Markets hit new highs – what now?

Today, the US Indices hit new record highs at the close. The Dow Jones last did this towards the end of July but has been flirting with new highs since May 2015. We had such a drop last August and then again in Jan/Feb ’16 that it has taken this long to get back to these sorts of levels.

So have I gained from this? Well, yes and no.

I should have gained a lot from this. I bought into the Dow at a low on Jan 20th at around 15,450 (I had been waiting for a low point and this seemed low enough) and in my mind I was going to hold this until the Dow reached 18,500, or at least 18,000 which I was sure it was going to this year.

In fact, I only held it until around 15,800 which was, in hindsight, pathetic!

It appears that the price I had bought at was pretty much the lowest it has been (so far!) all year. Of course I was not to know this and a few days later it began to drop back to near this level again, so I cashed in. Had I been braver and held it, I would have banked, by now, over 3,000 points. That’s a minimum £3,000.

So why did I sell of too early? Good old fear I’m afraid. This period of the year was highly volatile and it was always possible that we could have gone further down. I did want to bank something at least, so cashed in to avoid getting nothing. I had not had a particularly good start to the year so this was a welcome boost to funds at the time.  This is what can make trading so tricky, you can’t predict the future so you can only make decisions based on what you see each day. It was looking bad so I had to cash in.

That doesn’t mean of course that I have not benefitted from this steady rise this year. There have been plenty of opportunities, Brexit caused a shake up, but I picked one particular Jewelry brand up at the low point and today have over 800 points in my pocket with this.

So, as the title asks, what now? Well, of course I have no idea. August is traditionally a weak time for stocks, so reaching a new high is pretty remarkable.

But then again, 86% of people trading the Dow on IG right now think it is going down, and they have done for the last month. Considering most people get it wrong, this may well be a sign that this rise may continue. For a bit anyway.

At some point we will inevitably see a drop off. The last two years, September has been particularly weak and we may well see a repeat of this again. The US election is looming, and though the bookies have Clinton as the winner, markets don’t like uncertainty and may well hold off new highs again until after the result in November. Who knows?

I am still holding all my current positions at least until Sept. and will only think about selling if any major news comes in to spook the markets.

My next move at that point may well be to short the Dow or my other favourite market tracker, XIV.

FSTE is nearing all time highs as well. So much for Brexit losing all your pension money, quite the opposite. Now if only people realised this….

Love as ever,

Chris K

Good day for Biotechs – and Burgers.

 

Financial2So we are in the middle of Earnings Season in the US and I had a couple of Biotech firms which I am currently Spread Betting realease thier results today.

Normally, earnings are not particularly important for these type of companies as they generally make losses due to most of their budgets being spent on research. What I am waiting for is the news of succesful clinical trials or Government approval of new drugs etc.

In fact, on the whole, as earnings generally dissapoint, it is prudent to steer clear of these dates, though we tend not to see massive moves – like you might see on the big names like Apple or Twitter etc – they can still be a pain to open positions.

However, today two of my holdings came out well and went up. Yay! One was up 4.3% and the other 3.5%. Now, as I am spread betting and these are not large companies, this is only a few points, but none the less, this will point to hopefully a continuing move in the upward direction from here. All good.

Also, I own shares in a US Burger chain (not McD) which also released results today. I had missed this coming for some reason but was pleased to watch it climb a superior 13.4% for the day. This investment is currently up 17.3%.Now in which high street bank can you get returns like this in a few months??

I suppose you could say I am just trying to gain from human nature. Eat lots of burgers, then need drugs to cure you from the problems these bring you. Just seeing the world how it is….

Still a few more results for me to come this week….fingers crossed!

Love as ever,

Chris K.

Musical roots – A is for…

So, as a musician I often get asked how I “got into” music or what are my influences or inspirations. I find that really tough to quantify as I had so many different musical experiences growing up that it ulitmatley has to  be a mix of all of them. But I am going to talk here about my first memories of music and one particular group and song.

