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.
Fairly recently I caused a bit of a stir on the Tweets when I suggested that People who have regular payment plans into Funds (normally Unit Trusts – see my ‘Funds’ page for definitions of what the different types of Funds actually are), might be wise to suspend the automatic payments prior to the Coronavirus problems when it is highly likely that we could see Stockmarkets really struggling.
I got a lot of flak for this and it is very understandable why because there are maybe some advantages of such drip-feeding over time; but for me personally, I wouldn’t do this at all. But then I am perhaps a different type of Investor to many others and there is an element of ‘Horses for Courses’.
I am bashing out this blog as a result of a conversation with a mate which was along the lines that he finds it hard to hold things for the long-term and tends to bottle it at some point and end up selling when a decent Profit has built up; but often this might not be the best approach. Even a bit of a numbskull can figure out that if you continually sell Stocks after making perhaps 40% Profit, you will never ever get gains of 200%, 300%, etc., which are the ones that really transform your overall Returns.
Buying high quality Stocks and then holding them for long time periods has many advantages and of course many drawbacks. The benefits are really around ease of execution and low activity; which of course can lead to lower Dealing Fees and costs, and effort around selecting Stocks and general Portfolio Management activity.
I often think of subject matter that is way too short to justify its own blog, yet at the same time far too long to just send out via a Tweet and also I would like to store such stuff in the Website Archives so it can be retrieved by anyone who wants it; and of course with Tweets they tend to be quite ephemeral and soon lost in the River Twitter. On the basis of that, I am envisaging that this blog will cover a few possibly unrelated subjects but at least they get captured in ‘black and white’ electron imagery for the future.
Stay in control of your Position Sizes
This is something I see so often and I know I have fallen into this trap many times myself in the past. It’s a very simple concept where we buy into a Stock, and we quite like it, and we give it perhaps 4% of our Portfolio and then we leave it to do its stuff. Then it turns out that this one is a real beauty and it keeps steadily pushing higher and after a period of time we find that it has grown to be much larger and could even be up to 12% or our Portfolio or more. If we have a very focused Portfolio with maybe just 10 Holdings or something, then a Stock like this could easily grow to be 20% or more.
I am extremely grateful to Michael for providing this Guest Blog and making my life easier this week, which has also enabled me to make very good progress on the Stock blog I am working on. I am sure most Readers will already know of Michael as these days he is a huge celebrity in the Private Investing and Trading world with regular articles in Investors Chronicle and SharePad etc.
Michael has a Website and if you go to the ‘Weekly Performance’ page on WD1 you should find an image of his FREE eBook and if you click on that you will be taken to his site. The book is well worth reading and of course I am biased because I was involved in the latter stages of proof-reading and tweaking it. You can find him on Twitter as @shiftingshares.
So big THANKS to Michael for letting me share this with WD Readers and I hope you all enjoy it.
I am breaking all the well established ‘Rules’ of Blog scribbling with this one as I am going ahead without a plan and half watching the Lionesses in the Semi-Final against the USA which is very distracting (I am sure if I was watching the Men’s game I would be able to focus almost 100% on the Blog because it would be extremely dull as Men’s Footie often is).
I got the idea for this Blog from a fairly new chap to the Markets who strikes me as very much in the early stages of trying to figure out what the hell is going on (don’t worry, you will always feel like that, even after 20+ years with the Markets forever throwing up new tricks and challenges) and getting drowned in the sheer Wall of Noise that just bombards us. It is by no means a Blog subject I have not written about before and I intend to include Links at the bottom to several related Blogs on the subject which should help understanding (oh boll*x, the US have just scored a second goal……).
I must have had this Blog in mind for the best part of three years and the simple concepts within it I have explained to various people in the Pub many a time since I first figured out what Jason @Stealthsurf was up to. What had stopped me writing it up until now was an inability to figure out how to ‘draw’ it and it was only after mucking around with Microsoft Paint to do those ‘Mechanics of a Trade’ Blogs that I realised I had found a tool to enable me to create what was needed here.
OK, I have to admit that despite my truly remarkable MS Paint talents, some of these pictures can hardly be called a Rembrandt or Van Gogh (and I have both my ears thank you very much !! …….or I did last time I looked in the mirror…..) but hopefully they are clear enough and simple enough to get the key points across and to provide Readers with either an entirely new way to go about doing things or at least to give a lot more appreciation of ‘Break-outs’ and how this could help boost their Trading/Investing Returns.
This Blog Series covers some pretty complicated stuff and I recommend that you read Parts 1 and 2 before you attack this one - you can find them here:
Example 3 - You want to buy 3 Shares in Company XYZ - a ‘Tree-Shake’
This next situation only tends to happen on Small Stocks which are illiquid and where the actions of one Market Maker can affect the Price - on a large and liquid Stock, this kind of thing simply cannot happen as in effect it can throw up an arbitrage opportunity where another Market Maker can take advantage of the artificial Price move and in addition such big Stocks are watched by Traders in general for every tiny move and any mis-pricings would be quickly bought or sold away.
Following on from a different Blog I put out recently that was inspired by some text written by Chris Dillow in Investors Chronicle, again I have been reading one of his Articles and taking inspiration from it. This one appeared in the Magazine from 13th July to 19th July 2018 which had ‘Income Majors’ on the front cover and the Article was entitled ‘In the genes’ and appeared on Page 16. If you are a subscriber to the Magazine then I suggest you go onto the online version and do a search for the article because it is well worth reading. Having said that I have reproduced a few sections of the text here so this will give a good flavour of what is in it.
The starting paragraph is based on some Research that had been done which suggested that Investment Performance was related to our genetic make-up (presumably intelligence levels and Chris mentions the genetic factors that increase our potential Educational Attainment) and that factors such as ACTUAL Educational Attainment, Income Levels and inheritance had less influence. So this suggested that our genes predict how well we save and invest and further on in the article he mentions that such Genetic Factors explain about a third of our Investment Results; and I take from this that at least a part of the other two-thirds is down to how we manage our Portfolios in terms of things like Running Winners, Chopping Losers, Averaging Down at the right time, Avoiding AIM Garbage, TopChopping, Risk Management, Hedging, etc. And of course another chunk of that two-thirds will be down to pure dumb Luck (but if we control as much as possible of the other stuff then the Luck is less of a hindrance and of course sometimes we will get Good Luck which is the sort I like !!).
I figured that title would attract a huge Readership to this Blog - I nearly went with ‘Free Bitcoins’ as I thought that would drive devourers of Reading Material on the Web utterly insane with their frenzy to take advantage of such an appealing offer.
I nearly went with something along the lines of ‘Actresses and Bishops’ because that tends to draw a big Readership also but I didn’t think I could stretch what seems to be the dull subject of Dividends that far. I also know that a small chunk of Readers are under 18 so I need to keep it clean (ish).
I have actually stolen the title from my mate Cappy (@SmallCappy on Twitter) who always comes up with this term when we mention the wonderful phenomenon of nature that is the humble Dividend Payment. He has nailed it with such a description and I am fully onboard with his use of this term and I shamelessly pinch it whenever I can (you should have copyrighted it when you had the chance, mate !!).
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