US president Donald J Trump waves after speaking  at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC, October 13th, 2017. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

US president claims stock market gains cut national debt – but they have no bearing on it

 October 19th, 1987: A trader holds his head at the floor of the New York Stock Exchange as panic selling sweeps Wall Street. File photograph: Maria Bastone/Getty

30 years on from the infamous stock market fall, its memory still fascinates

One study found that returns are lower around full moons, with the magnitude of the difference being 3-5 per cent per year. Illustration: iStock

Superstitious beliefs have been found to have a real impact on global stock markets

  Spanish stock index IBEX35 dropped 3 per cent last Wednesday – but soon recovered the following day as most Ibex 35 stocks companies have little exposure to Catalonia. Photograph: EPA/MARISCAL

Stocktake: Proinsias O’Mahony

Despite Ryanair’s history of in-flight scratch cards, alcohol and calendars featuring scantily clad female staff,  Inspire – which invests in “companies that are blessings” – approves of the airline. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Stocktake: sky gambling is a ‘blessing’, gains ahead, September boredom and Apple profit

“Many people in the financial services industry who claim to be in the business of providing advice are in fact in the business of making sales.” File photograph: Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty Images

‘Don’t just do something, stand there’ might be best, like Buffett’s ‘benign neglect, bordering on sloth’

JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon said he would sack anyone who traded bitcoin, saying it was best left to drug dealers and murderers. File photograph: Mike Blake/Reuters

Investors yawn at Trump’s ‘barking’ as US bull market shows no sign of stopping

Michael O’Leary: in 2015 he joked, “If I’d only learned in college that being nice was good for business, I’d have done it years ago.” Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Not necessarily. Reviled companies do not always make for bad stocks

 The belief that bear markets favour active management is erroneous, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Stock-pickers promise gains in next slump despite years of underperformance by funds

A Snapchat sign on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/File Photo/Reuters

Beware ‘sexy’, expensive, glamorous tech stocks – they rarely deliver the goods

Traders on the floor of the NYSE, August 31st, 2017. Photograph: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Stocktake: Idea of Trump as a ‘stock market whisperer’ doesn’t bear scrutiny

Goldman Sachs recently cautioned that 10-year returns have been negative or below historical norms 99% of the time when valuations were as high as they are today. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The last time fund managers were nearly as concerned as now was in the late 1990s

Overall, the potential costs associated with waiting greatly outweigh the benefits.

New research shows waiting for a correction is often profitable but can prove costly

Donald Trump: the US president’s tweets suggest he sees himself as God’s gift to the stock market. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Stocktake: Donald Trump, investors think you’re useless at best, dangerous at worst

Netflix, Amazon, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs, among other high-profile stocks, have suffered double-digit drops lately

Stocktake: market breadth is a crucial indicator of underlying market health

With valuations now at heady levels, have Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and  Google (FAANG) become too fashionable for their  own good. Photograph: Getty Images

Many investors see FAANG stocks as bulletproof, but sceptics are wary of the high values

Renowned investor Howard Marks, founder of Oaktree Capital, some of whose $99bn in assets under management has been deployed in Irish property. Photograph: Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg

Howard Marks predicted the dotcom and housing crashes, and now he’s worried trouble is brewing again

President Donald  Trump: his deregulatory and anti-climate change policies are driving investors into sustainable funds, noted Morningstar. AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Response to rise in tensions between US and North Korea decidedly muted

Traders work on the floor of the New York stock Exchange:    The Vix, Wall Street’s so-called fear index, is at its lowest levels in quarter of a century. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It’s misguided to worry a correction is looming just because stocks are registering new highs

President Donald Trump has been tweeting incessantly about the Dow’s gains lately. Photograph: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

President bragging of Dow Jones milestone despite US underperforming most countries

“Stock markets suffer frequent declines, but the long-term trend has always been an upward one.” Photograph: Reuters

Long-term performance of stock markets shows perma-bears have negativity bias

Facebook shares soared after the firm trounced expectations, and stock indices in general have risen since earnings season began

Stocktake: Howard Marks warns market is getting bubbly with ‘elevated complacency’

emerging and European markets have essentially gone nowhere over the last decade, during which time US stocks have doubled. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Things are usually hairier outside the US, but not this year. In Europe, the biggest pullback has totalled just 4%

Studies show investors who have experienced low-probability events such as earthquakes are more likely to believe a future market crash is likely

People became 25% more risk-averse when the colour red is used

Bottom-fishers may be best waiting until the end of July, when Snap’s post-IPO lock-up period expires. Photograph: Lucas Jackson

Stocktake: Tesla takes a tumble, exaggerated volatility and how bad investments can scar

Does the “endowment effect” also affect investors? Do we get too attached to the stocks we own?  Photograph: iStock

Do investors get too attached to the stocks they own and overvalue their worth?

