By Amanda Morrall
1) Bull market for global foods
Rising incomes in Asia and the population explosion worldwide are driving a bull market in the global food industry. Telegraph Questor editor Garry White talks to Sumant Bhatai about some promising stocks to invest in to capitalise on this demand.
One of his favourites is Avon Rubber, a company that specialises in making rubber tubing and suction cups for milking cows.
Incidentally, New Zealand's Skellerup Holdings Ltd, specialises in the same and has made big inroads into China recently. Here's a link to their latest financial report for the year ended June 30,2012.
2) Reason 101 why I love yoga - Lululemon
At Easter, I wrote a column about some stocks I'd like to be invested in. You might recall one of them was Lululemon, the Canadian-born yoga apparel giant whose gear and garb has become a staple of the yoga world.
I'm kicking myself once again for not being invested.
MarketWatch reports on how Lululemon has proven the skeptics wrong once again reporting an 18% increase in third-quarter same store sales. Some analysts believe the company, which recently launched in New Zealand, is long overdue for a slow down and yet investors remain Zen-like according to another piece from CNN Money here.
3) Most innovative fund of the year
In the Oscar equivalent of sovereign wealth fund awards, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund was a prize winner this year. Asset International Chief Investment Officer, yesterday voted the NZS Fund the most innovative fund of its kind giving CIO Adrian Orr an enthusiastic slap on the back. Orr, and his Australian counterpart, tied for the fictional category of "Sovereign Wealth Fund CIO We'd Most Like to Go to the Pub With.''
The fund is attracting attention for several reasons but its shift away from classical division of labour duties toward a more collaboration investment style impressed the judging team. Orr: "We don't have anyone with an asset class on their business card, because if you give a man a hammer, then everything looks like a nail."
More below on how the NZ$20 billion fund is managed.
The fund is in the process of instituting a highly detailed target operating model intended to simplify the investment process, better measure progress and cost-effectiveness, and help to forecast future liabilities. This involves tossing out asset buckets completely—no more "Real Estate Analysts," for example - and reorganizing staff by access point (synthetic, direct, external manager etc.). Orr works closely with a senior team of general managers, including Stewart Brooks (Finance), Mark Fennell (Portfolio Completion), Matt Whineray (Investments), as well as Chief Investment Advisor Neil Williams. But the reorganization has largely flattened the decision-making hierarchy at NZ Super. Without investment analysis restricted to bucket specialists, the team now reaches decisions for the fund through consensus. "By the time an investment is ready to go, everyone's touched it," says Orr. This simplified, broadened process will - NZ Super hopes - make investment opportunities easy to rank and compare. Orr says it's working so far, with timberland purchases and IPOs alike being compared to a reference portfolio instead of other possible investments in their asset class.
4) The science of gifting
Is it gauche to regift? It depends on the recipient, the gift and your delivery to a large part. The Wall Street Journal reports on the Science Behind Gifting.
5) Hara Hachi Bu and Money
Squirrelers blogger looks at the Japanese health philosophy of Hara Hachi Bu and ponders how the same principles applied to spending could increase financial well-being. The idea is to spend 80% of what you normally would and bank the rest.
6) Thank you
Because sometimes it's good to give 110%, here's a bonus link, from the Wall Street Journal's Melinda Beck about why being grateful is good for your health, happiness and career. A bit stale but timeless. Enjoy.
Thank you to all my regular readers and the folks whose work I link to on a regular basis.