***STOP PRESS - AS I GO TO PUBLISH THIS DAVID DAVIS HAS RESIGNED AS BREXIT SECRETARY - SO A LOT OF WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN ON THE BRINO STUFF MIGHT BE SHIFTING ALREADY. COULD THERE BE A TORY LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE VERY SOON?***
***STOP PRESS 2 - STEVE BAKER BREXIT MINISTER RESIGNED AS WELL - A LEADERSHIP CONTEST LOOKS EXTREMELY LIKELY***
As always I don’t know how much I can cover today mainly because I am typing this in between spurts of rushing outdoors and spraying Primer on the Front Bumper of my BMW - if you follow me on the Tweets you might have noticed that I have been exploiting this amazing Weather to do some dodgy Paintwork on my Z3 which I have been putting off for Years. The bit I am doing at the moment should be fairly straightforward (but seems to take an immense amount of time - it is all in the Preparation and you have to have each stage spot on before you can move onto the next stage - sounds like building a Portfolio of Quality Stocks !!), and I am really using it as a practice run because I have a really difficult bit to do just above the Boot Lid where some Oik dented it (my suspicion is that a Bike fell against it and a Lever or something jabbed into my Z3’s Rear End - it is a tiny dent but if just annoys me).
Bear with - I just need to pop out for another Coat of Primer !!
What an unbelievable Heat Wave we are having - it’s just so nice being able to get out and about and enjoy it and having now finished my Compost Bin Project (it is such a relief to see the mess all straightened out after many Weeks) I am about to start on a New Project of tarting up my BMW Z3 which has got a few bits of dodgy Paint and I went to Halfords HFD last Week to pick up various essential items like Wet & Dry Paper, Primer, BMW Black Sapphire Metallic Topcoat, Lacquer and T-Cut Metallic etc. It must have caused a mini-boom in HFDs Revenues and Profits because I spent 50 Squids !!
Doing this kind of thing with Spray Paints out in the open air is really not easy and it is extremely difficult to get a decent Finish but I am not after ‘Concours’ condition and really it is more a case of doing a good enough job and the main driver is to stop Rust dead in its tracks and to keep the Car looking half-decent when looked at from a distance !!
As usual I am not sure how much time I can spend on this tonight as there is a round of the World Superbikes from Laguna Seca (with the infamous ’Corkscrew’) in the USA on Eurosport at about 9.30pm and tomorrow I am off to Duxford Aerodrome to meet up with a few people and I will be doing a fairly early start tomorrow (for me !!) and I don’t want too late a bedtime tonight !!
If you are reading this in time to join us at Duxford, near Cambridge, then feel free to come along and there are more details on my Homepage - I should get there about 12.30pm but of course you can turn up whenever you like and I will head straight to the Canteen bit for ‘refreshments’.
The Title for this Blog comes from the crazy Market we had last week - it really was all over the place with no clear direction and it looks like we are into the Summer Soggy period and this could continue quite some time and of course the World Cup probably is distracting people and we then have Wimbledon not far away.
I am sure I will have to rename these Weekend Blogs - increasingly they seem to contains copious amounts of Words and less and less Charts - so perhaps they should be ‘Weekend Words Blogs’ - although of course that lacks any kind of a ring.
We really had a ‘funny’ one last Week - I managed to gain 0.3% for my Portfolio on UK and Spreadbets stuff which was a bit disappointing after we had a massive Up Day on Thursday but this got almost totally wiped out with a very rubbish Down Day on Friday (I’m glad I spent most of it sat at a Pub by the River Thames in Windsor). However, I did get a nice surprise later in the evening when I worked out the Numbers for my US Unit Trusts (there are just 2 of them - AXA Framlington Health and Henderson Technology) which had a good Week mainly due to the strength in the Dollar and relative weakness of Sterling and this meant that Overall my Portfolio was up 0.7% for the Week which of course could have been better but I am reasonably happy. To put it into context, if I could make 0.7% every Week over a Year that would be a Total Return of over 36% - I wouldn’t moan at that !!
As always I am starting this Blog later than I wanted to and most unusually I am doing it on a Saturday Night because tomorrow Night I am off to The Anvil, Basingstoke, to see The Shires and really getting quite keen on the idea. If you don’t know them they are a Boy and Girl from ‘the shires’ and are probably at the leading edge of a Country Music scene in the UK. I really like them because their voices go really well together (think Lady Antebellum) but they also have a lot of quite rocky stuff on their Albums - maybe this is no shock when you consider that Rock‘n Roll had its roots partly in US Country music. If anything you could perhaps liken them a bit to Fleetwood Mac and funnily enough they quite often do FM Covers at their gigs. I have a feeling there is a Link at the bottom of the ‘Wheelie’s Bookshop’ page to their first album and although all 3 of their Albums are pretty good it is probably this one that stands out.