What’s going to happen? Technical analysts try to predict future price trends by studying past price action and charts

Maybe it’s best to ignore the analysts and instead stick to a buy-and-hold approach

Hamburg protester’s placard of  President Donald Trump at the G20 Summit:  Seeing as he is so quick to take the credit for a bull  market, will he also take the blame when things eventually sour?  Photograph:  Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

Stocktake: Bull market started long before Donald Trump started claiming praise for it

Mario Draghi: the ECB president’s comment last week that reflationary forces had replaced deflationary ones caused a flurry of activity in  financial markets. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Despite an ECB denial, speculation the global liquidity punch bowl is about to be removed is growing

Research indicates many investors make costly errors because they don’t actually get how dividend investing works. Photograph: Getty Images/Ikon Images

Many investors wrongly think of dividends as offering a bond-like income stream

Oil prices have fallen by more than 20 per cent, but don’t start stocking your underground bunker with tinned food just yet. Photograph: iStockphoto

StockTake: the most stress-free job, FOMO for AIB, and beware your psycho CEO

In May, Apple announced a 10.5 per cent increase in its dividend to $13.22 billion annually, making it the biggest annual dividend in the world. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Part of the attraction of dividend payments is more psychological than real

AIB’s recent initial public offering will have disappointed investors who bought the shares at artificially inflated prices in recent years. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Recent trading in AIB just the latest example of how clueless traders can inflate stocks

The “tech wreck” reignited talk about the apparently outsized impact of the Faang stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix (or Nvidia) and Google – on market indices. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Apple, Amazon and Facebook had gained 30 per cent this year and needed to cool

Donald Trump: the first six months of his presidency have been nothing if not dramatic. Photograph: John Minchillo/AP

Global economic volatility is at its lowest level in over 40 years, says JPMorgan

Hedge funds have piled into the FAANG stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google – which have gained almost four times more than the S&P 500 in 2017. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Stock Take: Broad rally suggests market is not too reliant on high-flying tech stocks

Globally, almost $23 trillion, or 26 per cent of all professionally managed assets, is now invested in “responsible investment strategies”, according to the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance. Photograph: Getty Images

Ethical investment is now big business, but are investors doing well out of doing good?

Stocks continue to hit all-time highs and volatility remains absent, a combination that augurs well for the remainder of 2017. Photograph: Getty Images

AIB more of a pure play on Ireland than Bank of Ireland as 40% of latter’s loans are in UK

Amazon boxes stacked in New York:  stock markets have been an excellent long-term investment is because of the huge returns generated by a tiny minority of superstocks such as Amazon. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

An outlay of $1,000 on the company’s shares in 1997 would net you about $1m today

Bitcoin bubble makes the ‘regret chart’

Stocktake: US stocks remain high in spite of Trump, and riding the bitcoin bubble

New York Stock Exchange: Historically low levels of anxiety have confounded those who assumed an upsurge in volatility was a given in 2017. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Stocktake: If calm indicates complacency, prices may be more vulnerable than presumed

European stocks are seen as good value right now, but Merrill predicts that Europe’s recent outperformance is due a pause. Photograph: iStockphoto

StockTake: Europe is good value in contrast to US, but don’t rule out a reversal of fortune

A plastic bull figurine, symbol of the Frankfurt stock exchange, is pictured in front of the share price index DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany. Photograph:  Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach

American equity funds experienced $22.2bn in outflows recently

Snap stock fell by a quarter following a much-hyped IPO in March, as  its Snapchat app faced further threat from Facebook’s Instagram. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Stocktake: markets snooze; Gundlach trolls the media; Snap shareholders feel the pinch

A trader  on the floor at the closing bell of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange: a range of studies have cast light on the drive and personality of traders. Photograph: Bryan R Smith/AFP/Getty

Research suggests thrill-seeking and youth are closely linked to excessive stock trading

Tesla is valued at $50 billion, making it America’s most valuable car maker. GM sold 10 million cars last year, Ford 6.6 million; Tesla, which is rapidly burning cash, sold 76,230.  Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Stocktake: car maker is sounding more like a cult, with Elon Musk as its hubristic leader

Ordinary investors tend to be seduced by glamour stocks and eschew cheap, less fashionable stocks.

