This Blog builds on one I wrote back on the 3rd September 2020 on the subject of focus and specialisation, which you can read here:
I doubt this will be all that long (as usual with my Blogs, I tend to have little idea of how much will be in them until I actually crack on and get some text down on my electronic paper), and the approach I am using is to take some text from an excellent article that Chris Dillow wrote in ‘Investors Chronicle’ on 9th August 2019 on page 18 with the title ‘Is ethical investing doomed?’, and then I will add my own comments around this text (Chris’ text is in italic).
Don’t be fooled by the title of Chris’ article, I am not really focusing on the ethical funds but more the principles around what Chris is saying. Perhaps there will be the side-benefit that we can learn something about ethical funds as a bonus !!
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 !!
On a recent Twin Petes Investing Podcast I mentioned the idea of an ‘Opportunity Set’ from which to pick Stocks, and I remembered that I had written a draft blog on this subject that I had not managed to finish with all the other distractions of life. From looking at the draft, I can see that I started this back in May 2019 so it has probably matured a bit and no doubt has a bit of mould on it !!
Most of what you will read below these opening paragraphs was written back then - so don’t get too hung up on the timeline if I talk about events which don’t make a lot of sense. It has just struck me that back when I wrote this draft we hadn’t even heard of Covid 19 !!
I hope you find it a decent and worthwhile read,
Like so many things regarding the task of Investing, it really isn’t easy to do in practice but if you can find those relatively rare ‘Long Term Buy & Hold’ (LTBH) Stocks, that just have a habit of going up year after year and also paying you a decent Dividend, then you will have a very easy and very prosperous life (especially if you slam some Leverage on it as well but that’s another matter !!).
To an extent I am looking for Stocks like this but in practice I recognise that apart from the fact they are not too common, they tend to do well for a few years and then the performance drops off. The ones that have pretty much risen for 10 years or more are exceptionally rare.
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 Phil (@sloan_phil on the Tweets) has kindly provided this Guest Blog following the recent events regarding cuts to Dividends and his action in reviewing and rejigging his Income Portfolio. I have read it a couple of times for proofing and all that and it is really good and has some excellent insights into investing in US Stocks.
Many thanks to Phil for providing WD Readers with this and a personal thank you for saving me a load of work in writing a blog this week !!
I have no doubt that regular Readers (please no Wheelie, I can’t take anymore purile and unimaginative All-Bran references), will be well aware of my borderline imbecilic obsession with Hedging my Portfolio and you must be exasperated beyond belief to see that I am writing about this well-treaded subject yet again. Anyway, it is what it is, and after the recent heavy sell-off in the Markets (which after all is exactly why I have been mucking about with Hedging for so many years, in anticipation and preparation for such an event) I feel it would be worthwhile to just get down in blog format some thoughts and observations etc. that have arisen after this episode and the Global tragedy of the Coronavirus.
Overall I am quite pleased with the Hedging I did although of course in an Ideal World I could have done it better. I guess my main area of weakness was in not Hedging in larger size (more on this in due course) and I would say another failure was in not getting a big enough Short on early enough. Other than that, and some moments of panic when I shorted more and really was lucky to get away with it, I am overall fairly happy.
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