Let's start with Bitcoin! Because I'm of course getting tons of emails about it and it's driving me crazy!
And it also means the bubble must be very close to bursting. Also friends of friends who are hopeless at money are asking about it. Another sure sign. Those who have some are already smug about it, yet another sign.
Bitcoin is a total punt. Maybe it's worth tons more but is it worth much at all?
If you are in it on a spreadbet or future or whatever you must realise : if overnight a government bans it or something similar and there is a panic you might not be able to sell it at all as the price tumbles.
If there are no buyers good luck with selling it. I have a terrible feeling a lot of people are in this way too deep and have more exposure than they realise.
Right now they are congratulating themselves on how great they are. As the old saying goes "After the feast comes the reckoning."
If they don't get out before famine hits they'll be getting visits from the "Can't Pay Won't Pay" big lads who will be coming round to remove those lovely plazma Tvs.
A similar thing happened with the Swiss currency when it was suddenly devalued. One teacher was just about to start a lesson when he got a text from a spreadbet co demanding £250,000.
He only had £15,000 in his bank account. Beware of greed!
Just remember it's all very well holding an "asset" worth a lot more than you paid for it, but if you can't sell it, it's not worth much in reality.
I've had a terrific year with all accounts well over highs even though I've withdrawn a lot for holidays and general living but generally the spreadbet gains - I try and leave the isas alone.
One thing I realised this year is the power of dividends. Lots of my holdings pay out 3-6%.
On my current real holdings I reckon I've collected more than £60,000 in dividends (possibly more) - and there's over £15,000 from Tep in yield held outside isas.
I used to think dividends paid for costs so for the site thought it was fair not to add them in but not take out costs either. Also made less work for me. But I've realised this isn't true any more.
Let's say I traded once a day this year - a trade costs me £5 or £6, I pay a little stamp too on the main market ones, so let's say a tenner a trade then as this year a lot of them have been aim. Call it £50 a week then or £25,000 a year.
Let's even add an extra £5,000 to that if I did more than one a day sometimes. That makes dividend income DOUBLE the costs.
So if I added in dividends to the site, overall profit would be far higher.
I know being lazy this is back of fag pack calculation but even if skewed dividend income is DEFINITELY higher than costs!
Interesting to note that tipsters like the Chronicle add in dividends but don't take out costs. They either should do neither like me, or both.
There have been big wins and very few losses taken in 2017. Actually probably my best year for not having at least one major duffer.
Starting with the losers, biggest website loss taken was just over a grand on Van Elle (LON:VANL) - could have been avoided. And that was about it bar some minor get out quick losses.
Biggest winners: The bid for Paysafe in the real world made me more than £100,000 - a big position both in isas and spreadbets build up over 3 years or so. A bid was always a cert. For the site positions made nearly £70,000.
Other bids this year were Netplay, Worldpay 9LON:WPG) and 32 Red, between them producing massive profits.
Softcat (LON:SCT) produced over 10k. The punt in Purplebricks(LON:PURP) produced nearly £10,000.
YU group (LON:YU) was my biggest surprise win - I only expected maybe 25% on it but it ended up going to 800p from 200p collecting nearly 20k.
Currently also sitting on massive not yet taken profits in various shares.
With the markets sitting near highs, recently I'd thought I wouldn't make many new buys and will stick to a lot of cash.
But I got a big surprise at both seminars where fantastic looking trades came up. At the follow up seminar my more experienced pupils came up with some amazing ideas.
I have to hand it to them. The best trade won £100 and the runner up £50 ! These were ideas I hadn't come across.
I ended up buying about ten shares across both seminars putting in around 10k on each using up bit of the by then £350k isa cash pile. And one or two spreadbets.
Trouble is now comes a problem. If I tell you what they all are it would take me ages. They then have to be added to a table, I have to comment on them and follow them through.
This actually made me consider again whether to stop putting up trades on the website and just do the live seminars.
I love doing those and teaching live for 6 or so days a year.
But the website takes a lot of my time up and my life is getting shorter by the minute now I'm older.
Getting it all written, managing it, talking shares, answering mails, paperwork etc, it takes ages.
There are lots of other things I am doing, and attempting to do and the site is getting in the way.
But I know I have 100s of regulars many of which have been with me in the 17 years or so I've been doing this and even before that on Sky and Channel 5. I know you'd be gutted if I stopped.
I'm considering possibly a sabbatical. 6 months off to go full time on other things. Perhaps this spring/summer. Or instead updating less frequently maybe.
I'm off to Dubai after Xmas and will have a think but there will definitely be an update on Jan 14th on return!
Anyhow I'll cover half the seminar trades, how's about that?
