Publications

Alpha Bite – Is someone taking the proverbial?
Many of you will be aware that Bristol is currently European Green Capital. To reflect this a new bus service is being run between Bath and Bristol Airport using a ‘Bio-Bus’ which is powered by bio-methane gas generated from human sewage and food waste. Locally it has been nicknamed the ‘number two’.

Alpha Bites – An apple a day…
…keeps the doctor away. A well-known saying that could prove to be even more accurate in future with the growing use of smart phones, tablet computers and PDAs to monitor our health and general well-being.

Alpha Bites – Markets hit an all-time high – why so negative?
Bristol has a very diverse culture and this abundance of nationalities leads to a bewildering variety of foods from around the globe being imported into Royal Portbury Dock. Unfortunately, along with imported foods, comes bugs, insects and spiders of every kind. The Dock has been found to hold no fewer than eight different species of scorpion!

Alpha Bites – Goat, Ram or Sheep … will 2015 be one to Gloat
The Chinese New Year is upon us and 2015 is the ‘year of the goat’ or possibly the sheep. Apparently, the S&P 500 index has risen 26% on average making it one of the best years to buy US equities. However, the indicator could be 12 months behind the curve with the US interest rate cycle turning.

Alpha Bites – Hitting new highs
By 2030, it is estimated that there will be 1.4 billion urban dwellers and with city space at a premium, offices are inevitably going to get taller. Another driver is the prestige of having the world’s tallest building with cities constantly trying to outdo one another in the race sky words.

Alpha Bites – AI – The rise of the machines
In previous Alpha-Bites we have highlighted various threats to mankind from asteroids to Ebola. We noted with interest therefore, the recent warning from Stephen Hawking that ‘the development of full artificial intelligence (AI) could spell the end of the human race’.

Alpha Bites – Wake up and smell the coffee!
Following the move by the EU in September last year to address carbon emissions by reducing the wattage of vacuum cleaners, they are now going after coffee drinkers.

Alpha Bites – Are we there yet?
A question which is no doubt familiar to anyone who over the holiday period undertook a long car journey with young children to visit in-laws.

Alpha Bites – New Years Resolutions
Yes, it’s that time of the year again! When we all try to start afresh and make resolutions whether it be to join a gym to get fit, eat healthily, give up smoking or take up a new hobby.

Alpha Bites – A Christmas Riddle
Yes it’s that magical time of year again. Children of all ages excitedly listen for the sound of sleigh bells heralding Santa’s night time arrival and traditional passage down the chimney bearing those longed for presents

Investment Themes for 2015
Successful investing for 2015

Alpha Bites – The same old repeats
‘The scouts have come in, sir and they report Zulus, thousands of ‘em’. A great line from a classic action film ‘Zulu’.

Alpha Bites – Feeling deflated?
As we approach the end of the year and thoughts turn to the outlook for 2015 all eyes remain on Europe and possible QE by the ECB.

Alpha Bites – A storming success
The Met Office recently announced that it is to invest £97m in a new ‘supercomputer’ at its South West office to improve weather forecasting and modelling. This is thirteen times more powerful than the current system and is expected to reinforce the UK’s position as a world leader in weather and climate prediction. As we all know, we Brits do like to talk about the weather!

Alpha Bites – Behind the curve?
Along with HS2 it was recently announced that work was underway to electrify the Great Western Line between South Wales, Bristol and London. Network Rail is laying 1.5km of track per night with a view to completing the line to Bristol by the end of 2016.

Alpha Bites – The Force Awakens
A thank you letter apparently written by the new Star Wars film’s producers suggests that part of the latest movie to be released in December 2015, may have been shot north-west of Bristol in ‘Puzzlewood’ in the Forest of Dean.

Alpha Bites – Just how smart is the City?
Bristol is at the forefront of a global initiative, as it is to become a ‘laboratory for change’ as part of the UK government’s smart cities programme using a superfast, high capacity fibre network. What is a smart city?

Alpha Bites – Time to be alarmed?
Bristol artist Banksy has recently reworked Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ with the definitive pearl earring replaced by an ADT burglar alarm box.

Alpha Bites – Burst your bubble?
In previous Alpha Bites we have highlighted many of the good things to come out of Bristol, from the M32 and Banksy to the Bloodhound supersonic car.

Alpha Bites – Activity levels to pick up
That may possibly be radioactivity levels with news that a £24.5bn nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset is to go ahead after it received final approval from the European Union.

