Separate data from Pension Partners’ Charlie Bilello shows that over the last 70 years, readings of 47.8 or lower have usually been followed by recessions within two years. Photograph: iStock

‘Recession risk is real’, says Deutsche Bank’s Torsten Slok

Extrovert CEOs may be more likely to hurt their companies than to help them. Photograph: iStock

Extroverts can be more prone to overconfidence and cause poorer financial performance

Warren Buffett, chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway, has always argued buybacks make sense if a company is trading below its ‘intrinsic value’. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Practice has returned $5tn to shareholders since 2009 but opinion split on its merits

A scene from The Big Short (2015)

Opinion is divided over whether indexing poses a huge threat or adds to stability

 Mike Ashley: Almost a third of Sports Direct’s independent shareholders voting against the controversial billionaire’s re-election as director. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Stocktake: ‘Dinosaur’ Mike Ashley; Fed ‘boneheads’; Hurricane Dorian hits investors

US president Donald Trump:  He is no longer merely venting on Twitter, but using his tweets as a policy tools. Photograph: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Stock markets are increasingly concerned about the US president’s online outbursts

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Ugly sentiment suggests stocks have bottomed

BlackRock founder Larry Fink said companies must ‘demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate’ and that ‘purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits’.  Photograph: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Hundreds of US’s biggest public companies have shed their shareholder-first ideology

Traders work the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph:  Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

Corporate insiders are busy selling

The New York Stock Exchange. Last month, major US indices suffered their biggest one-day falls of the year after 10-year bond yields fell below their two-year counterparts for the first time since 2008. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Yield curve inversions’ reputation as a recession indicator is well deserved

When unicorns go public. WeWork has revealed heavy losses as part of filings for its parent company’s multibillion dollar public offering in the United States. Photograph: Katelyn Perry/WeWork/PA Wire

More US recession indicators flashing red

Investing has a lot of the same features as poker, says game theorist Kevin Zollman.

Like poker players, investors should learn to think in terms of probabilities

Most of the Fanmags – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, Apple, and Google – are “trading at valuations nearly as rich as they have ever traded,” according to investor Rob Arnott. Photograph: Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images

History suggests no market fashion or trend persists indefinitely

US president Donald Trump may view trade threats as a way of getting the rate cuts he craves, but this would be a pyrrhic victory if China accepts an economic downturn in order to hurt his election prospects. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

A Trump trade deal ahead of 2020 presidential election now unlikely, says Goldman Sachs

Forgetting bad investments can stop us learning from costly mistakes

On Wall Street, the phrase ‘it’s a stock-picker’s market’ is often bandied about, the implication being indices may struggle in coming months or years and that investors need to place their faith in stock-pickers who will identify the companies that will hold their own and outperform. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Picking the handful of stocks that deliver the bulk of investor returns is seeking a needle in a haystack

Earnings season in the US is in full swing with Amazon, Facebook and Google parent Alphabet all reporting earnings last week. Photograph: Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images

Companies might be beating estimates but they are not increasing guidance

Despite increased recession concern and flat to negative corporate earnings and revenues, the S&P 500 enjoyed its best first half to a year since 1998. Photograph: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

Survey suggests 45 per cent chance of global recession in next 12 months

Traders work  at the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Johannes EISELE / AFP)JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images

Investors can only hope Trump fails in his latest attempt to bend the Fed to his will

It is tricky  for investors to overcome their thinking biases. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Our present investing behaviour is very much shaped by our past

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/reuters

Some market jitters ahead would not be surprising

“The only reason stock markets have been an excellent investment is because of the gargantuan returns generated by a handful of stocks (think Apple, Amazon and the likes).” Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Concentrated portfolios are in theory more likely to outperform the market

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. Photograph: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Stocktake: Mega-cap stocks are driving global market gains

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. All investors can suffer from short-termism, says fund manager Joe Wiggins, “but it is easier for amateur investors to avoid it”. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Ordinary investors are free to avoid the short-termism that plagues professionals

Federal Reserve chief  Jerome Powell  has come under pressure from markets and Donald Trump to cut rates. Photograph: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Like a binge-worthy drama, Netflix shows stocks move because of fear and greed

The US stock market has looked much pricier than other developed markets over the last decade but it has justified seemingly hefty valuation multiples precisely because US companies have been so profitable.   Photograph: Westend61/Getty images

Recent indications show profitability is coming under pressure

One gets the impression right now that markets, buoyed by the likelihood of US interest rate cuts from an increasingly dovish Federal Reserve, want to go higher. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

A record number of investors say the global economy is in its late-cycle stages

 Neil Woodford: his reputation lies in ruins.

