Thursday, 19 April 2007

Calling the market

Howdy all. This week I called the market. Well, at least I called my time in the market.

I've just bought a flat and need every single spare centimetre of cash to pay for it. As I piece my life back together, it has been fun playing the stock market but sooner or later life was going to dictate that I purchase a bit of dirt to live on permanently. So, I'm now back to nearly 90% property, 5% cash, 5% stocks. Perhaps not such a good state to be in, especially as the housing boom in the UK is coming to an end. The likelihood of a couple of % increases in the interest rate in the next few months is going to see to that. Still interest rates were a lot higher the last time I owned a house.

Anyway, this has necessitated selling a few shares. Tesco (30%), ABF (10%), National Grid (36%) all bit the dust. The figures in brackets are the price gains from my holding. I also shifted a few BP after the recent price increase. Sold at a loss as my average price in BP is 600p so I'm never likely to make money on that holding. Still it's paying out good dividends. Lastly, my two ETF's, ishares UK Dividend Plus and ishares China, got sold too. Both up - 11% and 22% respectively. I now have a ragtag holding of shares that I'm too embarrassed to publish here, mostly all down and all praying for a miracle. They will have to form the basis of my investing now.

Finally for this post, I received Ken Fisher's book this week, 'The Only Three Questions That Count'. It looks good and reads even better. The bloke is obviously a genius and I'm looking forward to reading through it all. I was so impressed I spent a little bit of the BP shareholding on one of his recent tips. Yesterday I brought into Signet at 115p, after a dramatic slide in the price based on their recent results. As far as I could see they looked like great results, with plenty of growth on the way. Anyway, Ken likes them too. What Ken likes, I like. After all he is number 297 on the Rich List.

Still a word of caution. Last time I followed a tip on iii, I ended up in Asia Energy, now Global Coal Management. A very, very dodgy coal mining operation in Bangladesh. The only problem with them is that nobody in Bangladesh actually wants them there. I consequently lost a lot of money on that particular nugget of investment advice. Guess it just shows you that you need to do your research yourself.