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Some of my shares have had a great start to the year!

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Patisserie Valerie has gone bust and you definitely have to feel sorry for shareholders.

It looked a decent business.

However private investors seem to be keen now on learning how to avoid the next fraud by excitedly reading books on the topic etc.

Yes, but none of these experts predicted this.

I feel it is a total waste of time for traders to bother wasting their time. Because the reality is, it really doesn't happen that much, taking aside the small dodgy aim shares.

I have never in 20 years of being a full-time trader ever had a company go bust on me.

I never bought Patisserie because it was obviously always overvalued. Anyone buying it was paying a multiple of 35 times! Crazy for a cafe business. Indeed it is why I shorted it a couple of times. Sadly I took profits on the shorts way too early, and only small ones. I should have been more patient.

If you avoid anything with big debt and don't pay massive multiples for businesses which don't have massive growth prospects you'll probably be ok.

Concentrate on research. But don't spent hours on trying to be a forensic accountant because if you do, you'll probably get scared and never buy a single share!

An "analyst" downgraded ITV (LON:ITV) shares and sent them lower even before the market opened. What power to move a FTSE share! I bought some more! More in a min.

So I laughed at The Times headline this morning: "Top Tip: Don't trust city analysts on which shares to buy".

The ten stocks leading banks most often rated as a buy dropped more than 17%, much more than if you had stuck a pin in the FT to pick shares.

And guess what? The ten stocks they most recommended as a sell... rose the most and performed better than the markets.

Now you know what to do... watch for a sell recommendation, wait for the share price to fall .. then snap it up!

Markets as a whole seem a bit gloomy but not quite in sell all mode. There seems to be no major panic for now. I wonder if people think Brexit will get sorted one way or another soonish.

If it does, even a crap deal, we'll probably see some decent rises in some shares as there are a lot of marked down shares that look value

But there isn't any rush to do anything I reckon. Why not just wait for the air to clear before getting involved?

This is my stance and I remain in a ton of cash. After lovely gains last year I don't want to give much back and that's my bottom line for now.

So any buying is small for the moment. My eye is out for anything that has been marked down but looks like it still has good prospects.

I bought some small XPP (LON:XPP).  I kept trying to buy at the sell price day after day for some time. At last I got some, handy as the spread can widen sometimes so it is nice to start a trade at zero spread.

It might be a turnaround story. It has had a crap time with shares crashing right down. However a recent statement shows some cause for optimism that it might be bottoming out. It made an acquisition which has pushed debt up but should bring profits up. Dividend is useful at over 4% and that is going to be pushed up.

I can't really be sure though, hence just a small buy for now. And I'm trying again to get a few at the sell price. And it's one of those I will be out quick on it it resumes a downtrend. 

Trying to buy shares at sell prices using DMA is covered at my seminars, I can't cover it on email as it is too complicated, sorry!

I picked up some Cineworld (LON:CINE) after what I felt was a decent trading statement.

They had a record 308 million customers and a 7pc rise in revenue.

There's a very strong list of films coming out and the company is opening new site and sorting out renovations to some of the older flea pits.

Results are March 14th and I am looking for a breakup past the 300p mark.

I bought some more K3C (LON:K3C) , one of my longer-term holdings, which came out with a statement. Strong growth and a record Xmas reported and lots of positives. It was marked down a bit so I bought because an initial down reaction was due to a lower Ebita. But that's only because some contracts have been pushed into H2.

Dividend is close to hitting 5 per cent and indeed holders are about to pick up a near 4p dividend as it goes ex dividend next Thursday. If it can stay level or only down a touch next Thursday that would be a result. The near 5% yield makes it a decent long-term hold.

I've tentatively (have you noted yet I am wimpily tentative as a buyer at the mo?) bought a few Fulcrum (LON:FCRM)

This one was suggested by a delegate at the last follow up seminar. I quite liked it but there were a couple of minor things I didn't like and so left it.

But, it is now 20pc lower and that's enough of a markdown to get me interested in a small stake.Perhaps I might buy more if it rises.

Directors bought a few in December at higher prices too. It went ex dividend today for 0.75 so I'll cop a small amount of cash. 

A broker downgraded ITV (LON:ITV). I just didn't agree but it drove the share price down so I bought some more.

I still think it looks like a cracking takeover target this year. I think a battle could develop and could see a bid battle. If that doesn't happen the shares still look good value.

I sold the last of my short in IG (LON:IGG) for a profit of £3,725  . It's been a brilliant short with total profits on the two shorts totalling £10,445 . The statement wasn't great but enough for me to close. I can't complain, best short for a while (though not as good as the best ever, Carpetshite).

Ffx began to weaken again so sold for a profit of £75 and a loss of £122. I am looking to try one more time at a lower price, but it would be my last try as there does seem a lot of value there,

Cfx (LON:CFX) ( a tiny holding) went for a loss of £250. (Hit stop)  Aug went for a profit of £160 (bored). Ketl (LOB:KETL) went for an overall loss of £310. (150 seems major barrier)

Some of my shares have had a great start to the year!

A super statement from Spirent (LON:SPT) which is rocketing up. Looking for some profit taking to buy some more.

H & T (LON:HAT) has proved a great trade, a super statement yesterday saw the shares soar. I'm going to carry on holding as it could break up over 300 on its financials.

Safecharge has charged up and is having a bash at getting over 300p again. Sopheon is flying up after some profit taking.

Car tester Ab Dynamics (LON:ABDP) continues to accelerate upwards.

Next seminar is Feb 4th email me for details at [email protected] with "Feb interested". Lots of research, live trading and tons more for beginners and improvers. Plus loads of great food!

 

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