I know it’s only March, and I know I spent two weeks in Mauritius only in January, but my god do I feel like I need a holiday! I don’t know if it’s the weather, travelling back and forth to London or just my general mood but a bit of sun would be very much welcome right about now! We’ve said we’ll look to book something for later in the year though I’m not totally on the destination just yet. Any suggestions are very much welcome! We are however on the cusps of spring and all the joys that comes with this season, things like dusting off the lawnmower and other garden utensils that probably still have the tags on since purchase a couple of years ago! That said we really do want make a start on our garden this year, since moving in all we’ve done (I’ve done) is cut the grass! Although I think the most important aspect will be a hot tub!
As I said last time out, I had my motorbike theory test booked and I’m very pleased to report I actually passed! Now all I need to do is to have some more lessons and pass the relevant tests. Oh and actually buy a bike I guess! As with all the hobbies I seem to take on, everything costs an absolute fortune, I wonder what attracts me to these things!?
I’ve struggled to get into any reading just lately so I definitely need to utilise my train journey time better than I have been (mostly sleeping, or working!). I think I’ll set myself a target to finish my current book before my next blog post. Let’s see if I can stick to it! I have a stack of trading related reading material to get through so I need to crack on, else how am I ever going to improve! I do like a good snooze though!!
I feel like I need to apologise a bit for the general shorter nature of my posts recently, I've struggled to put things down in words if I'm honest so I'm just trying to post as regularly as I can and get "something" down. Hopefully this will improve in time and the quality will pick up, I certainly can't make any promises on this last point however!!!!!
I’ve not executed any trades since my last update, things are a bit uncertain for me still and with the FTSE dropping below 7000 for the first time in over a year so I think it’s probably best for my own sanity that I just sit on my hands for the time being.
Robert Walters (RWA) seems to have made a bit of a break out which is encouraging. I’d like to see it move, and stay, above 700p. With the Q1 trading statement due in a couple of weeks this could be the start of another positive year for the recruitment company. Here’s hoping anyway, I do like this company.
XL Media (XLM) went ex dividend this week which has seen the share price drop to the low 160’s. Given this was trading about 200p in early Jan this drop looks a little overdone, but then what do I know really? Any drop further below this would ring some alarm bells but CEO Ory Weihs seems to snap up more shares every time we see a dip in price. As with my other holdings, any dividends gained are reinvested back into the company to enhance my holdings.
Like I say before, I’m not really rushing to buy anything else currently but obviously if something catches my eye I’m still doing all my usual investigations into the company. I’ll let you know if anything crops up!
Until next time.
I've been sticking my head up from behind the sofa for a good few days and I think it's safe to emerge now. Isn't it?!
Oh I don't know! I don't think anyone knows really if they're honest. All we can do is try to follow the trends as best we can then if things turn to plop then just run around waving your arms around in a crazy panic as your hopes and dreams disappear! That last bit is probably just me actually..
In the meantime before any impending downturn I'm trying to keep my trading at a minimal, although if something ticks all my buying boxes then I'll certainly give it serious consideration. Such an example is mention further down in the markets section of this update.
So what's been going on in the personal world of The Crap Trader? Well, mostly work! As mentioned previously my current contract is pretty full on at the moment with long evenings slaving away so this is reducing a large percentage of free time I have! Whilst not ideal, it does come with the territory of the type of work I do and I'd certainly rather be in this situation than out of work! Luckily due to the nature of parts of the evening work it does allow me a bit of time to step away from the computer and either take the dogs for a walk or spend some time in the gym. I feel it's mega important to allow yourself these times to just switch off and not think about anything work related. It certainly helps me stay relatively sane!
This Monday morning I'll be sitting my Motorcycle theory test which will allow me to have lessons and subsequently take the "A license" test. I quite fancy getting something around 600cc to start off with, maybe a Yamaha R6, Honda CBR or maybe even a Triumph Street Triple. That said before I buy a bike I need to create space in the garage to home it (I will get round to cleaning the fish tank and selling it Mrs CT, promise!!). All that of course depends on passing this theory test first, so fingers crossed for that!
Our mortgage is up for renewal in a couple of months so we had an advisor round to check out some deals for us. It looks like we're able to knock a couple of year off our overall term for the same monthly payments which is good news! It'll certainly go towards paying it off that little bit quicker!
It's been quite a flat week which makes a nice change from recent general downward movements. Here's what's been happening...
