British Airways-Owner IAG Says Business Travel Recovering | Investing News

LONDON (Reuters) – British Airways-owner IAG said on Friday it had seen a strong recovery in business travel in the first quarter and it expected to be profitable from the second quarter onwards and for the full year.

The company, which also owns Iberia and Aer Lingus, said the continued easing of government-imposed travel restrictions, particularly in Britain, resulted in improved travel demand, with no noticeable impact from the war in Ukraine.

“Demand is recovering strongly in line with our previous expectations,” Chief Executive Luis Gallego said, adding that the company was currently focused on improving operations, customer experience and its operational resilience.

British Airways was hit by separate technical issues in February and March and also had to cancel a small number of flights in April due to staff sickness and delays in ramping up crew levels.

IAG said it would ramp up capacity from 65% of 2019 levels in the first quarter to around 80% in the second, 85% in the third and 90% in the fourth, with North Atlantic routes close to full capacity by quarter three.

The company reported a first-quarter operating loss of 731 million euros, compared with a restated 1.07 billion euros for the same period a year ago.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by James Davey)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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Holiday Inn Owner IHG’s Room Revenue Surges on Travel Recovery | Investing News

(Reuters) – Intercontinental Hotels Group on Friday signalled a sharp recovery in the hospitality sector as people gradually resume leisure and business travel after countries eased pandemic-related restrictions.

Holiday Inn owner’s RevPAR, or revenue per available room, was up 61% for the three months ended March 31, as the group saw improved trading in its Americas and EMEAA regions.

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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Tips For Retirement Investing From An Expert

As a Certified Financial Planning Professional (CFP), people ask me how they should invest for retirement. Their next questions often focus on what investment is best right now, and how they can get into the “Next Big Thing.” The focus on an individual investment misses the mark, though. It’s more important to start early and have a long-term financial plan. As we age, most people find that their goals change from when they were young. Financial growth over everything else is no longer as important. Even before the transition to retirement income begins, retirement planning requires a reconsideration of the risk level in your portfolio and often a reduction of its market volatility. The planning doesn’t end when you retire; you will need a retirement distribution plan. How you withdraw your money is just as important as how it should be invested. That way your investment assets can give you the lifestyle you want to live long after you end your career.

One of the most effective ways to reduce risk is to increase the diversification of your investments. How to do this is often misunderstood. Owning 10 different growth stocks does not mean one is diversified. A diversified portfolio uses many different asset classes and a wide variety of investments in each Asset Class.

1. What Are Asset Classes, Correlation, And Allocation?

An asset class consists of investments that are similar in structure and share risk characteristics. The investments in an Asset Class tend to act the same over the long term, although individual investments can wildly out-perform the group or fail fantastically. The broadest way of looking at this is

  • Stocks, which are partial ownership in a corporation
  • Bonds, which represent the debt of a company or government

There are alternative assets, like real estate, precious metals, and commodities. Each of these broad classes can be broken down into smaller and smaller groups of investments. From the U.S. viewpoint, we can first think of domestic and foreign stocks. Then break them into the largest companies and those that are smaller. We then look at what kinds of companies we might want to invest in.

Do we want growth companies that can produce substantial gains as well as possible losses? Would stock in value-oriented companies that offer income through stock dividends and often have a lower level of volatility be better suited for your portfolio needs? Which is best for you depends on your risk tolerance and long-term goals.

With some exceptions, most stocks tend to go up and down at the same time. Sometimes it’s one part of the stock market or one part of the world that is out of sync, but over the long term, generally, they all act similarly. That’s why we want to add other asset classes into the mix. Bonds are generally viewed as lower in volatility than stocks, but that is not always the case. Some bonds are riskier than most stocks can be, but overall, they are accepted as less volatile than stocks. Bonds react differently to economic factors than stocks. They can rise when stocks fall, often offsetting the losses in other parts of a diversified portfolio. This is called correlation, and the higher the correlation the more your investments act alike. Other asset classes like precious metals such as gold and silver can also add to portfolio diversity. These and other classes such as commodities (oil, wheat, corn, and, yes, even grocery items like frozen orange juice) and real estate have low correlations to stocks and bonds.

