Daily Digest:
w/c 4 March 2024: US stock averages higher again to end the week, prodding at record levels; upcoming week's focus on the Fed's Powell testimony before Congress and the US Employment report
Charles Archer

Charles Archer

Editor
Charles Archer is an experienced financial writer specialising in monetary law. With a background in stock market and private equity analysis, he’s worked for many years as a freelance investment author, and has had articles published in a wide range of regional and national titles, both online and in print. He holds a BA (Hons) degree in History and Politics, as well as a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Law, the UK’s largest legal training institution. Charles believes the key to successful investing lies in quality research, and aims to offer a unique viewpoint that investors cannot find elsewhere.
Expert

The Strait of Hormuz: everything you need to know

According to the US Energy Information Administration, the Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most important oil chokepoint. Here’s why. You will probably hear a lot about the Strait of Hormuz over the next few weeks, so I thought it would help to lay out the basics here. To start with, let’s consider Brent Crude … Continued

Intermediate

Israel-Palestine War: the black swan rises?

In the wake of Hamas attacks, the US-brokered deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia now hangs by a thread. What’s going on? In March 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic sent the UK into lockdown, half the country stopped work overnight. Not financial analysts though — as the global stock market lost a third of its … Continued

Beginner

Are half of FTSE AIM investors really only invested into one stock?

There’s high risk, high reward — and then there’s blurring the lines between investing and gambling. Let’s dive in. As an avid small cap investor, I like to conduct the occasional social poll on my followers. This morning’s vote was to do with diversification — with the poll asking how many shares you held in … Continued

Intermediate

FTSE AIM: ISA changes and Inheritance Tax volatility

FTSE-only ISA allowances could boost the AIM market sharply; scrapping Inheritance Tax could have the opposite effect. Read why below. Cast your mind back to November 2022 — centuries in investing, and yet less than a year ago. After the Truss-Kwarteng mini-budget adventure, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is telling the nation that even though we are … Continued

Intermediate

Is China on the verge of a credit event?

Increasing Sino-US tensions, emergency fiscal measures, and a collapsing real estate sector all signpost a near-term serious economic shock. While economists have been warning that China faces imminent economic collapse since the start of the economic miracle, the warning signs coming out of the Communist country’s heavily massaged figures are blaring red. Of course, this … Continued

Intermediate

FTSE AIM: understanding market sentiment

A placing RNS is the constant fear of AIM investors, while spectacular gains are also never far from their minds. As a high risk, high reward investor, many of my favourite stocks can be found on the Financial Times Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market — or FTSE AIM as the snazzy acronym goes. I also … Continued

Expert

Marula Mining: the state of play nine months down the line

In November 2002, I characterised MARU as perhaps the ‘best growth stock for 2023.’ How has that prediction panned out? Nine months ago — or roughly the length of time it takes to grow a new person — I identified Marula as a top growth stock to watch. While I was particularly attracted to its … Continued

Beginner

The most insane thematic investing ETFs to buy right now

The Inverse Cramer, iPath Series B S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures, Roundhill MEME ETF, and AdvisorShares Vice ETF are popular choices for investors without fear or understanding of risk. Long-term readers of my work here at FxExplained and elsewhere will know my basic investing strategy — invest a decent chunk of excess income into an … Continued

Intermediate

FTSE 100 Q2 earnings: top stocks in review

IAG, AstraZeneca, Shell, Lloyds & Rio Tinto have all reported Q2 earnings; but what nuggets of investor information can be gleaned? The FTSE 100 is a misunderstood beast. While the index is often invoked as a proxy for the UK economy, the reality is very different, as 82% of FTSE 100 corporate income is derived … Continued

Beginner

15 factors to consider regarding free trading apps

Disenfranchised, can’t find your stock, or been burnt by a weak stop loss? It might be time to upgrade. There comes a time in every millennial investor’s life when the time is just right. It’s like when you become a father and instantly retire those weekend skinny jeans in favour of faded beige shorts. I’m … Continued

Intermediate

Wheat price: where next after collapse of the Ukraine grain deal?

Echoes of early 2022 whisper across time into the wheat markets. What happens next? On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Or, more accurately, a war that has been raging since at least 2014 intensified. Putin’s failed attempt to take Kyiv within days would likely have had little effect on the commodities markets if he … Continued

Intermediate

FTSE 100 explained: clearing up the misconceptions

FTSE 100 investing is infested with misconceptions and misunderstandings. Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the common errors. As a freelance financial analyst, I spend much of my time covering the FTSE 100 — both the index and its popular constituent companies. FTSE 100 businesses all report their financial activities every quarter, creating masses of analytical … Continued

Intermediate

What are the different types of lithium?

Brine, pegmatites, clay, spodumene, carbonate, hydroxide; these terms are quite simple to understand if you can spare five minutes. As an investor and analyst in battery metals, commodities, and equities, a very common question in my inbox is whether it is possible to invest directly into lithium. You can physically buy gold, silver, and copper; … Continued

Intermediate

A brief rundown of cancer trials: what are the biotechs up to?

