The FTSE 100 is at its highest for nine months. I’d buy these UK shares now Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. See all posts by Peter Stephens Enter Your Email Address I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Image source: Getty Images Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! Peter Stephens owns shares of BAE Systems, BP, Rolls-Royce, SSE, Vodafone, and WPP. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. The FTSE 100 has reached a nine-month high after improving investor sentiment lifted the prices of a range of UK shares. Vaccine news has been the key catalyst, with investors apparently becoming increasingly upbeat about the prospect of a return to normality in 2021.Despite the recent stock market rally, there are a number of large-cap shares that appear to offer good value for money. The index is still trading substantially below its all-time high. And with it having a solid track record of recovery, investing money in stocks today could prove to be a shrewd move.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…FTSE 100 buying opportunitiesThe FTSE 100 is still trading around 15% lower than its all-time high. As such, many UK shares appear to offer wide margins of safety. They also have capital growth potential over the coming years. After all, the index has always recovered from its bear markets, but has always gone on to produce new record highs that contribute to its high single-digit annual total returns.Therefore, companies that have recorded major share price falls this year, such as BP, IAG, Rolls-Royce and WPP, could offer scope for a long-term recovery. They appear to have the financial means to overcome challenging operating conditions, and have been able to strengthen their balance sheets since the start of the year. Moreover, they seem to have the right strategies to adapt their operations to cope with changing demand in the long run.Certainly, BP faces difficulties in shifting its resources to a low-carbon economy. Similarly, WPP is likely to experience further challenges as the coronavirus pandemic continues, while Rolls-Royce and IAG are set to encounter more difficulties due to a tough outlook for the airline sector. But all four companies trade at relatively low prices and could be among those UK shares that gain the most from a FTSE 100 recovery.UK shares with dividend-investing potentialThe FTSE 100’s dividend yield of 3.7% is lower than it was just a few months ago as a result of many UK shares rising in price. However, it continues to be relatively attractive in a world where making a passive income from other assets is tough due to low interest rates.Therefore, dividend-paying shares such as Vodafone, BAE and SSE could become increasingly popular over the coming years. They offer dividend yields higher than the wider index. They also appear to have solid financial performances that may provide greater resilience than many of their index peers.BAE could outperform the FTSE 100 because of its dominant market position and investment in new markets. Meanwhile, Vodafone and SSE appear to be shifting their focus to new growth areas. This could make them attractive buying opportunities ahead of a likely stock market recovery for UK shares in the coming years. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Peter Stephens | Saturday, 5th December, 2020
In the wake of expanding globalization, the new director of Harvard’s Chinese Language Program is prepping the University’s next generation of students to compete in an international arena increasingly dominated by the growing economic and military power of China.That road to competitiveness, she says, requires both linguistic and cultural expertise.“America’s well-being is tied to the role that China plays in today’s world, and so learning its language — but also its culture — is so important,” said Jennifer Li-Chia Liu, who is focusing on those topics to help develop an increasingly integrated pedagogy within Harvard’s curriculum. “I want to break the boundaries to see how language instruction can be part of the foundational tools of all pursuits.”Liu’s innovative approach builds on the efforts of Diana Sorensen, Harvard’s dean of arts and humanities, who has expanded the language curriculum in recent years to include bridge courses that connect Harvard’s language offerings with content such as history, art, and culture. Liu said her work is also based on the success of her Harvard colleague, Professor of Chinese Literature Xiaofei Tian, and her content-based courses including “Art and Violence in the Cultural Revolution,” which includes readings and discussions in Chinese.This fall, Liu will teach “Chinese in Social Sciences” that will mirror topics covered by Michael Szonyi, professor of Chinese history. Liu’s students will sit in on Szonyi’s lectures about the society and culture of late imperial China in English, but will be required to write a summary of the class discussions for Liu in Chinese. Next spring, Liu will help students appreciate some of China’s written masterpieces, along with David Der-wei Wang, Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature. Course work will involve writing research papers in Chinese, and presenting them via videoconferencing to faculty members at universities in Taiwan and China.That type of intense language training needs to be “built into the system,” said Liu, “so that students see that this is part of their whole learning, not just something else that they have to fulfill.”Liu’s multilingual childhood informed her interest in languages and cultures. Growing up in Taiwan, she spoke Taiwanese and Mandarin, and developed some understanding of Cantonese. English classes were a requirement in middle school. But she never imagined herself pursuing a career studying foreign languages. Later, in high school, her exposure to great English literature, creative writing, and rhetoric began to unlock the language’s nuance and meaning and fueled her desire to know more. She majored in foreign languages and literatures at National Taiwan University and headed to the United States shortly after graduation in 1986 to pursue a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Oregon.