Category: Weekly Commentary

Weekly Commentary 24/01/22: Market wobbly

Bruce looks at Terry Smith’s investor letter, admires his simple process. SharePad is also great research tool for assessing funds like Fundsmith, not just individual companies. Plus 3 companies that reported last week. The FTSE 100 was 7,521, down -0.3% last week. The US markets have sold off much harder last week, with the S&P500 […]

Weekly Commentary 17/01/22: When you’re underwater…

Bruce looks at risk management, and how to react to the discomfort of your positions being underwater. Plus 3 stocks that updated on progress last week: Equals, Franchise Brands and Frenkel Topping. The FTSE 100 was up +1% to 7554, driven by banks and oil companies which have enjoyed a strong start to 2022 (BP […]

Weekly Commentary 29/12/21: Performance and distributions

Bruce assess his performance for 2021, and notes that he would have been better off doing nothing. He also looks at the skewed return distribution of returns of AIM shares, plus 2 companies that reported positive news last week. The FTSE 100 reached 7,400 on Christmas Eve, up +14% this year, versus the AIM All […]

Weekly Commentary 13/12/21: Epicycles and shared illusion

The FTSE 100 was up +2.7% to 7,321, recovering last week as early news out of South Africa suggested that fewer patients with the new variant were on ventilators. Both the Nasdaq100 and S&P500 were up +2.8%. The US 10y Govt bond yield rose from 1.35% to 1.52% (ie Government bonds sold off as financial […]

Weekly Commentary 1/11/21: The shopping trolley problem

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The FTSE 100 was flat last week, drifting around 7,226. Nasdaq and the S&P500 did better, up +2.8% and +1.1% respectively, following strong results from Google and Microsoft. Apple and Amazon signalled that disruption and costs from supplying customers with physical products were rising. Facebook became Meta. Name changes should not affect share prices, but […]

Weekly Commentary 18/10/21: The Eagle has Crash Landed

With the FTSE 100 reaching 7235 last week, the index finally seems to have broken out of the trading range that it has occupied since May. The index’s all time high is 7,903 reached in 2018. ITM, the hydrogen company raised £250m through an over-subscribed placing at a 16% discount. There’s still plenty to worry […]

Weekly Commentary 20/09/21: Entities multiplied beyond necessity?

UK and US markets remain quiet, with the FTSE 100 at 7,013, struggling to keep its nose just above 7,000 last week. There continue to be spikes and drops in some commodities; earlier this year it was Rhodium hitting $25,000 an ounce, now Uranium is up +48% in the last 3 months, while Iron Ore […]

Weekly Commentary 09/08/21: What $16 trillion of negative yields are signalling

Last week the FTSE 100 was up +1.1% to 7,111, Nasdaq was up 1.5% to 15,181, outperforming the S&P 500, up +0.8% to 4,429. Both the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong and the FTSE China 50 Index were up less than 1% last week. The US 10Y bond yield continued to fall to 1.19% […]

Weekly Commentary 02/08/21: Credit and Contagion

The FTSE 100 bobbled about just above 7,000 last week. Nasdaq 100 was down less than half a percent, as strong results from Alphabet, Microsoft and Apple all beat analyst forecasts on the top line. This was offset somewhat by Amazon, which reported sales growth slowing as lockdown measures eased. Maybe Jeff Bezos has timed […]

Weekly Commentary 19/07/21: $7trillion price of stability

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The Bank of England released its twice yearly Financial Stability Report last week. The report says that UK bank balance sheets are in much better shape than the 2007-8 crisis and they expect impairments in 2021 to be lower than the £22bn credit losses taken last year. The “guardrails” against shareholder dividends have now been […]

Weekly Commentary 31/05/21: Operating leverage

The FTSE was quiet remaining just above 7,000 through the week. Looking at the five best performing stocks since the start of the year (Ashstead +53%, Entain +47%, Evraz +38%, Glencore +38%, Lloyds +37%) and the worst five (Tesco -24%, Just Eat -23%, Fresnillo -19%, London Stock Exchange -18%, Ocado -16%) it’s hard to discern […]

Weekly Commentary: 22/02/21 – All Aboard for Mu Mu Land

At midnight, on 1st January this year, the K.L.F. released their back catalogue of music (hits such as 3AM Eternal, Justified and Ancient, Last Train to Trancentral) on Spotify and uploaded their old videos to YouTube. This was their first activity as a band since 1992, when they announced they were leaving the music industry […]

Weekly Commentary: 18/01/21 – Reincarnation as the bond market

In the early days of a new Democrat presidency, the President’s campaign manager observed that: “I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the President or the Pope or a 0.400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate anybody.” The […]

Weekly Commentary: 14/12/20 – Taxes steering behaviour?

