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VC investment in fintech stays strong as M&A takes a breather – Wealth Professional

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“Late-stage deals accounted for a significant proportion of VC investment as mature fintechs continued to attract large funding rounds,” KPMG said.

Many of the deals observed in H1’20 stemmed from deal-making processes that began in late 2019; with the onset of COVID-19, new deal activity has slowed dramatically, except in high-priority sectors such as payments. Platform businesses also continued to enjoy strong interest in the first half of 2020, from both investors and large tech firms, especially in markets where fintech isn’t as mature.

M&A activity, meanwhile, decelerated across all regions on the world as the mega M&A activity that marked 2018 and 2019 appeared to stall. Global M&A deals accounted for US$4 billion during the first half of 2020, representing a significant gap from the whole-2019 record of US$85.7 billion.

KPMG predicted that over the second half of the year, COVID-19 will continue to be a key driver of change for fintech investment, as digital trends such as the use of contactless payments and demand for digital-service models persist.

Those forces are expected to continue powering investment not just in direct fintech solutions, but also in related enabling activities such as cybersecurity, fraud prevention, and digital identity management. Notably, global investment in cybersecurity accelerated past the US$592.3 million record set in 2019, amounting to US$870.8 million in the first half of this year alone.

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Singh: New measures should be seen as an investment in Canadians | Watch News Videos Online – Globalnews.ca

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh talks to West Block host Mercedes Stephenson about the deal he struck with the Liberals to support the throne speech and avert an election after the government agreed to expand access to paid sick days amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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1 Must-Have Investment If You're Worried About a Stock Market Crash – Motley Fool

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After a devastating crash earlier this year, the stock market made a stunning recovery in the months that followed.

However, the last few weeks have been rough on the market. The S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the Nasdaq have all slid into correction territory, each dropping by roughly 10% since early September.

While nobody knows for certain whether a bear market is around the corner or not, it’s wise to prepare for a market crash anyway. And there’s one investment that will give your savings the best shot at recovering from even the worst market downturn: S&P 500 index funds.

Image source: Getty Images.

S&P 500 index funds boast two major advantages: They provide instant diversification, and they’re extremely likely to bounce back from market downturns. Both of these perks can play in your favor if the market continues its downhill slide.

1. Instant diversification

When you invest in an S&P 500 index fund, you’re actually investing in 500 of the country’s largest companies at once. These organizations have a proven track record of success, making them more likely to survive tough economic times.

In addition, spreading your money across hundreds of different stocks can limit your risk substantially if the market continues to fall. Even if a few companies within the S&P 500 take a nosedive, it won’t cause your entire portfolio to plummet.

Of course, the S&P 500 itself could take a turn for the worse, and the index has already experienced a decline over the last few weeks. However, no matter what the market does, S&P 500 index funds are among the investments most likely to recover from a crash.

2. Almost guaranteed recovery

Nothing is ever guaranteed when it comes to the stock market, but S&P 500 index funds are about as close as you can get to guaranteed recovery after a market crash.

As their name implies, S&P 500 index funds track the S&P 500 — so whatever the S&P 500 does, the index fund will mimic it. Historically, the S&P 500 has always recovered from every downturn it’s ever faced. Even after the Great Recession in 2008, as well as the unprecedented crash earlier this year, the S&P 500 managed to bounce back stronger than ever.

^SPX Chart

^SPX data by YCharts

Again, nobody knows whether the current market downturn will get worse in the coming weeks or months, but even if it does, there’s a very good chance the S&P 500 will recover. There will always be ups and downs over the years, but in general, the S&P 500 has experienced a strong upward trend over time. That means even if the market crashes, it’s extremely likely your index funds will recover.

Is it the right time to invest?

S&P 500 index funds are long-term investments, and there’s never necessarily a bad time to invest for the long term. In fact, market downturns are one of the best opportunities to invest, because stock prices are lower, so you can get more for your money.

The key is to make sure you can leave your money alone for years or even decades after you invest. S&P 500 index funds do see positive returns over time, but like any investment, they are subject to volatility in the short term. So to make the most of your money, your best bet is to invest and then sit back and wait.

A market crash may be looming, but that doesn’t have to be a scary thought. By investing in the right places and taking advantage of S&P 500 index funds, you can give your money the best shot possible at surviving a market downturn.

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Former blockbuster investment funds fall from grace – Financial Times

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Blockbuster funds that previously ranked as the largest in Europe have undergone a spectacular downfall over the past decade.

Former star funds managed by investment groups including Standard Life Aberdeen, BlackRock and Franklin Templeton have shrunk to a fraction of their former size after losing favour with investors as quickly as they earned it.

SLA’s well-known Gars fund, a multi-asset strategy that ranked as Europe’s largest fund as recently as 2017, when it managed a combined €38.6bn, now has just €4.5bn in assets, according to Morningstar, the data provider.

Franklin Templeton’s Global Bond fund, run by veteran fixed income investor Michael Hasenstab, has had a similarly pronounced fall. After dominating the investment industry in 2014, when it had €30.2bn in assets, the fund now stands at just €7.7bn.

BlackRock’s Global Allocation fund has shrunk from €35.8bn to €12bn in just three years, and Carmignac Patrimoine, run by veteran French investor Edouard Carmignac, stands at just €10.8bn, down from €30bn at its peak.

The trend underscores how popular funds’ sharp growth can also lead to their undoing. Investors pile in when managers perform well, but when funds grow to a large size, their returns tend to drop off, resulting in outflows.

“Large funds are vulnerable to boom and bust dynamics,” said Morningstar’s Ali Masarwah, who carried out the research. Not only do giant funds drive up the valuations of the securities they buy, which makes future outperformance more unlikely, they are also less flexible than smaller funds due to liquidity risk considerations, he added.

Just one out of eight former blockbusters analysed by Morningstar beat its benchmark in the period immediately after ranking as Europe’s biggest fund. The data excluded money market funds.

Separate research from data company Broadridge found that only a quarter of the 100 best-selling active funds in Europe continued to attract positive investor flows three years after peaking in size. “Today’s flow winner is tomorrow’s loser,” said Chris Chancellor, senior director at Broadridge.

The findings come after Pimco’s €57bn Income fund lost its place as Europe’s largest fund last month after taking a hit during the market sell-off sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

The fixed income product run by Dan Ivascyn, the “bond prince” who replaced Bill Gross at Pimco, lost €22bn in March because of a mixture of negative market movements and investor outflows.

Pimco Income now ranks behind Swedish equity fund AP7, which took the top spot after being boosted by the rally in global stock markets during the second quarter.

The Pimco fund’s performance has improved in recent months but investors have not piled back in at the same rate as before the March rout, said Mr Masarwah. He suggested that some investors were diversifying away from the fund because of concerns over its large size.

“Big is not always beautiful,” said Mr Masarwah. “Letting funds grow too large may be in the interests of fund companies but it is not in investors’ interests.”

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