Notes, ideas and leads for stock market investors

Membership of The Investment Reader network is by invitation or recommendation only. We run a small and private independent network that offers members, for a modest annual fee, a chance to exchange ideas and insights with other active investors, both private and professional. Our regular contributors act as eyes and ears on the markets, sharing what they have read or heard in the course of their research. A number of contributors also run and monitor model portfolios that are shared around the network for information. Members receive a regular email with reading lists, portfolio summaries and market commentary. We also hold private seminars at which members can hear directly from experienced professional investors on a topical or specialist subject.

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Notebook: after the midterms

This week saw the midterm elections in the United States. The result was not, in the end, a surprise. The pollsters and bookmakers got it roughly right, with the Republicans holding the Senate and the Democrats taking control of the House of Representatives. In an era that is supposed to be full of political shocks, this was not one. Donald Trump has broken most of the rules of politics, confounding all those who said “you just can’t do that” (tell blatant lies, outrage others, contradict yourself, etc), but he could not prevent this adverse outcome. The question now is whether, with Congress once again likely to be gridlocked, the markets will also hold true to their traditional historical experience.

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November 9, 2018

Portfolio review: core funds

Back in April I commented that I was thinking of making the core fund portfolio that has served me so well over the past eight years a little more defensive as we enter the later stages of the current market cycle. There have been three significant sell-offs in the equity markets this year, with the latest (in October) the most extreme of the three. Six months on from the last review it is time to take stock again. Fortunately the changes that I made back then have helped to save a bit of money. It has been poor year overall for investors as bonds have also performed badly. There have been few places other than cash in which to hide. So far therefore the changes I have made – the first for a very long time – can I think be regarded as a success. The core fund portfolio is up a creditable 10% over the past 12 months.

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November 2, 2018

Notebook: inflation still the greater risk

Michael Hartnett. Chief Strategist at Merrill Lynch, has been pointing out for some time that we were approaching what statistically will be the “longest ever bull market” for the S&P500. That moment, on his and other definitions,  has finally arrived. Not everyone agrees however that this simple statement is in fact correct, nor that it has any real significance (a sentiment with which I am minded to agree).

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August 31, 2018