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!