Shocks & Stares » investment http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares H&K\'s Financial & Professional Services Team Blog Tue, 19 Mar 2013 08:00:56 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Friday Fiver http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2013/03/friday-fiver-12/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2013/03/friday-fiver-12/#comments Fri, 15 Mar 2013 15:24:57 +0000 Joey Ng http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/?p=855 1. Just deserts for Chris and Vicky

From the repeated lies of Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce during trial, to the sub storyline of Huhne’s fractured relationship with his son, this car crash of a soap opera-like story has been played out in full fanfare under the media spotlight. No one likes to air their dirty laundry in public. Perhaps the eight months sentence the pair faces, will draw an end to this thoroughly modern-day Shakespearean saga. Alternatively perhaps they will use the publicity to secure book deals.

Image source: Flikr

2. Britain loses its fizz

The fizz has officially fallen flat as Champagne has been cut from the basket of goods, alongside Freeview boxes and round lettuces. According to Mintel figures, sales of the bubbly have fallen by more than 30% since the hey-days of 2007, from £1billion to an estimated £690million. Trading in bottles of Champagne, typically around £40, are bottles of white rum which can be bought for a fraction of the price.

3. Sterling stagnation is here to stay

This week the ever-struggling sterling hits a two and half year low. Good news for British investors, bad news for holidaying Brits (of which sadly, I will be one of them).

4. There’s no Pope without fire

On Wednesday, for the first time in 1,300 years, a non-European Pope was elected as head of the Roman Catholic Church. A sea of faces welcomed Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio as he stepped onto the balcony to rapturous applause. Bergoglio will now live as Pope Francis and take up residence in the Vatican. A far cry from his one bedroom flat in Buenos Aires…

5. Can women have it all?

An interesting commentary piece in the New York Times written by former CFO of Lehman Brothers, Erin Callan on wanting to “have it all” and failing. This was in response to a heated debate sparked by the launch of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean in” – and much of our conversations here in the team as well.

Can women strike the perfect work/life balance and really “have it all” or is it simply about “having enough” and being happy with it? What do you think? Leave us a comment below.

Thanks to @goldtorpedo for contributing to this week’s Friday Fiver

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All that glitters http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2011/10/all-that-glitters/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2011/10/all-that-glitters/#comments Thu, 13 Oct 2011 13:50:21 +0000 Jonathan Henderson http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/?p=344 Debt, money printing, market volatility, political instability and behavioural economics – these are just a small selection of the interrelated factors currently determining the seemingly meteoric rise of the price of gold 

The extent to which current valuations are fair, sustainable or sensible is a source of some debate and I’d encourage anyone with an interest in the subject to have a listen to a short podcast just posted on The Motley Fool website.

The conversation [which can be found here] with David Kuo and the effervescent Merryn Somerset Webb is well worth a twenty minute investment of your attention.

[graph courtesy of MoneyWeek]

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Blog safari – hunt for the best financial service bloggers http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2011/04/blog-safari-hunt-for-the-best-financial-service-bloggers/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/2011/04/blog-safari-hunt-for-the-best-financial-service-bloggers/#comments Wed, 27 Apr 2011 11:15:41 +0000 Jonathan Henderson http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/shocksandstares/?p=98 I have recently been on a blog safari. I hoped to track down the best blogging talent the financial services industry had to offer and bag them for our blogroll.

[Cameras at the ready]

I envisaged the web as a Serengeti, a vibrant ecosystem, full of talented and insightful bloggers from across the spectrum of financial services all offering their thoughts on the latest developments from within the industry.

The big beasts of the plain were immediately obvious. Established journalists such as Mark Kleinman and Robert Peston break big industry stories via their blogs on a regular basis but these sit on traditional news sites.

I was searching for lesser known talent but it proved elusive. There were a few notable exceptions although these came from individuals with a background in journalism or from corporate entities. Dominic Frisby, a regular contributor to Money Week, runs Frisby’s Bulls and Bears. The site is aimed at private investors and provides insight into the latest economic and market developments and is full of interesting audio interviews, particularly for those with an interest in commodities investment. Likewise, for those with an interest in fixed income, M&G’s Bond Vigilantes provides regular and accessible comment on debt markets.

I’m at a bit of a loss as to why there are so few blogs from individuals within the industry worth reading. It is possible that the industry is so well served by traditional media that there’s little demand for blogs.

Compliance and regulation also make it difficult for bloggers to write about the companies they are working for.

[Financial services bloggers are harder to spot]

In true David Attenborough style, I had hoped to unearth new, undiscovered blogging talent but what I found was that it is either hidden in amongst the undergrowth or still in the evolution process. If you have discovered a financial services blogger with something to say, then do let us know.

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