Investors shouldn’t be surprised by Woodford’s fall from grace

US president Donald Trump: took to Twitter to bash the Fed.  Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Also, the Beyond Meat bubble and Woodford investors paying for underperformance

Investors were alarmed by US president Donald Trump’s recent threat to keep hiking tariffs on Mexico if it doesn’t take steps to stop illegal immigration to the US. Photograph: Michael Reynolds/EPA

Investment strategists concerned by Trump’s unpredictable trade policy

President Donald Trump. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Stocktake: If Trump thinks he can bully the Fed via risky policies, he might just do so

The JP Morgan post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. In April,  the firm launched a European-listed ETF with a total expense ratio of just 0.04 per cent. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Funds in passive investment poised to eclipse active stock-picking for the first time

 Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: ‘United’s assumption was there was a “causal link between Solskjær’s skill as a manager and the upturn in the team’s fortunes”.’ Photograph: Andrew Yates/Reuters

Club paying price for turning down chance to expand sample on which to judge Solskjaer

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk after his company’s initial public offering at the Nasdaq market in New York, 2010. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/File Photo/Reuters

Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas said shares could fall to $10 in a worst-case scenario

 Casual investors who noticed the sudden jump in 10-year returns might think 2018 was a spectacularly good year for stock markets, but that’s not the case at all. Photograph: David Karp/AP Photo

Managers will look to capitalise on boost in 10-year returns when calendar falls in their favour

The cryptocurrency market is notorious for manipulative activity. Investors should stay sceptical.

Fund managers are cautious but not gloomy while volatility spike augurs well for stocks

During strong bull markets, positive economic and corporate news can cause investors to forget the lessons of history and to assume the trend will continue indefinitely. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

A multitude of inbuilt unconscious biases undermine investors’ decision-making

US President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping  in Beijing in November 2017. Trade tensions between the two countries have caused ripples in stock markets. Photograph: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

Stocktake: Fear index on track to record biggest monthly increase since last October

Lyft founders John Zimmer and Logan Green at a party celebrating the ride-hailing company’s IPO in March. Photograph: Alex Welsh/The New York Times

Current flotation market resembles manic dotcom era

Uber is worth what investors are willing to pay, and that willingness is influenced by the “fear of missing out on the next Amazon”.  Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

‘If you believe that there are no games played with pricing ... think again’

While professional investors tend to be undone by distraction and inattention, ordinary investors are more likely to pay attention to the wrong things. File photograph: Getty

‘Managers running at least two funds did much worse than managers running one’

The old “sell in May and go away” adage invariably does the rounds at this time of year. So is it good advice? Photograph: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

The overall picture suggests investors, burned badly in late 2018, still guarded

Climate change activists stage a protest outside the HM Treasury building in central London, during environmental protests by the Extinction Rebellion group. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

Leading oil and gas companies have a lot to fear from eventual introduction of a carbon tax

Fund managers may not be worried about a US recession occurring in 2019, but things might get hairy in 2020. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg 

Many investors, sceptical of US rally, have kept piles of money on the sidelines

Analysts tend to get it wrong when companies are strongly outperforming or underperforming relative to others in their sector, according to a 2013 study. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Analysts are often overworked, overconfident and poor at spotting lies

It’s often joked that IPO stands for ‘It’s probably overpriced’ and Lyft’s valuation always looked challenging. Photograph: Oliver Berg/AFP/Getty

Stocks are on the cusp of all-time highs and at the upper end of their five-year range

 A paper from the San Francisco Fed last year found that yield curve inversions are the most reliable predictor of recession risk. Photograph: iStock

US bond market recently gave off a classic signal of a coming recession. Should investors be spooked?

The S&P 500 posted double-digit gains in the first quarter after three consecutive monthly advances, something that might unnerve cautious types who assume what goes up, must come down. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images/File photo

Data suggests investors shouldn’t be wary simply because stocks have been strong

Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman lost hundreds of millions of dollars betting against nutritional supplement company Herbalife. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Research shows investors should also be wary of firms headed by egotistical chiefs

Stephen Moore speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Washington, DC, on March 22nd. Trump said he’s nominating Moore, a long-time supporter of the president, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Stephen Moore described as lacking ‘intellectual gravitas’ for the role

Value investing: has the strategy outlived its usefulness due to structural market changes? Photograph: Getty Images

Practice has yielded handsome returns in the past but failed to bear fruit in recent years

