It’s the classic cliché that all us old gits say about how each year shoots by faster than the one before, and that most definitely applies to 2019 as we near the butt end of it. It really has been quite a year with just so much going on in terms of Politics and Economics etc. but also the Markets have turned out incredibly strong and many People will have brought home some utterly stonking gains. Sadly I am not one of them due to some inefficient Hedging, but it should still have worked out a very good year for me financially and to have done so with very little activity and very little Risk really isn’t too shabby. So I’m pretty happy with how things have gone (especially because the Hedging problems can be fixed) and I’m looking forwards eagerly to 2020.
I have been helped by having other sources of Income apart from just my Stocks and without doubt once Readers head into retirement themselves they will appreciate how handy it is to have other Income Streams and it definitely takes a lot of pressure off and means that Stockmarket gains are largely icing on the cake. I am also helped in this regard by not spending much money and ‘living off thin air’ means you really don’t need to be stressing over the Returns you have coming in.
I have felt for some time that Readers are struggling a bit with how the WD Websites are structured and this makes it hard for them to find stuff. I have realised this from comments people make and this has driven me to try to explain it simply via a Blog so Readers can get a lot more out of the Sites. I know people dislike the layout of the Websites changing so I promise I will not change how they are structured very much and if I ever do make some significant changes, then I will try to explain them very well. At the time of scribbling this I do not foresee any such changes (to be honest it is a pain in the backside for me as well so I am in no rush to change stuff !!).
My plan is to put a Link to this Blog near the Top of the Homepages so Readers can quickly refer to it if need be and of course any new Readers should find it useful.
If you follow me on the Tweets and/or manage to read them by some other convoluted method, then you may well have noticed that I got myself involved in some right old shenanigans at the start of last week. In essence it resulted in a night long trip to the Accident & Emergency Department (A&E) at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough but thankfully it turns out that I am absolutely 100% fine and I had really got myself worried about not a lot.
I had intended to work on the second part of the Hotel Chocolat HOTC Blogs but to be honest I still feel a bit jet-lagged at the time of writing this first draft and I’m not really in the right frame of mind for it. It also struck me earlier today that there could be some useful insights into Psychology that apply to life in general and very much to Investing and Trading that arise from my recent nonsense and it makes sense to get them down on electronic paper while they are still very much fresh in my memory recall circuits. I’m sorry the HOTC Blog will be delayed but in the current Markets it’s not like there is a huge urgent need to buy any Stocks and it won’t hurt if it slips a bit. I am not sure what I have on next week but in theory at this point in time I should be able to do it then.
It really seems like just a few months ago that I was writing my Xmas Message for 2017 - there is that old saying that time gets faster the older you get and it is hard to dispute this on the evidence of 2018 which has simply shot by. However, the fact it has gone by fast is arguably a good thing and I would probably lean that way because apart from a few bright spots 2018 has been a pretty rubbish year for me and I can only hope that 2019 is much better - it could barely be worse (oh no, that really is tempting fate….).
We all know the Stockmarket has been an utter pig this year but I have also had a pretty tough year on the personal front with the worst bit by far being the sad departing of my Mum which you may have seen me mention on Twitter. I had flagged for a while that she was in a bad way following a stroke but she finally succumbed about a week ago and to honest it is very much a relief as she was clearly not going to get better and at best she would have ended up with an extremely poor quality of life and being stuck in a nursing home requiring intense levels of care. In addition it would put immense pressure on my brother who bears the brunt of such things as he is much nearer than myself and of course my physical condition limits a lot what I can do. The funeral is in early January and I have to note the irony of how my parents both managed to make their presence felt over the Xmas and New Year periods by their absence (my father died 2 years ago at pretty much precisely the same time of the year).
