What I'm buying at the moment

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Yet I love stocks so it’s hard to stay away.

I have been out of the markets since just before the US downgrade. My position is: keep my powder dry till the real crash happens.

These are testing times, but deep down I like a test – it’s the cricketer in me.

I should be sat waiting but I just can’t keep completely out, so I have built up a small portfolio – approximately 20% of the one I liquidated that contains, as far as I’m concerned, stupidly cheap stocks.

They are, with basic reason:

Game Group: Way too cheap.
Lloyds: A bank with little euro exposure crushed alongside those that have.
Mothercare: Way too cheap.
Pace: Way too cheap, but was double when I thought that. Directors now buying.
Promethean: Way too cheap (there is a theme in this list!).
RM: Another bargain bin stock. Has halved and doubled in weeks.
SSE: Nice dividend and WTC.
Trinity Mirror: Way too cheap.

I will always buy a big bag of sales for little money, unless there is something fundamentally wrong with the business making it broke. I didn’t buy Thomas Cook when it crashed for that reason, thought it would have been a doubler if I had.

Since the US downgrade I went boots in on Lloyds at 28p and bailed at 34p, in on DTZ at .253 and out again at .293 and MTC 1.927 and out at 2.00. These profits have covered the pummelling the conviction stocks above have taken.

I won’t claim it’s fun, it is not. I should be sat watching but temptation bites.

I should be waiting as I think the market will end up in the 3000’s so it is folly to buy now, but I can’t expect to be right, the future (and thus index’s) is not written.

So I’m buying what is very cheap and some day it will be way higher than this, or eh… not.
Every stock is a percentage gain. There is no single write or wrong decision; it’s just the average result that counts.

The random walk blew up my MF Global account and with it a fairly large chunk of cash. Am I horrified? Do I feel betrayed by the financial services industry Do I cry havoc?

No, it was just a bad trade, like any other bad financial call. I know about counterparty risk, this time it bit me, other times it made me money. This loss was part of the averaging my investment dealings enjoy and suffer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be overjoyed if I see even a penny of it back, but getting stuffed like this is just the same as buying a stock and holding it as it falls into the trash can. Conversely, one that doubles doesn’t make me a genius or make my week. What holds my attention is the graph of my returns as it slowly and surely snakes its way up. This is the real score.

I hope you’ll enjoy my trades and associated ruminations as we plough through the biggest financial crisis since WW2.

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