Thursday 28 February 2013

Portfolio Buy: Persimmon (LSE:PSN)

Persimmon - the horse
Persimmon - the UK's leading house builder - is one of my 'legacy' shares (i.e. one that I have held on to, despite being a disappointment). I have been reluctant to recommend it as it hasn't paid a dividend for the past year or so. However, the share price has been recovering and I am almost 'above water' on the purchase price.

But what is more: the Easter Bunny may be bringing an unexpected boost.

Monday 25 February 2013

Portfolio Sale: Legal & General (LSE:LGEN)

I am by inclination a 'buy and hold' investor, as shown by my recent retention of a couple of dividend cutters (RSA Group and Morgan Sindall) but sometimes it is time to sell.

Legal & General are one of the previous 'dividend cutters', which means at the very least a 'black mark' for dividend investors - if not immediate sale.

Monday 18 February 2013

Portfolio Sale: Santander 10 3/8% Preference Shares (LSE:SAN)

I was 'conflicted', as they say in the US - but as dilemmas go, it was rather pleasant.

I bought the UK Santander's 10 3/8% Preference Shares just at the beginning of 2012, when I was cranking up the fixed-income element of my portfolio. At the time, this security was yielding 10% and was clearly a risky investment, given the level of turmoil in Euroland.
Fast forward to today and I am looking at an increase of 38% in capital value, but still with a ‘tasty’ current yield of around 7.7%: my earlier gamble on Spain has turned out well.

Friday 8 February 2013

Consols, Gilts and QE


I include gilts (UK government bonds) as Level 5 on my Income Pyramid because this is one of the 'safest' investments, being backstopped by the UK Treasury.

However, not all gilts are equally 'safe', and most do not have attractive yields.

Sunday 3 February 2013

Portfolio Asset Allocation: The Search Continues

Cutting up the cake - in new ways
Is there any simple answer to the challenge of asset allocation? How can you find the best mix of cash, shares, government bonds and other asset classes?

Is it 50/50, 60/40 or 25/25/25/25?

Friday 1 February 2013

Portfolio Buy: db x-trackers Stoxx Global Select Dividend 100 UCITS ETF (LSE:XGSD)

"It's smoke and mirrors, Jim -
but not as we know it"
Now, this is a strange one - and to be honest, I'm not 100% sure about it but I thought it looked worth a try in my search for global diversification.

Not only is it a mouthful, but it's an Exchange Traded Fund that follows an index tracking the global 100 highest dividend shares, which no-one else quoted on the LSE seems to offer. But it does this without holding any of the shares...