Thursday, 5 November 2015

Fundsmith - still delivering

Wrote about Fundsmith a few years ago and popped a few pounds into Terry's fund at the time. It's done ok....

Fundsmith at five: 'I naively supposed the financial crisis had taught investors a lesson'

The highlights:

17.2% annual returns over 5 years
121% up

Not bad.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Save Dat Money

Something a bit different this time but with the same ethos behind Investimouse's approach to life. This is a video by rapper Lil Dicky. Not being a mega celebrity superstar, Lil Dicky has no money to make his video so approaches those much wealthier for assistance to make his new video, $ave Dat Money.

I may not have sold it that well, but it's very funny. Watch as Lil Dicky goes door knocking in wealthy LA suburbs asking to use their swimming pool, gets rejected by multiple big name car brands, and is forced to beg to get into a swanky nightclub for filming.

Remember kids, Save that Money.

Lil Dicky - $ave Dat Money feat. Fetty Wap and Rich Homie Quan

Friday, 1 May 2015

What does Insider Trading look like?



This is Creighton's share charge for the last few month's this year. You may remember I tipped them as my small cap guesstimate for this year in the year-end review post.  See them plodding along doing nothing until April 19th this year. Then a steady week of increasing share price. For no reason whatsoever. Until an RNS on the 30th April about them selling their Real Shaving business.

How is it possible for the world to know of these events before they are released to the share market?

Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014 Year End Review

“I don’t like piggy banks – I’m afraid of change!”

That time again to tie it all up and see if it was worth having my money in equities, rather than sticking it in the bank.

Here's what happened:

FTSE100 fell 2.7%
FTSE100 up 1.3% (total return, GBP)
FTSE-All World up 12.69% (total return, GBP)

Investimouse's fund which is a holding of investment trusts, tracker funds, bonds, fixed interest, and individual company shares is called The Team Dave Fund of Fun-ness. The individual company shares are generally high yielding quarterly paying shares (income is everything) but occasionally I do have a punt on something little. It is compared to the FTSE All-World each year rather than the UK only indices.

The Team Dave Fund of Fun-ness is up 14.76% this year (total return, GBP).

So slightly ahead of its comparative index. Still feel it needs more international exposure, but very pleased to do so well when everyone else is having a bad year.

Slightly annoyed last year about:

- Tesco - Clarke should probably be in prison, along with many of his cohorts.
- Bankers - I hate them all. Crowdfunding and individual finance can't come along soon enough and kill off their corrupt industry.
- The US justice system which continues to pick on BP despite their having made all of Florida an infinitely better place to live. Quite how BP are continually blamed for something American companies and employees caused is beyond me.
- Russia and Putin - madness
- Crawshaw - on the day I had researched it, Crawshaws price was 6p. At the last second I bought Tangent instead as my punt stuck for the year. Tangent earned me 25%, however Crawshaw would have ten-bagged my money. Sleepless nights.

Things I'm looking at this year:

- When exactly to go big on oil again. How long will Putin be happy with just fighting the Ukraine?More than likely his best option is to either rile the Iranians into attacking Israel (big risk) or start supporting ISIL and helping them create a larger conflict in the middle east, specifically by riling them up in Saudi Arabia. More unrest = higher oil price.
- Finger poised on the buy BHP button. Big divs, exposure to energy and all commodities.
- Creightons is my punt stock
- B&M European in retail looks good (I think...)
- Others which have me intrigued for 2015 are CityFibre, Telecity, Shell, Tungsten, Porta, Accumuli

Here's some share tips from round the media for 2014:

Daily Mail - This is Money tips
Stockopedia - Top Naps
Independent - Top Ten to Follow in 2015
Telegraph - Questor share tips for 2015 (plus here's last year's results)
iii - Aim share tips for 2015

Some of the other blogger 2014 'year in review' style posts:

DIY Investor
Retirement Investing Today
Investing Sidekick
DIY Income Investor
Adventures in Equities
UK Value Investor

Good luck for the coming year!

And to end a superb cartoon from XKCD:

Monday, 29 December 2014

Poor share performance this year? It's all about bad management

It's been a year to forget for many big FTSE companies (Tesco, BP, Morrisons, Co-op, Barclays, etc.) Diving share prices for previous darlings of the sharemarket have made everyone a bit twitchy. Most of it can be blamed on bad management. The bastion of journalism that is the Daily Mail (hahahahahaha, ROFL) has gathered together a list of the retards and scum that control some of the UK's biggest companies.

