Private Investor's Diary Portfolio 

Out with the slackers, in with new themes

Out with the slackers, in with new themes

Another miserable month for equity markets and the JIC Portfolio. The FTSE All-Share (Total Return) Index fell 1.8 per cent, leaving it down 6.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2018 – its worst quarterly performance since Q3 2015’s 7.2 per cent fall. In March, President Trump instigated trade tariffs, only to see those countries most affected, notably China, retaliate. Fears of an escalating trade war did not help the market mood, nor did the new chairman of the Federal Reserve. At his first press conference following March’s 0.25 per cent rate hike, he struck a hawkish note. The Federal Open Market Committee projected that over the next three years, interest rates would be increased more than current market expectations. As if markets needed anything else to worry about, Facebook (US:FB) was hit by the disclosure that it had allowed Cambridge Analytica to access the personal data of more than 50m users.

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