beauty halls have been jam-packed with women booking holiday beauty appointments. Three weeks of preparation for one week in the sun is obviously worth it to British beauties.'


Spray tan, 40, 25 minutes

Manicure, 15, 15 minutes

Pedicure, 20, 20 minutes

Eyebrow threading, 15, 10 minutes

Eyebrow tint, 10, 15 minutes

Eyelash tint, 15, 15 minutes

Body massage, 65, 1 hour 20 minutes

Body scrub, 65, 1 hour 20 minutes

Facial, 50, 1 hour

Bikini wax, 20, 15 minutes

Leg wax, 30, 20 minutes

Haircut and blow dry, 49, 1 hour

Highlights, 78, 4 hours


Total cost: 472
Total time: 10 hours 55 minutes

Government says 'door is open' for British business as Treasury backs £50bn loans - Daily Telegraph

The main scheme will be UK Guarantees, under which the Government will effectively underwrite major private sector construction projects. Ministers hope it will make banks more willing to lend to developers, and at lower interest rates. Officials said projects could include flood defence construction, broadband lines and energy networks.

Direct government loans will also be available to projects worth up to £6 billion. Export guarantees will be extended to as much as £5 billion of British firms’ overseas sales. Treasury officials said the move was not a departure from the Coalition’s austerity programme and would not add to the Government’s debt.

In a joint announcement with Liberal Democrat colleagues, George Osborne, the Chancellor claimed that the new schemes are a way of sharing the historically low interest rates that the Government is paying on its borrowing.

“Britain’s credibility has been hard won and involved difficult decisions, so I want to make sure its benefits are passed on to the whole economy,” Mr Osborne said.

Investors have suffered five years of turmoil - but here's how you CAN make money on the stock market - Daily Mail

By Dan Hyde


Investors have suffered for five years and there’s no end in sight. But don’t despair...we explain how even in stormy markets you can steadily build a nest egg.

Long gone are the days of easy double-digit returns on investments and juicy 8 per cent interest rates on savings accounts.

But reinvesting dividends, hunting for hidden gems or growth industries and keeping an eye on charges can all give your investments a turbo boost. Dan Hyde explains how you can set your investments to work to make you money.

Going green: David Osborne and his wife Margaret invested 5,000 for their eldest son in Jupiter Ecology, a fund that they think will take advantage of a growth industry

think will take advantage of a growth industryGoing green: David Osborne and his wife Margaret invested 5,000 for their eldest son in Jupiter Ecology

In July 2007, getting a juicy return on savings was a doddle. Cash savers could get as much as 8.1 per cent a year on the High Street in Abbey National’s Super Bond.

Investors had seen 1,000 put into UK shares in July 2002 grow to 1,979 in five years. But, since then, that 1,979 has grown by just 20.

Savers who had 1,000 in a company pension in 2007 have earned just 13.60 a year on average — or 68 in total.

Even investors who ploughed their hard-earned cash into the most popular funds have been let down.

The 7.4 billion M&G Recovery fund has added just 92.70 to each 1,000 invested over the past five years, according to Morningstar. Savers who plumped for Fidelity Special Situations — which up to 2007 had been a success story for three decades — have lost 10.80 on each 1,000 invested.


Experts believe stockmarket jitters will linger for some time.

Tapping the green growth market

David Osborne and his wife Margaret invested 5,000 for their eldest son, Joe, in a fund that they think will take advantage of a growth industry.

Ten years ago, they put money into Jupiter Ecology, which invests in green and ethical companies.

David, a manager at a metal manufacturing firm near Leicester, hopes that his 19-year-old son (pictured far left with his parents and younger brother Alistair, 16) will be able to use the money to buy a car or pay off student debts when he finishes university.

Today, the 5,000 investment is worth roughly 7,500, despite an 8 pc slump over the past 12 months.

‘The fund has been up and down and there have been times when I thought about taking out the money, but it seems to be coming good,’ says David, 53.

‘We like the fact the fund invests in wind power and green energy because this could be a growth area in the coming years and is likely to get government investment, too.’

However, the average ethical fund has lost 5.40 of every 100 invested since 2007.

‘Markets could well be choppy for the next decade,’ says Darius McDermott, managing director at fund broker Chelsea Financial Services.

