Well don't say I never warned you before I left for my long summer break.
I did say don't trade in August. Things are always terrible in August. There is always a major crazy slump and things get volatile in thin markets. Markets get pushed around and they are designed to ensure you get stung whatever you do.
Unless you sold at the very top and you're happy with decent growth companies the best plan is to forget about it all, switch off the screen and start again from, well...quite soon!
Although as always actually the very best period to buy comes in early December, but more about that as we head towards that time.
Thing is I have seen this so many times over the years. Best plan now seems to be sell some stuff in mid July, wait for an August slump then buy it all back cheaper.
However now I am (lucky smug me) a fat cat I feel no need to chase anything or even bother much trying to sell at the top and buy back at the bottom. But well done if you did!
So what do you think I did in August? Well, let me see. Walked on the beach, drank cocktails on sunbeds, dipped in the pool. Read books... look at the computer? Hardly at all. And even then only at.. whoops, forgot the wife may read this...
Yes, that's right, I did not much at all regarding markets. One or two spreadbet stops got hit.
In fact, if I hadn't looked at all from mid July to beginning of September and then just looked at my accounts I would have assumed nothing much had happened as the amount of money around the accounts were about the same or even a touch higher . I made a few trades in July and a few in September but not much in August.
A nice FTSE short and a FTSE ETF short (see my book chapter 18 When Markets Go Down) provided some nice profits though I closed out of most of them now. I did however open a new short at 6270 ish yesterday on the basis markets had rebounded quite strongly. This kind of thing isn't my expertise - I have set stops now into profit on that trade so I shouldn't lose on it even if I don't win.
Markets will probably remain volatile, if you are a beginner might be worth waiting for them to settle.
For the more experienced, unfortunately the best time to buy is nearly always when you feel scared/fed up/it's a horrible day. Or if you feel like you want to sell stuff/ everything.
When your hand is hovering over the sell button in typical sods law style, the buy button is more likely to be the one to push.
I probably won't bore you with the trades made a long time ago. So here is a small selection of more recent trades.
I bought Powerflute (LON:POWR). I first bought these early last year and I've personally made more than £20,000 on them - more than £10,000 for the website.
They're doubled once and I think they can double again. A fantastic share and a fantastic company. Even better no-one else but me and institutions are interested in them which means there is no crazy volatility in them. Please don't buy them - they won't move for ages, you'll get bored and sell them. Just leave them for me.
The reason no-one else is interested is because if you say "Packaging" it is considered boring. Punters want to chuck money at (or rather lose money) oil, energy, pharma and heavily volatile shares.
Boring shares that continue making stuff and bringing home increased profits? Pah! We want excitement! We want fights on bulletin boards! Actually we just want a fight as all the pubs have shut.....
POWR recently bought up Corenso which has led to some net debt. But it also has lead to massively increasing profits. This one in my view should carry on gently rising - a penny a week here or there and should already be over a quid. I'm going to forget about it again for a year and come back and see how it is doing.
I bought some of the Peer to peer lending new issue - P2P Global C (LON:P2P) (A whole lotta Ps) at the issue price of 1000p.
I kind of thought it would be nice to get some exposure to the growing P2P loans market and this seemed a good way of doing it. They have raised some decent money and I expect to ride with it for some time and see how it goes.
If it goes below 920p though I am going to. er.. P off. But a bit like POWR I hope to stick with it for a year and come back to see how it's doing - and unless it breaches the 920 I should still be there. Patience is the way to make big money.
I also bought Kainos (LON:KNOS) again. This one looked like a decent new issue when I bought it and it looks better and better.
Kainos is working with Apple and last month announced a new mobile enabled heathcare platform to enhance patient care (and its profits). This is for use in all I things including the Apple watch.
**SEMINAR NEWS: Sept 28th sold out, next Oct 12th, mail me at [email protected] if interested.Follow up if you've been to a seminar before on Oct 9th, Technical Seminar
on Sat Oct 10th**
I think a longer-term hold of this share is going to pay bigtime. It also is about to join the FTSE indicies which should see funds buy in.
I've bought some Photo-ME (LON:PHTM) - this share is awash with cash and I expect some of it will be returned to shareholders soon probably with a large dividend payout.
I like the way the company doesn't just do photo-booths but has other business including a very interesting new Laundry business aimed at students. Next year ID cards in Japan become compulsory and as PHTM is big in Japan (must be a song in this surely?) expect to see a lot of revenue coming in from this.
All in all a good strong company that still grows and looks a nice one for an ISA portfolio.
