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Finance in focus #finance #investments

This week interest rates have been in focus with various pundits predicting an interest rate increase next week. There is no forward guidance and so it could go either way. As usual, the government and Bank of England add to uncertainty and the markets don’t like uncertainty but for many investors uncertainty brings opportunities. It is unfortunate that it is mostly parasitic day traders and shorters that get to benefit.

finance in focus

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Looking forward to the future #finance #investments

I had another good week of investing with my stock market assets gaining 2%. Immupharma saw further gains and today they will cost you £1 a share and a bargain at that. The company has huge potential and the fact that they are preparing to gain FDA approval for Lupuzor could mean they are considering manufacturing the drug themselves. The company also has the expertise gained from the development of Lupuzor to develop other drugs for other diseases associated with the immune system. The share price has doubled in the last few months. Looking forward,  if it doubles again before the new year, I wouldn’t be surprised.

looking forward

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Cash flow and other metrics #finance

If you have been following my finance posts you’ll know that my investments haven’t been doing so well over the past few months. Last week was much better and this week I’ve made a little progress. My finances as a whole are a fairly stable but I’m still delaying any major purchases until things are looking better. Changing my car this year did put a big hole in my bank balance but I don’t need to change it again for a few years as long as I look after it so I have time to save some money! I just have to keep proper accounts and watch my cash flow.

watching cash flow

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The long game #investments #finance

When we are investing or planning our financial future we have to look at the long game. We might make short-term losses on investments but if we did our research properly in the long-term we should get a good return. We are fallible and so we make mistakes and we can compensate for our mistakes by diversifying. One mistake I am regretting today is Monitise which went from being a fast growing company to a failing company almost overnight. A takeover bid usually means great returns for investors but in the case of Monitise it means I don’t lose all my investment and I have to accept losses.

The long game

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Waiting for the bounce #finance #investments

When share prices fall, there is often a bottom and then a bounce back. The same is often true of the value of the pound or the oil price. The growth of the whole economy can fall and then some action leads to a bounce back upwards. The same can be said of the reverse of these trends, share prices that suddenly soar to new heights will bounce back and go lower the next day as people sell on the high. We can take advantage of the low and if there is sufficient bounce, we can sell for a quick profit. Small traders find this difficult because of dealing fees but fund traders do this all the time.

stock market bounce

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Waiting for the share price to hit bottom #finance

My portfolio of investments looks like a disaster zone at the moment. Many of the share prices have crashed in recent weeks and this week the share price of Carillion crashed from around 190p to just 55p although it is beginning to rally a little today. The share has been shorted a lot in recent weeks but this crash doesn’t really make sense. Carillion has huge debts but it recently paid a very good dividend. Why if its cash flow was in question did it pay such a large dividend? The CEO has now resigned and they have hired HSBC as a second corporate adviser. It seems likely that their debt will need to be restructured and Jeffries are saying they will need a 500 million rights issue. The rights issue should have come a couple of months ago, along with a suspension of dividends. What was the board thinking? Hopefully, the share price has now hit bottom and the only way is up!

has your share price hit bottom?

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The big move to safety #investments

I’ve noticed a lot of movement this year from the FTSE 250 to the FTSE 100 where it appears to be safer. Yesterday there was a big move to safety as investors dumped mid-caps in favour of safer companies. Retailers, in particular, were hit as retail sales figures worried investors. The Bank of England MPC was split and doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing with interest rates. Obviously, mortgage rates need to go up to take the heat out of the housing market but short term borrowing probably keeps retail sales going. It seems likely the government will now abandon its austerity drive and try to stimulate the economy with infrastructure projects. I hope these new projects will be hospitals and road improvements and not vanity projects like HS2. The proposed Severn barrage project makes more sense than HS2.

move to safety

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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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Politics and market confidence #investments

The announcement of a snap general election didn’t do much to inspire confidence in the markets did it? Market confidence is all important. Investors want stability and certainty unless they are contrarian investors who like to profit from the volatility.

Market confidence

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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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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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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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Deciding when to buy and sell #investments

Deciding when to buy and sell on the stock market can be difficult.  Some investors operate stop losses but those aren’t foolproof especially on AIM. Market makers often reduce the bid price by a few percent with the intention of triggering stop losses. It seems to be a common practice on the AIM.

buy and sell

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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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The pound crashed yet again! #finance

The pound

This week we seem to be seeing a change direction for the government. Teresa May, was by any standards impressive when she made her speech to the party conference. She did, however, praise the record of the Cameron government and still seems a little out of touch. The pound crashed this week down to 1.2454 this morning. She hasn’t got a vote of confidence from the market.

the pound

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Unpredictable future #investments

The whole economic picture for the UK and maybe for the world is still uncertain. Despite the super-computers running economic models and expert economists making their predictions, the economic future looks even more unpredictable than ever. The future for the UK is even more unpredictable because of uncertainty caused by Brexit.

unpredictable future

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political risk #investments

Political risk

There is always some political risk when it comes to investing. The prehistoric tendency for one tribe to go to war with another still exists. We might have developed supercomputers and space travel but many people still have Neanderthal ideas. It makes it difficult for those of us who want a world of entertainment, peace and security. (more…)


price value money

The value of money used to be determined by the gold standard. Now we have ‘fiat’ money, value seems to be determined by confidence and sentiment. The way the global economy works seems so strange to me. The price of things we are told is determined by supply and demand. (more…)


How to trade on the stock market. #investments

Trading on the stock market is a little like swimming with sharks, then just as you think you have the experience to be safe in the water, you realise it’s full of piranhas too!  It is high risk and you can lose all your money. (more…)


Cooking and taste #thrifty

If you want to save money then cooking your own food is an obvious money saver. When you buy takeaway food or have a meal in a cafe or restaurant, you are paying someone else to do something you could do yourself. On top of that, 20% VAT is added. The same applies to drinks like coffee. (more…)


Toot your horn #life

Manor Hospital

This is the hospital where I go, a couple of times a year. I’ve had a lot of ill health and people can judge you unkindly if they can’t see what is wrong with you. So I think my greatest attribute is being non-judgemental. (more…)


The Gatwick gusher #investments

This week I’ve been following the progress of the oil well at Horse Hill near Gatwick which has been flow-tested with good results. It’s producing about 450 barrels a day which is good for all the small companies involved. For Solo Oil, this is another investment to bring in revenue. (more…)


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