Investment professionals, portfolio managers, and financial planners agree that a mix of all these make a portfolio diverse. A portfolio can be made up of individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds, or ETFs. No matter what type of investment, it is important to have multiple asset classes. A broad mix, in the right proportions, means everything isn’t going in the same direction at the same time, reducing volatility risk. And lower risk is important to retirement planning.

The investment mix is called your allocation, and the right allocation for your risk level is a key aspect of a successful retirement. Investing is not all or nothing; there are various levels of risk. The right allocation will allow an investor to stay invested over the long term. If you accept that markets go up and down, the right risk allocation can keep you within your comfort zone. Not everyone is aggressive; investors can be moderate or even conservative. Remember a conservative investor is not someone that’s only in cash. They are an investor who wants lower risk and is willing to accept lower returns for that decrease in volatility.

2. Who Is Jay Kloepfer?

All this leads me to introduce you to Jay Kloepfer. Who is he and why is he important to your investment portfolio? He is the executive VP of Capital Markets Research Group and was a Senior Economist with Standard and Poors. Jay is the author of the Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns, which he created in 1999. Commonly referred to as the Callan Chart; it shows returns of different asset classes over the last 20 years. 

The chart shows that no asset class is always the best. Often what’s best this year is far down the list the next. Diversification is the key and helps you average the risk and returns of the different asset classes.

3. Am I At Risk Of Emotional Investing?

In my work, we often see people come to us that have been doing it themselves. They were scared out of the market when there was a steep drop and did not know what to do next. They have jumped out of the market at the worst possible time, often near the bottom, waiting until the conditions improve. By doing this they, miss a good part of the positive market cycle. We call this Market Timing, and it almost never works better than staying the course.

Individual stock Investors often stay too long at the punch bowl. They have no plan for when they should sell a stock. Owning a stock means you need to keep track of more than what it has gained — you need to keep reevaluating what is going on. Stock investing used to mean a buy and hold strategy where you buy it and keep it forever. Three examples where that strategy failed are Kodak, AOL, and Blockbuster Video. They were the top companies in their field, until they weren’t. You need to know how much you want to earn on each stock, how long you will wait to get that return, and how much you are willing to lose along the way before you sell it. You also need to keep reevaluating these factors over time.

If you are not doing this and putting in the research time necessary to own individual stocks, you are just betting with your gut feelings. In cases like that, it is better to let a professional manage your investments for you; otherwise, your odds might not be better than they are in Vegas.

4. Is This An Investment De Jour? (And What That Has To Do With Your Local Diner’s Fish Special)

View “hot” investment tips with skepticism. What is the reason this person is telling you to buy? Sometimes it is that they want to help push up the price before it spoils like a 3-day-old fish in a diner’s cooler. If it does not sell, it goes bad, just like the stock tip. Recently we have seen meme stock investing become a thing: stocks that shoot to the stratosphere and fall back to earth just as fast because of an online forum. Get in at the wrong time, and the fall will hurt. Stocks like these are often over before you hear about them. They have made some rich while many others have lost everything. Fantastical returns often come with fantastic risks. If you are comfortable with that, have experience, and want it as part of your portfolio, the advice I’m sharing in this article is probably not for you.

Retirement means that high-risk investing is not part of the plan. Making up for losses is difficult when you are taking distributions to live on. The young have decades to recover from a major loss due to a bad investment decision; retirees don’t. I recommend that people not worry about the dollar they didn’t make in an investment they think they missed. Know who you are as an investor and stay within that risk tolerance. Stay diversified, have a long-term plan, and stick to that plan. Keep the gambling for that trip to Vegas.

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U.S. Booking Sites Seeing Strong Demand for 2022 Travel | Investing News

(Reuters) – U.S. booking sites including Vrbo, Hopper and KAYAK are seeing higher demand for spring and summer leisure travel as COVID-19 restrictions ease and travelers appear to be shrugging off added costs to plane tickets and road trips from rising fuel prices.

“We are seeing strong booking activity for spring break and the beginnings of a very strong summer,” said Jamie Lane, VP of research at AirDNA, which tracks the daily performance of over 10 million properties on vacation rental firms Airbnb and Vrbo.