Bank of England governor Mervyn King has warned we aren’t even halfway through the financial crisis. Interest rates — already at a record low 0.5 per cent — could be slashed to zero to help. That would heap more pain on cautious savers who stick to High Street banks.

Property prices — a key gauge of our economic strength — will stay flat for at least 12 more years, claim accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers.

And across the Channel, the European debt crisis could drag on for another two decades, according to economist Wolfgang Munchau at Eurointelligence.

Even the rapid growth in China has slowed recently. Investment experts say investors must face the music: the next few years are likely to be bleak.

‘We’ve had a huge party for 15 years and governments spent too much,’ says Mark Dampier, head of research at independent financial adviser (IFA) Hargreaves Lansdown. ‘The harsh reality is that in the UK, U.S and eurozone, nations have run out of money — it’ll be tough for investors to make good returns for years.’

Tom Stevenson, at investment house Fidelity, says: ‘There will be a boom, but it’s some way off. The key question investors need answering is where to turn in the meantime.’


Even when the stockmarket is flat, you can keep making money.

The way to do this is by putting the annual dividends companies pay out every year back into your fund. This is called reinvesting your income.

A dividend is a slice of profits a company dishes out to shareholders, usually on a regular basis. The biggest dividend payers are large, reliable firms well set to weather economic storms.

Between January and March, UK companies paid out 18.8 billion in dividends, according to Capital Registrars — a 25 per cent rise on the same period last year and a new record. If you reinvest this income, it can have a staggering effect on the value of your nest egg.

Research by Barclays Capital shows that 100 invested in 1945 in UK shares would have grown to 7,400 by February on its own. But if you had reinvested the dividends, it would be worth nearly 131,500.

National Grid, Vodafone and GlaxoSmithKline have all recently bumped up their dividend.

But rather than taking a punt on a handful of shares, a better option might be an equity income fund, which invests in many of these firms. Each fund has a ‘yield’, which is best compared to the interest on savings. It’s usually presented as a percentage of the share price. The higher the yield, the more income you get for your money.

On average, UK equity income funds have paid out 4.5p a year for every 1 invested.

Make sure the money is reinvested automatically to grow your pot. This dividend has helped equity income funds outshine rivals purely focused on growth over ten, 15 and 20-year periods, according to FE Trustnet.


Mark Dampier, of Hargreaves Lansdown, recommends Marlborough Multi Cap Income for adventurous investors. The fund was launched a year ago and has a yield of 4.17 per cent. It pays out twice a year and total expense ratio charges are 1.55 per cent annually.

It is focused on small and medium-sized companies — which makes it more risky. But it means their dividends can rise fast.

One of the fund’s biggest holdings is cinema chain Cineworld. The big screen attracts up to 20 million film fans a month across the UK — and with the new Batman, James Bond, Jason Bourne and Spider-Man  films out this year, ticket receipts are set to soar. Other companies among the 135 it invests in include Frankie & Benny’s and Garfunkel’s owners Restaurant Group, and Britain’s biggest seller of mixed cases of wine, Majestic.

Mr McDermott likes Invesco Perpetual High Income for more cautious savers. The giant fund is managed by Neil Woodford, who prefers the safety of big companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, BT and British American Tobacco.

The fund has boosted nest eggs by 74 per 1,000 in a year, making it one of the top performers of its kind. On top of this, its average yield is 3.91 per cent. It charges 1.69 per cent a year. The fund is not big on banks — which many savers see as a bonus, though until recent years they have been big dividend payers.

Newton Asian Income and M&G Global Dividend are worth considering for bolder investors looking outside the UK, says Mr McDermott.

Newton Asian Income invests in big companies such as Sands China, which runs five-star hotels complete with bustling casinos in Macau, just off mainland China.

The fund’s average yield is 4.99 per cent and it charges 1.66 per cent a year.

Money in the M&G fund is spread into the U.S., Australia, Switzerland, and Brazil, where companies are required by law to dish out 25 per cent of their profits as dividends. It is heavily invested in Nestl, the 145-year-old Swiss makers of KitKat and Smarties — which runs the old Rowntree’s chocolate factory in York. Other big stocks include the U.S. supermarket giant Wal-Mart, which owns Asda in the UK. The fund’s average yield is 3.6 per cent and it charges 1.68 per cent annually.


