October 2019: a lousy month

October looked kind of fine, for key equity markets, in local currencies. The S&P hit record highs, for no particularly obvious reason. The the Europe (ex UK) MSCI index went up almost 3%.

However the big news in October was the pound, which rose against everybody. Against the USD, it was up 5%.

So in pound terms, the major overseas equity markets fell.

How about the UK FTSE market? Sadly that fell too, by almost 2%.

Bonds fell off a little bit too, almost everywhere.

So from a pound investor point of view, there was basically nothing going up this month. The markets + forex average (for my weighted alloocation) was -2.4%.

Against a weighted market average of -2.4%, my own portfolio‘s drop of 1.6% must be something to be thankful for. Sigh.


Angel investing (2): what happens next

Angel investing is not for the faint hearted. In my previous post in this series, I discussed the onset of the angel investing journey. In this, second, post I’ll take a look at ‘what happened next?’ across a series of my angel experiences. Truly, this is the Hindsight post.

Instant Riches?

Image result for golden ticket

What you’re hoping for, simply put, as an angel investor in a seed business, is that you’ve just backed the next Google/Facebook/Amazon/take your pick. You’re hoping your investment goes on to become a ‘Unicorn’, i.e. valued at above $1bn.

In the world of venture capital the professionals are generally looking for ’10x’ – i.e. making 10x their money – which often implies the business ends up, after taking on further rounds of investment, becoming a Unicorn.

One of my best ’10x’ investments is company T, shown below. OK, so it didn’t quite make me 10x (though see below). But it exited quickly – the key money back came in month 53, with a small (15%) amount retained for a further 12 months.

You’ll notice that I added to my initial investment in month 23. Whether to ‘top up’/’follow on’ your investments is one of the hardest decisions you have to take in investing, in my experience. In the case of company T, I’m glad I did – even though by so doing my multiple fell (i.e. my month 23 investment was at a higher price than my month 0 investment).

Company T was one of the best angel investments I know. But nonetheless, one of its investors was really p*ssed off when it exited. Why?

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Sep 2019/Q3 review

Well, September was fun wasn’t it.  Proroguing is now A Thing.  Impeachment is back.  The r word is in the media.  

From a markets point of view, nothing dramatic happened in September. Currency movements hit my GBP-denominated portfolio by about 1% in September, as the GBP gained a little against the other major currencies. Equities were pretty strongly up – 2.4% across my mix. Fixed income fell a little off recent highs. My portfolio tracked these market movements closely, rising 1.3% in total.

Returns by asset class/geography, Sep 2019
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