April 2019 Investment Review

As we reach the end of another tax year, it’s time once again to look back and see how our expectations of investment growth have faired against the brutal reality of the past year’s economic turmoil. In my last blog, “You’ve been framed”, I explained there is little point in basing lifetime decisions on the previous 90 days gains or losses. Shortly you will receive your next 90 day statement, it will reflect a much healthier period, but please continue to ignore short-term performance when we are all investing over lifetimes.

Whats happened over the last 12 months?

It’s been a challenge to say the least. We sold down risk assets across our portfolios twice in the year to reduce the effects of an increasingly un-certain economic outlook. Only recently have we re-committed to use that cash to purchase further investments.

Last year will generally be measured by how much was lost.

As investors we are rewarded for our resilience. We need to be able to take it on the chin once in a while. My rule of thumb is that we will only make money 3 years out of 4. We measure three of those years based on how much we made. We measure the fourth on how little we lost.

Continue reading “April 2019 Investment Review”

It’s Personal

Happy New Year!

2018 was a year to forget for us as investors. It was about damage limitation after the year’s earlier peaks. However I hope 2018 was a year to remember for you as an individual.  Let me take this opportunity of wishing you and your family all the best for 2019. 

As 2018 closed, like the All World Index shown above, we found ourselves counting our losses. The synchronised global growth I described last year has turned into a synchronised global slump. In the same blog I went on to say;

Although the primary trend is for a long term rise in share values, make no mistake there will be more hiccups along the way. A short term downturn or two is common within a long term uptrend. We have not witnessed a non-political hiccup for almost 2 years.


If we view our investment lifetimes as a war, then we lost a battle in 2018.  Similar to those we lost in 2011, 2008 & 2000.

Continue reading “It’s Personal”

October 2018 Investment Review

Early Sunday morning saw the first signs of a light frost. It’s a harsh reminder that summer is officially over. I believe that there is a further warm spell on it’s way so Autumn could still yield a surprise or two yet.

When the leaves start to fall, it signals to me that it’s the time of the year where some serious investment decisions need to be made. October generally holds a few surprises, but then global markets usually start to rise from here.

Before I talk about our future direction, its worthwhile to describe what has happened so far this year.

Weather-wise this has been a record summer.
Investment-wise it hasn’t been as memorable.

In Brexit pre-occupied Great Britain, we believe much of the UK’s investment performance is driven by the negotiations held with the EU. “It’s all about us”. It isn’t. We are not the centre of the world’s investing public. Continue reading “October 2018 Investment Review”

July 2018 Investment Review

Another Quarterly Review

I have been writing these reviews since January 2011, so I decided to read my very first one again. It seems things have changed very little in the last 7.5 years. The FTSE 100 is still the roller-coaster it was back then.

These updates over the last few years were designed to be read alongside your valuation emails, which gave a personalised snapshot of how your investment portfolio has performed. However this now needs to be changed. Here’s why. Continue reading “July 2018 Investment Review”

April 2018 Investment Review

First Quarter Summary

We end the first quarter of 2018 with all client portfolios lower than their recent peaks. All portfolios ended the 2017/2018 Tax Year up modestly, but certainly without the gains we have recently become accustomed to. Centre stage was a much expected pause for breath, brought about by the looming potential of a global trade war. During a trade war there are no winners, with tit-for-tat actions increasing costs and certainly slowing global growth and many companies profits. Domestically this worry has completely overshadowed the recent encouraging progress that has been made with the UK’s Brexit negotiations.

As the amount we manage within our collective accounts continues to grow ever larger, just a 2-3% dip wipes in excess of £2 million off our joint life-savings. At a time like this we all need to be reminded of how far we have come recently, and that a short term dip should not have any effect on our planned withdrawals and expenditures. Indeed short term dips are healthy and help markets to avoid long-term bubbles. Therefore below are our Model Portfolio charts, showing the steady progress that has been made over the last 5 years, which puts the latest dip in perspective.

Our longer term clients both understand and expect that regular dips will continue to occur along the way. For our newer clients who have had only a few years experience of how we do things around here, I can understand dips must be concerning. Continue reading “April 2018 Investment Review”