I think it could be very likely that we underestimate the role of Luck or even just simple Market Beta, whereby Markets over the long term tend to go up; so as long as we hold a large enough basket of half-decent Quality Stocks, then it is almost impossible not to make money if we are swimming with the powerful flow of the river.
I’ve been fixated by this subject for some time now and we even discussed it in the Podcast TPI 36 which you can hear here:
It’s been obvious to me for a long time that Luck, both Good and Bad, has quite an impact on the performance of my Portfolio and I suspect many Investors (and Traders) might not fully appreciate, or even bother considering, what kind of influence Luck has.
I’m not expecting this to be hugely lengthy and I am living on the edge by having no plan or anything, but hopefully I can stitch something together that is just about readable and might even make a smidgeon of sense.
Whilst creating that ‘Educational’ Blog about Consistency & Volatility the other day (scroll down on the Educational Blogs page and you should find it very quickly), I realised that after 7 years or something of bandying around the term ‘Quality Stocks’ I had never actually made any attempt to try to define that, and this Blog is obviously an attempt to fill the gap (is ‘bandying’ an actual word? The Spellcheck seems happy with it anyway……perhaps it is something to do with Groupies……)
On the morning of 11th September 2020, for some unknown reason it came into my mind about the kinds of Returns that people can make on Leveraged Spreadbet Accounts - and I got a bit carried away and chucked loads of Tweets out. I think there was some really valuable stuff in there and as a result I have copied the Tweets into this Blog and embellished them with some further comments and hopefully more clarity where appropriate.
The original Tweet text (with spelling errors corrected !!) is shown in italic and the new text is not in italic !!
Big THANKS to regular Reader Jim (that’ll be the prunes, mate) who gave me the idea for this Blog during an email discussion we were having. In essence we were discussing how I go about timing my Buy Trades (please note, this Blog doesn’t really address Sell Trades although at the nub of it they will be partly the opposite in practice), and it struck me that this was a great subject for me to drone on about and that many Readers might find it helpful (especially if insomnia is your particular affliction).
Breaking with my recent lazy tradition of just ripping into my Blogs and hitting the keyboard from a blank sheet of Microsoft Word, I have actually done a Plan for this one and as a consequence you might notice a little more structure. This is exemplified by me having a section that talks about the Principles behind my Buys and then a section that goes into the Practice of actually doing it.
One of the unexpected, yet without doubt most personally beneficial, side-effects of me starting the whole WD thing many years ago, is how I have met up with loads of wonderful people, such as Ian Shadrack (@IanShadrack on the Tweets) who it turns out lives just a short distance away from me in Windsor.
WD Readers should be pleased to see that Ian has kindly provided me with this Guest Blog which is certainly worth reading through, and if you like, Ian can offer a free 30 minute chat about how you can get the most from your finances. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Ian has been investing in the stock market for over 25 years and from many discussions with him over beers, I can tell he knows his stuff. He is a qualified accountant who has worked for several blue-chip companies such as BT, Vodafone and Virgin Media. He now provides financial coaching to people who are looking to set and achieve financial goals such as early retirement. Please note I have no commercial relationship with Ian although I am sure he will buy me beers in the future and vice versa !!
Big, bold, THANKS to Ian for sending this text over to me.
I hope you like it, WD.
As per the heading, back on Friday 5th June 2020 I went a bit nuts and was lying in bed at some crazy time like 5am in the morning, and my head was utterly buzzing with thoughts about my Approach (my System), how I was Executing it, and how I needed to Optimize what I was doing. I have taken the original Tweets and shoved them into this Blog and they are in italic text. I have then added underneath in many places some further comments to try to make it clearer to Readers. I hope you like it.
This Blog has come into being after a long string of Tweets I sent out recently which were essentially about my Approach and how I intend to go forwards with ensuring that I can exploit how I do things to maximum effect but with minimal Risk and Effort.
I have actually captured the Tweets and put them into another Blog Draft and hopefully that will come out soon as well. I have added some other thoughts to those Tweets so it should make a decent read and in combination with a recent Blog about my Approach, Readers should have lots of detail on how I have evolved my methods and they can mull over any aspects they wish to copy etc. I will include a link to that Approach Blog at the bottom of this one.
One of the concepts that I mentioned in the string of Tweets was that I see 3 key parts to my Approach which I have classified as System, Execution and Optimisation.
From various comments on Twitter recently it is pretty clear to me that some thoughts on how to use Funds to best effect would be worthwhile. This should be fairly straightforward to write so I am diving straight in without a plan but I have been mulling it over for a while.
If you nip over to the ‘Funds’ page on my Website (it might be on WD2 – I really can’t remember !!), then that has some definitions on it with regards to what the various types of Funds are and it also has an example Portfolio which is based on something I constructed with a Friend a few years ago for her own Investing. Recently she has sold about 80% of this Portfolio because she is moving house and I must get around to confirming with her what she still holds. Anyway, that Portfolio example does give an indication of how you can diversify across Funds if you have a Portfolio that only uses Funds and has no Individual Shares in it.
I am aware that I have picked up a lot of new Twitter Followers and Website Readers and Podcast Listeners of late, and it struck me that if you haven’t been reading my spiel and all that for some time, then you might be a bit confused as to exactly how I go about things.
Anyway, first off “Hi” to all these new Peeps and of course “Yo Dudes and Dudessess !!” to all you lot who have been unable to shake yourselves free of the self-induced pain of submitting to my gibberish. My thinking is that in this probably not overly lengthy blog, I will outline at a high level what my Approach is and point you in various directions if you want to get a deeper understanding.
My mate Simon Jackson kindly wrote this Guest Blog to try to capture some of the essence of how the recent Market collapse has played out from his point of view. Having read it through for the proof-read, I can say it is a very helpful piece and brings some perspective to what is going on and also shows how someone with Simon’s background of Accountancy can make errors. I particularly endorse his comment that it would be a big shame if newer Private Investors get scared off and leave the great game. I had to smile also when I read his words about selling his Winners too fast !! (or in this particular case his selling being perhaps motivated by simply the relief at getting back to break-even after a difficult Investment had turned around.)
Anyway, it’s a really good read and BIG THANKS to Simon for providing WD Readers with this and for helping me fill up my Website with yet more content !!
Cheers mate, Pete.
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