Saturday, 10 March 2018


Mark Howitt

8s8 seconds ago
There were about 7 customers waiting. I said to her "Because they're cheap and want to save money. That's the real reason." They opened another till.

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Mark Howitt

55s55 seconds ago
9 year old girl, who seemed quite smart, said "Why do @AldiUK only have one till open?"

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Tuesday, 6 March 2018


Mark Howitt

10s11 seconds ago
Even @Tesco could take some of it's market share- my only short now but I've got quite a lot on it.

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Mark Howitt

33s34 seconds ago
Shorted @Morrisons again... I know this business can't compete with @AldiUK and @LidlUK ... the only time I've shopped there in the last year is with vouchers I've won... v rare I spend any money there even though it's close.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

SJ Bollard Builders Tries To Intimdate and Threaten Me

This is a serious article.

Unlawful building work is going on at 14 Newbury Walk.

There have been two crime numbers given to me and the police are investigating.

The details of one of the criminal builders is here

I have plenty of video and picture evidence. More to follow.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

A lot of things have been going on lately... but every day is still goal day. Not a good idea for people to try and intimidate me...

A lot of things have been going on lately... but every day is still goal day. Not a good idea for people to try and intimidate me...

Friday, 9 February 2018


Mark Howitt

46s46 seconds ago
Good results for @GSK yesterday... plenty of scope to climb higher.

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Mark Howitt

10m10 minutes ago
quick nice trade on @dfs this morning... in for an hour up about 8% :)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Capital Allocation For Shares

Let's get right into this...

Another FREE quality article.

What does your capital allocation say about how you feel about shares?

Most people in the UK and worldwide know nothing or very little about shares directly. Of their own volition they probably have put no money in shares.

I reckon less than 10% of people in the UK have actively decided to put money into shares. It will be higher who have money in shares via a 'pension pot' though.

So... of those people... how many short shares? I reckon less than 1% of people in the UK short shares.

All that matters in shares is how much money you make. For many years I have just been 'long term buy and hold' and that generally is a fine way to do it. It beats cash in the bank...


Obviously shares do not go up in a straight line. Over the last 2 weeks the FTSE 100 has fallen about 10%. In general with shares when there is a fall there is a steep fall...

So how much you have allocated in shares should reflect how confident you feel in your shares... and the economic situation as a whole.

Ben Graham's rule of thumb is interesting. He says that if you're 75% in shares you should be very positive about the market... if you're 25% in shares you're very negative about the market.

The thing is, even for say a year, it might not be a bad thing to have a high percentage of your wealth in cash. If you have 80% of your wealth in cash and quality shares drop say 30% then may be the time to pounce...

This has been on my mind quite a lot... let's see if I can get the right words out...

I think in general it would be BAD to have the vast majority of your wealth in cash for most or all of your life. Especially with interest rates as they currently are- in the UK you're lucky to get 1% in a savings account now and millions of people get nothing. How much you have in cash does depend to an extent how much interest rates are. If they were 10% then it might make sense to have at least 30% in cash, maybe more.

It will be a long time if ever if we see 10% in the UK though.

At the same time... ideally I don't think it's ALWAYS good to have a high percentage of your wealth, say over 75%, in shares. Because there are always sharp drops from time to time and then you can lose a lot of money. Warren Buffet has a ton of cash piled away right now to pounce on good shares. Who knows, maybe he is even buying right now, it could well be a good time to do so.

The amount of cash you have in shares depends on many things... and how much time you can dedicate to it. I dedicate quite a lot but I am not like Chris Bailey who regularly sleeps 3 or 4 hours a day then spends the vast majority of the rest of his time on shares. There are people who are better analysts of shares than I am in some ways. I still spend quite a lot of time on shares though and believe after almost twenty years in the game my instincts are good. There is always more to learn. As long as I have enough money I will be doing shares for the rest of my life.

Of course Ben Graham is dead now. In the 70s there were much better interest rates than there are now and in general it was harder for smaller or private investors to invest in shares.

In the current climate it can be tempting for people in the UK to have a high percentage of their money in shares. After all there are millions of people getting no money in interest from their bank.

Also you can obviously money allocated to things other than 'cash and shares'. Off the top of my head there is cryptocurrency, gold, oil, property...

Most people at some point will have quite a lot of their money tied up in property because they need a house to live in. Property is a solid investment which over the long term consistently rises. I would like to invest in property more, although it is a different skillset and more challenging in some ways than investing in shares.

But how much should you have in shares as a percentage?

It depends how positive or good value you think shares are. However there are other ways to make money with shares. You can short them. I have just started doing and learning about this. Shorting a share or index is an expression of a negative attitude towards the markets.

In general you can say having money in shares is positive towards the market, cash is neutral and shorting is negative.

So your capital allocation should reflect your view on this. At some times it may be fine to have a decent amount of 'negative' attitude towards the market. Or stay 'neutral' with say 20% of your cash or more so you can pounce on good opportunities.