Alpha Bites – Back to the Future is nearly present
In the film ‘Back to the Future II’ the main character Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) finds himself in the USA of 2015 with a host of modern gadgets including the levitating Hoverboard.

Alpha Bites – O’er the land of the free and the home of the oil
The Americans may have lost the Ryder Cup but when it comes to oil, look to be a clear winner.

Alpha Bites – Sing when you’re winning, you only sing when you’re winning
It appears that it’s not only Europe’s golfers that are in good voice today.

Alpha Bites – The EU sucks (although not quite as much as it used to!)
There we were, all worried about a possible power vacuum in Westminster post a possible Scotland yes vote when all the time we should have been watching the EU.

Alpha Bites – A very very close call
‘A very, very close call’…no, not the Scottish independence vote but how astronomers described an asteroid nicknamed ‘Pitbull’ that recently flew closer to Earth’s surface than some TV satellites.

Alpha Bites – Everything all right Darling
The clock is ticking down for an increasing fraught sounding Alistair Darling.

Alpha Bites – Head of IT required must be six years old
In a recent study Ofcom discovered that the average Briton spends more time using technology devices than they do sleeping.

Alpha Bites – Health and safety Iceland style
You will have no doubt be aware that another volcano in Iceland is apparently getting ready to blow.

Alpha Bites – One small step
That’s one small step….for mankind, one giant leap for….the tourist industry (with apologies to Neil Armstrong).

Alpha Bites – Cloudy with a chance of meatballs
The remains of Hurricane Bertha have hopefully passed over without apparent major damage or loss of life.

Alpha Bites – Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition
The surviving members of the iconic and influential comedy group Monty Python, recently closed out their reunion show.

Alpha Bites – The Bristol Crocodile….snapped
Loch Ness has ‘Nessie’, the Americans have ‘Big Foot’ ad apparently Bristol has ‘The Crocodile’.

Alpha Bites – Toxic Past
Shockingly, three years have now past following the tragic events of the Fukushima tsunami in Japan.

Alpha Bites – The Great Migration
Yes, it is that time of year again, with the start of the great migration.

Alpha Bites – It’s going to be a game of two halves
A few weeks ago we featured an artist who was re-creating works by Banksy in Lego.

Alpha Bites – The need for speed
The clock is ticking down……..no, not to the Scottish independence vote but to the supersonic car speed test.

Alpha Bites – It all looks a bit Messi
Argentinian World Cup captain Lionel Messi has been living up to pre-tournament expectations.

Alpha Bites – Look before you leap
We featured an article on renowned Bristol artist Banksy a few weeks ago. We were therefore amused to notice that a Canadian artist who calls himself Bricksy had started creating copies of Banksy works in LEGO

Alpha Bites – Fluffing the Economy
Many of our readers may have noticed a slightly European theme to Alpha Bites in recent weeks with Eurovision, euro elections and European contestants in BGT.

Alpha Bites – It’s just not cricket
Yes it’s that time of year again when Simon Cowell discovers a new star to perform in front of the Queen but not one who is necessarily British.

Alpha Bites – Alan Aardvark MEP
Following Eurovision it has been European’s chance to vote again but this time for MEPs, all 751 of them. Following this we now have the bizarre situation where about 1 in 3 MEP’s are in the ‘anti-European’ union.

Alpha Bites – Nil Points
We will let our loyal readers decide for themselves whether the popularity of last weekend’s Polish Eurovision entry was based on the quality of the song, the multicultural nature of the UK or the fact that the act featured a number of attractive female performers, dressed as milk maids, who suggestively churned butter and washed laundry on stage.

Alpha Bites – Mobile Lovers
Many good things have come out of Bristol over the years and not just the M32! Renowned Bristol artist Banksy has been in the headlines, with his latest disputed artwork Mobile Lovers.

Alpha Bites – Rovers Return
Half of the City in mourning this week at the relegation from the football league of Bristol Rovers.

Q1 Market Disappoints – Emerging Concerns
Events during the quarter focussed investor attention very much on the emerging markets, with a number of these countries seeing some quite profound volatility within their financial markets.

2014 The Start of the Road to Normal
As 2014 commences it appears that the foundations may now be in place for a more robust global economic backdrop.

2013 It Started with A Cliff
Many of the challenges present at the start of last year still linger and represent investment hurdles that we need to be conscious of when looking forward today.

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