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Wanderer

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Everything posted by Wanderer

  1. Wanderer

    GOLD

    Sorry. I know it isn't really adding to the debate, but really.... http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3705851/3bn-gold-yacht-is-worlds-most-expensive.html Has Goldfinger been splashing out?
  2. All, inspired by Roman's Holiday I'm adding a trading diary here in the Markets and Trading section. I don't think it merits the 'main forum'! What I found about RH's diary is that it gives us a little more about him and the logic underpinning his trades. It helps me decide whether I agree with his trades, in part because his circumstance may or may not overlap with mine. I'm an accidental trader. I've been overseas since 1999. I STR'd too early back in 2002. The big advantage for me though was that it gave me a sum of money to invest. I started off very cautiously, but have gradually increased my trading and the sums involved so that I am using almost all my STR fund. Partly as a result of trading, partly through saving hard whilst I am overseas, my fund is now almost 3 times what it was in 2002. Where this is odd is that it leaves me with a sum that is about 13 times my income from my day job. Since 2002, but particularly since 2005 when I started investing more aggressively, I've earned more from the investing than from the day job. And thus I have become the 'accidental trader'. At some point soon we'll be returning to the UK. We'll probably rent for a while. When we stop renting we'll buy a nice house. At the moment we are lucky enough to be able to buy a nice house cash or a lovely one with a mortgage. Obviously if we could build up the fund more then we'd buy a lovely one cash or a nice one and have money left over to invest. I'm rather in two minds about where we've got to. On the one hand, I'm fantastically grateful that we've got to the situation we are in. On the other hand, I'm increasingly nervous as a result of my success. My day job is a good steady one but, since it is for Government, it won't be earning me megabucks and the upward earning potential is very limited. So I'm in this situation with a very healthy cash pile that I'm keen to preserve, but also keen to expand if I can as I know cash is getting inflated away in no-interest savings account. I've a position with a core of gold bullion. I made a lot of money on gold and silver stocks in the last year but have offloaded most of these but for a few tricky-to-trade high spread stocks I've held onto. In 2009 I lost of a lot of money shorting indices from August on. But I've made quite a bit of that back this last few weeks. My unusual situation means that I do 'sweat it' a bit on trades due to the fact that, in a bad month, I can lose almost a year's post-tax salary. In a good month, the reverse can happen. In many ways I'm more dependent on my trading for my future lifestyle than on my job (although my job pays my day to day needs overseas). In this sense I've become more of a 'full-time' trader than I ever anticipated. And I'm not sure I'm very good at the psychology of it. In the last couple of weeks, with the market's slide, I've done reasonably well in that I offloaded quite a bit of stuff at the right time and largely preserved wealth. I've lost money by buying back in too soon on gold etc. But I've made money through shorting the markets. I've failed to make money by cutting profitable positions before they were 'ripe'. This was partly because I've also burned my fingers by letting positions run too long and then waking up to find a profit has turned to a loss. And of course I've lost money by anticipating a rally (or a further fall) when the reverse happened. More recently the frequency of my trading has picked up. In some ways this has worked for me (I've not been sitting on piles of declining mining shares these last weeks). But in other ways I've made more trades that I've lost money on: quite frequently in the past I'd grimly hold onto losers until they came right or I was eventually stopped out. I'm currently nearly at a 'record high' for my portfolio which is good. And I'm also now mostly in cash. This is quite good - can't lose it. But it also reflects the fact I've lost my nerve somewhat the last week. Having been convinced the S&P would fall, now that it has fallen somewhat I've taken all my profits and am wondering whether to position myself for a rally or for further falls. The latter would make me feel a bit stupid as obviously it would have been better to have let my positions run! If any of this chimes with anyone then do feel free to post along.... I'll be recording trades (for my own discipline) and also my moods and how I battle against them! Wanderer
  3. Wanderer

    Wanderer's Trading Diary

    Morning all, I've not exactly been busy posting here recently: new country, new job and all that. I have less control over my time and so can't post here often, though I read a bit. I've also had less time to consider my portfolio. In the interests of transparency and admit-your-mistakes, I've got to admit I've had an awful 3 months on my portfolio, with some big losses. I've only myself to blame: I'm sufficiently arrogant that I don't trust anyone else to manage my money but I haven't got the time to do it properly myself and I've also just made some wrong and bad choices. So, I've been on the wrong side of both the Stock Markets rise since August and the wrong side of the US Dollar/Pound. I've had gold, but less than previously, so I've missed out there. And I sold my SLW back at $17 (!!) (although I'd held them since $3 odd). And I've held VXX (enough said). So, much money lost, even more money not made. Question is, how to go about re-shaping my portfolio now I've a little more time again. I'm wary of bailing out of e.g. XSPS just when it might turn in my favour, but don't want to hang on grimly through further losses. I don't want to miss out on gold/silver, but am wary of jumping in with all I've left only to see a big correction. My investing isn't helped by my job: I don't know whether I'll be going overseas again soon and have a nice 4 year investment time horizon, or whether we'll be staying in the UK with the likelihood we'll have to use much of our stash to buy a house (we're renting but will be turfed out in August). However, don't pity me: recently losses pale compared to previous gains garnered from advice here, so I'm quite happy now I've got used to the last three months' losses! Given the timescale uncertainty above (my biggest headache) where and how would people start re-arranging their portfolio if they were me? All views welcome. Wanderer
  4. Wanderer