Oil has soared over $100 a barrel as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine jolted global markets. But U.S. carriers including Delta Air Lines Inc, United Airline Holdings Inc and American Airlines Inc this week reported a strong rebound in travel demand after the blip caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

AirDNA data said the booking pace for travel in the northern hemisphere spring is 49% higher than this time last year, and 26% higher than pre-pandemic 2019.

“The rush to book summer vacation homes has further accelerated in 2022,” said Vrbo in a statement earlier this month. The vacation rental booking platform reports demand for properties is already outpacing last summer by 15%.

“When reviewing the booking data, it’s clear that Omicron was a bigger concern for travelers than rising fuel costs,” said Dakota Smith, Chief Strategy Officer at Hopper, a travel booking app.

The app, which is popular among younger travelers, has seen a 50% increase in travel booking since fourth-quarter 2021.

Airline carriers are counting on strong demand to deal with the rising fuel costs. Some airlines intend to pass along a majority of that increase to customers.

“As gas prices reach record highs, jet fuel prices may not be far behind… this summer travel season may be a pricey one,” said Paul Jacobs, GM and VP of KAYAK North America. Flight prices were up 17% last week compared to the same week in 2019, according to KAYAK.

The rising fuel costs will have less impact on domestic and short-haul flights, though, and indications are that the pandemic-era preference from U.S. travelers for those trips is continuing, and may remain while the war in Ukraine drags on, said Hopper’s Smith.

Hopper said U.S. bookings to Europe have dropped from 21% of Hopper’s international bookings to 15% since Feb. 12, with international bookings shifting toward Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. These locations now represent 61% of Hopper’s international bookings, according to Smith. Europe accounted for approximately 30% of Hopper’s international bookings in 2019.

Business travel and travel to urban locations has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels, according to AirDNA.

Investors will also get another view on the recovery of leisure travel when Carnival Corp reports earnings on Tuesday. Carnival on average is expected to post a loss of $1.21 a share, while revenue soars to over $2 billion, according to data from Refinitiv.

(Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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Mastercard Profit Beats on Spending, Travel Revival | Investing News

(Reuters) – Mastercard Inc reported a quarterly profit above analysts’ estimates on Thursday, as a rise in domestic spending and growth in cross-border volumes following an uptick in international travel drove higher transactions through its cards.

Over the past quarter, vaccination programs across the world gained steam, benefiting card companies such as Mastercard as people ventured out more and spent on travel and entertainment.

However, the recovery in spending was somewhat dented towards the end of the quarter with the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

The company’s profit rose to $2.4 billion, or $2.41 per share, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.8 billion, or $1.78 per share a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Mastercard earned $2.35 per share. Analysts had expected a profit of $2.21 per share, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Net revenue rose 27% to $5.2 billion.

(Reporting by Sohini Podder in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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3 perks I’m finally investing in for 2022

Upgrading my travel game: 3 perks I’m finally investing in for 2022

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Lufthansa Jumps Back to Profit as Travel Restrictions Ease | Investing News

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa posted a return to operating profit in the third quarter on Thursday for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, boosted by the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions and strong demand in the summer season.

The group reported adjusted earnings before interest and tax of 17 million euros ($19.69 million) in the quarter, compared to a loss of 1.262 billion euros a year ago.

Analysts in a company-provided poll had expected an adjusted EBIT loss of 33 million euros.

Third-quarter revenue almost doubled to 5.2 billion euros, compared to an average analyst forecast for 5.5 billion.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Emma Thomasson)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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Air Canada Posts Smaller Quarterly Loss as Travel Demand Improves | Investing News

(Reuters) -Air Canada reported a smaller quarterly loss on Tuesday, as Canada’s decision to open its borders to fully-vaccinated travelers and improving COVID-19 inoculation rates drove bookings at the country’s largest carrier.

North American airlines have reported upbeat results this quarter as vaccinated travelers, who have not seen friends and family for over a year, take to the skies.

Canada’s decision to open its borders also benefited Air Canada, which generated net cash of C$153 million ($123.34 million) in the third quarter, compared with its earlier expectation of a net cash burn between C$280 million and C$460 million.

“We are encouraged by the favourable revenue and traffic trends in the third quarter” Chief Executive Officer Michael Rousseau said in a statement.