I have no idea how much I can fit into this Blog as I am starting it quite late in the day after a pretty busy Weekend and with time seriously squeezed. Yesterday I went down to Swindon to see my Mum and Brother and after a lovely relax in the Sun at The Royal Oak pub at Wooton Rivers just outside Marlborough we went on to Devizes (past Silbury Hill and Avebury and various Long Barrows etc.) to see where my Mum grew up.
It’s quite strange because although I have known all my Life pretty much that my Mum came from Devizes I have never actually seen (or perhaps more importantly ‘appreciated’) where the House was and the environment/scenary in which she was a Little Girl etc. I’ve always known that her Father (my Granddad obviously) worked on an Estate doing Farm work but in my mind I had this image of flat Agricultural Land which I think was a ‘false memory’ that came about because when I was a Kid we must have driven through Devizes and my Mum and Dad probably said “oh, this is where your Mum comes from”.
It is most definitely a ‘drawback’ (High Class Problem, more like !!) of not doing a ‘Real Job’ that Bank Holidays tend to catch me totally by surprise and I had not realised we have one this Weekend until some point yesterday. That of course means I have more time than usual to write a Charts Blog but my intention as I start scribbling is to get it finished Sunday Night rather than having it drop into Monday as well.
I am currently reading ‘A Man on the Moon’ by Andrew Chaiken and have nearly finished it but probably because of this sort of coincidence, I picked up with special attention that Alan Bean who was one of just 12 Men who walked on the Moon in the period 1969 to 1972, had sadly passed on to the Heavens (he was on the Crew of Apollo 12 which was the one that got hit twice by Lightning just after Launch and for some rather worrying minutes had no Computer whatsoever until they figured out how to reboot it).
I am bashing out this Charts Blog on a Saturday Night for a change because tomorrow I am off to somewhere near Birmingham to attend some sort of ‘Hill Climb’ event in celebration of 60 Years of the Austin Healey Sprite (yeah, that Frogeye thing that evolved into the MG Midget). It’s pretty sobering to realise that I was at the Sprite50 Event at the British Motor Heritage Museum at Gaydon which must have been 10 Years ago and as ever it seems like just a few Years have passed and it just brings home how fast time whittles through our fingers……..
A very close friend has one of the later Sprites from about 1964 I think and that looks much more like a Midget with no Frogeye Headlights but is remarkably quick and fine handling for something so old and with such a piddly engine (I think his is an 1100cc but I might be wrong). So the plan is to meet up with him and perhaps one or more of his offspring (that will be scary because I haven’t seen them for a few Years and they will no doubt be huge teenagers now) and it should be a fun day. I am looking forward to seeing the Healey 3000s and suchlike which are really where it’s at.
Well that was a rather pleasant Week for me, despite the drag of Superdry SDRY getting hit hard and On The Beach OTB leaping around all over the place around its Results but it is not something I am concerned about. My Portfolio gained 1.6% overall which is a very good outcome and I also had the additional joy which was caused by getting the Yearly Statement for my Prudential ‘With Profits’ Bond which has added 8.2% in the last Year which I think is the strongest Gain I have ever had from it in about 19 Years of ownership.
I have mentioned the With Profits Bond many a time and I have been so pleased with it over the Years. I must have about 15% of my Overall Wealth in it and it has some defensive qualities which make it quite a good diversifier. In the Credit Crunch it suffered but that was down to a thing called a ‘Market Value Adjustment’ (MVA) which is applied when you try to Cash it in but if you have held for something like more than 7 Years then an MVA does not apply to you and you can get out the Cash Value at that time.
Wow, what a change to have glorious Sunshine all Weekend, especially on a Bank Holiday one. I have been out in the Sun mucking about in the Garden and pretending to ‘work’ on it but really just doing as little as I can get away with so that I don’t get over exerted and it is mainly focused on easy tidying up stuff. I am knocking out this Blog tonight as I have been invited to a Barbeque tomorrow which should be a laugh and a good distraction from the Markets etc.
I am so so happy that Summer has finally arrived. I detest the Winter (if I wasn’t so dependent on the Comfort Blanket of Stoke Mandeville Hospital I could quite easily depart for Spain or something during the miserable Months. The crazy thing is that I rarely go to Stock Mandeville but it is just nice to know that at the drop of a hat they will always deal with me if I have issues) and with the wonders of modern technology I really could do my ‘job’ from anywhere and the Time Zones aren’t massively different in Southern Europe etc. With this in mind and after a shocking Winter that seemed never-ending I fully intend to engage with the Summer Months with a gusto and to minimise my Investing Activities to the bare minimum I can get away with - I will not be surprised one bit if this means that my Returns actually improve !!
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