From Avacta to Cizzle, the UK small cap market boasts dozens of cancer-fighting shares. Read more to understand what these companies are doing to improve cancer care. As an avid analyst of high-risk, high-reward London-listed small cap shares, I tend to predominantly cover mining and biotech companies. This is to some extent a self-fulfilling prophecy; … Continued

Intermediate

Will the Bank of England increase the base rate to 7%?

With CPI inflation stubbornly high, Governor Andrew Bailey must choose the path of least damage. A recession is imminent. The Bank of England has two official objectives in its monetary policy remit: It has two key tools to perform its duties — setting the base rate and controlling the money supply. While it usually takes … Continued

Intermediate

Can Meta depose Twitter with its new ‘Threads’ launch?

Zuckerberg seems keen to steal at least some of Musk’s lunch. What are his chances of success? Long-time readers will know my investing strategy — invest a sizeable chunk of my excess income into blue chips within a SIPP, and the rest into high-risk small-cap shares in an ISA. I usually cover the small caps … Continued

Intermediate

Bidstack update: game to rise in H2 2023?

Bidstack’s share price no longer comes close to representing the fundamentals. But investors will need patience. I last covered Bidstack (LON: BIDS) in mid-December 2022, hailing the video game advertising company as ‘one of the best undervalued tech stock opportunities to consider in 2023.’ As neither a mining company nor a biotech, BIDS is one … Continued

SIPP and ISA reform: tax shelters for a high tax, high rate environment

SIPPs and ISAs are horrendously complicated. Why not simplify the investing tax shelters? After the 2008 global financial crisis, the UK base rate fell to 0.1% and stayed there until December 2021. Simultaneously, the Bank of England printed £895 billion of bonds — aka quantitative easing — devaluing the currency at a precipitous pace. After … Continued

Intermediate

Has the AIM market never been this bad? Think bigger

The AIM index has always been a poor performer. It’s the star players you need to keep an eye on. As a long-term investor in small cap FTSE AIM shares, I would say that sentiment on the UK’s growth index feels a tad negative. Maybe it’s just me? The index is down 17.3% over the … Continued

Intermediate

US debt ceiling: everything you need to know

The mechanics, the politics, McCarthy, and why it really is different this time. Every so often, the prospect of a US default rears its ugly head. The common wisdom is that the government will always push through some kind of ‘fudge,’ an unhappy middle ground that keeps the can kicking down the road. And usually, … Continued

Beginner

Investing lessons from 3 top FTSE 100 bellwether stocks

Lloyds, Tesco, and IAG are the three of the most important FTSE 100 companies for their relative importance to their sectors. Recent earnings suggest the trajectory of the UK’s banking, retail, and travel sectors. A bellwether — named for the leader sheep of a flock, which traditionally wears a bell on its neck — is … Continued

Intermediate

Copper supply gap: what will it take for the world to wake up?

Copper demand will skyrocket this decade. Supply is falling, and inventories are at near-record lows. For the long-term investor, it’s merely a waiting game. In early November 2022, I wrote up an article covering the growing consensus surrounding the emerging copper supply gap. Simply put, copper demand is growing exponentially, and supply is drying up. … Continued

Beginner

FAANG earnings: one lesson from each NASDAQ 100 stock

FAANG stocks are reporting positive earnings so far in Q1 2023. Each holds a useful insight for long-term investing. The FAANG stocks are a long-term investor’s ultimate quandary. All have seen huge growth and market dominance during the decade or so of ultraloose monetary policy; and as interest rates rise and the money supply contracts, … Continued

Beginner

Buying the dip? Blue-chip or small-cap, fear is your very best friend

Warren Buffett once famously advised investors to ‘be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful.’ He’s not wrong. I am not going to liken myself to the ‘Sage of Omaha,’ nor in any way believe that I will reach the heights attained by the nonagenarian Chair and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. … Continued

Intermediate

Kazatomprom: high risk-high-reward uranium play?

The former Soviet state is toeing a delicate line between Russian politics, Chinese protections, and European energy concerns. Uranium is in many ways like lithium. It’s non-fungible, very reactive, and for many years was unprofitable to mine out of the ground. But with nuclear power becoming much more acceptable as a ‘green energy’ source, and … Continued

Intermediate

Mining Sector Consolidation: 4 factors to understand before you invest

Inflation, Sino-Western tensions, falling ore quality and excess plant capacity are all creating a flourishing mergers and acquisitions environment. As an investor in multiple LSE-listed mining small caps, and an analyst of the larger titans, I have a fairly wide view of the mining industry. And the key thing I keep coming back to is … Continued

Intermediate

Gold, Bitcoin, the US Dollar, and defensive stocks: how do the portfolio hedges interlink?

