Jan ’23: Mr Market defuses my tax bombshell

January is always a miserable month to be in London. Thankfully I managed to get away a bit during the month (not to Davos, no), and enjoy myself in London despite the wintry weather.

What you’re paying for in Mayfair these days

Market movements in January

The markets on the other hand were positively hot. There was some general sentiment – in Davos in particular from what I read – that the doom/gloom of Q4 was overdone. Inflationary expectations are declining. And markets, as a result, lifted dramatically. Equities and bonds rose markedly everywhere. In constant currencies, the markets I’m exposed to (with my leverage included) rose 5.0%.

Market movements in January, in constant currencies

The GBP rose slightly against the USD, and dropped a bit against AUD. On balance, foreign currencies dropped 0.94%. So my index rose 4.0% – the currency movements taking a small dent out of the constant currency figures.

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10 year review

Wahoop! I have made it through ten years.

In fact, I’ve had a trackable portfolio for over 20 years. But 10 years ago I started tracking my portfolio in a consistent, monthly way – unitising its performance so I could measure its return. It wasn’t until 2015 that I started this blog, but since then I have been reporting monthly on the progress / setbacks I’ve made/encountered.

I have taken a Bogleheads performance tracking spreadsheet as the template for my own portfolio returns tracker, and that template has had a ’10 year’ row staring at me with a #N/A for the last 10 years. No longer!

In any case, I will loosely follow the format I’ve used for the last couple of years. I’m looking at seven generic questions that I think all prudent investors should ask themselves at least annually.

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New Year bargains?

I did a post in June, some way into a miserable year in the stockmarkets, and wondered in print whether any key stocks could be considered cheap. This post is a follow up post.

What happened next?

My post featured 13 stocks. The thrust of my post was that these stocks’ prices had mostly fallen for a reason – very few of them got a clean (green) sheet suggesting they were ‘cheap’ at the time. And, surprise, those 13 stocks mostly fell after my post. Of the 13, 8 dropped and 5 rose.

I’m interested to note that the four most favoured stocks on my grid were four of the five that went up.

The only clean sheets ‘cheap’ stock last June was Unilever. At that point, it was at £36, which bought you a stock on a P/E of 16, 33% below its peak, with 7% revenue growth and a dividend yield of over 4%. That looked good value, and indeed since then it’s risen 16%.

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