Well it feels like ages, it has been ages thanks to the horrid aussie flu.
For many days I didn't even know what a share was anymore. Health is all. I think I would have handed over all the money I had just to feel better. I managed to answer a few emails but some I just didn't.
If you got a weird one from me during high fever I'm sorry.Something like "I'm dying so I don't care about your crap share that's going down..." But just a point (again!).
I can't discuss specfic shares with individuals. I'm really sorry. If you need to chat about shares with someone, try Twitter! I've said it loads of times now so if that's what you're after I've stopped replying.
Interesting new book out "Skin In The Game". Hidden Asymmetrics in Daily life by Massim Nicholas Taleb.
He's a trader who made millions.
His thesis is don't pay attention to what people say, only to what they do and how much of their own necks they are putting on the line.
On paying attention to "experts" and others offering advice on share dealing he says: "Don't tell me what you think. Just tell me what is in your portfolio".
He says never listen to financial advisers, experts, journalists who are not exposed to the consequences of the advice.
I have to agree: I laugh a lot at "experts" on TV and in magazines and elsewhere telling others what to do or what will happen when they obviously have no exposure themselves.
For example, if you go to any kind of event where an expert is holding forth on shares, one thing and one thing only they need to show if you are to take any notice of what they say.
Which is.. let's see your accounts live. Let's see what you have and whether you follow your own advice. What have you got to be scared of? Go on, ask them, at the very least it would be fun...
If they can't or won't, ask for your money back. At my events my accounts are freely available and indeed we trade from them.
If I could not show I made a lot and practise my own preachings, I would be way too embarrassed to tell others what they should be doing. Anyway, lots of "dodgy geezers" out there! Beware.
Anyway if you want to see what's in my portfolio (Oooh matron) come along to the March 16th seminar! There is some small space left. See details elsewhere.
Now feeling better I am getting back into it. Luckily for me actually not a lot happened to my portfolio, a few rises here and there, no real dramatic falls so I feel relieved.
The new "flash crash" was interesting when the Dow smashed down for no real reason. Indeed I thought I was hallucinating during my fever. Was that 1,500 points down? Well, there was a reason. It's the machines. They have way too much power!
Sellers come in, algorithms go haywire and random computers start to sell everything. It really is totally bonkers. However perhaps there was a lesson in it to keep some cash aside.
It's a reminder that these days when markets crash they can do it really fast. Not months, not even days, sometimes hours! Maybe minutes!
If some major down event occurs it is just a lesson that we could see a lot wiped out real fast. And we should now all hold some cash ready to buy when and if it happens.
After all most of us have done pretty well recently. I got really lucky with it all anyhow. As I mentioned last time I had gone short of the indices and the flash crash filled the coffers nicely. I decided to take the money and run, quit the shorts and banked, gratefully. Well, except for some small shorts I got on in the 7700 area.
Sad to see so many retailers going bust but this is just the start. I would suggest don't get involved with buying any of them!
ToysRUs and Maplins went yesterday. I felt sorry for Maplins. The geeks in there really wanted to help and I only ever got good service. But, afraid Amazon took its toll.
What's next? Looks like Carpetshite.
I've been warning about that chain for years and indeed made more than £30k shorting them. (Should have stayed in!). But it's been a badly run chain and deserves to go.
Mothercare also looks ropey, I give it a year tops. A lot of the mid-range restaurant chains are next too I reckon. Overexpanded and relied too much on a "name" (Jamie Oliver).
I am short of Pets at Home (LON:PETS) but I think that will survive because of its vet and grooming services rather than pet food which is very competitive. Estate agents are in trouble too, check out the dismal Foxtons (LON:FOXT)results yesterday.
The high streets are going to end up with just coffee shops (subsidised by pub chains), fast food junk, and charity shops. Everything else will go. Gradually a lot of high streets will give way to new residential housing and Amazon and the like will be taking everything else over. Happy days !
I am sure many of you have made some money recently.
Why give it back? I have a mountain of cash now and that happily waits for a smashdown. Ready for whenever it happens. So, lucky for me it's been pretty quiet recently.
But I have fiddled about. (Stop it.)
A great sign is always a rise in net cash and this more than doubled to over £13m. Profits are on the up too and another encouragement is the 10pc dividend hike.
On top of that a very clear three step to increasing profits laid out by the management.
One of my favourites, Next 15 (LON;NFC) which always seems under the radar ( not exciting or volatile enough for traders) made another decent report and I added some more.
There's increasing revenue coming in not just from existing companies like Samsung but also new ones like Slack and Nike.
Despite various acquisitions net debt is lower than expected leaving more headroom for further buys. A stronger dollar is not such a good thing but it doesn't hurt that much.
One of my favourite kind of buy it, forget it types (unless obviously the outlook changes)
I've bought some more of one of my favourites - LON:K3C.
A sensationally good statement today - there is nothing like a "substantially" above forecasts for shareholders!
And they even gave out some real figures which very few managements do.
It all looks extremely positive and this under the radar one should gradually rise higher and
would expect to hold it for at least another year.
Trouble I feel with investors is they can't bear to buy shares that have already gone up a lot.
They either "average down" (buy more of the same crap) or want to buy something that has been hit hard and gone down a lot. (See that's a bargain!).
I continue to advocate: Don't average down. Average up ! But it seems to me this is almost impossible psychologically for many. We want a bargain! But shares have often been falling for good reason...
I've taken a few profits. Two shorts worked out for me very nicely indeed. All hit their targets and I was happy with that. Hanging onto shorts for too long sometimes isn't the best of ideas!
Boo (LON:BOO) dropped nicely so I came out of the short on that one with a profit of £450.
The short in Conviviality worked out very well indeed and I took profits on that short of £1,480.
Alliance Pharma (LON:APH) has risen to nearly 70p and what can I say about NMC which has fired on up! 500p to over 3000p.
The Devro short is paying off - there may be further falls after a lucklustre report. Safecharge holds nicely over 300p and remains a bigger holding.
It remains a tricky time with falls possible. Having cash on the side could pay dividends some point this year.