“By the time I graduated, I realized I had learned so much about great American literature, but I had never really experienced American culture.”Not long after her arrival, she changed course. While working as a language instructor, she shifted her focus from the rigorous exploration of books to the creation of teaching methods and practices. Teaching, she said, tapped into her desire to help others “acquire fundamental concepts and language skills.”“I found my passion in dealing with human beings.”Much of that new work involved developing computer models to help students learn Chinese characters and read Chinese texts. She received a master’s degree in instructional systems technology in 1988, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction, specializing in applied linguistics and foreign language education, in 1992.Liu landed next at Indiana University. During her 19-year tenure, she founded its Center for Chinese Language Pedagogy. And with the backing of the U.S. government, she created the Indiana University Chinese Language Flagship program. The initiative, part of the National Security Education Program of the Department of Defense, is an intense language training program that includes accelerated learning, a year of study abroad involving a semester of enrollment in a Chinese university, and a four-month, fulltime internship, as well as demanding courses in a variety of disciplines.She wanted, Liu said, to “design something transformative for language education.”The results prove that she has. Many graduates of the program have chosen to pursue advanced degrees in China, while others have remained there to work.She hopes to emulate that type of training at Harvard, continuing to merge language and content and helping Harvard students to immerse themselves in another culture before graduation. “Training and preparing students to have a real, authentic experience before they graduate is critically important,” said Liu. “With today’s global society, this opens doors and worlds for them.”And no place is better suited for the goals she is planning than Harvard, said Liu, who is looking forward to collaborating with colleagues across the University.“It’s extremely stimulating and exciting, especially given the kind of intellectual culture it fosters,” she said.Liu, a self-admitted workaholic, will soon leave for China, where she will head the Harvard Beijing Academy, an intensive, nine-week language immersion program.While she “gets a lot of fun out of work,” she also enjoys crisscrossing the globe with her two teenage children, who have traveled extensively with her, exploring other languages and cultures.“That’s the greatest reward,” said Liu. “I want my children to grow up internationally minded, with an interest in peoples and cultures and languages from all over the world.”
Amundi and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have joined forces for an initiative that aims to foster the development of a European green debt market beyond investment grade green bonds.The Green Credit Continuum programme, as it has been called, will involve the creation of a fund investing in high-yield corporate green bonds, green private debt and green securitised credit.A scientific committee composed of climate finance experts will be formed to define and promote guidelines for the three markets, and a network will be put in place to source deals and projects.The guidelines are to be “in line with international best practice and legislation derived from the European Commission action plan on financing sustainable growth”, according to a joint statement. The goal is to create several funds based on this model. The EIB is to make an initial commitment of up to €60m, with the aim being for €1bn to be raised within three years. “Over the last few years the European green financing market has mainly developed by way of green bond issuances from sovereign, quasi-sovereign and large corporate issuers,” said Amundi and the EIB in the statement. “To finance additional efforts to promote European energy and ecological transition goals, new market instruments are needed that enable smaller companies and green projects to access market financing, as well as offer higher yields to investors.”EIB vice-president Ambroise Fayolle said the partnership would “help promote sustainable finance in Europe by including new issuers in the green finance market, making them even more aware of environmental issues and environmentally friendly investments”.Amundi’s agreement with the EIB follows its joint venture with the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, to develop green finance in emerging markets. The initiative includes a green bond fund in which several major European pension funds are invested.