US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell   insisted the US economy remains strong, but many commentators speculated the Fed must be increasingly concerned about a looming slowdown Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Fed’s rate hike U-turn surprises investors; Woodford claims ‘spectacular’ returns on way

Professional investors are almost twice as likely to change their behaviour after a losing streak than a winning streak, and not in a good way. Photograph: Getty Images

Fund managers become risk-seekers following losing streaks, study finds

A mosaic of pound sterling symbols set into the floor of the front hall of the Bank of England in London. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Reuters

Short bets against sterling now at highest level since December

Yes, most investors are awful at timing. Photograph: iStock

It’s hard to disagree with old cliché that time in the market is more important than timing the market

President Donald Trump with China’s president, Xi Jinping, in Beijing for trade talks in 2017. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

President has linked recent gains to progress on trade talks with China

Both sexes are biased but are they equally biased? According to a 2010 paper female analysts tend to issue bolder and more accurate forecasts than their male counterparts. Photograph: iStock

Studies show analysts can be influenced by number of factors including political views and gender

US president Donald Trump watches as China’s vice premier Liu He speaks with US trade representative Robert Lighthizer in the Oval Office in February. Photograph:   Getty Images

Berkshire Hathaway CEO has struggled to beat the markets for some time now

‘When times get tough, investors often decide to sit things out until the coast is clear. The problem is that by the time the smoke has lifted, the train has often left the station, to use an old market adage.’ Photograph: Pat Roque/AP

When stocks bottomed out in 2009 there was fear of meltdown of the financial system

Elon Musk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc, speaks during an unveiling event for the Boring Co Hawthorne test tunnel in Hawthorne, California in 2018. Photograph: Robyn Beck/Bloomberg

Stocktake: Tesla chief’s ongoing carelessness a cause of concern for investors

The New York Stock Exchange. Robeco’s new study goes all the way back to 1800, testing the long-term performance of six different factors on four different asset classes – stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities. Photograph: iStock

Study looking back to 1800 confirms following the trend, seasonality and value investing beat the market

Apple is up almost 50%  since July, meaning Levoff has seemingly missed out on millions of dollars in gains. Photograph:  EPA/Franck Robichon

There has been an about-turn in sentiment towards emerging markets

JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon was ranked the best chief executive in the world in 2018 by CEO World magazine. Photograph: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

Company boards attribute too much importance to the role of chief executive

Home Depot founder Kenneth Langone railed against ‘all of these people with these highfalutin’ ideas’. File photograph: Yana Paskova/For the ‘Washington Post’ via Getty Images

Reports of Apple’s demise are overstated while worrying about timing is as futile as ever

Managers are much more likely to sell stocks with extreme returns, research indicates. Photograph: Reuters

Random sales strategy is better than a bad sales strategy, research shows

  Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell turned unexpectedly dovish after markets soared last week. Photograph: Reuters

Trump cheers Dow 25,000 – again, and the ‘Venezuelan’ wealth tax

Traders at the New York Stock Exchange. Two-thirds of investors surveyed in the wake of the global financial crisis believed the S&P 500 fell in 2009; in reality, it soared 26 per cent. Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A fact-based world view is more useful to investors than the siren song of news

‘It wouldn’t surprise me at all if we slipped into a recession real soon,’ says Nobel economist Robert Shiller. Photograph:  Reuters/Michelle McLoughlin

Stocktake: Investors shouldn’t confuse a slowdown with a recession, ‘that’s just wrong’

Why are stocks gaining in the face of mounting economic uncertainty? Photograph: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Stocks have room to keep rising if outlook begins to look less uncertain

Vanguard founder John Bogle, who died last week aged 89. He launched the first index fund for ordinary investors in 1976. Photograph: Ryan Collerd/New York Times

Stocktake: Brexit market complacency; cutting earnings estimates; S&P 500 rallies

Diversification reduces risk of long-term disappointment, but avoiding short-term pain is another matter entirely. Photograph: iStock

Research shows in short-term market panics few stocks are spared

Apple’s recent woes  have prompted many apocalyptic headlines lately. Photograph: Jason Lee/File Photo

Stocktake: Market volatility taking its toll on Trump; fear and greed grips Mr Market

“Market forecasts are particularly tricky. No one can see the future – the world is inherently uncertain and surprising things will happen.” Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Research shows people see value in humility after recognising limited understanding

Traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The most prescient bear on Wall Street in 2018 was Morgan Stanley’s Michael Wilson, who warned we were witnessing a “rolling bear market”. Photograph: Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Forecasts from strategists show bullish expectations have been reined in