Those who know me may well be thinking “Aha, this should surely be choral music” and it’s true, I was brought up in a church family and attended weekly services with a good choral tradition going on. But I can’t recall that being immediately important to me, I remember the odd Hymn and there was one setting of the “Gloria” I remember enjoying, but I want to draw this blog’s attention to my first single.

It was 1976. I was four. My mum bought it for us ( I have a brother 3 yrs older) I guess because we had liked it, we watched Top of the Pops and sometimes the Radio 1 chart countdown on Sundays. I don’t know why she chose particular song, perhaps we had been singing it around the house, it was very catchy, or maybe she liked it also. My parents were not in the habit of buying music, they both had some Albums from their “Youth” and a small box full of singles, which my brother and I spent many happy hours going through with my dad’s very sophisticated, and portable, record player. It had valves and took a few minutes to warm up. It looked a bit like this – Old record player

You could stack up records as a “playlist” – great fun watching all the mechanical arms sorting it all out!

There were some great bits of music in there and I am sure I will come back to them in time, but this one was different. It was current, it was ours (though mostly mine….) it was….

Mama Mia – ABBA

YES! YOU KNOW IT! Well, everyone does don’t they? My kids seem to like it whenever it comes around. It is happy, simple, catchy and has that interesting Xylophone stuff. It really does still stand strong today which  says something about its production and of course the musical talent which were ABBA.

Incidentally, when we gat a bit more modern in the 80’s, and owned a Cassette player, my first album I was given was ABBA’s “Greatest Hits Vol 2” which I also played to death. It doesn’t have Mama Mia on it.

But, my gift to you today is not this marvellous song, as you already know it, but its very splendid and very little know B-Side called “Tropical Loveland”.

Kids today do not know about B Sides. Nowadays you mostly buy the album or download individual tracks but in those days, you could release something perhaps that didn’t make it to the album, or some random re-mix as a sort of prize for fans for buying the single. Having just looked it up, it was the third track from their third album entitled “ABBA”. It does not I believe ever feature on one of their later compilation albums.

It’s great. Obviously. It is sort of Reggae style with Xylophone just like Mama Mia and, now that I appreciate these kind of things, fantastic drumming.

This song takes me back to being a small chid again, I really hope you enjoy it!

Love as ever,

Chris K

Onto round two…

Ok, so we’re gonna start with Trading as this is my current buzz and certainly from those who know me, the biggest surprise! Up until this point, only a handful of people know I do this (not even my mum!) not because I think it is a bad thing but I wanted to get some experience behind me first, so I could prove I know what I’m doing, and fend off the “Oh you’ll lose your shirt doing that!” comments and “What are you thinking of? It’s so risky!” Well I know more about risks now than these people and still own all my own shirts.

Over the years I have had loads of “get rich quick” opportunities drop through my letterbox, and some I simply file in the bin but some I read through to see if there is anything in it. During my financially free youth, I did buy into some of these, having always had an entrepreneurial spirit, but nothing serious ever came of them.

In fact, I dug out an old booklet  I had purchased on “Futures Trading” some time in the 90’s recently. Looking through it now, it still made sense, more so to me now, but it was so difficult to get started then. I had to phone people up, deposit at least £2,000, read the FT (actually that was easy as my Dad worked for them and got it free!) make graphs etc etc it just all seemed so complicated so that booklet was put on the shelf.

Then in December 2013 I received quite a long “advertising” booklet which explained a lot more about this sort of thing and something called “Spread Betting” which I had never heard of. It seemed fascinating, explained you could limit risk and start with little capital, and of course even offered the “money back guarantee if not completely satisfied” deal.

It did also promise that I would soon be sitting on a sun drenched beach somewhere (with Wi-Fi obviously) tapping occasionally on a laptop and raking in thousands per week.

That bit wasn’t really accurate….

But it did get me excited.

Very excited.

I ordered this, which was a substantial 150+ page Home Study Course complete with DVD. Just after it arrived, I went away examining music somewhere, can’t remember – Bristol maybe – and in my spare time in the hotel, watched and read all my new material. I was fascinated. Here was an opportunity I had not realised existed. I was presented with a concept which could raise very large amounts of money, in a very short time. Wow.

