Thursday, 11 December 2014

Riding the Rollercoaster (Portfolio Buy)

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Up and then down - the investment roller-coaster continues to both thrill and terrify participants. We are unfortunately living in 'interesting times' (to paraphrase the supposed 'Chinese curse' - which doesn't appear to actually exist).

Investing is a stressful activity because it brings into play our ancient Monkey Brain instincts to run (or fight) at the first sign of trouble.

So, what should we do now? Well, to paraphrase Jane Fonda - if it's not hurting, it's not working.

Friday, 5 December 2014

A Gamble on Recovery (Portfolio Buy)

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Having generated some cash for my DIY Income Investor portfolio from a recent sale, I looked around for a good home for it. My first reaction is usually to look at the existing portfolio and see if anything looks attractive as a 'top-up'. By 'attractive' I mean 'high yield' (preferably as sustainable as possible) as well as holding some promise of capital gain over time.

This time I also did a little geopolical thinking. In other words, what is the most important factor currently in the world economy - and what are the implications?

Thursday, 27 November 2014

DIY Recovery - and a Sale

A Computer Hard Drive with various tools around it.
Do try this at home
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'Recovery'  in two senses - both a resurgence in the value of the DIY Income Investor portfolio as well as the digital retrieval of portfolio data from a failed laptop hard drive. In one sense the two are linked - without being able to recover the data, I wouldn't be able to easily recreate the portfolio's history.

But the current recovery trend of the portfolio means that I can discard the self-imposed 'ostrich' mode of the last month or so, to begin trading a little.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My SIPP Cup Runneth Over


do not copy
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The gradual recovery in value of the DIY Income Investor portfolio continues - although more slowly than I might hope for. Apart from topping up a little, I have left the portfolio alone, hoping for a continued recovery in the markets.

Essentially, the principle is to leave it alone, rather than fiddling when depressed. However, sitting back and not doing a lot can sometimes lead to some interesting observations...

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Topping Up (Portfolio Buy)

car fuel guage
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Despite keeping away from the depressing market news over the last weeks, I did have some cash sitting doing nothing in the DIY Income Investor portfolio - a situation which always feels a little incomplete to me.

My first choice for investment is to top up one my existing investments - on the basis that 30-or-so different securities constitutes more than enough diversification. And I'm not even sure that I know what is going on with all of them.

So, top-up it is - the key question is: what?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Flying on Autopilot

Just who is flying the plane?
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Since the start of September 2014 the DIY Income Investor portfolio has been hammered by the world-wide downturn in financial markets. The corner turned in mid-October, with the portfolio's market value recovering to values seen at the middle of the year: it is currently showing a 7% rise in total value for 2014, a far less stellar performance than in recent years.

Hopefully the markets will recover further over the coming weeks. But I have tried not to get too emotional about it all - mainly by leaving the portfolio on autopilot and removing our greatest obstacle to logical decisions: our emotional reaction.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Market Stabilisation? (Portfolio Sale)

Image Stabilisation
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After a fairly horrible September for the DIY Income Investor portfolio (producing a 3.2% decline in value), October seems to be beginning as a month of stabilisation, which is a relief.
 
As usual, if the markets turn nasty, my usual reaction is to 'sit tight', leave the portfolio alone and spend more time on other things. Consequently there is little to report by way of action.

However, I have decided to sell something: can you guess what?

Friday, 19 September 2014

Safe as Houses? (Portfolio Buy)

Safe as houses, buy housing bonds - poster
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A perennial problem for a DIY Income Investor is where to reinvest cash - be it straight income or the proceeds of a sale.

The search for a good home for your investment cash can take a while - and can cover the globe (if you're into the more exotic Exchange Traded Funds). But sometimes ideas for reinvestment come from closer to home: from the portfolio itself.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Art of Waiting, Volcanoes and Scotland

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September has been a disappointing month so far, with a modestly downward trend in the DIY Income Investor portfolio. Consequently, there is little to do, other than to wait for something to happen.

While sitting and waiting, it is always tempting to speculate about what drives the markets but I suspect this is akin to trying to forecast when an Icelandic volcano is likely to erupt.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Whim versus Reason? (Portfolio Sale)

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When is it right to follow a 'whim' - a 'spur of the moment' decision - and when should you exercise self-restraint?

I don't think there is an easy answer as our minds are quite mysterious in operation. Subconsciously we make decisions based on a whole range of built-in biases that pop into our conscious minds seemingly fully formed. On the other hand, the subterranean depths of our brains is constantly churning away at problems and sometimes a useful solution pops out.

So it is a dilemma: the decision that pops into your mind might be a poorly-thought-out psychological knee-jerk reaction or, then again, it may be a spark of a good idea.