After a strong November and start of December the FTSE 100 was largely unchanged this week at 6566. More broadly, the signs of a cyclical recovery are evident: oil price rose through $50 a barrel and copper and other industrial commodities have also been strong. Airbnb IPO’ed with the shares closing on their first day […]

Weekly Commentary: 07/12/20 – Vaccine inoculating risk tolerance

The best performing FTSE 100 stock last week was Rolls Royce, up 19%. The worst was Unilever down 6.5%, which suggests expectations of a vaccine are inoculating investors against risk. On Nasdaq, the vaccine stock Moderna, was the best performing up 44% in the last 5 days, while Zoom was the second worst performing down […]

Weekly Commentary: 30/11/20 – The platform bandwagon rolls on

FTSE weakened slightly to 6300 in the second half of last week, but the bounce of former “Covid losers” continued with Rolls Royce, Glencore, Shell and BP all up 8% in the last 5 days. Nasdaq continued to rise to 12152 and Tesla’s value exceeded half a trillion dollars. airbnb IPO Last week airbnb filed […]

Weekly Commentary: 23/11/20 – Expectations rising

We are beginning to see companies operating in the “real” economy announce raised guidance. Somero (exceeding previous revenue guidance by +7%), but also Headlam (materially ahead), Acesso (comfortably ahead). Saga share price was also up +57% during the week. The FTSE 100 is currently 6378, which is the same level as early March this year. […]

Weekly Commentary: 09/11/20 – Study silence to learn the music

The US Presidential election turned out to be closer than most people expected. Nasdaq up almost +10% over the week to 12078. Tech stocks reacted well to the uncertainty, but so did 10 year US Bond yields, which initially jumped to 0.9% before falling back to 0.78%. I’m not sure if you’d predicted the result, […]

Weekly Commentary: 02/11/20 – Insiders selling at the top?

Last week markets sold off into the rising cases of Covid. The FTSE 100 fell 5% last week to 5561. Large UK banks HSBC and NatWest reported encouraging results, although the sector remained unloved. Directors selling Given the strength of the market’s rally over the last 6 months, and then last week’s sell off, I […]

Weekly Commentary: 19/10/20 – On network effects and fads

“Fad companies are companies with good business models or good products. So, why would we be interested in shorting a company that has a good product? Because of the threat it presents to others and their likely response to that threat. For example, Netflix had a terrific idea of renting DVDs through the mail, which […]

Weekly Commentary: 12/10/20 – On content, distribution and kurtosis

Last week the FTSE recovered to just over 6000. The (perhaps inappropriately named) Bond film No Time to Die, was postponed until next year by its Hollywood studio, MGM, which has left cinemas in trouble. Cineworld is on the brink, a victim of an overly leveraged balance sheet but no product to distribute. Up until […]

Weekly Commentary: 05/10/20 – On uncertainty and confidence

Last week Andy Haldane at the Bank of England gave an interesting speech on “Economic Anxiety” noting that pessimism can be as contagious as the disease. Haldane is most famous for his “Dog and the Frisbee” speech, which he co-wrote with the famous psychologist Gerd Gigarenzer in 2012. Catching a frisbee is difficult; theoretically it […]

Weekly Commentary: 28/09/20 – Beginner’s mind and Buy and Build

Markets sold off last week as virus case rises rose (FTSE 100 fell to below 5800 before recovering slightly later in the week, Nasdaq down 4% to 10,800). The virus itself seems reasonably predictable, everyone has been expecting cases to rise as summer turns to autumn. What hasn’t been predictable is Government responses around the […]

Weekly Commentary: 21/09/20 – The long journey to exoneration

The FTSE 100 just about held its level above 6000 last week. Last week was Chilean Independence Day. It is a little known footnote in history that Lord Cochrane, who was involved in the great Stock Exchange scam of 1814 (accused of starting rumours of Napoleon’s death via the Admiralty’s semaphore telegraph) helped not one, […]

Weekly Commentary: 16/03/20 – Timing is everything

Timing is everything With the current crisis Jeremy dusts off the recovery stocks folder. Airlines that survive will have huge upside on the back of a lower oil price. The opportunity may be in the likely refinancing issues, and Primary bid is a useful tool to enables retail investors to participate. Jeremy registers his interest […]

Weekly Commentary: 24/02/20 – Barbell Portfolio

Barbell Portfolio The tax advantages of technology companies and private equity combined with quantitative easing are shrinking stock markets. Until this changes the shrinkage will continue. In this environment a Barbell portfolio is likely to outperform. Jeremy suggests Alpha FX and Non Standard Finance as two companies at polar opposites of the valuation spectrum. Read […]

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