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Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 09:40

If you're looking to beat the market over time, it makes sense to invest in sectors that are likely to grow fastest. And one sector that has compelling long-term growth appeal is healthcare. Driven by several powerful themes including the world's ageing population and urbanisation in emerging markets, healthcare is likely to generate many investment opportunities in the coming years for patient investors. Here's a look at several key reasons to own such stocks. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 09:30

We all know that to retire early, you need to invest wisely for the future. With this in mind, I'm looking at whether these three discounted investment trusts could help you to build wealth for early retirement.

Emerging markets

Templeton Emerging Markets (LSE:TEM) has had a great year thanks to the recovery in emerging market equities and the slump in the value of sterling. The trust's shares are up 68% over the past 12-months, and even its discount to NAV has narrowed from a peak of above 20% to just 13%.

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 09:00

You may think that luxury shoe retailer, Jimmy Choo (LSE:CHOO) and technology solutions provider Accesso Technology (LSE:ACSO) have nothing in common but you'd be wrong. Both are high growth businesses, both enjoyed a superb 2016 and both are due to report full-year results to the market next month (on the 2nd and 21st respectively).

Since it's arguably best to leave a party when you're having the most fun, should investors quit while they're ahead? Or should they buy more in expectation that shares in both businesses will continue their ascent?

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 08:30

An uncertain global economic environment has me seeking out some of the best non-cyclicals out there, which is why I'm interested in Provident Financial (LSE:PFG) in March. Provident is a subprime lender that works with the millions of Britons who are unserved by mainstream lenders due to low credit scores, no credit scores or low incomes.

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 08:00

Shares in Communisis (LSE:CMS) have received a hefty dose of rocket fuel of late, the stock touching 27-month peaks around 50p per share just last week after gaining 38% in value over the past 10 weeks alone.

Communisis a month ago announced "trading for the year ended in line with expectations." The company was boosted by a new three-year contract inked with Sony Europe for providing a wide range of communications services.

Sunday, February 19, 2017 - 07:00

The world economy has experienced a period of low inflation in the last decade. This has allowed monetary policy across the globe to become exceptionally loose as Central Banks have sought to stimulate economic growth in order to avoid a depression after the Financial Crisis.

While this policy has not created higher levels of inflation due to the global economy having faced a deflationary cycle, the situation could be about to change. Higher levels of inflation may be on the way and dividends could therefore become increasingly important for investors across the world.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 09:30

While FTSE 100 shares are always in the news, the FTSE's smaller indices can be awash with bargains that are overlooked by big investors. Here are three that I like the look of right now

Brexit nonsense

When the UK voted for Brexit last June, lots of shares took a nosedive -- banking understandably, and housebuilding less so. Shares in Ibstock (LSE:IBST) lost 42% in the days immediately after the vote, so what does it do? It makes bricks and concrete -- like those are going to go out of fashion when we leave the EU?

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 09:00

Shares in pottery manufacturer Portmeirion (LSE:PMP) dived earlier this year after it announced a slowdown in some of its major markets, including South Korea and India.

Despite this, the company has put in a decent trading performance, with revenue predicted to be over £76m for the full year. This is a record figure for the company and is around 11% ahead of the prior year.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 08:55

The global banking sector has endured a tough decade. The credit crunch sent valuations at most major banks sharply downwards, while some banks didn't survive the biggest recession in a generation. Since then, tighter regulations aimed at reducing the chances of a repeat performance have caused profitability to disappoint across the sector.

Certainly, banks are now much healthier than at any point since the credit crunch. But their returns have also been somewhat disappointing compared to the pre-credit crunch era. However, could that all be about to change?

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 08:30

As Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY) moves towards what looks like a 'normal' existence after the ructions of the financial crisis, investors seem attracted to the firm for its cheap-looking valuation.

But I reckon Lloyds' lamb-like appearance disguises an erratic wolf with sharp teeth ready to bite investors risking money on the shares.

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 08:00

Catching falling knives is a dangerous game that's only suitable for those investors who have a high risk tolerance. That said, buying an unloved stock can be highly lucrative if your thesis is proved right and management turns the ship around. 

If you do plan on catching a falling knife, you have to do your research beforehand. If you don't properly understand the opportunity, there's a high chance you'll end up with hefty losses. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 07:01

The big mining giants Rio Tinto (LSE:RIO) and BHP Billiton (LSE:BLT) were amongst the best stocks to own in 2016, and the companies' shares have put in a spectacular performance over the past 12 months. But can lightning strike the same spot twice?

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 16:15

BP (LSE:BP) is one of the UK market's most trusted dividend stocks and so is its blue-chip peer GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK). Together these two FTSE 100 dividend champions are are responsible for a huge chunk of the total value of dividends paid out to UK investors every year, and thanks to their predictable income streams, BP and Glaxo could be the perfect stocks to help you retire early. 

Get ready to retire 

For most investors building enough wealth to be able to retire early is the dream. 

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 16:10

When it comes to British housebuilders McCarthy & Stone (LSE:MCS) is perhaps not the first name that springs to mind. But the FTSE 250-listed developer happens to be the UK's leading retirement housebuilder with around 70% of the owner-occupier market. With demand for specialised retirement housing growing with each passing year, I believe the group is perfectly positioned to cater for this increasing important and rapidly expanding market.

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 15:46

Legendary investor Warren Buffett revealed last November that his Berkshire Hathaway group had taken a stake in the four major US airlines: American Airlines, United Continental Holdings, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines.

The positions were relatively small by Buffett's standards, leading many to believe they were acquired by one of his protégés -- Todd Combs and Ted Weschler -- and that the great man himself may have had no input into these investments.

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 15:24

Finding stocks you would genuinely be happy to own forever isn't easy.

One stock that I own and don't intend to sell is property group Segro (LSE:SGRO). Since restructuring in the wake of the financial crisis, it has focused on owning and developing so-called big box warehouses in prime locations in the UK and Europe.

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 15:12

In the past few hours, it has emerged that Kraft Heinz, one of the world's largest consumer goods companies, which counts Warren Buffett as a major shareholder, has approach Unilever (LSE:ULVR) with an offer of £115bn for the enterprise. 

At the time of writing, shares in Unilever are trading up by 12.2%, valuing the company at a little under £114bn, more than £1bn below the proposed offer price. Kraft has offered a mix of cash and shares for Unilever, which works out at around £40 per share of the Anglo-Dutch company. 

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 14:49

The ability of small companies to generate superior returns for investors over the long term is widely known. Trouble is, investing lower down the market spectrum also involves taking on significantly more capital risk. While this is particularly true with businesses operating in the oil and gas sector, here are two companies I think might be worth buying before next month.

Listen up

With resources in Morocco and Italy and a market cap of £623m, upstream gas company Sound Energy (LSE:SOU) isn't exactly a market minnow. 

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 12:44

There are few things I like more than buying shares of good companies at burned-out prices! The hard part is recognising the difference between a good company with temporary problems, and a company with fundamental weaknesses.

Today I'm looking at two of the top 10 fallers in the FTSE 350 over the last year. Both companies have lost at least 35% of their value in 12 months. Is either of them the type of stock I'd like to add to my portfolio?

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 12:19

Shares in Falcon Oil & Gas (LSE:FOG) are surging higher today, continuing a run that began on Wednesday after the company said drilling results from its Beetaloo Basin project in Australia's Northern Territory indicate a material shale gas resource at the site.

Since issuing this news, the company has also participated in an investor Q&A on its discovery, which has helped shed more light on the prospect and what it means for investors.