Tuesday saw XL Media (XLM) release their full year results for 2017 with some good figures, revenues up 33%, gross profit up 37% and profit before tax up 27%. Decent steady results which help reaffirm that this company is continuing to move in the right direction. Initial reaction saw the price drop to the mid 170's, however by market close on Friday it had moved back up 3% to the mid 180's. I'm certainly not looking to relinquish my holding here for the moment.
Recent buy Communisis (CMS) has dropped from my purchase price though only around 5%. You could argue I should have waited a touch to get a better entry position but a quote I read fairly recently struck a chord. Now I'll be honest, I don't remember where I saw it, who said it, or even if I've quoted it correctly but it went along the lines of "don't chase the first 5% with your buy, and don't chase the final 5% when you look to sell". Whatever the exact words were, the point made rings very true for me personally.
This week I purchased Numis (NUM). It had been on my watchlist since a trading update on 6th February stating the company had experienced a very strong start to the year with revenues "significantly ahead of the comparable period the previous year", positive words indeed! It came to my attention again this week when it appeared in ADVFN's 52 week breakout "Toplist" as it broke above it's 52 week high. The figures stack up nicely and the chart is in a lovely upward trend, this coupled with that positive early trading update tempted me into clicking that buy button.
Until next time,
Well it's not exactly been the greatest of years so far has it? It certainly hasn't for me that's for certain! Headline figures show my SIPP is down 8% since the turn of the year thus far having being quite severely hit by the market correction a few weeks back. This lead to some quite volatile price movements and some equally erratic trading from myself which certainly hasn't helped matters. I started making trades which, in themselves weren't bad companies to buy, however I was applying stops that were too tight and the volatility just knocked me clean out and this is what has cost me money in the short term. I quite quickly picked up what was happening from a psychological point of view and just immediately put a stop to any kind of trading and indeed even stopped checking company news feeds of a morning or even looking at shares I held too much safe in the knowledge that those I did still own were good companies and this was just noise. This was the first sustained "market correction" I've experienced (the brexit dip was over before it started) and it has taught me a few valuable lessons I hope I can carry with me in the future when things really hit the fan.
It's only just this past couple of weeks where I feel things have calmed down enough both in the markets generally, and in my own mindset when it comes to trading. I'll list my recent moves a bit further below. Work has been incredibly busy since we got back from our amazing holiday in Mauritius which has also hindered both my trading abilities and also my blogging, but then my blogging isn't exactly consistent at the best of times (sorry!!)!
I've been trying to do a bit of reading where I can, I'm most of the way through to my old favourite The Naked Trader's book on spread betting. I don't feel confident enough to delve into those murky waters just yet but I think it can become a decent addition to my trading armoury in the future, particularly when we enter a proper downturn. Once that is finished I'm quite looking forward to getting stuck into "The Little Book That Still Beats The Market" by Joel Greenblatt having seen some good reviews on it.
A positive start has been made to my "Master Plan" (crap trading performance aside) where I've been meeting my mortgage overpayments and ISA contributions. As we approach the end of the tax year I'm going to looking to paying off more/adding more to both of these accounts to help give them a boost. We're also coming to end of our current mortgage period and will be looking to get a new deal, hopefully knocking a couple of years of the term at the same time.
So as I mentioned earlier, I have steadily worked my way back into things with the odd new position, and also adding to existing positions.
First off Robert Walters (RWA) recently released their full year accounts showing healthy rises in revenues, profit before tax and dividend. The statement mentioned they'd had "record performance" across the year with good rises in business in all countries they deal with, with only Brazil "remaining challenging". There was also a note at the end which read "The group has successfully maintained the momentum of 2017 and started the year strongly. As a result we look ahead with confidence". Very encouraging stuff indeed! So encouraging I've added to my existing position within my SIPP and have opened a new position here in my ISA.
I also opened new positions in both my SIPP and ISA in Communisis (CMS). The full year results were released on Thursday which showed a steady increase in revenues, profits and dividends. They have also managed to reduce debt by 20%. Seems to be a steady stream of work coming in and the closing statement of the RNS read "Communisis is at an exciting stage in it's development with a bedrock of solid performance and deep client relationships to build upon". I personally think it looks good value and should perhaps be trading at a higher price, we shall see!
It's full year results time on Tuesday 13th March for good old XL Media (XLM), looking forward to these and should hopefully see the price move onwards and upwards after positive "ahead of expectations" updates all year.
Until next time
Confessions of a Crap Trader is a blog following a regular investor trying to make profit via the London Stock Exchange. Follow his journey as he attempts to hopefully one day pay his mortgage off in full!