    GOLD

    OK, if no-one else can be bothered.... 1304 and counting
  5. Wanderer

    SILVER

    If you look VERY VERY carefully at CID then, from time to time, they get their VAT rates wrong and it is possible to buy silver at 7% VAT. Just now and again.... :-) Don't know why people buy from Sarnia, even with no VAT it still seems cheaper to pay the VAT and buy at CID as their pre-VAT price is so much cheaper. (This is especially true if the VAT is 7%!!).
  6. Wanderer

    GOLD

    +8.50. Ignition sequence in operation?
  7. Wanderer

    GOLD

    At home today. Couldn't help checking Kitco and noticing a little 'rocketing' going on.... $1265!
  8. Wanderer

    UK House prices: News & Views

    Wow, Azazel, that is quite amazing. Where in SW England are you roughly? Renting is a no-brainer for you... We were doing the maths the other day and of course it is even more in our benefit than the figures suggest AS LONG AS HOUSE PRICES STAY STATIC OR FALL. We pay no buildings insurance, we pay no maintenance costs (and in a 400 year old house these are several!) and we have a couple of hours of gardener a week provided. We're happy! (though we hope they'll fix the few little roof leaks soon... :-) )
  9. Wanderer

    UK House prices: News & Views

    Interesting. My rent is one 413th of the asking price our landlady couldn't sell her house for until we rented it this August. Can anyone beat that?
  10. Wanderer

    Wanderer's Trading Diary

    Dear Dr B, Nice of you to ask thank you! Yes, I'm fine. I've been moving back to the UK from overseas. This was hugely complicated by a range of things including a death in the family. We were intending to buy a house - partly because there was nothing to rent. However it became clear from my personnel team that I couldn't guarantee more than one year in the UK, which made buying not just questionable but ludicrous. So we looked again for rental properties and this time found one (a property that had been for sale but changed to rent). It is a great fit for us - 200 yards from a station into London and in a good village with a school with space for the kids. So we've paid rent up front for six months and hope to move in on Friday. Feeling much more relaxed about this and being able to revert to 'plan a' (buying was always plan 'b' but we couldn't find a house to rent 6 weeks ago). Also means we can move in much sooner. Now I've got a bit of time to dedicate to my underperforming portfolio.... Wanderer
  11. Wanderer

    GOLD

    Must agree that UK is in that 'sweet spot' between announcing reductions in spending (and so getting the credit for them from optimistic markets) and actually carrying them out (with all the associated pain and loss of political capital). In reality, the axe hasn't even begun to swing yet. The scale of what is required to carry out 25% cuts is enormous. Every project that gets mentioned in the papers comes with complaints from each lobby: be it aircraft carriers, troop numbers, schools buildings, hospitals, public sector pensions, arts budgets, embassy closures etc. The only thing I've not heard complaints about is housing benefit cuts. Once the axe begins to fall (coincidentally around the time that Labour will get a new leader) then we'll see genuine testing of the political resolve of the new Government. Cracks in that resolve will hurt the pound no doubt. As an aside cuts to housing benefit may have an enormous impact on the housing market. As I understand it, under the current system you, my friend Mr A may be unemployed and on housing benefit and you can agree to rent a house from me, Mr B, for £X00. Now £X00 may be £Y00 more than the going rent but the housing benefit people don't query it too much. DHSS pays your rent to me and I might even feel inclined to give you half of £Y00 for being part of the scam. Isn't that more or less the £2000 a week asylum seeker story? I had conversations about that with my team this week. None of my team earn over £25,000. Seeing someone getting paid £2000 a week housing benefit means it is more difficult to motivate them to work for that amount per month (before tax)....
  12. Wanderer

    UK House prices: News & Views

    Dr B, I suspect this little (2 and a half minutes) video of 'living small' will be up your street if you haven't seen it already.... http://vitality.yahoo.com/video-second-act...shafer-20910192 Wanderer
  13. Anyone out there? Now down almost 80% and feel can't do worse than to hold onto it. Worth buying more?
  14. Wanderer