Explaining the value interplay between Gold, Bitcoin, the US Dollar, and defensive stocks in simple layman’s terms. When monetary policy is loose, interest rates are low, and growth is cheap. In this boom phase of the economic cycle investors often pile their capital into tech stocks, which thrive on the waters of cheap debt. However, … Continued

Beginner

Silicon Valley Bank: three-minute weekend digest

Silicon Valley Bank collapsed after investing too much money in long-term investments dependent on loose monetary policy. This may just be the start. Silicon Valley Bank — the 16th largest in the US — failed less than a week ago.  The tech-focused bank was the financial institution of choice for more than 50% of venture … Continued

Expert

Botswana Diamonds: is it finally payday after years of waiting?

Botswana Diamonds is processing material at Marsfontein. Quality results could be the catalyst investors have been waiting for. Despite a little volatility, Botswana Diamonds (LON: BOD) shares have essentially been on a road to nowhere for years. Down by 13% over the past five years, BOD has however risen by 25% year-to-date. And after peaking … Continued

Intermediate

Contango Holdings: will the Lubu project be sold off soon?

Contango’s Lubu Coal Project in Zimbabwe has commenced first production and sent off a coke sample to a ‘multi-national company.’ Time to connect the dots. Contango Holdings (LON: CGO) is the typical FTSE small-cap rollercoaster stock. At 5.42p, CGO shares are both down by 19% over the past year and up by 20% over the … Continued

Intermediate

House price crash: UK government support is not coming

Government policy has always been designed to support the housing market. Until now, that is. After spending most of 2022 warning that a UK house price correction was on the cards — please read here for some light reading  — it appears that institutions are finally on the case. Lloyds, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, … Continued

Beginner

AstraZeneca shares: Laffer Curve in action

The government professes that it wants the UK to become a life sciences superpower. But its policies are having the opposite effect. The Laffer Curve was first described by American economist Arthur Laffer in 1974, where he presented the idea to US President Gerald Ford that taking more money from a business in the form … Continued

Intermediate

Genedrive shares: running out of cash, but worth a speculative trade?

Genedrive is financially almost out of runway, but its tech makes it a reasonable buyout target. Genedrive (LON: GDR) is a FTSE AIM company out of which many investors have fallen in love. The molecular diagnostics biotech company spiked multiple times through the pandemic-induced meme hysteria, reaching a record 173p per share in May 2020. … Continued

Intermediate

Harland & Wolff: still a top high-risk, high-reward FTSE AIM play

HARL shares have experienced significant volatility in recent weeks, but a push higher remains on the cards for investors with a healthy risk appetite. Harland & Wolff (LON: HARL) shares are at this point a relatively stressful investment for long term position investors. Not only is the company down by 42% over the past five … Continued

Intermediate

Blencowe Resources: my final small-cap graphite stock for 2023

BRES shares are admittedly highly speculative, but a speculative position could prove lucrative for small-cap position investors. Blencowe Resources (LON: BRES) shares constitute my fourth and final small-cap graphite stock to consider for 2023. Like many small caps on the UK’s most volatile index, the sub-£10 million graphite explorer has sent long term investors on … Continued

Beginner

Rolls-Royce shares: the tech power of Tesla without the make-up

Rolls-Royce is developing multiple innovative technologies, any one of which could see its share price rocket over the medium term. Rolls-Royce has long been hailed as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of British engineering, a hallmark synonymous with quality and lasting endurance. But the company has struggled in recent years. Its most lucrative division, civil … Continued

Intermediate

GENinCode shares: still a buying opportunity after rising by 180%?

GENinCode’s share price may have risen sharply, but the long-term prospects for the biotech stock could leave it undervalued even now. GENinCode (LON: GENI) launched its IPO near the height of the growth stock bubble in July 2021, pricing shares at 44p apiece. Raising £15.3 million net cash, the company began public life with a … Continued

Intermediate

Critical minerals 2023: demand destruction vs supply gap explained

The 2023 global recession could crash demand in the short term. But the long-term supply gap is the critical factor to consider for position investors. Two conflicting forces are conspiring to create an even more volatile environment for hard commodities in 2023. One is short-term, the other long-term, and analysts are conflicted over how these … Continued

Beginner

Bidstack shares: a prime beneficiary of the Microsoft-Activision separation?

BIDS shares could be an undervalued tech play to further diversify my portfolio for the 2020s and beyond. Bidstack (LON: BIDS) shares could be one of the best undervalued tech stock opportunities to consider in 2023. Growth stocks in the tech sector have seen their share prices devastated in 2022, as tightening monetary policy saw … Continued

Beginner

Tesla shares: 5 factors to consider for 2023

Sino-US tensions, macroeconomic factors, shifting politics, increased competition, and Tesla’s pace of innovation all contribute to an increasingly complex investment case. Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares are the long-term investor’s marmite. The EV stock’s market cap rose to more than $1 trillion last year with an all-time-high share price of $410 on a post-split basis by … Continued