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Investing on a low income.

Binary trading scam: My epic takedown of binary trading

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I hate binary trading – I even go as far as to call binary trading a scam

Now you may be thinking ‘binary trading scam?’ isn’t that going a bit far?

Well the dictionary definition of scam is;

‘A dishonest scheme’

And, I certainly feel that Binary trading is presented in a very dishonest way.

Just look at these messages that  pop up in my Twitter and Facebook inbox

Dishonest!

In this article I’m going to explain to you what binary trading is, why it’s a fool’s game and how dividend investing (the investing I advocate) is different.

Continue Reading

What share to buy?

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The first question I always get asked by newbie investors is focused around what share to buy.

Through some seminars I’ve held at university recently I’ve had the opportunity to gain valuable insight into how fellow students invest and what makes a share a buy for them.

But one thing has become clear – the last question newbie investors should ask is ‘what share to buy’. Continue Reading

Christmas clean up – Sorting out my portfolio

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My portfolio was a mess! With many of my early investing mistakes still present in my portfolio I finally decided to bite the bullet.

I CLEANED UP!

All investors evolve over time. We learn from our mistakes and adapt our strategies accordingly. But, what should you do if past mistakes are still evident in your portfolio?

It can be a painful process, that costs money in the short term BUT if a stock’s fundamentals mean it no longer fits with your overall strategy, couldn’t the capital tied up in it be deployed somewhere else? Continue Reading

“Investing is just like gambling” No. It really isn’t.

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The first thing I often hear when people learn that I’m an investor is that’

“Isn’t that just glorified gambling?”

Fed up of constantly explaining why it isn’t, I decided a blog post was necessary.

The main reason why many think that investing is a form of gambling is because they don’t know the difference between trading and investing. Continue Reading

Take pleasure when others spend big – Debunking their spending

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Sometimes, frugal living is tough, and one of the hardest things about frugal living is watching others spending big.

It’s sometimes hard to watch as your friends go on expensive holidays, buy expensive cars (mostly on finance) and enjoy the finer things in life.

BUT, we should take pleasure when others spend big! Continue Reading

6 tips to remain social at uni whilst saving money – Eating out.

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One of the biggest challenges I face at uni is how to save money but remain social.

I’m often asked by friends to go out for food, coffee, trips and of course nights out!

If you say no in these situations, you’re going to spend your time in uni with little friends.

So here are three useful ways in which I save money whilst remaining social.

Eating out  

  1. When asked to eat out, always try to do so before 5:30pm.

    The vast majority of restaurants have great deals on between lunch time and the evening period. Take advantage of this.

  2. NEVER split the bill amongst friends.

There’s nothing more annoying than going out for food, ordering a salad and tap water then ending up paying for Sandra’s steak and glass of wine.

  1. Do your homework and bring the correct change.

    This is a great trick I learnt during my first year. By looking up the menu online you can bring the correct change (or really close) to the restaurant. This avoids the bartering of;

    “Let’s just split the bill, it’s easier”
    “ Yours was £8 so just chuck me a tenner”

    Simply give your share of the bill and relax.

  2. Don’t let anyone buy you a drink.

    This may seem counter-productive. I mean, who doesn’t want a free drink? The problem when someone buys you a drink is that it creates an atmosphere where you socially ‘owe’ the other person a drink.

    When it comes to the dessert and they fancy another pint or a coffee, guess who’s paying!

  3. Stick to tap water

I know, I know. It’s lame, but I’m seriously fed up of paying £2.50 for an orange juice or pint of coke.

  1. Stick to one course

Again, a lame choice but by sticking to one course you can cut your bill in half.

Some of these tips are more obvious than others but stick to these tips and you won’t bust your budget on dining out.

Being frugal doesn’t mean being unsocial.

Keep an eye out for my next article on frugality: How to remain social at uni whilst saving money: Nights out.

A perfect storm, valuation + Brexit – Big declines are coming.

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The market has been on an outstanding streak as of late. Shrugging of Brexit and an interest rate rise in the USA to get close to its all time 7000+ high last Thursday. But, I feel that the market is about to enter an exciting period of decline.

Finally, it seems that common sense is prevailing and the market is waking up to realise that it’s grossly over valued.

JUST TAKE A LOOK AT THE FTSE’S 5 YEAR P/E!

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-09-13-06

As we can see from the above graph, the FTSE’s price to earnings ratio has spiked massively from bumping around under 15 to over 35.

Simply put, the FTSE has been driven by demand as opposed to underlying earnings growth from its constituents.

A quick glance at some FTSE constituents valuations will further illustrate the eye watering prices being paid by investors for stocks in pursuit of yield and in hope of earnings growth.

Brexit will smash high p/e stocks.

Investors have shaken of Brexit nerves but this is only relative to pre-brexit market levels that were already overvalued. (As shown on the FTSE 100 5 year illustration above)

When investors buy high p/e stocks they are buying future growth prospects. These prospects and material. Simply best guesses. When these don’t deliver, these stocks will tank.

Why?

Consumer confidence has dipped since the Brexit vote but action by the BoE has helped steady nerves.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-09-25-06With a clear decline since Brexit, BoE action has led a recovery in consumer confidence since then, but confidence remains in negative territory.

Further to this, Brexit hasn’t even happened yet and the full effects of the vote are yet to be realised.

I believe that investors are relying on a false self sense of security simply hoping that the UK will get a good deal and that BoE action will avoid a recession. BUT, once article 55 is triggered and the negotiations properly begin consumer confidence will once again decline.

When consumers lack confidence they don’t tend to spend money on non-essentials. Instead, they consolidate.

With less money being spent by consumers, inflated p/e ratios suddenly become harder to justify as uncertainty weighs on forecasted earnings.

Just look at what happened to ABF’s share price on the news that Brexit related events would weigh on profits;

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-09-30-46

 

So what do these two things have to do with each other?

The first section of this article outlined that the FTSE 100 was grossly overvalued on a historical basis even before Brexit.

The second section of the article outlined declining consumer confidence that will lead to lower consumer spending. With lower spending and more economic uncertainty due to Brexit, high p/e stocks will find it hard to meet their forward valuations.

Applying this logic one could conclude that the FTSE100 will find it hard to justify its high valuation and correct to a more historical average of a p/e ratio of around 15.

Kicking the FTSE while it’s down?

Another worry for the FTSE lies across the atlantic, in the USA.

I have argued for quite some time that the FTSE’s valuation is also being propped by income seekers buying high yielding stocks. This is why I sold BP.

Although future rate rises keep getting kicked down the road by the federal reserve, great unemployment data from the USA may lead to a rate rise sooner rather than later.

If US rates were to rise, investors may begin to switch their money from these risky high yielding stocks to safer bank accounts to fulfill their appetite for capital appreciation.

Conclusion

The lesson remains, never try to time the market. Even with p/e ratios this high, I have still been buying.

But, I think the declines of Friday and Monday are exciting signs of a correction that will hopefully lead to an over reaction on the downside for many excellent, but pricey, dividend stocks!

I’ve got my eye on picking up some stocks;

USA stocks: JNJ + MCD
UK stocks: RB, ULVR, WHTB

Don’t panic! This is an exciting time for dividend investors. TIME TO GO SHOPPING!