Quartix (LON:QTX) produced an excellent interim statement so I bought some. The vehicle tracking market is only going to grow. It's paid its first dividend and the future looks bright.
I like companies with recurring revenues and this is another where a long-term hold could really pay off.
Domino's Pizza (LON:DOM) proved a very decent spreadbet but I got a nice crust out of it, made some good dough and exited for a profit of £1,560. You can tell I once worked on The Sun thinking up headlines can't you?
(My favourite that I came up with was about a keen skier who died and wanted his ashes scattered across the Alps.. thus "Rest In Piste")
But the Mer spreadbet was stopped for a loss of £260.
I've sold Lookers (LON:LOOK) at 180.9 for a profit of £710. Had a nice run with it, but the brakes might soon be applied to the share price. Although the price is now higher than when I sold so perhaps
a premature sale. In fact, now I wish I hadn't sold.
I took a loss on the ETO (LON:ETO )shares I bought most recently as they kept falling but held onto the others -fairly easy to do as my major stake was bought in the 60s !
They've been hit by share selling from its major holder a while back but I suspect a bid coming here within a year or so. An update yesterday shows long-term is on track with the library valued at a billion dollars. Downside is the strong pound hurts. I wonder whether a bid could come even sooner while the share price is under the cosh. I'm considering buying the ones I sold back on the current weakness. When the bounce comes it will probably be a big one.
RGS (LON:RGS) kept going down so sold for a loss of £553 . Not sure what's up or not there.
The Easyjet (LON:EZJ) spreadbet worked a treat and really took off but profits of have now landed of £1,280.
I 've taken profits on half the Carpetright short leaving the rest.
It nicely reached well below target price of 550, indeed down to 520 today. I hold the other half of the short as perhaps it could head down to a fiver. If it busts below a fiver look out below for a really nice profit. Tricky one though as it is so illquid it can move 30-40 points in a few secs.
Alliance bust right through my target and sold at 60.05 for a profit of £1,655. But.. a decent report yesterday and I am wondering about buying it back as there is potential for a very nice long-term winner. It's a tad weak at the mo and eyeing up buying back and holding for a couple of years.
Bids are coming in very nicely this year, after the recent bid for AGA (LON:AGA) which yielded me thousands in profit, Jelf (LON:JLF) is now a target with a possible offer from Marsh.
No certainty on this but I'll know for sure within the next week. I already doubled on these and the recent top up is paying off. I've decided to take a chance and keep holding but if the bid is off I think I will buy more as a bid here looks likely at some point over the next year.
Recent buy Redcentric (LON:RCN) has motored up well making nice profits. It has had a good week.
Poundland (LON:PLND) got its approval to buy up the 99p stores so that's been doing well. Goes ex dividend next week.
Carclo (LON:CAR)came up with a decent statement over the summer and looks like it wants to push over 150 onto 180.
I think Dignity (LON:DTY) probably gets my vote for my fave share of the year so far up from 1700 to near 2400 giving me in reality profits of over £30,000 as I built up a substantial stake. I now just keep a trailing stop on it 250 points away from the action. It's continued to rise or hold steady in down markets.
Pets at Home (LON:PETS) has made me purr this year up from 171 to near 300.. back to 285 at the mo personally up more than £20,000 as those of you who came to the seminar saw on the spreadbets!
Renew (LON:WIND) has done well now over 300. Energy Assets up a quid and a half and produced a good update recently. OPG LON:OPG) is a longer-term winner, potential double coming up there. That one seems back on the rise.
Long-termer Vectura (LON:VEC) has had a good run this year and now doubled and a half on my first buy. This week it is having a good run. With patience, I think personally I'm going to make more than £100,000 on it. The shares are sitting on close to a high now pushing up towards 200p.
Optimal Pay (LON:OPAY) has had a good summer as it hits 300. Lots more to come here with patience I think. Character Group (LON:CCT) reported in line this week and hopefully it will have a good Xmas.
The lovely GB Group (LON:GB.) just keeps on going and been in since 20p. To see it with another nought on the end is sensational. I still think it will end up being bid for - but in the meantime sits at highs.
Quantum Pharma (LON:QP) continues to do well and has had a nice run up from 114p.
Telecom Plus (LON:TEP) has recovered nicely - Lovely long-termer Porvair (LON:PRV) carries on going up - that reported well over the summer.. Been in it since 60p and now 320p
Spire (LON:SPI) is on the way back up after an early backer sold the last of its shares. Generally I suspect markets will remain volatile for some time. Best plan is to pick up shares during a panic down day and keep the really strong companies unless they really come a cropper.