I have always been opposed to investing directly in Marks & Spencer. My view was simple. M&S sat in no man’s land. You had John Lewis that provided high-end goods. On the other end, there was Primark. If M&S made a few wrong calls on fashion then they would have a major slump. This did happen quite a few times. Yesterday’s news that M&S is to close down more stores came as no surprise. I strongly believe that M&S food is the ventilator that has kept the company alive. It will continue to do so. As always all you have to do is have a walk through the stores of M&S. In general, M&S Food will have the largest percentage of people. This trend will change unless M&S can appeal to the people who are inclined towards healthy but quick food but their older base that would like their traditional British meals. Will M&S be able to balance their traditional Cottage Pie with their Thai green curry? In light of Brexit, I hope they do as they are one of the iconic British brands. If one has to gain exposure to the UK today then possibly the best way to do it is through VGK. The Vanguard European Fund has about a 29% exposure to the UK. The exposure to the European markets would act as a hedge. I believe we are going through an extremely interesting time right now. I do not like making predictions but there will be a winner and a loser in the whole Brexit process. Either way, the financial markets will get affected. Overall the European markets will go up.
Disclaimer: I do not hold any shares of Marks & Spencer or VGK right now.
Filed under Brexit, England, Europe, Food, FTSE, Indices, Investments, Market Outlook, Market Timing, United Kingdom, Vanguard
We went to a farmer’s market today. It was bright and sunny but there was a slight nip in the air. Out of nowhere a huge gust of wind blew in and nearly swept me away. For a moment I was glad that I put on that extra weight. There was genuine panic among the farmers there. For them their livelihood was literally nearly blown away by the wind. My wife grew some vegetables recently and I saw the love and care she put into it and those veggies were some of the best I have ever had. I can only imagine what trouble they would have gone through. Our farmers need our support. This should be done directly as much as possible. There are things there that are really good and is a great value for money. There are others that are more expensive but you can taste the difference. Among other things we bought some pumpkins. I have never liked pumpkins but she says that she can prepare it in such a way that I will like it. I am keeping at open mind. I hope the quality of the produce combined with the skill of wife’s culinary abilities will make me a convert.
The tube strike is on. Waiting for transportation is crazy. LI guess the strike is partially justified. Demanding that the employees that made mistakes be given their jobs back does not make sense. Asking for a rise in pay is acceptable. They are doing a much better job than the bankers. If they can get bonuses then why can’t the tube employees? Besides in my opinion the tube workers provide a more essential service. I should make it clear that I support giving of bonuses to people who perform well in the financial sector. However I think it should be based on a risk reward basis. Possibly more related to the Sortino ratio than Sharpe. The sledging of the Ashes has gone political. Gordon Ramsay called a leading Australian TV presenter a lesbian and “pig woman”. He also recommended that she use Simon Cowell’s Botox doctor. The Australian PM said “I think I can describe his remarks as reflecting a new form of low life. Good on Tracy Grimshaw for coming out and giving him a left uppercut.” Politicians should do what they do best. Let them continue making empty electoral promises and fleecing the tax payers money. I am not only referring to what has been happening in the UK. The rule in politics, finance and to a certain extent in life is”Do what you want to as long as you don’t get caught.” If you do get caught then you have to be ready to face the repercussions. These don’t only hurt the person who caused the mistake and cheated but also other people around. This should be a lesson that we have to learn from the financial crisis and the current political situation in the United Kingdom. I do not know whether the head of Gordon Brown will role. However I am sure that the public has lost faith in the political leaders.