Proinsias O’Mahony on the pitfalls to which the ordinary investor are all too prone

Even at  height of  global financial crisis in late 2008 and early 2009,  59%-66% of US companies beat expectations. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Stocktake: Learn why it’s profitable to buy shares in female- or foreign-led firms

No bubble: ‘Amazon’s valuation is eye-popping, but that’s been true for most of the past decade’. Photograph: Reuters/Mike Segar

Stocktake: Don’t sell in May and go away – study says investors should sit tight

A Theresa May election victory would push the next election out until 2022, giving her  more time to negotiate international trade deals after Brexit, “boosting the chance of an economic revival even after a very hard departure from the EU”. Photograph: Getty Images

Assuming stronger May means ‘soft Brexit’ is unwise given her prior support for ‘hard Brexit’

Snap’s IPO: Snapchat’s owner  waited until it had secured a valuation of  $25bn before going public. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg/Getty Images

More and more companies are opting to fund their growth via private markets

The “computers good, humans bad” trend in fund management is only likely to accelerate.

Actively managed funds are losing out to computerised investment strategies

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz: protested to staff that the “disruptive and belligerent” passenger had been “politely asked” to leave the flight. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/File Photo

Stocktake: Share prices would have suffered less if Oscar Munoz had read the ‘Saving Face’ report

 John Templeton:  “The four most dangerous words in investing are ‘This time it’s different’ ”  Photograph: PA/Wire

Many memorable one-liners have emerged from Wall Street, offering intriguing insights into the approaches of both long-term invest(...)

Beauty’s more than skin-deep. Photograph: iStock

Stocktake: Best-looking analysts get more sensitive information from management – study

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon.com: Amazon’s soaring stock price means he has surpassed Warren Buffett as the world’s second-richest man. Photograph:  Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Stocktake: Merrill Lynch research shows it’s time for investors to hold tough

Robo-advisors’ big selling points are their ease of access and affordability.

Fees are cheap but will Irish investors be tempted by computer-based advice?

“President” Marine Le Pen? “Most fund managers seemingly believe that even if Le Pen does win, it would not be the end of the world.” Photograph: Alain Jocard/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Stocktake: Belated sell-off for stocks, worries about ‘President’ Le Pen and men v women

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The high-margin technology sector is much more important in the US than it is in other regions. Photograph: EPA/Andrew Gombert

Europe and emerging markets look like better bets over the next decade

Markets exhibiting sharp price increases have a “substantially heightened” probability of crashing, a Harvard study says.

A Harvard study reveals clues to help investors avoid stock-market crashes

Ackman’s mistake is the same one Sean Quinn made with Anglo-Irish Bank shares – his position was just too big. Photograph: Alan Betson

Stocktake: betting the farm is always dumb – whether you make a bundle or lose the lot

Marine Le Pen at a campaign rally in Rignac, southern France, on March 4th. Photograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP

An advancing equity market does not necessarily mean investors are not nervous

 The Wall Street bull: What if this current bull market isn’t as old as it looks.  Photograph:  Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Stocktake: Being patient can pay off even when looking at the hottest new stocks

US president Donald Trump: there was relief last week when he didn’t say anything terrifying in his first congressional address. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/Reuters

This rally is refusing to retreat, which must be torture for those on the sidelines

There are no guarantees in markets; although the bull market may currently appear well placed to enjoy a ninth birthday and beyond, one never knows for sure. Photograph: Eightfish

Second-longest advance in market history shows no signs of ending any time soon

Googleplex in Menlo Park, California: Public companies like  Google, Amazon and Facebook   have been richly rewarded for prioritising long-term projects ahead of short-term earnings pressures. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty

McKinsey report finds short-termism in US costs millions of jobs and hampers growth

Black Monday,  October 19th,  1987. The Dow Jones closing last week over 2,000 points above its 200-day average for the first time ever isn’t as ominous as it appears.  Photograph:  Maria Bastone/AFP/Getty Images

Stocktake: A cool look at overbought markets and cracks in the global rally

Snap’s valuation, expected to be in the region of $20-$25 billion, means it will likely trade on a stratospheric price-sales ratio of 55. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

No major flotation in recent decades has looked remotely as expensive as Snap’s

JP Morgan, Fidelity, Amundi and Schroders were among the companies selling funds with an active share of under 60 per cent and a tracking error of less than 4 per cent, said Better Finance. Photograph: Simon Newman/Reuters

Stocktake: Funds sold as actively managed may actually closely follow benchmarks

Donald Trump-induced trade disruptions are a possibility in 2017, says BlackRock’s Larry Fink. Photograph: Al Drago/The New York Times

Stocktake: Worrying about Trump, don’t believe the hype and snapping up the wrong ‘Snapchat’

Since 1926, less than half of stocks actually generated any returns for investors, new research shows. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Study over last 90 years finds the majority of stocks underperform risk-free bonds

US president Donald Trump: tech giants Apple, Google and Microsoft  all voiced  concerns about travel ban. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

Is Wall Street’s three-month honeymoon with Donald Trump coming to an end?

