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Holly's Blog: Jingle Bells, FTSE falls, Ocado's Golden Egg...

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Here's our round-up summarising the stars and pantomime villains of the 2018 investment news headlines.

The Grinch: played by Bitcoin

Crypto” was the investment buzzword back in January. On Jan 1 bitcoin was trading at around £10,000 but is worth just £2,600 today. The next big thing? Oh yes it is! Oh no it isn’t. A reminder that good investing is usually, well, boring! 

 

The Angel: played by Ocado

When the country’s going to seed, turns out gobbling overpriced earthenware pots of tapas and buying truffle oil is essential survival fayre. Ocado’s share price has increased by 104% this year so far, making it one of the best performing stocks of 2018.

 

The Ghost of Christmas Past: played by British American Tobacco

Conversely, British American Tobacco and Royal Mail have suffered notable losses, falling 45% and 31% respectively. Yup, fag makers have choked on changing consumer trends and our digital obsession is relegating envelopes and stamps to HMRC joy-givers and estate agents only. 

 

The Beanstalk: played by Ukraine

The best performing stock market we can find for 2018, with returns of 90% over the last 12 months. Meanwhile on the other side of the world, the Caracas Stock Exchange is up 29% over a month. (But down 41% for the year before you get too excited). Don’t try these at home, folks. 

 

Bad Elf: played by the FTSE 100

This evil creature has been jumping up and down all year, disobeying the rules and running rings around the experts. October was unpleasant but December 6th saw the largest sell off since the EU referendum in June 2016. A huge £56 billion was wiped off the value of the City’s leading companies and our portfolios turned a nice festive red.

 

The 3 wise men: played by HSBC, Santander and NatWest

These three banks are all now targeting their retail customers with ‘robo advice’ or easier paths to investing. Santander’s is particularly interesting in approach, wrapping behavioural finance and psychology up into a ‘gamified’ approach, but it’s early days – we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt in our casting but let’s hope the lessons of the past have been learnt and we don’t recast as The Ugly Stepsisters in 2019. 

 

The Big Bad Wolf: played by tech firms

Many of 2018’s gains were delivered by the likes of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google – but then sweet little granny bared her FAANGS in October and since then Apple has fallen by 25% and Netflix by 28%, biting those who had piled in too heavily on the tech story. 

 

Clara from the Nutcracker: played by the ‘ethical’ brigade

5 robo advisers launched ethical portfolios, 7 investment platforms added ethical filters to fund lists and 77 new ethical open-ended funds launched in the first 6 months of the year alone. Ethical investing is growing.

Bah humbug, you say? Research now shows that many impact investors are actually outperforming and those companies thinking long-term are doing better. So put that in your tobacco-free pipe and (don’t) smoke it.

There you have it. And purposefully no mention of the ‘B’ word, evil stepmothers or preening, arrogant Gastons because we’ve had quite enough of that on the News.

 

Closer to home we have had over 160,000 people visit Boring Money so far this year. Over 7,000 of you get the weekly blog. We’ve written and contributed to over 12 articles a month in the papers and press. And collected nearly 2,000 reviews of investment providers on our Best Buys pages. Our team has grown from 7 to 15. 

We have some exciting plans for 2019 which we look forward to sharing with you soon. In the meantime, thank you for reading and thanks too for all your emails sharing views and opinion. Even the ones where you tell me what I’m getting wrong!

  

I wish you all a happy, healthy Christmas and we’ll be back in 2019 for some more Boring Money.

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Holly's blog: Santa baby, hurry to the FTSE for me

The stock market has had a tough few months and the FTSE 100 is down nearly 10% over the year. October was brutal. US stocks fell by about 7% and the tech darlings were savaged - Google’s shares lost 10%, while Amazon and Netflix fell by about 20%. Ouch. The last 2 weeks of November have also been rough.

Santa baby, hurry to the FTSE for me

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