Unless you are a professional investment fund manager, you are highly unlikely to be able to time the ups and downs in the market — so don’t even try.

Even fund managers regularly get it wrong. The worst tactic is chasing racy, high-risk shares hoping for a quick buck. Another is jumping in and out of the stock market as it flitters up and down.

Figures from fund managers Fidelity show that 1,000 invested in the stock market in 1997 would have grown to 2,014 by the end of May this year. But if an investor missed the ten best days by trying to second-guess the market, the return would have been only 1,090.

It can pay to trickle your money into funds in a slow, regular pattern, says Jason Witcombe, an independent financial planner at Evolve.

This smooths returns and allows for the inevitable dips. ‘You have to look at your own time horizon when investing,’ he says. ‘Unless it’s something such as an extension on the house, most people are saving for retirement, which could be several decades away. ‘This means you can afford to take a little more risk.

‘But always try to drip-feed investments because it takes the emotion out of your decisions.’

You have to remember why you chose a certain investment, and stick with it. When the price falls you’ll end up buying more of a certain stock — so you’ll be even better off if it rises.

‘I’ve stuck to big names paying dividends’

Father-of-two Bob Mennie, 48, is well-prepared if stock markets wobble for another decade

Planning ahead: Father-of-two Bob Mennie, 48, is well-prepared if stock markets wobble for another decade

Father-of-two Bob Mennie, 48, is well-prepared if stock markets wobble for another decade.

Bob, a trained accountant, is heavily invested in dividend-paying stocks such as Vodafone, Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever, through his own online share-trading account at Selftrade.co.uk. ‘The markets are going through a tough time and I can’t see share prices going anywhere fast,’ he says.

‘I’m making sure that I protect  myself by focusing on income and I’m sticking to big, blue- chip companies.’

South African-born Bob (pictured with his children Helena, three, and Charles, six) can call on his previous experience as a stockbroker before he moved to West London 17 years ago and married Bridget, 42.

‘I’m being a bit more cautious with my Isa and hold nothing outside the FTSE 100,’ he says.


Enter the dragon: China's growth is slowing but it's growing middle-class' desires are proving rich pickings for some firms

Enter the dragon: China's growth is slowing but it's growing middle-class' desires are proving rich pickings for some firms

Investors looking for a little more fizz from their funds should turn towards emerging markets.

These are fast-growing economies with bags of potential, such as India, China, Brazil, Russia and Mexico. But be aware that this means taking more risk with your money.

The average emerging markets fund is down 128 on every 1,000 invested over the past year.

Some funds — such as Hexam Global Emerging Markets — have lost 30 per cent.

However, over five years, investors have made 218 on average for each 1,000 invested. Over ten years, 1,000 has grown to 2,339.

The recent emerging markets slump is partly down to fears over a slowdown in China’s economy.

But the upshot is a golden opportunity to buy funds on the cheap, says Philip Poole, head of investment strategy at HSBC Global Asset Management.

‘We’ve had a period where emerging market investors have sold up,’ he says.

‘While prices could go lower in the short-term, the return over ten years should be very good.’

Dan Morris, a global strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, says: ‘Growth prospects are as good as they’ve always been, while the risk of crises in Asia and Russia has fallen.’

The argument for investing in the so-called BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India and China — and Mexico has not changed.

Most have young, booming populations, a growing demand for goods, are rich in natural resources and can pump out cheap exports. India’s bulging middle-class of 330 million, for example, is spending at such a rate its economy has grown  8.5 per cent a year for the past five years, compared to just 1 per cent in the U.S.

Adrian Lowcock, of IFA Bestinvest, recommends First State Global Emerging Markets Leaders, which has turned 1,000 into 3,417 in ten years. It charges 1.58 per cent a year.

Fund manager Jonathan Asante puts more than 40 per cent of investors’ cash into Asian stocks, including President Chain Store, a chain of Taiwanese convenience shops.

He also backs companies in Africa to grow. Shoprite Holdings, Africa’s largest food retailer which sees  58 million customers go through its checkouts, is among his picks. Like many emerging market fund managers, Asante also invests in UK and U.S. companies that have strong presences abroad, such as Dove soap and Marmite maker, Unilever.


