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Showing posts from February, 2020

Don't panic!

The stock market is a device for transferring money from the impatient to the patient Warren Buffett
Regular readers* will have spotted a trend emerging. I like the wisdom of Warren Buffett. Whilst he has the peculiar advantage over most investors of being able to buy entire businesses that he admires, he also rates as being one of the most successful investors of all time. The reason is simple. He buys quality and lets it thrive over the long term. The cash that is then thrown off is reinvested in acquiring new quality businesses.
I was not surprised in the slightest by Mr Buffett’s comments on Monday February 24th 2020 when he said, “You don’t buy or sell your business based on today’s headlines. If it gives you the chance to buy something that you like and you can buy it even cheaper it’s your good luck”. Fears of a Coronavirus pandemic finally registered properly with World Markets and they were suitably marked down by several percent in a day. These losses continued for all of th…

Book Review-Are you a rabbit or an assassin?

Winning is about ensuring the upside return potential is significantly greater than the downside potential loss. Lee Freeman-Shor
As I’m spending some time taking in some winter sunshine this week, I thought it would be a nice chance to do my first book review. One of the key things I’ve learned from my investment journey is that listening to and reading the works of the greatest investors can be beneficial. Reassuringly the lessons are relatively consistent between them. Do your research, buy good companies and manage them in a way that your gains materially outperform your losses. 
Every so often a classic comes along. Even though it was published less than 5 years ago, it is one of the best books you can read on how to approach investing.
Freeman-Shor was by 2012 ranked as one of the world’s best fund managers. He was in his thirties. He wrote the book just as he had turned forty in 2015. Despite his relative youth, the book is a model of clarity and could be read in a day or two. …

What do I need to get started? My story...

You don’t have to be an expert on every company, or even many. You only have to be able to evaluate companies within your circle of competence. The size of that circle is not very important; knowing its boundaries, however, is vital. Warren Buffett
Having spent the last few weeks wandering through the world of psychology, I thought it would be good to get back to some basics. I started this blog to help both novice and more experienced investors alike*. Many people who are just starting out will ask questions such as, how much money do you need to get started? what platforms do you use to invest? How do you do your research into what to buy? Where do you get your ideas?
I have developed my approach over 8 years of investing. It works for me as a busy person with a full time job (preventing me watching a screen all day!) and other commitments. It may not be the optimum approach for you.
I started with a sum of money that I’d built up in an Individual Savings Account (ISA) wrapper over …

I'm not a dealer! Lessons from Property

Our favourite holding period is forever. Warren Buffett
I’ve spent a good proportion of my working life observing and working with property people. Property has a curious appeal. From an academic perspective (surveying, financial and legal) it is arguably one of the driest disciplines. It presents as a scientific endeavour, with an abundance of rules, minefields and procedure. Yet it remains one of the biggest stores of value. If it wasn’t for the security of land, there would not be the confidence that enables the coursing of capital. With the dynamic of financial flow overlaid with the trust that only comes from good working human relationships, property comes alive in practice. Accepted, there are complicated rules of the game, but when understood (rather like cricket) they serve to enable rather than stifle.
Now you might question- this is a blog about trading and investing shares*. Why on earth are you bringing up Property?
Well I think that Property can teach us share types a th…

Psychology- Everything Must Go!

Battles are won before they are fought. Sun Tzu




When I was at school, a shop opened in our town going by the name Sport and Ski. Within a matter of weeks, the windows of the shop were filled with signs proclaiming that "Everything Must Go!" Imagining this to be a short lived opportunity to buy cheap trainers, we went in to see what bargains were on offer. Whilst history does not record what we bought, Sport & Ski thereafter refused to close down whilst constantly proclaiming the retail equivalent of the End is Nigh. After a while, the place became a running joke between us. It was still trading in all its neon sale sign "about to shut down" glory some years later when we all left school and went off to University. 
Sport and Ski came back to mind recently as we were all together again back in our home town. We were intrigued as to whether over a quarter of a century later it was still there. It was not. It had finally shut its doors.
The art of retail is to maximi…