Education

Wealth Manager’s Charges Still High

There were a couple of interesting articles in the FT over the weekend (27/8/2016) on the costs to investors of having someone else manage your portfolio. Data from Grant Thornton suggests that investors who buy investment advice and financial products from mass market investment groups are still paying 2.56% per annum on average. This is only down from 2.86% in 2012 when the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which unbundled product commissions was expected to reduce them substantially. Indeed product costs may have ...

Book Review – Invest In The Best

The book Invest In the Best, written by Keith Ashworth-Lord, has recently been published. I am familiar with Keith's work (he currently runs the Sanford DeLand UK Buffettology Fund which has been performing very well), because he presented at a ShareSoc Masterclass event. I also remember reading the Analyst publication many years ago to which he was a major contributor and which very much influenced my own investment style. The subtitle of this book is "Applying the principles of Warren Buffett for ...

Cash or Shares. Which is Better?

An interesting article in Saturday's FTMoney (18/6/2016) by Paul Lewis suggested that you might be surprised to learn that if you had invested £10,000 in a cash account in 1998, you would have done better than investing in a FTSE-100 index tracker. It's surely odd for the Financial Times to persuade their own readers that cash is better than equities because a choice of cash might mean they no longer needed to read the FT - they could just use a ...

Where Bonds are Concerned, Trust No-One

The news that the holders of Lloyds bonds (ECNs) have lost their legal battle in the Supreme Court reinforces the message that when it comes to investing in bonds, you should trust nobody - not the issuer of the bonds, your friendly stockbrokers and wealth managers who advise you, or the FCA to protect your interests. The bondholders won their case initially in the lower courts, that Lloyds should not be able to force redemption of these bonds at par. But after ...

Active Equity Funds Underperform – But What About Passive Funds?

Last Monday (21/3/2016) there was a front page story in the FTfm supplement which was headlined "86% of active equity funds underperform". The article said that a study by S&P Dow Jones Indices showed that "almost every actively managed fund in Europe investing in global, emerging and US markets has failed to beat its benchmark over the past decade....". The article went on to question the value added by stockpicking fund managers at some length Now it immediately struck me that the ...

Fundsmith Annual Meeting – Another Good Performance

Last night was the latest annual meeting for investors in the Fundsmith Equity Fund. It was another good performance by Terry Smith on the night, and of course a good performance by the Fund itself was reported. It achieved a return of 15.7% last year (year ending December 2015) which was way ahead of any global fund index you care to choose. A lot of stock picking investors did well last year, but how many also have achieved 4.7% in the ...

The Importance of Having a Stock Selection Process

There is a good editorial in this month's edition of the Sharewatch newsletter. As was emphasised by our coverage of stock picking systems in the last ShareSoc newsletter, the key is to have some system, and some discipline, when selecting stocks. This is the time of year when the media are publishing their "naps" for the new year and when many investors are looking to refresh their portfolios by getting rid of last year's duds and picking new ones. This is ...

Spotting the Duds

There was a good article in this weeks Investors Chronicle (31/12/2015) by ShareSoc Director Mark Lauber on how to weed out those small cap companies that will prove to be disappointing investments. Here's one quote from it: "If you don't mind throwing some babies out with the bathwater, just eliminate all resource stocks and all foreign stocks from your AIM portfolio - you'll protect yourself from a lot of losses with this simple step." He mentions one resource company he invested in that ...

Story Stocks and Purplebricks

Here is one New Year's resolution which investors might wish to adopt: avoid those "story" stocks! Paul Scott who writes a popular blog on small cap stocks for Stockopedia recently wrote "Above all, this year has taught me to stop chasing stories". He suggested it was a "virtually guaranteed way to lose money". He mentioned a few hyped up stocks that crashed back to earth in 2015 including Audioboom, Fitbug, Concha, Tungsten, Rightster and Torotrak. These are the kind of stocks that ...

Future ShareSoc Events – London and Manchester

ShareSoc has two Growth Company Seminars coming up in the next couple of weeks. On the 21st October we have Sphere Medical, Sprue Aegis, EG Solutions and Venture Life presenting in the City of London and on the 28th October we have Safestyle, Redx Pharma and Tracsis presenting in Altrincham near Manchester. These are all interesting small cap companies and this is a great opportunity to ask questions of the management of these companies and meet other investors. In the latter ...