I’m going to cut a longer story short now and merely say that I did make some money, and lost it, and made it, and lost it, which pretty much went on all year. I had, again, not been fully realising how this was all supposed to work, despite my “course” having been written by a very well-regarded veteran trader with much experience of trading and teaching. But over time, I began to see opportunities arising and ended my first year having doubled my money!

Now this was not that much financially, but as this kind of trading goes, this was very good. To get over 30% puts you in the top 1% of traders so 90-100% is pretty good going.

So I started 2015 pretty positively, and indeed learned and made a lot more. I did however get a bit tied up in the big crash that happened at the end of August, but learned a lot from this and made it all up again by November!

I still keep on learning and feel now that I am trading ast my best so far. During 2015, I was so fascinated by it all, I wanted to tell everyone else how this could be done as no-one I knew (to my knowledge) AT ALL was involved in this.

So I started putting my thoughts down on paper, well, iPad, and ended up compiling a sort of Beginner’s Guide to trading. As of August 2016 it is still going through a few tweaks but it is available online and I am very proud of it.

I believe it is better that my original course as I made mistakes along the way and found out things I had not discovered on the course myself, perhaps the hard way. And mine is a lot cheaper….

I will of course always be learning this vast subject, but I am now much better equipped to deal with various scenarios and much more confident that I actually DO know what I’m doing rather than just thinking I do.

I’m not going to explain all the ins and outs of this subject here, I have a guide for that, but for those that already trade, have read my guide, or just have a vague interest in the subject, I hope to add some insights and perhaps value here also.

Promise I’ll do music next.

Love as ever,

Chris K

First blog post….

First blog post….

Ok, so I now become a “Blogger”. Odd, as I’ve never read anyone else’s blogs but what I want to do is not appropriate for Facebook as that’s about friends, though I would be happy for my “Friends” to read this as well.

No, this is about my two personal passions so I can happily go on and on about them without bothering those who aren’t really that interested. And what are these passions I hear you ask? Well, one should be pretty obvious to anyone who knows me as that is Music. I studied music at the Guildhall in London and spend most of my time currently playing, teaching, writing or examining music.

The other “passion” is really quite new. I have only been thinking about this since late December 2013 and before this time I had only heard about it but had never known anything about it, certainly never imagined I would get involved in it and could not have predicted how fascinating and enjoyable I would have found it! It is, and the blog title does I suppose hint at this……Financial Trading.

Yes, that’s right, I trade the global financial markets pretty much every day. Sounds grand doesn’t it. Well, it kind of is, and it isn’t. I don’t have the kind of funds to invest that the big banks do so my profits/losses are currently insignificant in the grand scale of things but I am still a part of it and can see the sense it taking control of your own finances (I no longer pay into a pension fund) and if things continue the way they have been going, maybe one day I will be earning life changing sums of money from this.

So, I will keep this “first post” brief and let you know my thoughts on how I intend to continue with this. I will be creating two running themes in my blogs, one about all the things which I love about all my experiences in music – favourite “tunes”, comments on teaching and examining, tales about my own performing experiences and mostly my fascination with the development of music over the last 50 odd years.

My second, and likely to be more frequent (sorry but this is so much more interesting to me at the moment) theme will of course be about my trading experiences. I will probably comment on my own positions, how and why I do certain things and my personal takes on the state of markets etc. Who knows, if I get any readers, either of my thoughts may influence those who initially read for one. So I may get someone interested in Trading learn the best way to do a snare drum roll, or which UK number one was the first to feature all electronic instruments…Conversely, my musical followers may learn how they can start creating their own pension fund, or benefit financially from the next market crash!

Anyway, let’s see how this thing rolls, I am on holidays at the moment, well from teaching anyway, so it feels like holidays, so hopefully will have some spare time to keep things moving. If you can, do let me know which bit of content you enjoy and I’ll try to do more of it. Keep your negative thoughts to yourself though….

Love as ever,

Chris K