The outperformance of sin stocks – tobacco, alcohol, gambling and arms – appears to be a global phenomenon

Proinsias O’Mahony takes a look at the ups and downs of the stock market

German bourse trader Matthias Praeger looks up to check his monitors as he sits in front of the German share price index DAX board at the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Photograph: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Proinsias O’Mahony assesses if European equities are really good for further gains

NYSE traders: Critics say cap-weighted indices run the risk of significant declines if a handful of constituent stocks tumble and that tracker funds will end up being too invested in overpriced stocks, and too little in underpriced stocks. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Hybrid approach aims to combine the best parts of active and passive investing

US stocks gained last week, but it has been an iffy 2015 for the S&P 500, which has badly underperformed other developed markets. Photograph: by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Proinsias O’Mahony takes a look at the ups and downs of the stock market

Checking Japan’s Nikkei: buying unpopular stocks on the Japanese index between 1981 and 2010 returned 13.6 per cent annually, compared with a meagre 3.97 per cent for the overall market. Photograph: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images

It usually pays to buy what’s unloved and steer clear of the flavour of the month

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

Proinsias O’Mahony takes a look at the ups and downs of the stock market

Swiss National Bank’s decision to end the Swiss franc’s peg with the euro has resulted in the euro falling as much as 41 per cent against the franc.  Photograph: Thomas Hodel/Reuters

No amount of risk management could have saved traders

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