Believe it or not, it has been a whole year since we launched the Macro Matters blog, and what an extraordinary year it has been! In some ways I feel lucky that our debut blogging year has been so eventful.
We have had several significant political events, including the US and French elections, as well as recent geopolitical tensions between the US and North Korea. Meanwhile, markets continue to surprise investors by grinding higher and higher! As I pointed out in my most recent post, we are without a 5% correction in markets for the last 200 days… and nothing seems to be able to shake them (famous last words).
Anyway, enough about markets, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our first year of blogging and also take the chance to thank everyone who has been involved …but I’ll save the soppy stuff for later. One year on and we have published over 140 posts, by 19 different bloggers, from three different continents! And of course, we couldn’t do this without the readers – we’re now at 3000+ subscribers who have viewed over 30,000 pages over the last year. That’s pretty good going in my opinion, and certainly not what I expected this time last year.
Some of you may remember my first post which explained how Macro Matters was born, and essentially marked my digital coming of age. I have to admit I initially had some reservations about starting a blog. I thought blogs were reserved for the fitness enthusiasts and foodies of this world, not boring investment professionals like me. I mean, how many people want to read a serious investment blog? It seems like 'a lot' – as I have learned after one year.
Now looking back on the year I really don’t think we can be accused of being boring. Looking at the titles of some of our posts an investment blog is not what comes to mind. We’ve featured football (a fair amount), golf, classic cars, American rappers, flying yellow submarines and even the nation’s beloved Mary Berry to mention a few of our references.
Of course, our investment opinions are really what we pride ourselves on, and the references are there to bring them to life in the way we do with our clients – a testament to how well the team has entered into the spirit of blogging. Hopefully this keeps you coming back for more of our investment views!
We also realised that blogging keeps you honest, as it essentially provides our clients with a record of winning and losing investment ideas. Luckily there have been quite a few winning ideas; like Lars commenting on the chances of Trump winning the presidency, Chris commenting on the pound falling too deep after the Brexit vote and Erik’s favourable outlook for emerging markets. There has also been the occasional forecast that has not (yet) been proven right, like my prediction that we would see central banks reverting to helicopter money at some point. We have not given up on the idea but we have definitely moved away from the urgency in the past 12 months.
As you may know, we like a bit of healthy competition in the team so naturally we like to keep track of which posts have been the most popular with our readers. As the great Benjamin Graham said, “Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it” or in this case destined to repeat it?
So here are the most popular posts from each blog category this year…drum roll please….!
Owner pre-occupied by Hetal Mehta wins this category with the most unique views. Here Hetal gives the lowdown on one of our nation’s obsessions, the UK housing market.
It’s difficult at the top – well the title says it all really, doesn’t it? I am proud to say this is one of my recent posts where I discuss one of the burning questions of the moment – what causes asset bubbles and more importantly how do we spot them? I’m pleased that this one got the most views in the Strategy category, which gives me at least some bragging rights in the team.
Sell the rumour, buy the fact by John Roe wins this category and has in fact been the most popular post of all. He seems to have captured readers' interest with some behavioural finance, and it's also a great example of how the team loves to weave in a football analogy wherever possible. John has also used other social media really well as many of his readers came via Twitter or LinkedIn. Well done!
7 questions for 17 is the winner here, but before you accuse me of rigging the results, with yet another one of my posts reaching the top, it’s worth pointing out that it was very much a collaborative post which features the views of several of our economists and strategists on our outlook for 2017. So I can’t really take the credit. It will be back by popular demand later this year, so keep your eyes peeled!
As the winner here was a team post I thought it was only fair to include the runner-up individual post in his category which is Willem’s Is Geert Wilders your Dutch uncle or is he another populist? Here Willem discussed the Dutch elections, our first of a series of posts about European elections this year, and is worth a read for the comedy value of the photos at the very least.
I just want to end by thanking everyone who has been involved in the blog this year and of course all of our readers. It really has been great fun, and hopefully we will continue to bring you investment views which keep you coming back for many more birthdays!