Monthly Archives: December 2013

Poor in old age

Why You’re Going To Be Poor In Your Old Age (And What You Can Do About It)

So you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. You did well at school; earned your degree; got a job with prospects (nay, a career!). You climbed the greasy corporate pole – or, perhaps less evocatively, you did well at a job you quite enjoyed, and your employer rewarded you with a promotion and a pay rise.

But there’s a reasonable likelihood that you’re going to be poor in your old age.

Here’s why (and what you can do about it)…

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Buy a business not a share

Lessons in Creating a Share Investment Portfolio: Buy A Company, Not A Share

“Just as it would be foolish to focus unduly on short-term prospects when acquiring an entire company, we think it equally unsound to become mesmerized by prospective near term earning or recent trends in earnings when purchasing small pieces of a company; i.e. marketable common stocks”

Warren Buffett (who else?), Letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders, March 1978

I’ve been interested in share investment since the late 1990s, I’ve spent 12 years working for an investment bank (albeit on the debt side of the business), I’ve owned trackers, managed funds and individual shares. But I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about shares in the way described in Buffett’s quote above. Continue reading

Black Friday versus Black Wednesday (Or When Is A Sale Not A Sale)

I write to you from my garret in early December. The Christmas buying season is upon us.

Visitors from the future, let it be known that in this year, 2013, the United Kingdom (Royaume-Uni, nil points) enjoyed its first Black Friday.

This glorious institution, imported from the United States, involves retailers slashing prices across the board on what is, for us, a random Friday in November (I appreciate that in the US, it’s the ‘dead day’ between Thanksgiving on Thursday and the following weekend*).

We were treated to scenes of visceral consumerism and supermarket fighting. A joyful time of year. Continue reading

Purpose Of The Investicles Blog

The Purpose Of The Investicles Blog

This blog is primarily to introduce accountability into my investment process (insofar as I have an ‘investment process’).

Too often have I bought shares hastily, on a whim or a tip, fearful that I was about to miss out on a sizeable gain, only to see the investment languish or, worse, plummet.

In some cases it has taken only a few moments of post-trade research [shakes head sadly at the concept] to discover the business frailty that was causing the market to value the shares so cheaply.

The purpose of this blog is to: Continue reading