Should you follow the activists into Unilever?

The consumer goods giant faces a major turnaround, but may be being judged too harshly

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP

Readers of Investability will know that we’ve never been the biggest fans of Unilever, and it seems several long-term investors are losing patience, too, including Nick Train of Lindsell Train and Terry Smith of Fundsmith.

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Ready for take-off?

Why it could be time to jump on board a recovery in the travel and leisure sector

Photo by Eduardo Velazco Guart

Apologies for my absence over the last week or so, which I’ve spend recovering from what I thought was a mild dose of the Omicron variant. Having suffered little during the first week with what seemed like not much more than a stinky cold, I’ve spent the second – since testing negative – feeling utterly awful. Shortness of breath, fatigue and a foggy head, thankfully now improving, has meant it’s taken all the concentration I can muster to get a few words down on paper.

Perhaps, then, the World Health Organisation is right that we should avoid the temptation to think that the pandemic is over or that Omicron is a mild disease – as I had done in week one of sniffly self-isolation. Cases are still rising in Europe and some developing world countries, like India. And my own brush with the bug leads me to think there is indeed something very un-cold-and-flu-like about it.

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Games Workshop: buy the dip?

Slowing growth has put pressure on the fantasy gaming company’s shares – but is the blip temporary?

Photo by Jack B

Something strange happened on Tuesday afternoon. At about 1.30pm, shares in Warhammer owner Games Workshop – which had released somewhat lacklustre half-year figures to the market earlier that morning to an initially muted reaction, suddenly nosedived from 97p, where they had hovered for several hours, to a low of 85p.

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Japan offers a lesson in resilience

Japan's apparent stagnation belies strengths that Western economies would do well to learn from, argues Christine Shields

Photo by Jezael Melgoza on Unsplash

Japan’s economy has been becalmed for much of the past three decades. Yet living standards are amongst the highest in the world and the country is noted for its consensus approach as well as its political stability. So why the external image of stagnation? Here we examine some of the structural issues that are both a strength and a weakness for what is still the third largest economy in the world.

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China’s precarious balancing act

Christine Shield asks if China's economic miracle can survive the shifting political backdrop?

Photo by Li Yang on Unsplash

China’s global economic and political clout has soared in the past four decades or so. But in 2021, new political signals emerged that had previously been seen just as worst case fears. In particular, Beijing’s militaristic behavior in the South China Sea and over Taiwan have sounded alarm bells both within Asia and in the West. But also its covert strategy of creating resource security by investing in key countries is becoming more worrying, with recipients beginning to question China’s motives.

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Portfolio commentary: boring blue chips, please

Why I’ve taken a position in dull but worthy City of London Investment Trust

Photo by Erik Jacobson on Unsplash

As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m going to begin building my Sipp with a few well-selected investment trusts – an instant portfolio if you like, hopefully bought at a discount to the underlying value of the assets in them.

Trusts in this report

Source: SharePad

A few readers also offered a few suggestions of trusts I could look at, among them Scottish Mortgage which at the time I wrote was trading at about 1,461p a share, an 8% premium to its net asset value (NAV). I’ve long liked Scottish Mortgage and would like to join my kids and many others in owning it, but as I said, the premium was too punchy for me given I reckon markets are looking pretty frothy.

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Watch out for US flashpoints in 2022

Political division, military threats and sticky inflation could give investors in the US sleepless nights next year. Christine Shields takes a look at Uncle Sam's biggest concerns.

For an economy as globally dominant as the US, the prospect of another government shutdown smacks of astonishing fiscal mismanagement. Yet such a threat recurs with alarming regularity, most recently this month. Agreement has just been reached to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5trn to $31.4trn to fund the government until February, when the issue will again be considered.

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