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Inflation and investments #finance

Inflation is on the rise once again and stands at around 2.5% which means my return on my investment in Zopa has been cut substantially by the effect of inflation. The return has increased, it dropped to under 4% and is about 4.5% now. Even so, the return in real terms is now only about 2% but still better than a bank account! My point is that we should consider investments in the light of rising inflation and look at what returns are in real terms.

inflation eating away at savings and investments?

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The ups and downs of #investing #ideas #investor

There are ups and downs for the small investor. We make paper profits and losses all the time. The real profits and losses come when we actually sell investments. The paper losses are important, though, they reduce our financial security. I have known the value of my portfolio drop by nearly 10% in one day and that is a big drop. I stay calm and hope it will recover. My losses over the past two weeks are a little worrying. After a surge by Solo Oil, there have been a number of avoidable drops in the share price.

investor

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Feelin the Brexit blues #finance

The stock market continued to drift and there was little enthusiasm as the uncertainty brought about by Brexit and a general election continued. We appear to be back to a two-party system with the Lib Dem all but wiped out and UKIP a shadow of its former self. The Labour manifesto seems to be a watered down version of what the leader would actually like. They are beginning to actually look electable. The Conservatives look strong on leadership but weak on actual policy. The result of the general election is impossible to predict and so yes, we have the Brexit blues. We like uncertainty, it provides opportunity but only if we can make reasonably accurate predictions of which way the market will move.

Brexit blues

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AIM market risks and opportunities #investments

I’ve written a lot about companies on the AIM market and Solo Oil in particular which has been dropping fast this week. The spread keeps changing and market makers appear to be doing their best to panic private investors. Suggestions have been made on the chat boards that the stock market is corrupt. It is not inspiring confidence is it? There is also a general feeling that globalisation is bad despite the fact it has brought us cheap goods. The AIM market is riskier and we can accept that but something seems wrong. Nearly ten million shares in Solo Oil were sold close to the close of the market yesterday and another ten million as soon as it opened this morning. That looks like panic to me. Is it a buying opportunity? One broker rates Solo as a speculative buy.

AIM Market

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The end of the month #finance

It is nearly the end of April and the weather here has changed to cold and wet again. I’m thinking of changing my car and have one at a local dealership in mind. I’m not in a hurry but at the end of the month, salespeople like to add a little to their commission. I hope to get a salesperson so enthusiastic to make a sale, that they will reduce the price or do a good deal on the part exchange to get that end of the month bonus.

end of the month

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Never put all your eggs into one basket

The stock market is closed today after a 4 day week that saw a lot of nervousness. Geopolitical risks seemed to be heightened by tensions between the EU and the UK and the US under the leadership of Donald Trump seems to lack direction. The Federal Reserve plans to increase interest rates, Trump wants them to stay low. The United States needs its own people to save and invest. They can’t rely on more inward investment from China and so a more regulated and less risky financial system coupled with higher interest rates would seem to make sense. Meanwhile, we small investors need to avoid putting all our eggs into one basket by diversifying.

eggs in one basket

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Looking for certainty in an uncertain world #Investments

Any sign of common-sense and cooperation between the superpowers is good for the global economy. There doesn’t seem to be much chance of that at the moment as things get more volatile. Someone once said there is never a bad day on the stock market, when it’s down you buy and when it’s up you sell. It’s not quite as simple as that but there are always opportunities. We need certainty but we find continued risk and uncertainty.

certainty in an uncertain world?

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Volatile markets and prices #investments

In volatile markets, you have to assess risk and make forward predictions. The AIM is one of the most volatile and you have to look not only at the current value of a company but at the potential value. I’ve been watching Solo Oil and the price dropped quite dramatically from a high of 0.8 right down to 0.45 yesterday. Those are the bid prices and the spread at the close yesterday was a massive 20%. That was obviously the market makers manipulating the price to trigger stop losses and increase their margin.

volatile markets

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Estimated hidden value #finance #investments

The surprise news of the week came from Solo Oil which announced it was investing in helium exploration by buying a 10% interest in Helium One Limited with an option to buy a further 10%. This news trashed the share price even further and wasn’t greeted with enthusiasm by the market. This acquisition could add to Solo Oil’s hidden value. The hidden value is in the gas field that Ntorya2 was supposed to validate. Now we have bought into more potential value but that is all Solo Oil is, potential without the realisation of value. The gas sales from the Ruvuma well was realisation of value and fuelled optimism about Ntorya2 leading to a soaring share price which then crashed when shareholders were disappointed with results.

hidden value?