The Fearless Girl and  Charging Bull statues on Wall Street in New York. Photograph: William Volcov/Getty Images

Investors should not assume the worst is over if indices enjoy a strong rebound

US president Donald Trump: he  has threatened to shut down the government if his funding demands for the US-Mexico wall are not met. Photograph: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

The mindset of traders has changed – instead of buying the dip they are selling the rallies

Bitcoin has lost 80 per cent of its value in the last year. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

Cryptocurrency price collapse a painful lesson for new generation of investors

The charging bull statue near the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street. Investors keep getting wrong-footed by the market swings. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Wild price swings show role animal spirits currently play in financial markets

Prof Terrance Odean: Managers were 17 per cent more likely to repurchase a stock if they had previously sold it for a profit rather than a loss

A behavioural finance expert says investors are not as dispassionate as you’d think

Markets are increasingly optimistic the Brexit worst-case scenarios will be averted. Deutsche Bank estimates the odds of a soft Brexit deal to be   50 per cent to 65 per cent. Photograph: Getty Images

Microsoft’s obituaries were premature as it reclaimed its status as the world’s most valuable company for the first time since 200(...)

A cocktail of superior profitability, a conservative financial structure and creditworthiness is typically rewarded by investors, with family firms tending to trade at a premium to rival companies.Photograph: Getty Images

Family companies have handsomely outperformed the broader equity markets in all regions of the world

World Trade Center on the day of the 9/11 attacks: Labour adviser Jo Moore famously suggested it was a good day for the British government to bury bad news. Photograph: Sean Adair/Reuters

Beware blame on external factors, bad news buried on Fridays and deceptive graph use

Traders  on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. The recent losses at Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google exceed the value of the entire Spanish stock market. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Stocktake: Tech giants in bear market as $1tn wiped off value since peak

After a near 10-year rally, is a bear market looming for US stocks? Photograph: iStock

It may be that this is a late-cycle bull market that isn’t quite finished yet

  Apple fell into a bear market last week. Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Bitcoin likely to see further falls; oil is on the verge of hitting a 52-week low

Markets now perceive the Democrats as the fiscally responsible party, as evidenced by the reaction in bond markets. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

S&P 500 enjoyed its biggest one-day post-midterm bounce since 1982

Stock markets have always been volatile, but the suddenness of the recent correction   took many by surprise. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Keep calm and carry on’ remains sound advice for long-term investors

Not all money managers share the idea that emerging market stocks are obviously cheap, while others say they are cheap for good reasons. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Whatever about the short term, emerging markets can be a very good option

Corrections are par for the course in bull markets, but investors are understandably spooked by the scale of the selling. The S&P 500 went 28 consecutive days without registering back-to-back gains. Photograph: Getty Images

The 6.9% fall of the S&P 500 was its biggest monthly decline in seven years, while things were worse in tech-land with the Nasdaq (...)

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk said short sellers were a source of “extreme torture”. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Tesla chief Elon Musk is latest in long line of figures suspicious of short selling

Things can change quickly in markets, as Amazon shareholders have discovered. Photograph: Lindsey Wasson/Reuters

The US has been playing catch-up with what has become a truly global sell-off

Jerome Powell, chairman of the US Federal Reserve. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

In a US bull market and with 10-year bonds soaring, should equity investors be worried?

US indices have hit multiple all-time highs this year and the nine-year bull market remains intact, recent weakness notwithstanding.

Global economy is in late cycle, record 85 per cent of fund managers surveyed say

  US president Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally on October 4th  in Rochester, Minnesota, ahead of the midterm elections. Photograph:    Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Merrill Lynch says elections could have implications for fiscal policy and foreign ties

US president Donald Trump and Ivanka Trump in Washington on Thursday. The president’s grasp of basic economics is even weaker than it already appears to be. Photograph: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

This is the week when the S&P 500 suffered its biggest one-day fall in eight months

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk: After he publicly apologised for criticising an analyst, Tesla’s share value soared by almost $5 billion, making it “maybe the most valuable apology of all time”. File Photograph:  Joe Skipper/Reuters

Facebook, Apple and Uber have done the mea culpa – but an apology can go awry

A Nike Ad featuring American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick on display in New York last month. Photograph: Angela Weiss/AFP

Growing number of firms finding principle doesn’t have to be at expense of business

Canada is to legalise medicinal cannabis next month. Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch survey showing pessimism may be good news for contrarians

More articles