Investors would prefer to avoid trade wars, geopolitical strife and incompetent policymaking. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

StockTake: Trumponomics sparked a big bounce, but concerns have curtailed rally

Sense of perspective required to put ‘big, scary numbers into context’

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Even if Trump’s presidency proves unexpectedly successful, investors are likely to witness a bear market during his ten(...)

Madame Tussaud designers in London adjust a wax figure of US president-elect Donald Trump. His behaviour and policies will dictate whether more market U-turns arise. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Investors respond rapidly to incoming US president’s unpredictable rhetoric and policy

 Bernie Madoff: “He stole more money than anyone in history, and to other thieves, this makes him a hero.” Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Stocktake: The Trump factor, presidential tweets and Madoff’s hot chocolate monopoly

In Barclays’ “blue-sky” scenario, favourable political outcomes could drive an index gain of as much as 18 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images

Both Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch are making optimistic noises for 2017

British investors would have made more money if they had invested almost anywhere else

  Michael Lewis, author of The Undoing Project and, previously, The Big Short. Photograph: TJ Kirkpatrick/Getty

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky paved the way for behavioural finance

Investor sentiment is buoyant ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States on January 20th, a survey of newsletter writers has shown. Photograph: Damon Winter/The New York Times

StockTake: ‘Bull market checklist’ suggests any decline unlikely to be decisive

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange  in Manhattan. Most 2017 forecasts focus on the stock-friendly measures promised by the incoming Trump administration. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Strategists are quite bullish, favouring US over Europe, but should investors care?

“Stocks have more than tripled since March 2009, with six of the last eight years producing double-digit returns.” Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Investor optimism, emerging markets, political fears and a quiet holiday period

Traders  on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange recently. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

How unrealised fear of a global recession has given way to renewed hope for 2017

Donald Trump: his expectations for fiscal stimulus next year have clearly changed market expectations. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Stocktake: Trump’s election victory has decisively altered market expectations in US

Women who do become fund managers tend to be given less responsibility than male fund managers

Just one in nine fund managers in Ireland is a woman, and the problem is getting worse worldwide

Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP: Does his £70.4m  a year package qualify as a “superstar salary”? Photograph: Eamonn M McCormack/Getty Images

Stocktake: Italian crisis not a crisis, bullishness at 17-month highs and ‘exuberance’ on way

Trump bump: this is not a short-term bout of euphoria triggered solely by Trump’s surprise election victory – markets have been getting into gear since the summer. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Much is made of the recent spike in bond yields, but bonds had bottomed last July

Donald Trump: The billionaire’s shock presidential victory, like the Brexit vote, caused markets to tumble before bouncing back.  Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Stocktake: Round-number milestones historically associated with under-performance

Whatever one’s feelings about Donald Trump, it pays to remember that in markets, the trend is your friend. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Stocks may have enjoyed a nice rally but there is no cause yet for euphoria

Donald Trump: some pundits who predicted a Trump victory have been lauded as Nostradamus-like visionaries, even if their predictions were only half-right. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Asked about the possibility of Brexit in April, the ‘bond king’ said it would not happen

As markets rallied following Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, Wall Street changed its previously bearish tune. Photograph: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Market response to US election result confounds bearish forecasters

Wilbur Ross has played down fears of a trade war with China

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross tipped to become new US commerce secretary

Calculating your type: Patient types may opt to wait for the bigger payments while less patient souls might prefer to get their hands on the money straight away

Novel ways of engaging pension-fund investors are being devised, ranging from a short quiz to face-ageing apps

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Sioux City Convention Center in Sioux City, Iowa on November 6, 2016. Donald Trump barnstorms five states Sunday while Hillary Clinton implores her most fervent supporters to get to the polls, in a frenetic final 48-hour dash to the US presidential election. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGANMANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

Consternation regarding Trump’s victory is understandable, but one point bears repeating: don’t let your politics colour your inve(...)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton smiles on stage at a rally  in Las Vegas. Photograph: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Markets are waking up to the risks, falling eight days in a row following the narrowing of Hillary Clinton’s lead

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been notably boastful  when recounting  his own  investment performance. Photograph: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A cool look beyond the bluster at the Republican candidate’s financial prowess

Republican  nominee Donald Trump: influential Citigroup economist Willem Buiter  warns that a Trump presidency could actually lead to a global recession. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Will a Donald Trump victory really have the disastrous effects predicted by some?

The current reading is quite remarkable; one expects such cash levels during market crises, not when indices are near all-time highs. Photograph:  Mary Altaffer/AFP

Stocktake: El-Erian’s timing out; financial illiteracy; investors lose faith in Trump

Going with your gut: “The results of the study indicate the market ‘selects’, Darwinian-style, ‘for traders with good gut feelings’, with those lacking in this department ‘eliminated’ over time.” File photograph: Scott Olson/Reuters

Recent study suggests that traders attuned to physiological signals make more money

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