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Never look back #finance #investments

One thing I have learnt about investing is never look back and regret your decisions. You can’t change the past so concentrate on the here and now and of course try to predict the future. I have sold a few shares a little too soon but who knows what will happen to them tomorrow? It is better to sell too soon and make a profit than sell too late and make a loss.

never look back

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Surviving a crash in the market #investments

Sometimes it is the whole market that crashes and sometimes it is one or two share prices. To limit the damage, we need to diversify and have some investments not associated with the market.  Then a big drop in the part of your portfolio that is invested in the stock market isn’t quite so damaging. I have an investment in peer-to-peer lending through Zopa. Surviving a crash emotionally is a different matter. People get excited about making money and upset when they lose money but you can get used to seeing it as numbers on paper or on a computer screen. There has been a lot of excitement on the forums recently about Solo Oil and the price soared from around 0.3 up to 0.8 more than doubling the value of my investment and then this week the news from NT2 wasn’t quite what some investors expected and the market makers slashed the price.

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Economics and the stock market #investments

Most people understand the basics of economics. Recently there has been a worldwide glut of oil and so there was competition among producers that led to the oil price falling to below $50 a barrel which meant many producers were selling at a loss. Supply and demand largely dictate prices but in the case of oil, we also had to look at how much oil was stored. It will take a while before those stocks are deleted. When oil stocks are low then the oil price could soar to new heights again.

FTSE 100 affected by world economics

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Food and entertainment #thrifty

Eating out and buying takeaways can work out expensive with 20% VAT on top of the bill and the same applies to entertainment. I follow a gluten-free diet and so rarely eat anything out and even buying chips is complicated because they have to be cooked separately. When I do spend money, I always look for value. I went to a community night this week and had an evening of entertainment for the price of a 50p cup of tea! Look for value when you want food and entertainment.

food and entertainment?

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Watching the stock market #investments

As a small investor, I obviously watch the stock market mostly to look for bargains but also to look for trends. I also watch some of the forums to see what other investors are saying. There is a lot of ramping because sentiment does influence buying and selling but not to an extent that we can influence it. I do suspect that traders in the City of London are more positive and tend to buy on days when the sun is shining! I don’t base my dealing on the weather forecast, though.

stock market tips

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A diverse approach to finance #finance

Just the way we think about finance can help us save money and make money. Finance can be about risk and a diverse approach to finance can limit that risk. Using a diverse approach when we are investing is fairly common but we can also use a diverse approach when we are buying too.

A  diverse approach

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Solo Oil soars on AIM #investments

Solo Oil

Solo Oil isn’t the only stock in my portfolio but it is the one I’ve been watching this week. It has soared from 0.42 to 0.53 (BID) since last Friday. The spread is still ridiculously high at 7.55%. The games market makers play! They have triggered a lot of stop-losses this week and stopped the games of some day traders.

Solo Oil

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Balancing the budget #Finance Friday

I missed my thrifty post again this week because I had a busy day again yesterday. January for many people isn’t about bargain hunting but about financial survival. Now we are into February and just past the halfway point of winter, we need to think about winter fuel bills. We also have to think about balancing the budget and make sure no more money goes out than comes in. If we treat our finances like a business we can also watch cash flow and perhaps use a credit card to delay certain payments.

balancing the budget

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Researching investments before you buy #finance

Researching investments can be difficult. The best way is to read all the annual reports of every company. That is a good idea if you are making a major investment but who has time to read them all?

Researching investments

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Finance Friday news #finance

I don’t have much news this week except for Solo Oil which made some progress as we await news of Ntorya 2. That well was spudded last month and I thought we might have news before now. Private investors are positive and more people are buying than selling. There are inevitably a few who bought when the shares were at the bottom who are taking their profits.

 finance news

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Ending a year of volatility #investments

The stock market will close at lunchtime today and for small investors, it will be the ending of trading for 2016. Did we have a good year? I saw my portfolio take a huge dive following the Brexit vote but as the market recovered my returns recovered too. So I’ll be ending 2016 reasonably happy with my investments.

ending the year

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Long-term diversification #investments

Some investments take a long time to come good and are much riskier than the FTSE 100 companies. We can limit risk by diversifying and limiting our exposure quantitatively. These investments often lose money, at least on paper in the short-term, but can give a good return in the long-term.

long-term investments

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Solo Oil : the jackpot #investments

Many investors make an investment in a small company and hope they make it big. I have high hopes that Solo Oil will make it big with its shares in oil discoveries both in Tanzania and in the UK.

Solo Oil investments

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Making money from panic #finance

It doesn’t matter what the panic is, a strike, a bread shortage or an oil glut. There will be people who will exaggerate the problem and so a belief will spread that things are worse than they really are. The speculators then make money buying up the commodity that is in short supply or taking advantage in some way. Has panic got worse? As far as the money markets and stock markets are concerned, I think it has and so there are now more opportunities for making money.

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A big pay squeeze coming? #finance

There have been lots of warnings this week of a pay squeeze coming that will affect the poorest in society most and maybe more benefit cuts too. The chancellor even hinted that the triple lock on pensions could be abolished.

pay squeeze

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