In this Stockhead series, investment manager James Whelan, managing director Barclay Pearce Capital Asset Management, offers his insights on the key investment themes and trends in domestic and global markets. From macro musings to the metaverse and everything in between, Whelan offers his distilled thoughts on the hot topic of the day, week, month or year, from the point of view of a professional money manager.


Good afternoon all,

A little chart storm for the rest of your week.

But firstly, if I may say Heath and I put on one of our sharper podcasts. Nice and concise with lots of laughs as well.

We track some of the bigger questions out there in markets and in life.

France: Gridlock
Must say I was a little off on my thinking that the National Rally would have a bigger percentage of the second round vote. Looks like the centre/left seems to have staged a valiant defence. France now appears in gridlock, as expected.

UK: Sad Tories
As expected.

Who’d have thought that Cameron calling for a Brexit vote, losing, retiring when the UK needed leadership the most and handing it over to a progressively more ludicrous group of out of touch halfwits would have led to the biggest defeat in Tory history. David Cameron has a lot to answer for. Hold the line in Europe. It’s stable at least.

And so we settle into the seventh month of the year and a market that continues to stretch higher. No reason for it not to carry on with seasonality doing its thing.

private credit

Margin Call

A few weeks ago I mentioned that you can invest in the US for the long term due to the simple fact that margins are expanding and margins, as we know, are everything.

The era of the AI adopter is upon is, expect margins to continue to grow.

private credit

Opportunity probably is not private

We also celebrate the 2-year anniversary of the US 2s/10s yield curve inverting.

It’s meant to be recessionary. It’s been TWO years.

Maybe the office vacancy rate approaching 20% is what we should be looking at.

As usual, I don’t think “the next big one” is in things we can see.

I hate looking for negatives but someone asked and so I present now the greatest blow up risk to markets: private credit.

I have noticed over the last few months the increase in offers from instos and retails to find and participate in new private credit products and investments. Fair enough, too.

Rates where they are and borrowers need to find alternate forms from the risk-adverse banks.

ESG plays a part too, with lenders unable to provide credit to coal and oil, private money is able to step in and there are some great deals there.

I just feel that the actual investments can be opaque, managers are not aligned with investors as well as they could be, assets are not marked to market, and the massive increase in the size of this investment class just screams ‘dumb money.’

Beware this space.



Last week I showed a note about Chinese stockpiles of copper coming off. It was small but enough to offer a small toe back in the water of copper markets.

I’m happy to say that far more confidently now with the continuing drop in the USD.

Copper is having a great run.

Buy on big dips.

private credit


On your bikes, rate hikes

Finally we are at the turning point, probably.

June was the first month since the dark days of COVID-19 that no central bank hiked rates.

Almost 4 years of some sort of hiking going on and now… nothing.

We wait.

I actually believe the US inflation is far lower, or disinflationary, than a lot of pundits admit and as such I’m happy to be even longer US treasuries with a yield decline to be more pronounced than anticipated.


Good luck, the new UK PM, you have some big clown shoes to fill.

All the best and stay safe,




The views, information, or opinions expressed in the interview in this article are solely those of the writer and do not represent the views of Stockhead.

Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.