This article is one I just keep coming back to...

The key thing to remember about high yield shares is that plenty of opportunities will usually be there. OK so it can be a bit annoying perhaps thinking of having a lot of cash stuck making practically no interest.... and that interest being paid once a year. However shares with good yields can get even better. Look at Imperial Brands as a recent example.

Dividend cover is key... because remember a company can cut a dividend to nothing at an instant. Then you have a big capital loss AND no dividend. Look at Capita as an example. Even a good history of dividend payments can't stop a cut. I can see why some people want dividend cover to be two times cash available. I think I will look for at least 1.7 myself. You can look at 'free cash flow' and possible extra capex.

Imperial Brands btw... I bought more shares and think the share is really cheap at this price. A PE of 10.75 can EASILY go to 15 for a tobacco company and British Amercian Tobacco has traded at around a 20 PE. Imperial are saying they are going to increase the dividend by 10% per year too.

In fact I would rather have good dividend cover and a history of nice increasing yield than a very high dividend yield. It's down to 'free cash flow'... I probably should research this more in companies.

But they key point is... wait until you see a GREAT opportunity for either shares or spreads. Good opportunities will be there most days... great opportunities? If you know shares and spend a lot of time looking at the market hopefully you will see two a month, maybe more. Especially if you know a lot about shorting shares which I have plenty to learn about.

Real life examples...

I instinctively felt in 2016 that we would vote for Brexit yet I was stuck in my 'long term buy and hold' mindset. What I should have done before Brexit is selling practically everything then buy back shortly after Brexit when there were many great value shares.

People like Warren Buffet and Chris Bailey often have a sizeable amount of cash to pounce on good opportunities. Chris had quite a lot of cash available so has been able to take advantage of the recent downturn. I have less cash overall as a percentage but still may take advantage of it.

Thursday, 1 February 2018

What Is Wrong With Spreadbetting?

What is Wrong With Spreadbetting??

This is one of those early morning posts I've been thinking of for some time...

Probably better content than most 'paid' articles I've done... yet I'm mainly doing this for myself and getting the thoughts out of my head.

So what is wrong with spreadbetting?

The whole deal with spreadbetting is you can win big and lose big. The first trade I did with Next I was up over £400 within 24 hours at just a pound a point... so I know I can win big...


You can also lose big too.

When you place a spread you HAVE to put a 'stop loss' on and a 'limit order' on. The 'stop loss' is a price you have to sell at if the share reaches a certain level. The limit order is a price you have to sell at if the share reaches a certain level.

And it's just struck me now... why is this the case and why do spreadbetting companies do this? Because the spreadbetting companies will make money when you trade in or out of a position. Say for example you are buying a spread in a share... you have to pay the 'buy price' which will be over the regular price of a share. When you are selling you pay the 'sell price' which is under the regular price of the share. The spreadbetting companies will make money both ways. So it makes SENSE FOR THEM to want you to buy and sell shares.

Thinking back over my share buying, I have had quite a few shares which have gone down in price but I didn't sell them. They went onto to recover and do much better. HSBC and BHP Billiton are two examples that come to mind. I was down around 10% on some of my HSBC shares but now I am up on all of them... some of my HSBC shares in fact I am up around 50% plus dividends.

But what would have happened if I had put a spreadbet on HSBC? I might have been 'stopped out' and missed all the potential gains...

In shares and spreadbetting all that matters is how much money you make. So you have to pick the right 'stop losses' and limit orders. Ideally you just want to put a spread on and it to zoom up... but that rarely happens. Still you should be aiming just to pounce on GREAT opportunities... and even then I think you should put quite a 'deep' stop loss on... probably at least 10% below the current price.

For me at the moment that means lower value in pence shares are better for me to spreadbet. Say for example I'm spreading Taylor Wimpey, which I am. It's currently trading for around 190p a share so it doesn't take much 'margin' or capital allocation for me to put a 'deep stop' on it. For a share like Imperial Brands, which is around 2900p, it takes much more margin.

Because quite a few times... I have been 'stopped out' of spreads which have then gone up. That costs me money.

Also, you have to be aware of the time you put into spreadbetting. I have probably been putting in a bit too much time and checking prices too much. When it's real money on the line you want to be aware of the price...

It's quite interesting to note my 'demo spreadbets' have done very well... and I have been much more 'buy and hold' with them. My pound a point on EasyJet and Next are both doing well. I've even been profitable in all my foreign exchange trades, despite knowing little about foreign exchange. For these trades I have just seen shares or FXs that I believed were cheap and went for it. I haven't even bothered to check them much as it's 'fake money'...

Maybe this should be more the case with my real spreads too...

Sometimes I may see a great opportunity then pounce to make a gain. This might not happen all that often though...

Because really nothing is 'wrong' or 'bad'... it's just your view on it. Potentially I can make lots of money in spreadbetting... potentially I could lose lots too. It's just a case of aiming to get as much as possible. However I must be fully aware of the game I am playing in.