William Investment Management

Top Trumps

So, Donald Trump will soon be sitting in the Oval Office. The BBC’s period of official mourning still has a week to run but from Silicon Valley to Islington (via Hollywood), the liberal left remains in a state of shock; if only the ‘deplorables’ couldn’t vote, Hillary would be President with Beyonc√© and Jay Z…

William Investment Management

Dedicated Followers of Fashion

The French fund manager, Jean Marie Eveillard, states “a good value (i.e. patient) investor aims to buy investments at prices that are less than they are truly worth and accepts there will be periods of short term pain. It is one reason why there are so few good value managers. It is not just psychological;…

William Investment Management

Turning Japanese

The Bank of Japan has just cut its overnight interest rate from 0.1% to minus 0.1% while Sweden’s Riksbank took its lower still from minus 0.35% to minus 0.50%. The Japanese have therefore joined the club that the Swedes already belonged to, along with the Danes, the Swiss and the European Central Bank. Even U.S.…

William Investment Management

Golden Years

Cast your mind back to those halcyon days when storms were nameless. Your dustbins were not only emptied regularly but actually returned to whence they came. Potholing was a weekend leisure activity rather than a description of your drive to work and it was possible to walk the length of the high street without being…

William Investment Management

The Klarman before the storm

For investors, risk and return are Siamese Twins; you can’t obtain the latter without the assumption of the former. As a firm, we are occasionally chided (in a friendly way, it should be said) because when it comes to the deployment of capital, we prefer to focus on what might go wrong rather than hope…

William Investment Management

Talk is Cheap

Forget what they say, it’s what they do that matters. A point reinforced by the tale of the Reverend Paul Flowers. A man whose credentials should have been impeccable now has questions to answer regarding historic expenses irregularities, consorting with rent boys and buying crack; there are also drugs allegations. Multiple ironies abound here; the…

William Investment Management

Mellow Yellen

There will soon be a changing of the guard at the U.S. Federal Reserve as Ben Bernanke hands the reins (together with the paper, ink and printing press) over to Janet Yellen. Regarded as a ‘dove’ rather than a ‘hawk’ (i.e. she is more concerned with unemployment than inflation) it is highly unlikely there will…

William Investment Management

Carney’s Army

It’s interesting how the appointment of a new broom can lead individuals to, well, change their minds. I suppose psychologists would say it is somehow related to the ingrained desire to seek shelter with the crowd. From the dawn of human existence on the plains of the Serengeti, mankind’s survival instinct decreed that the odds…

William Investment Management

The Road to Perdition

Value can be a frustratingly transient concept. It is documented that at the height of tulip mania in 17th century Holland, an Amsterdam town house was exchanged for a solitary bulb. Similarly, my daughter’s bedroom is often a tip and yet if she shared it with Tracey Emin, it would become art. As for those…

William Investment Management

Emperor Rothko

As a child, my favourite fairytale was Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. Upon reflection, I suspect this was because it chimed with reality where nonsense can persist indefinitely if individuals are afraid to look potentially foolish by challenging accepted orthodoxy. I was reminded of Andersen’s tale by the sight of numerous art experts…