New Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell is untested but is likely to follow Janet Yellen’s dovish script. Photograph:  Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Stocks may suffer further near-term falls but a bear market remains unlikely

 Donald Trump: no other US president has allied himself so closely to the stock market. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

‘If you claim the rise, you own the fall’

  Janet Yellen: despite an excellent term as head of the  Federal Reserve,   she was passed over for a second term by US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

In a normal market, last week’s declines would hardly be noticed, but this has not been a normal market

The very long bull market shows no signs of letting up. Photograph  Spencer Platt/Getty

Stocktake: Investors are still jumping in as FOMO trumps worry of losing money

Netflix has become the latest company to enjoy a market capitalisation in excess of $100 billion. Photograph:  Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Stocktake: US stocks set for bumper earnings season as S&P 500 surge continues

Data showed that 96.7 per cent of the visitors to one bitcoin-related website were male.

Cryptocurrency craze overwhelmingly male just like countless past bubbles

Graffiti at the site of the new £355 million Royal Liverpool Hospital, which was being built by Carillion: Many  are to blame for the Carillion debacle, but short sellers are not among them. Photograph: Pat Hurst/PA

The cryptocurrency is volatile and its future value trajectory is anyone’s guess

Markets have enjoyed a very strong start to the year and the northward ascent is triggering giddiness among investors

Ordinarily, market over-reactions are short-lived, but not with cryptocurrency-related stocks

Some of the highest Cape readings in history were registered prior to major market crashes, and the indicator has long been used by long-term investors to establish whether equities are cheap or expensive. Photograph: iStock

The Cape ratio is twice as high as its average, but no one is panicking yet

Traders work on the floor of the New York stock Exchange. Twenty-seventeen was the first year in history that US stocks gained in every single month. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Gains of over 50% predicted, with no sign of bull market party ending soon

Wall Street sign in front of the NYSE. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

. . . Or will the not too hot, not too cold Goldilocks market persist?

“The ‘Stock Trader’s Almanac’ suggests a failure to stick to the seasonal script can be an indicator further short-term pain is in store – hence the expression, ‘If Santa Claus should fail to call, bears may come to Broad and Wall.’” Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Seasonal boost to stocks found even where Christmas is not a leading holiday

Investors have fallen under bitcoin’s spell. Photograph: Jim Urquhart/Reuters

Stocktake: The rise of the cryptocurrency has sparked a wave of FOMO – fear of missing out

Bitcoin’s advance dwarfs all but one bubble in financial history – the Dutch tulip mania in the 17th century. Photograph:  Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Warren Buffett, Howard Marks and Nobel economist Robert Shiller have warned the craze will end badly

US president Donald Trump and US vice president Mike Pence: investors seemed underwhelmed by Trump’s tax cuts. Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters

Stocktake: Tech stock fall is factor-led. Plus: Trump’s tax cuts; Weinstein’s ‘comeback’

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen: academic heavyweight whose expertise helped guide her through what has been a tumultuous decade in financial markets. Photograph: REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

After a decade of unprecedented financial experimentation caution is warranted

“Pointing out the insanity surrounding bitcoin invariably catalyses apoplectic reactions from supporters protesting sceptics don’t ‘get it’.” Photograph: Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

Stocktake: Indications of speculative bubble in cryptocurrency’s wild ride

December has traditionally been the strongest month for stocks and money managers will be eyeing another Santa Claus rally. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Investors wary of FAANG’s hefty valuations may turn to Asian tech stocks

Pedestrians  reflected in a stock market indicator board in Tokyo, November 2017. Photograph: Epa/Franck Robichon

Stocktake: Is Japan a freak case, the exception to the ‘buy and hold’ rule?

Traders on the floor of the Dow Industrial Average at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, as  Donald Trump delivers a televised statement from the White House.  Photograph:  Bryan R Smith/AFP/Getty Images

The US president’s knowledge of how the markets actually work could be improved

Prof Robert Shiller: a study has examined the S&P 500’s cyclically-adjusted price-earnings ratio, a widely-followed metric popularised by the Nobel economist.   Photograph: AP Photo/Jessica Hill

Why European equities falling seven days in a row is not a cause for panic

About one in five US companies are likely to be “distorting” earnings at any one time, according to a survey of almost 400 CFOs published in the Financial Analysts’ Journal last year. Illustration: Getty Images

Beware companies that consistently hit their quarterly earnings targets – they may be cleverly manipulating the figures and headin(...)

Wu Wenhui, co-chief executive officer of China Literature, celebrates as the online bookshop owned by Tencent jumped 100 per cent on its Hong Kong Stock Exchange debut.  Photograph: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg

Stocktake: word is out on China Literature; stocks defy gravity; Woodford sticks with Brexit

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Absence of stock market volatility at a time of global uncertainty a mystery

Harry Redknapp has joined the cryptocurrency party, tweeting last month: “proper excited about Mobile Cryptocurrency!” Photograph:  Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Momentum may be about to accelerate as stocks enter seasonally strongest part of year

Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street”:  Ruthlessness is often prized in financial circles but it turns out that nice guys don’t always finish last

Bitcoin surpassed $6,000 last week so it’s a good time to ask, is it overpriced?

There’s broad agreement that the US market is one of the world’s priciest and that it’s richly valued relative to history. File photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The US market looks pricey relative to Europe, but it always does. What might cause the valuation gap to narrow?

Donald Trump: The 1,000-point thresholds “continue to drop like flies these days”, noted Bespoke Investment Group. This was the fifth such crossing since Trump’s election win last November. Photograph:  Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Barrons warn markets ‘could be at risk of another computer-driven meltdown’

Richard Thaler, the father of behavioural finance. Once a niche field, behavioural economics is decidedly mainstream these days. Photograph:  Tannen Maury/EPA

We can all learn from the man who so closely observes the quirks that govern our financial decision-making

 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

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

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’

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

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%

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?

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

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

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’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

More articles