Always check the charges before you save into a fund. Most have an initial charge in the region of 5 per cent.This means 5 from every 100 invested goes to the manager.

However, many online investing websites waive this fee. [Read our guide to the best and cheapest fund, investments trust and Isa investing platforms]

More important is the rolling annual cost. Look for the words ‘ongoing cost’ or ‘total expense ratio’.

This shows the total amount of money that is taken from the fund every year. This typically varies between 0.5 per cent and 2.5 per cent — in other words, between 50p and 2.50 on every 100 invested.

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Possibly,maybe ,perhaps ,the only sure fire way to make money on the stock market is to sit and wait for a decent crash. Then if you buy cheap FTSE100 DIVIDENT producing stocks ,perhaps 10 in total ,and then simply wait for the share price to rise ,in the next 5 years. Its for this reason that we may not have a stock market crash , but instead snail-pace ahead ,as its obvious to me ,the financial markets do not like outsiders taking money off them. Remember ,the ratio of 10% at the top ,10% at the bottom ,and the other 80% doing the donkey work ,in any financial system ,Capitalist ,Communist ,or any other Ism come to that.

So many uninformed comments, the key word is investing, asset Allocation, buy ETF's NOT Mutual Funds, and take some courses on Investing, no one cares as much about money as you do. Never buy anything you are not prepared to hold for at least five years, and do not buy if you fear losing any of your monies.

What value do shares investers add to the community at large? They just cream off money that other people have worked hard creating. They are little more than scroungers. The are living off unearned income.

Don't listen to finacial advisors. I bumped into mine several years later and he now has a job sticking the posters on the side of buses at my local bus depot !

GC 1534, what would have happened if you'd invested £1000 in Gulf Keystone Petroleum 5 yrs ago?

I have yet to find one private investor who has actually made share dealing pay. The only people that do make money are the brokers with commissions on dealings and the money men who gather all these people with cash to invest and an induced twinkle in their eyes of a possible profit like sheep at the stock market and then give them a good fleecing - J Martin, Leeds, 18/7/2012 10:13 We've made money. The trick is not to be too greedy. I think Warren Buffet said it doesn't matter if you don't get in at the bottom, or get out before the value reaches the top as long as you get out when you've made enough. Having said that I had one share this past year that made 40%, quite nice, I just wish I had more than a modest portfolio.We've had 2 shares lose money, Aviva and Tesco, but at the moment they're both paying dividends so we're hanging on in there.

Paul, Derby - there's always people around like you, that are a displeasure to associate with. I ran out of space, I had no wish to write another post - I can't talk about charges when I've no more characters to use! Any one with a brain should realise there's always charges, those that are really concerned will do their research and work out what's what The important part is the concept As for the challenge - no - I mention on the site I won't give trade recommendations, you'd get some fool, you might even be one of them, that would copy the trade, not bother with a stop expecting it to win and not realising that in that concept 50% of trades fail - which is a hassle I can quite happily do without and especially so to avoid dealing with the likes of you - you might have gathered I'm not a people person! Hence why I trade so I can avoid as much as possible people like that.

OK - give me a PERSONAL GUARANTEE - secured on all your assets & your life. Then I'll maybe be prepared to listen.

Investors have suffered? Has the meaning of 'suffering' completely changed? They may not have made the money they think they deserve but they certainly aren't suffering.

Humour to one side now. The `Green' energy bubble is already leaking gas,of which one should have got into 8yrs ago and should be considering offloading now after profiting handsomely. What does everyone on this planet need that's diminishing as populations rise? FOOD & WATER - you should be buying into land-agriculture - fertiliser and desalination. Forget Gold too,it's volatile,pays no dividends,and in a bubble that's heading for a massive correction to sting it's investors - Warren Buffet's been offloading it big time,as has Gates and when it comes to the crunch,you cannot eat it. If you want to do metal you'll fare better with silver,but, get in at quality Junior Mining level for pennies,other than its bullion value it's widely utililised in industry whereas gold just sits there for risky speculation purposes. Keep away from brokers - DIY pays you and not him.

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