It's not good reading and the biggest reason why the UK continues to flounder along. Bad management is endemic in the country. I can only guess why complete scumbags end up at the top of public companies. Here's a few reasons though:

- Clearly, almost none of management have 'skin in the game', you know real money invested in their companies so they all operate with a short term, scam-as-much-in-bonuses-as-I-can attitude. Fred the Shred Goodwin was the ultimate example of this.
- The Old Boys Network, nepotism, cronyism, etc. You name it the old pat on the back, you scratch me, I'll scratch you approach is rife in the UK. There's no meritocracy here and so the people who are least suited to leading are rewarded for their guile, cunning and poor behaviour.
- Bribery and Corruption - even companies which should be miles removed from bribery are well involved in it (GSK). You'd think the health and wellbeing of people would make you think twice about bribing people to use your products. Oh no, you thought wrong.
- The Class System - it still exists. It results in in-bred, backward idiots leaping ahead of the pack and gaining senior management positions.
- An inability of middle management to tell CEOs and corrupt boards to change their ways. Not sure why this exists but things are invariably too late when a 'whistle-blower' tells all.

I haven't even touched on the King of All Management Bastards, Bob Diamond, head of Barclays Bank who once paid himself £63M a year, decided that banks didn't need to apologise for their poor behaviours, and his bank while he was in charge was accused of rate rigging, money laundering, and tax avoidance.

These aren't just a few bad apples. They're everywhere. These are just the famous ones the media can be bothered to have a pot shot at. Every day you can check investegate and see the RNS of the public companies in the UK. I can't be bothered calculating it, but you can guarantee that about 10% of them each day are management awarding themselves additional share options, warrants, bonuses and other schemes to feather their nests.

I'm not sure why the UK tolerates it all and why workers don't demand better leadership.

Instead of whistle-blowing, rioting on the streets or burning down their offices they appear to be giving up and starting new decent companies. It's heartening to hear someone who actually might be a decent leader commenting on the growth of new companies. (it's in the last couple of paragraphs).

He adds: 'Last year there was a record number of new companies created. This year that record will be beaten. A recent survey by a quite serious authority rated Britain fourth best country in the world to start a business.'
'We've created more jobs in the private sector in this country over the last four years than the whole of the rest of the EU put together, which is an utterly remarkable statistic. It just shows that having a flexible economy with a culture that embraces entrepreneurship is a good thing.'
When Branson called 2014, the year of the Entrepreneur back in Dec 2013, it appears he may have been right.

Maybe we're heading in the right direction and these last seven years have been about getting rid of the blight that has infected the UK.

In the US, one company (Abbott Laboratories) seems to have the right idea and is training management not just on the job but in simulations too. You have to applaud the balls to try new things in management, you never know you just might find someone good. Besides they can't be as bad as the current batch.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A quick synopsis of stupid bloody Tesco

Unless your head has been buried in the sand (as mine was last week on a sunny island in the Ionian Sea) then you'll have noticed that Tesco has continued to add manure to the rather large fan it has constructed. The latest revelations? They can't add and just decided to guess how much money they had made in their latest interims.

While I'd like to think things can't get any worse, nothing at Tesco surprises me any more. They're the Barclays of retail now and consequently have the magnifying glass fully turned on them by the media and public. If something is afoot, it will definitely be found out, released and more damage will be done to their reputation, footfall, profits and share price.

I'd say it was time for drastic action. With a new CEO and CFO, take the time to clear the decks and release all the bad news as possible in one day. Sack the chairman who is clearly an idiot for allowing Clarke to eff everything up so badly.
The Previous Idiot
Take the hit, announce the new super plan (detailed below) the following week once everyone on the board of directors has announced they're buying £1m shares each themselves.

