It has to be one of those ******* and ******* and also*** ******** type of market time period.
And that's not only because the Mrs broke her arm leaving her unable to do much and so leaving me in charge of the household during half term. (And for the next 5 weeks).
See above for more woe on that. (If you get a short or grumpy email from me right now please put it down to me having to do some real work for the first time in years)
Last couple of weeks it really has become a casino with the house determined to take your chips then throw you out on the streets leaving you wondering if you have enough change to get a kebab on the way home.
It's gone crazily volatile with some stuff up and down in bonkers fashion.
Those of us in the game for a while have been through this before! At least you can sell.
In 2008 it was impossible to actually sell much of anything to get out.
Best to either get out quick, wait for the storm to pass for a while then re-enter. Or shrug and hang onto things and wait for it to blow over I do a bit of a mix.
I go through and topslice anything that could be weak, leave anything that I am certain looks good value and use shorting to bring in the money on the other side. I also just leave the sipp alone!
It has been a a good time to axe anything that looks highly rated, has big debt or you are simply worried about.
The thing about markets is there is never an "answer". It really is all about fear and greed and if fear hits expect big declines. Then when sentiment turns watch it all fly up as it did yesterday and today.
Of course just because things look good the last couple of days doesn't mean fear won't come back.
Bottom line: check each share you hold. Is it profitable? Are the profits going up? Was the outlooks statement good? If so you will probably be ok unless they made up the figures (see cake!)
But: is it loss-making? Are there question marks? Is it in a high risk area like mining or oil, a penny share or potentially dodgy? Then get out, because in adown market it will get hammered.
Last couple of days as sentiment has turned I have closed out a few of the FTSE shorts banking some serious gains (£80k plus). For those of you who came to the seminars I still have one or two of the shorts open that were made higher up but closed the ones made 7350 and below. I'll do some more shorting if it looks like a real major Nov shakeout is to happen.
Although I've been short profit taking I haven't been back in buying heavily either. I remain cautious.
Good news is all this mucking about could lead to a fantastic Xmas rally which I'll be covering live at the beginners/improvers seminar on Dec 3 and the advanced follow up on dec 10th. There is a chapter in the new SB book on it too.
I have bought a bit recently but only bits.. the markdown in some shares just felt too tempting not to take. Probably not as much bargain hunting as I might have done if the Mrs had not broken her arm as a lot of my attention has to be elsewhere for now.
Safecharge (LON:SCH) looked well oversold even in a down market so made a top up. The price kept coming down and I scratched my head going through it carefully to see what I missed.
Looks like there was a shares overhang (a big seller needed shares placing). Now that is out of the way looking for it to head back up to 300 and more.
It has a giant dividend of near 6% which I got last week which certainly helped to cover some of the weakness.
NMC got knocked back a fair bit and I felt it was a good time to top up, subject to get out quick. Made a fortune on this mid-east healthcare provider.
It announced last week upgraded guidance for next year's profits and expects "strong organic growth". That was good enough for me to buy on the weakness.
I bought an old fave, Telecom Plus. (LON:TEP). This is my income stock and I hold a massive amount in certificate form, the only thing that isn't tax free but I get giant cheques twice a year from the 5% dividend. Indeed the big cheque always arrives in time for Xmas shopping.
I have been a distributor for them since 1998 when I bought my first 2,000 shares at 18p ! Yes, I still have that certificate!!
They are strong right now, seen as defensive. But gains could come next year when the energy price cap comes in which Tep should benefit. They report soon, on Nov 20th.
Also rival small cos are going bust with the strong oil price, not something TEP has to worry about as it has a deal with Npower. People are beginning to realise service matters too. Better to pay a few pence more, know the co isn't going bust but you can get through fast to a UK call centre. If you want to become a customer via me, mail me.
I ummed and ahhed and bought some more LON:FFX mainly because I only had the small amount a little higher. It was close to being axed but level 2/the supply and demand tricks I taught you at seminars kept me in and buying a few more.
And I really could not resist buying a few more Cineworld (LON:CINE). Looked crazily sold off after the recent highs. It recently bought a huge chain and is gearing up to become a major operator in the space.
Onto sales - one or two recent buys just appeared very weak on supply/demand and I had to quit. It is actually quite hard to sell something for a loss you only just bought.
So Tri and Sbiz LON:BIZ were disposed of for a combined loss of £320.
They began to fall fairly soon after buying. But it wasn't just that - demand for the shares just weren't there and it looked like they would fall further. They were ill-timed buys.
It could be argued I could have just held onto them and wait for recovery. But supply/demand was very poor. I don't think there is much wrong with them but will bide my time for possible re-entries as I think all of them could bounce back and the current entry prices look attractive.
The shorts in the spreadbet firms have paid off handsomely.
I've decided to bank the profits on Plus which amounted to a very nice £3,740. I have my doubts as to its business model but it was a big win so I might as well take it.
I took part profits on IG of £6,240. Just kept a bit of the short open. And JE short went after a pretty decent statement for a profit of £500. So between them these shorts earned me a profit of £10,480.
After Pattiserie Valerie's awful accounting scandal can you believe there is another one?
Yu Group's LON:YU shares came crashing down after announcing "considerable concerns" with some accountancy hokey pokey.
Thank goodness I sold them off a long time ago with a handsome profit but I perhaps got lucky.
How many more companies out there are not giving us the real picture? It is getting quite shocking.
Well, let us see what the next two weeks bring us.
Despite the good recent comeback I think it is right to remain very cautious and in general I expect to remainmainly on the sidelines for now. But I do expect to find the odd bargain and perhaps the odd short. Obviously I have a lot of housework to do too so I might not be able to give as much attention as normal.
Good luck: it is a hard period. Beginners may want to sit for the moment. It is not far till the last part of December which normally brings in sackloads!