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

European equities have enjoyed their finest start to a year since 1989. After trailing US stocks for the last six years, is it turnaround time for the(...)

Decent earnings support stocksUS earnings season has been surprisingly strong, given the obvious headwinds – a stronger dollar and cratering oil profi(...)

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

Traditionally, investors had two choices – track stock markets by buying low-cost index funds, or opt for more expensive active funds that try to beat(...)

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

US stocks gained last week, but it has been an iffy 2015 for the S&P 500, which has badly underperformed other developed markets. However, there i(...)

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

Assembling a portfolio of unpopular stocks might seem like an unconventional investing approach, but research indicates it may well be a winning one. (...)

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

While US equities have sagged in recent weeks, European stocks have scored double- digit gains, mainly on the back of enthusiasm regarding the ECB’s b(...)

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

Last November, I reported on a French survey that found nine out of 10 foreign exchange traders lost money, and cautioned that leveraged trading is al(...)

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Are we beginning to see an end to the long period of US equity outperformance?The US market has trounced its developed market counterparts in recent y(...)

In the US, almost $92 billion was withdrawn from active funds last year, while passive funds attracted inflows of $156 billion. In the UK, money flowed into passive funds but more than $17 billion was pulled from active funds. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

If you can’t beat the market, track it. That’s the stance increasingly being taken by ordinary investors who, disillusioned by fund managers’ horrific(...)

Traders  on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Volatility, it appears, is back. After two years of remarkable calm, investor jitters have returned. It’s not simply that stocks are declining; there (...)