Air Canada reported a loss of C$640 million, or C$1.79 per share in the quarter, compared with a loss of C$685 million, or C$2.31 per share, a year earlier.

Operating Revenue rose to C$2.1 billion, from C$757 million, a year ago.

($1 = 1.2405 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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Asia Reopening Boosts Travel, Fashion Brands; Pandemic Winners Take Backseat | Investing News

By Sayantani Ghosh and Byron Kaye

SINGAPORE/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Fashion brands and airlines are creeping back into investors’ good graces in Asia as lockdowns ease and vaccination rises, boosting travel and leisure activities, taking some shine off pandemic stalwarts such as supermarkets and gadget makers.

Earnings report cards show that people are spending less time watching TV or shopping online for groceries as they resume dining out or plan vacations after emerging from coronavirus curbs. Luxury purchases from China’s big spenders, still unable to travel abroad, are also rebounding.

Asia-Pacific airlines are offering more flights as some countries resume domestic travel, and some like Singapore allow quarantine-free travel for select vaccinated visitors. Australia’s planned reopening of state and international borders has led to a surge in bookings.

“There is massive demand for loved ones wanting to get together for Christmas,” Alan Joyce, CEO of Australia’s Qantas Airways said last week. “There is demand for people wanting to take that holiday that they have been looking forward to for nearly two years.”

To be sure, a recovery in the tourism sector in Asia is months away and China’s huge domestic travel market remains in flux. As well, businesses including McDonald’s are still struggling with frequent and temporary curbs that countries impose to control outbreaks.

But airline stocks in the Asia Pacific region climbed nearly 5% over the last three months while global airlines slipped 6% due to a slower-than-expected return of corporate travel.

The broader MSCI All Country Asia Pacific Price Index rose roughly 2% in the same period.

European fashion houses like LVMH and Kering posted stellar results in China as appetite for luxury items remained undimmed, despite power shortages and a property sector crisis hurting the economy.

“China’s population and its middle classes are increasing and their appetite for beauty is not satisfied,” L’Oreal CEO Nicolas Hieronimus said last week.

Hieronimus expects a recent shift in Chinese government policy to narrow the gap between rich and poor to boost the middle class, a sentiment echoed by LVMH.

Japan’s Fast Retailing reported record profits in China last quarter, where it will open its first flagship store next month. Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido Co believes next summer will be a “turning point” as inbound tourists from China return.

Companies globally are struggling with severe labour shortages, supply bottlenecks and marine logjams as economies bounce back from pandemic lows, resulting in a steep rise in costs,-By%20Siddharth%20Cavale&text=Oct%2021%20(Reuters)%20-%20For,prices%20are%20only%20going%20higher. A long-running chip shortage has disrupted the auto industry.

For supermarkets, among the early winners of the pandemic when people scrambled to stockpile food and toilet paper, the rising inflation is likely to offset some of the post-pandemic slowdown.

Australian grocer Woolworths said on Wednesday that food sales started to slow in October. Its shares have fallen 10% since mid-August when the pace of vaccinations started picking up. The stock rose nearly 40% during the 17 months prior, when coronavirus restrictions were in place.

“The big question now is how many people will return to the offices, how will that play out in terms of at-home consumption?”, said Morningstar retail analyst Johannes Faul.

Pandemic winners are unlikely to turn losers overnight, though, said Jason Teh, chief investment officer at Vertium Asset Management in Sydney. But work-from-home trends that benefitted companies like Australian electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi were waning as vaccination surged, he said.

China’s smartphone sales in the third quarter fell 9% from a year earlier, according to Counterpoint Research.

While pent up demand from supply bottlenecks is likely to support a seasonally strong holiday quarter, sales are starting to slow at chipmakers and component suppliers such as South Korea’s Samsung Electronics and LG Display.

“LCD panels for televisions are expected to see further drops in the fourth quarter as vaccinated people have begun to spend less time in front of screens,” said Park Sung-soon, Seoul-based analyst at Cape Investment & Securities.

(Reporting by Sayantani Ghosh in Singapore and Byron Kaye in Sydney; Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Singapore, Jamie Freed in Sydney, Heekyong Yang and Joyce Lee in Seoul, Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters.

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