Monday, 5 March 2007

Big issue, big issue, wanna buy a big issue?

I've taken the last few days off blogging to take up crying as a full time hobby. Dreams of yachts anchored off Caribbean islands have been replaced by images of me playing my tambourine outside Waitrose for spare change to buy my can of Tennents Super Strong lager. As the stock market correction apocalypse continues, hemorrhaging money is now a way of life. Nothing seems exempt, even strong companies like Tesco are taking a hit.

But then I read today this article at the FT. An excellent read, it made me feel a bit better. It's a Q&A with Richard Bernstein, Chief investment strategist for Merrill Lynch. Mr Bernstein has some excellent points on a whole range of subjects. Most people have asked him some fairly basic questions, although a few have tried to get him to predict the future and ask when to get back into stocks or what to go into next. He thinks that with volatitility likely to continue during 2007 , "Consumer Staples (foods, beverages, household products, and the like)" are likely to be a safe bet. Good stuff - that sounds like a tip.

Maybe now was the right time to get into ABF? Perhaps I should also be looking at Unilever. It's a solid, long term company that makes loads of stuff people want all the time like soap, washing powder, tea and mayonnaise. It's dropped quite a bit over recent weeks, but it fundamentally still looks good. Plus it seems to have a newly adopted approach of delivering money back to shareholders with increasing dividends. Still at £13.30 it isn't a share you can buy into a lot of in a hurry.

I've also been looking at Persimmon. Again very good results last week and house building isn't about to go away in the UK in the near term. There just aren't any homes to buy - I should know I've been trying to buy one for the last year. Same prob with Persimmon though, at more than £13 a share it's difficult for me to buy a meaningful amount of shares.

Right now though, it's a wait and see approach to investing. Tough it out and see if the end of the world really is coming or maybe it is just the chicken squawking about the sky falling.

Ultimately investing in the stock market is a case of 'If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.'

Good luck everyone, see you on the other side.