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app-based stockbrokers dabbl review the weekend press and provide their take on some of the biggest stories set to impact the self-directed investor. 

Cautious female traders find an advantage

The gender imbalance in share trading is highlighted in Saturday’s edition of The Daily Telegraph. The article reports that the uptick in share trading volumes off the back of both the pandemic and the popularity of so-called meme stocks has served to further widen the gap between male and female. The quick assessment seems to be one of risk appetite, with females seen as being more cautious and as such investing in less volatile products. That’s not all bad news however – one broker notes that more of its female clients used investment trusts which outperform in rising markets. As a result, they have enjoyed a 7.3% average return over the last six months compared to the 6.9% recorded by the men.

Will higher rates cut house prices?

Is there a glimmer of hope on the horizon for those desperate to get onto the property ladder? The Financial Times writes that rising mortgage rates could serve to cool the UK’s housing market, with some forecasts suggesting average prices will rise only by around 3% in the next year – a sharp contrast from the 12% jump we’ve seen since Autumn 2020. However, the presence of fixed term mortgages may mean that it takes a little longer for any impact to surface here and the cliff-edge which many had thought would come about off the back of the stamp duty holiday ending is yet to materialise, either.

Tracker funds might outperform – but risk leaving the environment hanging

The Times on Saturday ran a story highlighting how the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) had an upbeat outlook on where UK stocks would head over the next five years. The article however contends that even if this is the case, you’d be better off dropping money into an automated fund that attempts to track a global index, as that would give you the better financial outcome. However, as global leaders convene in Glasgow for the COP26 environmental summit, is this approach of just seeking to maximise the financial return the correct way to go? Certainly, the former Bank of England chief Mark Carney, off the back of a rare interview in The Mail on Sunday, doesn’t seem to think so. He’s angling for banks and big institutions to reward those companies who make meaningful inroads when it comes to tackling environmental issues. As investors we should probably look to do the same – and an anonymised tracker offers little scope to decide which firms you’re backing.

COVID pushes more Brits in financial limbo

The Financial Mail on Sunday notes that more Britons are exposed to a financial shock now than was the case before COVID struck. Rising debts and a lack of savings are the two obvious challenges here, with the situation worsening as government-backed pandemic support begins to taper. For those who are fortunate enough to have come out of the last two years ahead financially, this ought to act as a trigger to get a savings and investing strategy in place to offer some protection for the future. Even just putting £100 a month away on a regular basis will quickly build into a meaningful rainy-day fund.

This article has been published in conjunction with dabbl. dabbl is a simple, intuitive app, designed to make share ownership more accessible than ever before. Connecting consumers with the brands they love, know and trust, dabbl is embracing the growing demand from the next generation of investor to have more control over how their money works for them.

Become a better investor with SharePad Designed to give you the confidence to pick your own investments, Sharepad gives you access to a wealth of information on UK, US & European stocks. Find out more

Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Tony Cross

Tony Cross

Tony Cross is a market commentator with over 15 years of experience, producing compelling, insightful copy for journalists and investors alike. Focusing on macroeconomics, UK blue chip equities and inter market analysis, Cross's commentary is well regarded for its clarity and ability to cut through the waffle. He has been quoted in publications as diverse as The Financial Times, The Times, The Guardian and The Sun. He has also been a regular guest on both Share Radio and TipTV.

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