T Clarke (LON:TCO) looks great value. Took me bloody ages to get it at the sell price as sometimes the spread is silly, but I managed it with a lot of patience on direct access. I also had to end up buying the shares at the buy price too (how annoying)
A very confident statement with an underlying profit of £6.5 m forecast. AND it has net cash of £9m. The market cap looks too low and I think it should easily head back to highs of 90p but I reckon it's worth at least 100p. It's simply under the radar.
I've also bought Sanderson (LON:SND) . This one has good cash and profit growth and specialises in software and IT. Suggested by Phill (with two L's!) at seminar. Looks a super medium term Isa tuckaway with very bright prospect with an initial £1 target.
And Swallowfield also came up (LON:SWL). (Thanks Jonathan) A lovely little company that looks nicely under the radar, rising revenue and profits.
It makes and delivers top beauty products to all the major companies and it's one of the major aerosol makers. The market is lively at the mo and it looks a marvellous isa tuckaway.
I made a lot of money on Cerillion (LON:CER) over the last two years last selling it earlier this year and I have bought it again. It's just won a major European contract and it looks one to keep hold of now for a couple of years.
I also tucked away some Fenner (LON:FENR). Again a seminar find. This engineer has been through a few very bad years but looks like it has come out fighting and it is recovering strongly with a sudden massive improvement in profits and promised reduction in debt. This one could really motor.
I topped up on Everyman Media (LON:EMED) and Avon Rubber (LON:AVON). Yet another contract win from the States for Avon and the price could break up to all time highs. Share prices in both are leaping up and there is further to go for now. EMED looks like a bid target next year.
DS Smith (LON: SMDS) it ended up in the ftse 100 but the trade ran its course for me and took profits of £517.
Headlam (LON:HEAD) went for a loss of £182 as it broke lower. It was just a small hopeful trade but bust through the loss. When something goes through a stop I do various supply and demand tests to make a final sell decision (those at the seminars now know how to do this!) but it failed. Elsewhere excellent statement from PHTM (LON:PHTM). Looks like a brilliant long-term winner.
Ig is motoring up today (have a spreadbet on it with other spreadbet firms!) ABDP is having a good run, potential doubler for 2018? 888 today showed it's doing fine despite regulatory problems and looks a bid target. Talking that GVC has been a brilliant longer-term hold.
Website profits banked for 2017? They are well over £200,000. Personally? A guess but looking around accounts I reckon I banked around £450,000. I am now officially a fat cat.
I'd spend the money on a mid-life crisis but for now I feel very happy so will look to buy further property after buying one from Isa and spreadbet profits 3 years ago. Maybe in 2019 as a property crash looks possible.
So where does this all leave me for 2018? Markets are close to high yet there are a lot of threats about. .
Psycho men-children lead major countries, debt is mounting everywhere.
Bitcoin looks out of control (could that lead a crash). In any event I made a lot of money and don't want to give it back.
For the moment I expect to go into a lot of cash early next year and would also expect to go short - it is almost inevitable we will suffer some kind of correction next year make sure you have a plan!!
And last but not least... the Xmas rally....! If you are going to play it best bet is
Why? The tightest spread - just 0.8 (for up to £50 a point). I've used it the last 4 years to play the rally.
Now the rally is normally the last ten trading days so this year historically it should be starting this week.
It has been going up since early this week so I am already in though I missed some of the early rise - wish I had got the best price of all that Fiona at the follow up got - she got right at the bottom 7300 so well done her! (She can now put her stop in at break even and relax!)
This year I am only doing doing small FTSE, instead this year I've gone with the Dow Jones.
That's because the FTSE could be weighed down with Brexit and currency movements. The Dow has none of these troubles to weigh it down and might give more points.
But. This could be a year to be careful. This year the FTSE is already near highs and the Dow is at highs. So for a decent rally they will both have to break even higher.
This makes it much riskier than the last few years and maybe there won't be so much in it this time round.
After all there has to be ONE year it doesn't work. I will get out with a loss if it looks like this is the year. I suggest if you do it, keep a wary eye open and put not losing money as a higher priority than making it!
I really suggest you make sure you understand what you are doing before you put a bet on!
See the spreadbet chapter in my book but a reminder if you put £1 on you make £1 every point it goes up but lose £1 every point it goes down.
I usually put a stop into break even once it is in profit by 150 points.
Think carefully how much you could lose say there was a black swan event. What if the ftse went down 500 points suddenly?
Can you afford to lose that much? Maybe you should use a guaranteed stop to be totally safe. Just remember there is no such thing as a "safe trade".
No-one really knows why the Santa rally usually works. Could it even be Santa himself manipulating the markets.
Does he use gains to pay for all those presents made by Chinese slave labour that end up in landfill on Jan 1st?
Whatever you are up to hope the markets are kind to you and will be back here again with an update on Jan 14th on return from Dubai.
May I wish all readers a lovely Xmas and new year.
Let's start with Bitcoin! Because I'm of course getting tons of emails about it and it's driving me crazy!