Opinion: The danger of billion-dollar valuations

For example, Wolf cited Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp at $42 per user, which is in line with price-per-user acquisitions of companies like YouTube, Tumblr and Instagram. This is one way of looking at things, but it's severely flawed.

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Posted on April 17th, 2014 by Admin  |  No Comments »

How to Master Couponing With Minimal Effort

"Just because you have a coupon doesn't necessarily mean it's a god deal," Daily says. "Quite often, generics beat out a good deal with a coupon." TAGS: savings money consumers retailers personal finance personal budgets + More

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Posted on April 16th, 2014 by Admin  |  No Comments »

March will be test of US auto demand

Automakers are offering more discounts. Incentives are at a three-year high, averaging $2,633 per vehicle in February, up more than 5 percent from a year ago, according to TrueCar. That's good for consumers but expensive for automakers.

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Posted on April 16th, 2014 by Admin  |  No Comments »

Most consistent funds: UK Equity Income

In the first in a new series, FE Trustnet looks at the funds that have beaten their sector in each of the last five years – and those that also managed the feat in 2008.
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Martin Cholwill’s five crown-rated Royal London UK Equity Income fund is the only UK equity income portfolio to have beaten its sector in each of the last five calendar years, according to a recent FE Trustnet study. The £855m fund is also the only fund in the sector to have outperformed in each of the last six years, beating the sector average during the crash year of 2008, too. Source: FE Analytics Though there have been a number of funds that have consistently outperformed over the last four years, the majority failed to keep up in 2009 when equity markets rebounded after the financial crash. However, Cholwill’s fund was a top-quartile performer that year with returns of 25.8 per cent, though it underperformed against the FTSE All Share by 5 percentage points. It also boasted top-quartile returns in 2013, 2012 and 2010, and though it lost money in the falling market of 2011, it was still a second-quartile performer that year. Combined, that consistency of returns means Royal London UK Equity Income is the fourth best-performing portfolio in the sector over a five-year period. Cholwill (pictured) is renowned for being one of the best stockpickers in the sector and that is demonstrated in the fact that his fund is top quartile for its Sharpe and information ratio along with alpha generation compared with its benchmark over the past five years. Although Royal London UK Equity Income has been the most consistent fund in the sector, there are a number of other funds that deserve a mention. For example, FE Alpha Manager John McClure’s Unicorn UK Income was the best performing fund in the sector in 2012, 2010 and 2009, and was the fourth-best performer last year. However, the five crown-rated fund had a turbulent 2011 as the eurozone crisis deepened and its losses of 4.89 per cent put it into the third quartile. Nevertheless, Unicorn UK Income is the best performing portfolio in the sector over a cumulative five-year period, with returns of 278.72 per cent, and has beaten the FTSE All Share by more than 180 percentage points. Performance of fund vs sector and index over 5yrsSource: FE Analytics McClure is also bullish for the future, recently telling FE Trustnet that he expects to double his investors' returns over the next three years. Like Chowill’s fund, CF OLIM Equity also managed to outperform the sector in 2009. The fund, which is headed up by Angela Lascelles, Simon Jaffe and Andrew Impey, also beat the IMA UK Equity Income sector in 2013, 2012 and 2010. However, it too struggled in 2011 and was a third quartile performer that year. For those readers who are still wondering what to do with their exposure to Neil Woodford, they can take comfort in the fact FE Alpha Manager Mark Barnett, who will take over the Invesco Perpetual Income and High Income funds, has delivered consistently high returns. Barnett’s five crown-rated Invesco Perpetual UK Strategic Income fund beat the sector in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010. However, like Matthew Hudson’s Cazenove UK Equity Income fund, which has also achieved that feat, it failed to keep up with the rising market in 2009. Performance of funds vs sector and index over 5yrsSource: FE Analytics Barnett has been one of the best managers in the sector for capital preservation. His Invesco Perpetual UK Strategic Income fund is a top-quartile performer for downside risk, maximum drawdown, Sharpe ratio and annualised volatility over the last five years. Given the fact that equity markets have been on a general upward trend since the crash, it means his five-year numbers now look far more different than they did this time last year. Because the market crash in 2008 is no longer part of the five-year record, different funds now top the sector, with many of these having suffered in down markets. As a result, a number of market commentators say that investors should pay closer attention to discrete annual performance instead when they are looking for a fund, and examine how funds do in both rising and falling markets. Two funds that come out well on this analysis are FE Alpha Manager Leigh Harrison and Richard Colwell’s Threadneedle UK Equity Income and Threadneedle UK Equity Alpha Income funds. Although neither are top-quartile performers over a five-year period, they have both consistently beaten their rivals in individual calendar years. For instance, the duo's five crown-rated Threadneedle UK Equity Alpha Income fund was a top quartile performer in 2013, 2012 and 2011 and boasted second quartile returns in 2010. However, it is only a second quartile performer over five years, because it fell into the bottom quartile in 2009.
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Posted on April 14th, 2014 by Admin  |  No Comments »

Nordic noir for 100th Midsomer: Centenary episode shown tonight will see drama move to Copenhagen

The hit ITV programme is celebrating its 100th episode with a special edition set in Denmark, in recognition of UK’s love affair with Scandinavian detective shows.

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Posted on April 13th, 2014 by Admin  |  No Comments »