Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bye-Bye BaBY (Portfolio Sale)

Buy the T-shirt!
After all that talk about doing nothing, here I am making two sales in as many days.

The market seems to have come to life again, with the DIY Income Investor portfolio hitting new all-time highs. Rising prices mean that my 'sell' signals are flashing all over the place. I've managed to ignore one but I couldn't find a good reason to say no to another one - so it's Bye-Bye BaBY!

Monday, 24 February 2014

Power Investing Like Gnasher! (2,5) [Portfolio Sale]

Buy! Sell!
Just when you thought the Beano's Dennis the Menace couldn't get more ill-behaved, impetuous and destructive - then they introduced Gnasher. This was, I am alarmed to read, in 1968: alarmed because I vaguely remember it (a couple of years after the first episode of Dr Who, in black and white).

Gnasher epitomises all that is perfect about a naughty boy's dog - it was more than willing to take part in almost any kind of mayhem (with gusto), and in some cases pushed Dennis' admittedly limited boundary of self-control.

Perhaps we all have a mental investing Gnasher that we don't always keep under control.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

The Fate of Tantalus

Photograph:The Greek gods punish Tantalus with food and drinking water placed just beyond his reach.
Reaching for low-hanging fruit
The Greek mythological character Tantalus gave us the word tantalise - and tantalised is how I'm feeling at the moment.

For a variety of lurid crimes (which differ according to the sources) Tantalus was punished by temptation without satisfaction. He was made to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any. Finally, over his head towered a threatening stone like the one that Sisyphus (my own particular favourite) has as his own punishment to eternally roll up a hill.

I'm hoping that you are starting to see the parallels with investing...

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Bargain Hunting

1.6p a pint...
We all like a bargain, don't we? But beware: taken to extremes, it can become a way of life.

For example, in my fridge today is a 6-pint plastic 'bottle' of milk that cost me 10p (yes, ten pence) - paradoxically from one of the most 'expensive' supermarket chains. There's nothing wrong with it, apart from the 'sell-by' date - there is a very small risk that it could go 'off' before we use it.

Come to think of it, most of the contents of my fridge and freezer are reduced-price 'bargains'. And this bargain-hunting mind-set spills over to my investment style.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Busy Doing Nothing

Take it from Bing
The current markets are all over the place - up and down (mainly down). My last trade was at the end of January, but it seems like ages ago. In fact, January was quite busy - mainly selling due to the plump valuations then on offer. How things have changed.

However, the default activity for a DIY Income Investor is looking out the window, wondering... (well, in my case wondering where to go on holiday.)

So, although it is interesting to see what the market is doing, that doesn't mean that you need to take any action. The preference is for inaction: being busy doing nothing - like the team in A Yankee in King Arthur's Court.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Why Focus on Income?


It's not so much a 'light bulb' moment (when an idea suddenly clicks) but a 'flowering bulb' moment. This is the time of year when gardens are looking quite sad, apart from the spring bulbs starting to poke their green shoots through the cold soil.

When I look at my own garden, I see the shoots of the dozens of bulbs that I planted in previous years. For most of the year you don't notice them but each February they emerge again, delivering their Spring bonus of colourful flowers. And each year there seems to be more.

There's no simpler illustration of the DIY Income Investing approach.