I’m in a right old grumpy mood today - hopefully it won’t show too much in this Blog !! I have no idea why this happened, although I was unable to sleep much last night which probably caused it, but I ended up oversleeping hugely and that means I am ridiculously late today and chasing my tail which I really hate. My intent had been to get up at a reasonable time and watch some of the MotoGP Qualifying from San Marino and I had set my Alarm on my Fone (does anyone have an Alarm Clock these days?) for 8.30am but when I woke up I had the horrible sense that something wasn’t right - you know, when the light in your bedroom seems unusual (because the Sun has moved a lot !!) and you just have this sense that it is later than you hope - and of course once I look at my Fone I see it is nearly 2pm and I just can’t believe it - total double-take and my Brain really struggled to compute the disaster.
So I missed the MotoGP apart form the middle class, Moto2, which was ok but watching that and eating my Lunch (which of course was now late) and then having to ‘get myself ready’ which being a paraplegic Wheelchair User involves absurd amounts of time in the bathroom and even getting dressed is a 20 minute experience, so before I know it the day has gone and it is well into evening and I have achieved utterly sod all. I wanted to have a look through the new copy of Investors Chronicle before I started on this Blog but of course that was another hour and a half so it is now nearly 9pm and I am only just starting to type and I have yet to eat Dinner which of course will take more time (although I intend to just shove something in the Oven so it can cook whilst I carry on writing).
This Blog has absolutely nothing to do with Stocks and with the Market in its current ungenerous mood it seems a good time now for ‘Something completely different’.
A few Weeks back I did my usual Weekend Blog and included a Link to a YouTube Video of BBC Top Gear which came from the Last Episode of Season 2. Sadly since then the Video is no longer available on YouTube due to ‘Third party Copyright Infringement’ but my mate @InvestingMartin did some poking around and managed to find it here - thanks chap !! You need to scroll to 33 mins ish:
Following on from that, I have had countless questions about what it was like to appear on Top Gear and I think the best way to respond is for me to produce a Blog about it, so here it is.
This text appeared in DIY Investor Magazine back in August 2017 and there is a link to that article on the Homepage of this Website. However, I think there is some useful stuff in here for Readers so I wanted to add it to the Blog Archive.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A DIY INVESTOR?
I started mucking around with Stocks back in the Dotcom Boom days in about late 1999 - exactly the wrong time to be doing it !! Wow, what a baptism of fire that was - I got lucky with a few but lost some ridiculous amounts of Money on some very poor choices (thankfully after all these years I know a lot better now !!).
I’m really quite enjoying the Christmas Break so far this year. I’m not really sure why, but it seems like we have had several Weeks now of not all that much going on and it has been a lot more relaxing and stress free than the normal course of the Year and having to negotiate the Markets. I don’t see myself as someone who gets particularly stressed and worried about the Markets (except when we get those occasional periods where the Markets drop sharply and it is best to just totally avoid them especially during the Trading Day), but when we go into the Seasonal Period it sort of feels like some sort of subtle weight is lifted from my shoulders.
Thinking about it I wouldn’t see it as stress - it is more like a need to be aware of the Markets and for me to be checking my ADVFN app on my Fone from time to time during the Day that is removed. In addition to this, even when the Markets are open lately the Trading seems very subdued and stuff hasn’t really been moving around much - perhaps this is yet another function of the very low levels of volatility that we have been treated to for much of this past Year.
This was supposed to be ‘Wheelie’s Xmas Message’ but in the event the recent Blog on NG. seemed to nuzzle its way to the top of the stack and got my attention. Blog scribbling often goes like this for me; it is rare that I detest a Blog (it does happen !!) and lose any enthusiasm to work on it but it is most definitely the case that certain partly-formed Blogs can find their way up the list as my Brain gets much more fixated and stimulated by the prospect of doing them.
At a high level this is really just a “Thank you” for all the support from WD Readers, Followers, Believers, Promoters etc. but as with other Blogs I have written around this time of year, it should give some outline on how I see the Website and stuff developing in the coming year, as well as giving some thoughts on how I am feeling about 2016 and what I expect for 2017 - although these later points should get a lot more in-depth consideration in a forthcoming ‘Scores on the Doors 2016’ Blog which is probably the next in line.
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.
Welcome to my Educational Blog Page - I have another 'Stocks & Markets' Blog Page which you can access via a Button on the top of the Homepage.
Please see the Full Range of Book Ideas in Wheelie's Bookshop.