After Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway agreed, with a partner, to buy Heinz for $28bn, the hunt is on for the Sage of Omaha’s next target. James Mackintosh, investment editor, says Buffett prefers safety to a bargain, but notes that Berkshire has underperformed the market – and Heinz – over the past decade.

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The G7 by committing to not doing something has of course got folk worried about that very thing, in this case targeting exchange rates and in particular the falling yen. James Mackintosh, investment editor, says some serious disappointment will be needed to halt the weakening yen.

Mario Draghi managed on Thursday to talk down the euro – the latest volley in the cover ‘currency wars’. Ralph Atkins, capital markets editor, analyses the president of the European Bank’s verbal game theory.

Low interest rates suggest low equity returns – and even worse, shares can lose money over a lifetime. Scary charts after the jump.

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Politics is back on the agenda for investors. Spanish and Italian bond and stock markets took a tumble, reacting to a spreading slush fund scandal in Spain’s ruling Popular party and rising support for former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. James Mackintosh, investment editor, asks if a retreat from the eurozone’s periphery will herald a shift in market paradigm

Those hoping for a “great rotation” from bonds to stocks might start by looking for smaller rotations within the equity market. James Mackintosh, investment editor, says the signs are far from uniformly supportive of the bigger rotation.

One extra chart, before the video: monthly total returns on the US benchmark 10-year Treasury bond per month. January saw a loss of 1.94 per cent, including coupon payments, which isn’t great. But it is slightly less than last March’s loss, or October 2011, and pales in comparison with some of the monthly losses in the past. As the chart shows, this is far from solid evidence of the bond bubble bursting. Read more

US GDP dropped in the fourth quarter of 2012 for the first time outside a recession since 1977, thanks to surprise cuts in defence spending. James Mackintosh, investment editor, finds some good signs in the data, but worries that if good news comes through on the economy would be bad news for investors.

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Japan is the natural home of the bear, but its bull market from 2003-2007 looks very like the current US bull market. James Mackintosh, investment editor, looks at the parallels and considers what’s needed to keep the bulls running.

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Just like Apple, companies are beating their low-balled earnings expectations, investors are lapping up equities but the growth outlook remains gloomy. James Mackintosh, investment editor, says eliminating extreme risks makes the lesser ones more palatable – for now.

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Today’s the deadline for European banks that want to repay early the emergency three-year loans from the European Central Bank. James Mackintosh, investment editor, consider the implications for the ECB and the currency wars.