My SUPER PLAN of action would be this:

-Turn the Tesco mega boxes into Tesco property developments. Build houses around a typical small suburban shop area - have a Tesco Express, Tesco coffee shop, Tesco hairdresser and a couple of other shops. Make money by renting those and become Tesco Property. Easy.
-It's clear that the UK is now a mostly poor place to live in (outside London). Wages are low and being reduced on an inflation adjusted basis every few months. So it's time to compete with the cheaper end of the market (where Tesco began) and take on Aldi and Lidl, with a budget branded supermarket with limited range. Turn the stores that are in those areas and losing share into the cheaper brand. The rest of them can continue at the middle end in more affluent areas.
-Hire some people at the supermarket management level who actually care about them.
-Address customer service as quickly as possible.
-Tidy the stores up!!!!! Clean the aisles, stack at night, pick up the crap, put the rubbish away and not outside the door....

-Go back to being better than the rest as that's what made the difference to begin with. Competitive pricing, good stock levels, clean stores, helpful staff. This is so bleeding obvious.
-Are the little spinoffs of Tesco making money? ie. Blinkbox, Bank, Online, Delivery, etc.? If not, ditch them.
-Clean up the balance sheet. Start paying off some debt so you don't look like such a basket case.
-Is it possible to have some sort of employee ownership scheme like John Lewis - staff love working for them. Even just making a stand on short hours contracts - ditching them, getting the staff to love you, making yourself look good to the public again will help.

Morrisons and Co-op will eventually die. Sales and profits in the UK will pick up then with less competition. Globally Tesco should continue to do ok, so it's just a matter of time to see this out.

Will Tesco die like Woolworths? I don't think so, but it needs to kill off its weaker competitors as soon as possible.

I'm sorely tempted to buy more now...although to do so would be even more contrarian than buying Russia or investing in Syrian / Iraq housing.

Here's a roundup of everyone else's posts. They are all excellent pieces:

DIY Investor - Tesco Top Up Decision - he's all in again....
Under the Money Tree - Tesco Palaver - staying well clear for now...
Mark Carter - Tesco - keeps revising his valuation down (ahhh the benefit of hindsight)
Mark Ritson (marketing chap) - Tesco risks being famous for being broken - likens Tesco to Nokia, Blackberry, Woolworths and Northern Rock. Very pessimistic.
Expecting Value - Tesco, Yes Again - compares them to Man Utd's recent woes. Excellent.
Share Centre - Tesco's Comedy of Errors -  thinks Dave will need to be bold and do something creative. Big fans of creativity here at Investimouse.

Oh well, it's only one company and nothing's permanent in this world. We'll move on to the next big thing I'm sure...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Portfolio - Half-Year Review 2014

Tiny bit late reviewing the portfolio as it's now September and not July 1st... oh well, that's the passive side of investing slowly winning over I guess.

Anyway, logged into i-Web this morning and ran a few reports to see what activity I'd made in the Team Dave Fund of Fun-ness portfolio in the first half of 2014.

So the fund is up 10.8% in the first half of the year. Which is good and pleasing but how did the overall world sharemarket do as our benchmark?

The ishares World Index ETF (the only world tracker I can find with reliable long term figures) has a performance of 5.16% for the first six months of the year.  So we're up on that. Positive stuff.

Here's the activity from the first six months:

Sold Monitise in Jan - it's going nowhere, keeps diluting shares, but a decent gain and profit from them. Since dropped back a lot.
Replaced with SPDR Emerging Markets ETF.
Finally sold RBS in Jan - after a decent rally up to 380 I thought it time to end the folly of it. Getting rid of it was like a huge weight coming off your shoulders. It's done nothing since, its 'profits' are 90% lies and I feel better for no longer supporting them.
Sold COMS in Feb - for an excellent doubling of money.
Put that COMS money into HSBC as it dipped under 600p - I like the quarterly dividends. Neil Woodford has since dumped his stake. Worrying.
Bought TESCO in Feb - mistake.
Bought Middlefield Canadian MCT in Mar - nice timing.
Sold Blackrock Emerging Markets Track which had been replaced by the SPDR one.
Bought Infinis Energy in March - poor timing. Since dropped 10%.
Sold L&G Technology Tracker - no idea why now. It made decent money though.

Far too much activity by the looks of things. However, what I've learned is that decent timing gets great results. The holdings in Monitise and Coms were superb earners. More money gained than years of passive investing. Buying on dips in massive companies has been semi-successful too with HSBC in particular being a decent effort on timing.

It seems the maxim of Mr Buffet is true - buy great companies at a fair price.

In all a good 6 months. Where's the next bit of out-performance going to come from though?