...and are not all spent out, then following on from last weekend's book recommendation and my post about the history of Black Friday and why I prefer Blue Monday's, I have a Black Friday weekend suggestion for you. This relates to the publishing house Harriman House which is having a half price offer running until Monday. See the highlighted link above which includes the Excess Returns book that I highlighted in my post last week, but now is even cheaper as I always like to try and bring you value. Other books on their list which might be of interest are:
Beyond the Zulu Principle - By Jim Slater - an updated version or maybe a rehash of his popular book. I've read it and it offers some quite sensible advice.
Free Capital - By Guy Thomas - about independent investors and how they got there, I've not read it, been there done that.
Quantitative Investing - By Fred Piard - looks potentially interesting but again I haven't read it as I'm already doing it.
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds - by Charles Mackay First published in 1841, it often cited as the best book ever written about market psychology. This Harriman House edition includes Charles Mackay's account of the three infamous financial manias - John Law's Mississipi Scheme, the South Sea Bubble, and Tulipomania. I've read it and it is on my recommended resources / reading list. But presumably everyone investing today remembers the .Com mania, don't they?
Investing with Anthony Bolton - by Jonathan Davis and Anthony Bolton - review of how one of the UK's best investors did it, he ran Fidelity Special situations if you don't know him and he was very good. I have read it and it is also quite useful.
You Say Tomayto - By Alastair Munday - a fund manager at Investec. His Temple Bar Trust has done well on the back of his contrarian team process. I've seen good reviews of the book but I've not read it. He was a peer of mine when I was working in the City and I'm surprised he's had the time to write a book. Reminds me perhaps I should get around to writing a book?
So with that in mind I'll sign off for now, have a great weekend enjoy a Black Sabbath below if that's your kind of thing, otherwise see you back here next week and hopefully we might get a Blue Monday to kick off December and start the much anticipated Santa Rally.
...the oil price and related stocks after OPEC decided not to cut production to shore up the oil price. Looking at the chart above it is interesting that as the recent floor of $100 has broken perhaps $70 might be some kind of equilibrium level at half the extreme peak in 2008 and where it snapped back to after the 2009 financial and economic melt down. I guess time will tell, but if that is the case then it could have serious implications for the industry and operations that were only viable on the basis of $100 oil. This in itself might help to stabilize the price as marginal production is withdrawn.There was a good piece on this from Mauldin Economics yesterday which you may have to sign up for his free service if you want to read it, well worth it at the price I would say.
So certainly makes me think about my AMEC as they have just bought Foster Wheeler in the US and effectively doubled up in Oil services, although they do serve other areas too. Others to worry about are the Oil majors as their profits will come under pressure from this. In particular BP, in addition to its legal issues, has big exposure to Russia with a JV which will have even more problems with oil prices at these levels and downgrades now likely. Thus their dividend could come under pressure or they may cut back on planned capital expenditure which is why I worry now about AMEC.
On the other hand though I guess people could say that this weakness is in the prices and that there may be contrarian opportunities with these stocks now trading towards their lows and offering seemingly attractive yields. However, I found it quite instructive that with his new fund Neil Woodford, who managed to avoid the banks in the run up to 2008 and sold his Tesco to Warren Buffet before it collapsed, is now trying to complete a hat trick of great calls by having no oil majors in his portfolio. They wrote a good piece on this at the end of October from which you can read by clicking the graphic below which is sourced from that piece.
The other thing to bear in mind is that the weaker oil price will be positive for industries using lots of oil or energy like airlines, holiday companies and industrials as well as being a positive for consumer incomes from falling petrol and heating costs, eventually when and if they are passed on. So it could also be a plus for retail and consumer facing stocks too. So good luck with shopping for bargains in the shops and on the stock market.
...are probably bad for their profits but great for consumers! As flagged on my Twitter feed today in case your not one of the Twitterati.
Supermarket Coupon war hots up - £10 saving off a £50 shop in ALDI in the Daily Mirror today!
Supermarket coupon war update even more fruitful coupon in Sun today £5 off £10 spend on fruit, veg & salad - now that's bananas!
You can follow me here if you want, perhaps after you have been to the news agents?
It is Thursday and there are lots of announcements today. So I'll try and cover quite a bit but in brief.
I wrote this one up along with some other stocks back in the summer when it was 720 pence and more recently after the market sell off when it was trading at 620 pence. At that time I suggested it looked like a reasonable defensive buy. They have had final results today which look fine with
"The year has begun slowly, reflecting the increasingly challenging trading conditions. However we are confident of further improving our profitability in 2015, as we bring to market our strong innovation and marketing plans and benefit from the delivery of the cost savings programme."
This plus their guidance for 2015 EBIT in the range of £164m to £173m, underpinned by cost saving initiatives, might I reckon lead to a few small forecast downgrades for 2015. Before any changes at this mornings slightly weaker price of 688 pence they trade on around 15x with a 3.3% yield which makes them look like a hold up here to me. However, if they can recover to their highs of around 760 pence earlier in the year then there could be a further 10% upside or so.