On the retreat….

Tuesday, 4th June 2019

On the retreat….

Bonds are pretty dull fare….

The character Jared Vennett (played by Ryan Gosling) in the film The Big Short summed it up better than I can….

‘If banking was boring, then the bond department at the bank was straight up comatose. We all know about bonds. You give ‘em to your snot-nosed kid when he turns 15; maybe, when he’s 30, he makes a hundred bucks. Boring.’

But boring or not, the bond markets are sometimes instructive….

They sometimes have something important to tell us….

And now is one of those times….

  • First, how bonds work….

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to understand how bonds work….

I’m no expert, but here are the basics we need for our purposes today….

When you buy a bond, you are basically lending the bond issuer money. You buy at the current price and the lender pays you what is called a yield – like interest….

For the purposes of this column today, the important bit is this: the yield of a bond is inversely related to its current price. If the price of a bond falls, its yield goes up. If the price of a bond goes up, the yield falls….… Click here to read more

Bitcoin – back on the boil….

Tuesday, 21st May 2019

Bitcoin – back on the boil….

If Bitcoin were a horse, it looked like one headed for the knackers-yard throughout 2018….

A stellar 2017 had seen the number one crypto ‘go vertical’ and climb in value from less than $1000 to more than $20,000 at its intra-day peak….

Then the bells rang-in 2018 and across the next 12-months 80% of those gains evaporated….

Plenty of fingers got burnt to a crisp. Some fortunes had already been made, but many others had been swiftly lost….

  • Missing in action – the bandwagon jockeys….

Lost too were all the foam-at-the-mouth pundits, the celebrity cheerleaders, the freshly minted crypto ‘experts’ and many who had been daring to think of themselves as the new super-rich….

One minute they were shouting and bawling like inebriated monkeys from the back of the bandwagon as it careered along – powered by the rich and heady fuel of hype and speculation….

The next minute they were gone….

As Bitcoin’s fortunes dipped and then went into freefall, this band of crypto zealots slunk off quietly into the shadows….

It was as though the messiah they had been advocating at the top of their lungs had been exposed as a semi-retired plumber from Pontefract….… Click here to read more

Why money-managers and brokers are rarely contrarian….

Tuesday, 7th May 2019

Why money-managers and brokers are rarely contrarian….

As a private investor with money to put into the market, there are basically two choices on how to proceed….

One, you can trust to your own powers of analysis, do your own due diligence, come to your own conclusions and allocate your own capital into the vehicles, instruments or stocks you determine to be appropriate for your needs….

Or two, you can trust to the ‘experts’ – professional brokers, analysts and money-managers who get paid to put your money to work for you….

There’s a whole multi-billion-pound international industry built on the idea – and constantly promoting the argument – that trusting to the ‘experts’ is the way to go….

After all, the ‘experts’ have the skills, the knowledge, the experience, the know-how, the savvy, the contacts, the inside-information, the data, the tools, the resources and the technical proficiency to get the job done more effectively – with measurably better outcomes – than poor old individuals like you and I could ever hope to achieve under our own steam….

At least that’s what ‘they’ say….

…. the self-same professional brokers, analysts and money-managers who rely on the commissions paid by private investors like you and I to put bread on the table and petrol in the Ferrari….… Click here to read more