Unusually for me this year, I actually bought some Stocks earlier this week - I topped up on McCarthy & Stone MCS because it looks very good value to me as a Long Term play on the demand for Retirement Homes from an aging population; and I bought more Golden Prospect GPM which is a play on Gold and if anything says a lot more about how I feel about the Markets at the moment.
Gold can be very much viewed as a Hedge and a ‘safe haven’ type play and that is exactly what I feel is needed with the Markets like they are. We have had extended rises across pretty much all Indexes since the Brexit Vote and it looks very toppy now and it is simply a matter of time before we get a Pullback - and I want to increase my Shorts to capitalise on the Drop and to protect my Long Portfolio to some extent. I already have a fair chunk of Shorts which are very underwater at the moment and ideally I would like to ‘Average Up’ by opening more Shorts at these Higher Levels so that I can get back to breakeven or perhaps even Profit if I can get my timing right. However, so far in 2016 my timing has been abysmal so I will have my work cut out !!
If you ever get involved in writing ‘stuff’ then you will probably recognise the quandary I often find myself in where I decide I want to get a Blog Draft written but I am not really sure what to write it about and although I have a long list of potential Blogs with high-level ‘outlines’, it is often the case that none of them really get me inspired. If there is such a lack of desire to put Fingers to Keyboard, then writing them can be a bit tedious and it probably doesn’t produce my best work (or even anything worth reading !!).
In the main I think I have been quite fortunate - possibly because I try to keep pressure off myself and I don’t do things like Charging for Website Access which would make me feel obliged to do stuff and it would be a bit too much like ‘Work’, and it is very rare that I write a Blog and actually find it tedious. In fact, the only one I can recall where this happened was that awful one on Hedging - I remember starting it with bold plans and then getting really bogged down and lacking any enthusiasm for it. In the end it just got released as an “over to you lot, I am so fed up with this” kind of thing and I know it wasn’t my finest hour…..(more like 60 hours was how it felt).
Well, I have been pretty useless at forecasting the Markets this year so I won’t even try to attempt Weather forecasting - but I can without doubt say that Last Week was fippin’ hot. We are getting into the final leg of July and slowly approaching that nearly always eventful period around Autumn - Markets have certainly been ‘melting up’ with hopes of more Central Bank QE (Quantitative Easing - Money Printing) and even increased Government Spending in the UK but it is clear that Economic Storm Clouds are on the Horizon and how long can the Bulls keep pushing things higher?
As ever, let’s hit the Almanac first………
It really feels to me now that we are in full swing of Summer and Markets are pretty dull as everyone is off at the beach. For a pleasant change we actually have been receiving some decent weather in Windsor and I am very keen to keep away from the Markets and enjoy it. As per the spiel in my ‘Weekly Performance’ piece I wrote last week on the Homepage, I think we could see a few OK weeks but I expect more Falls in the Autumn - September and October are notoriously bad months and this year we have so many Macro things to cause lots of worry. I guess the factor that might mitigate against such Falls is that more Monetary and Fiscal Stimulus by Central Banks and Governments looks very likely.
What ways can we ‘Manage’ a Trade to make such a difference?
As per much of the text in Part 1, I am of the conclusion that how I manage a Trade has a huge impact on my Returns and might explain how I got higher Returns than my friend last year who has an extremely similar Portfolio. Here is a quick list of the factors that I think make a real difference:
If you have glanced at, or perhaps even read, my epic Blog around Hedging, you will know that I wasn’t really happy with the Final Version which went live but I had just got to the point where I could not stand working on it any longer.
Part of this was because it bored me rigid and I had my thoughts on another Blog idea which I was much keener to write and this is the coming together of those musings. I like my ‘Educational’ type Blogs to be very different to the stuff Readers can find elsewhere and to actually be of use to Long Term Investors in the Real World - after all, if I am just repeating the usual Finance Industry BS then why should Readers bother with it and why should I waste my time writing it?
This was originally written on Saturday 25th June 2016 under ’Weekly Performance’ on the Homepage and I wanted to keep it for Posterity:
Last Week, ending 24th June 2016, Results were as follows:
Wow, what a Week !! Or, should I say, what an End to the Week !!
Regular Readers (must be the All-Bran) will know I was not convinced by the pre-Vote Rally and I had serious doubts - as it turned out, I was right to be thinking like this and I am extremely pleased that my Cautious Stance all year so far and my Hedges look to be exactly the right approach. Obviously I am not happy to have lost money on the Week but when you look at how the FTSE250 etc. got whacked I really cannot moan too much. The FTSE100 had a strange rally late on Friday but I doubt that can be sustained (my hunch is that this was due to a 'Flight to safety' where big Defensives like GSK AZN IMP got bought and these are huge Weights in the Index) - the Close in the US looks ominous and I think we will see a lot more Falls. My Unit Trusts rising is a bit weird - I think this is because of the Quid falling against the Buck (my remaining UTs are mainly US based) and also because the Valuations on the Funds are a day behind - so Friday's falls are not in the numbers.
We’ve certainly had some pretty crazy weeks of late with the lead-up to the Brexit Vote and the fallout from the Result. As usual I will whizz through some Charts to get a feel of what the Indexes etc. are doing and look at the Historical backdrop.
I mentioned something on the Podcast I recorded with Justin earlier this week, and I felt it might be a good idea to just explore that a little more as part of this Blog (if you have not heard the Podcast there is a link at the Top of the Homepage which will take you to it).
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