    Wanderer's Trading Diary

    OK, well I did pluck up a bit of courage and added 25% to my XUKS and VIX when at 908 pence and c.$26 about a week ago. My positions were all underwater and I'd made the mistake of putting quite a bit into GBS hoping to catch the cup and handle ride up. What really began to hurt me was the strength of sterling after the Budget. I'd taken a lot of profits and then re-invested in all my shorts and USD2 (so as to carry no profits back to the UK) and my latest entry point for USD2 was when $1=£1.43, so I'm 8 cents down (but USD2 seems to have fallen more than that). My latest GBS2 and my XSPS were down too - partly because of falls in the underlying value, but also due to the rise in sterling versus these dollar denominated funds. The last few days have been kinder. My XUKS is back in profit - not least due to my buys at 908 (now 978). My XSPS losses are halved and my VIX is in profit again too. I'm still wondering how to tackle USD2. There seems to be an unexpected element of time decay in there and I'm wondering whether to cut my losses or whether this latest market slide might trigger a fall back in sterling versus the dollar allowing me to earn back some losses. GBS and gold holding up really well today. I continue to watch, but my cash positions are now low-ish and so want to be sure of myself if I invest more. Standing ready to take investments back into cash if the moment looks right.
  15. Wanderer

    GOLD

    Try CID (of course) or Weighton (sp?) Coin Wonders - the latter do 'lunch boxes' of coins...
  16. Wanderer

    GOLD

    Gold - you gotta love those $20 bumps down from time to time. Just don't drink coffee while you check the price....
  17. Wanderer

    GOLD

    You'd be surprised how little space you need for a tonne of gold. After all, it is only about 85 London Good Delivery Bars and they're not very big. Could fit it all in a suitcase in your attic. Now, where's your $50m?
  18. Wanderer

    GOLD

    A metric tonne (1000kg) is worth 40,000 dollars x 1000kg = a mere 40,000,000 (that's $40million dollars to you - or c.£27m) - or about a third of a Eurofighter. So the US's gold c. 8300 tonnes is worth about 8300 x $40m = a snip at $332billion dollars or £200bn odd quid. Or, to put it another way, for less than half the cost of the TARP you could have bought the entire US gold stock... If you want a ton, I've got one for you, but I don't have change for a $50m note....
  19. Wanderer

    GOLD

    FT is reporting Saudi holdings of gold at all time high too....
  20. Wanderer

    GOLD

    Little mini rocket for gold in dollars today. Haven't seen one of those in a while.
  21. Wanderer

    Wanderer's Trading Diary

    Hello all, I've been very busy at work of late and so haven't been posting here. Also, my investments (most of me is cash) are about 10% down and so I'm looking at columns of red ink on my stockbroker's site which isn't pretty. I'm trying to pluck up the courage to add to my losing positions (basically, XUKS, XSPS, USD2, GBS and VIX) - all are underwater. I'm tempted to put a slug more into XUKS (BP won't help the FTSE for a while...) and VIX. BUT MUST HAVE COURAGE!!! We are set to return to the UK soon. If we can find a family home to rent then I'll add to my positions. If we end up having to buy then I'll need to keep my cash safe. Interestingly I was talking to the MD of a bank the other day and he would fit right in here as a pessimist on the global economic situation. Reckoned that Germany was quite likely to have a huff and leave the Euro within a year or two. Apparently (Goldfinger, can you verify?) Germany is the only country in the Eurozone that didn't destroy all its old currency and (so I'm told) there are bunkers somewhere in the Bavarian Alps full of Deutschmarks. He reckoned you could declare a bank holiday on Friday afternoon and have the country running on Deutschmarks within a few days. Interesting if true. Can anyone answer the questions on another thread about time decay on VIX. And what about on simple inverse tools like XUKS, XSPS and USD2?
  22. Wanderer

    SILVER

    Thanks, but that is not what I meant. Is there a country where many people from the UK might travel to that has no VAT on Silver. ie if I was on a business trip in e.g. Finland (for example) could I pick up lots of nice VAT free silver coins and bring them home? I don't want to buy them one by one in the post!
  23. Wanderer

    SILVER

    Id5, Where do you go that VAT is less on Silver?
  24. Wanderer

    SILVER

    Good silver buying day? 17.36 down 59c!
  25. Wanderer

    Wanderer's Trading Diary

    So, portfolio, aside from cash is now: GBS - 5% - av. in. £80.88 USD2 - 12% - av in £98.405 VXX - 4% - av in around 28.5 - will edit and confirm XSPS - 10% - av in around £39.25 XUKS - 7% - av in 9.58 PHAG - 1% - av in £9.05 SLW - 1% - av in £12.61 Actual phys - 5% Cash dollars - 15% Cash sterling - 40% I know sterling isn't ideal to wait in, but I'm wanting to keep powder dry for a moment to strike on a good trade. Don't forget, we don't own a house so this is our worldly wealth...
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