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Zeroing in

I heard an interesting fact recently that put the scale of UK debt into perspective.

How long is a million seconds? The answer is roughly 11.5 days but how long is a billion seconds? Three months? Six months? I was staggered to learn it’s more than 33 years.

I haven’t even thought about how long a trillion seconds is and I don’t think my calculator will allow me enough zeros anyway. So when you hear billions being thrown around, bear this fact in mind.

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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