Thursday 30 January 2014

Redefine Your Portfolio (Portfolio Buy)

Fish or fowl?
Each portfolio purchase you make redefines your strategy - either confirming an existing pattern or providing a variation on your investment style. Each purchase can also balance or unbalance your asset mix - it can be part of an organic process of portfolio mutation.

One of the great things about being a DIY Income Investor is that there are regular opportunities for reinvestment. My selling strategy also throws up lumps of cash that can be used to correct or adjust the direction of the portfolio. Or even try something new...

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Drug Rehab (Portfolio Sale)

Why do we do the things that we do? It's a perennial question that behavioural psychologists have struggled with.

I find this most striking in the shops: mostly I browse and don't buy. But once I've bought something, I'm likely to buy something else.

Investing can be like that too. For example, today I sold something that I probably shouldn't have sold - but I feel better now that I've done it and I can't wait to sell something else.

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Royalty Returns (Portfolio Buy)

Round and merry
What goes around, comes around.

Errr - I've never understood what that actually means but (as I've written before) I do think of investing as a giant old fashioned merry-go-round composed of gilt wooden horses moving up and down on spiral poles. As the merry-go-round turns I like to ride the horses up to the top and then jump off, landing on another one on its way up.

Sometimes that means riding the same horse more than once. And if you're going to ride it twice, there should be a good reason...

Monday 13 January 2014

Chris Dillow's 14 Steps to Investing Success

Although I don't think I benefited financially from my subscription to Investor's Chronicle, it did introduce me to Chris Dillow's thoughtful articles on investment. In particular he takes a quite analytical view of the evidence of market statistics and behavioural research.

Chris has produced one of the best articles on investment I have seen recently in his '14 Steps to Investing Success in 2014'. (And I think the tips are valid for most years!)

Friday 10 January 2014

Investing by Numbers (Portfolio Buy)

The goal of any investment strategy is to have a set of 'rules' ("more in the nature of guidelines" according to Captain Barbossa) that guide you towards the right purchase for sustainable long-term growth of your wealth. To completely automate the process is by all the evidence available an unachievable aspiration - but I think you can get quite a long way with a handful of rules.

But, like the instructions from a dodgy Satnav, always double-check your route through the stock market - it is probably good to sleep on any big decision and review it with a fresh mind.

Wednesday 8 January 2014

The Fat Finger of Fate (Portfolio Sale)

point finger
Don't let it be you...
Investing is not without its moments of pleasure and excitement - but also sometimes moments that you would like to forget.

Normally my Internet share-dealing goes fairly smoothly - so smoothly, in fact, that I can do most of it in bed in the morning with a slice of toast and a cup of tea. (It's tough - but someone's got to do it.)

But there are times when the computer does not do exactly what you want it to.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Revenge of the Zombie! (Portfolio Sale)

Imagine a zombie wearing perfume - that's Chesnara. No matter how good the perfume smells, it's still one of the walking dead. To be blunt, Chesnara - although it sounds like a fashion line - is in fact a zombie fund, a kind of Frankenstein monster built out of bits of other closed life assurance companies. Literally, it might be said, 'dealing in death'.

Thursday 2 January 2014

Portfolio up 20% in 2013

The end of the year is traditionally a time to look back over the past 12 months - and to plan for the year to come.

The results are in now: the DIY Income Investor portfolio has had a total return of 20% in 2013. Not too shabby, although far from a stellar performance; coming on the heels of a more impressive 33% return in 2012. More interesting is how this compares with other 'income investing' benchmarks - or the general market for that matter.