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For the record: July 2008

July 24th, 2008 · Greg Atkinson · No Comments

One thing that really annoys me about many financial journalists and market commentators is they often imply that that they have some unique insight into the market, yet they rarely disclose how they took advantage of their wisdom.

Did they for example actually trade any stocks and make any money based on their insights? Or do they just churn out predictions (and by chance get a few right) and never have the confidence to actually act on them? Since most of them are still at their desks year after year, I suspect the later is probably correct.

Therefore I will outline some of the actual direct or indirect trades I have undertaken so far this year to show I actually do act on my assumptions, and pay the price when things do not play out how I expected!

At this point please make sure you have read the Blog Disclaimer. Remember I am not suggesting anyone buy, sell or hold anything, I am just indicating what I have done and maybe you can learn from some of my errors!

So for 2008, here are stocks I have focused on:

TLS – sold out of my position in January 2008 after selling out of TLSCA in late 2007. I just had enough of the Sol roadshow and took my profits. Sold at just over $4.60 a share.

BNB – started buying into BNB in January, not the greatest idea I have ever had. At one stage I was actually showing a profit as a result of my BNB buying but that quickly vanished. I continued to buy all the way down to around $5 but have an average buy price of just over $9. Call me silly, but I still have confidence in the team at Babcock & Brown.

BBI – I already held stocks in BBI from last year so this year has been very painful. But I like the assets they have and have purchased more stocks this year from around $1 down to $0.68. Over the long term I feel comfortable with holding shares in BBI but I wish I had waited until this year to buy into the stock. At present I am down on paper around 35% regarding my BBI holdings. (ouch!)

BXB – I reckon that Brambles is a nice stock to have in any portfolio so I have taken the opportunity this year pick them up at an average price of about $9.50. These stocks are trading today about 10% below this price but I would guess in a couple of years I will wish I had purchased more. (I just lack the courage to buy more!)

MQG, MIG, MMG & MCG – I have been picking up small parcels in these companies as their share prices get hammered. I like the yields from these stocks and figure they will do well when the credit crisis is resolved.

RJT, GJT – Since I have an interest in the Japanese market (and am currently living in Japan) I have topped up holdings in both these ASX listed Japan Real Estate Investment Trusts during 2008. So far this has not been a very good plan to say the least and am hanging on and hoping things improve.

In addition to the above I also off loaded a few shares in BHP when they were around $45 and AWE at around $4.10 just to lock in some profits and as my short term confidence in commodities wain. I have also done some other trades but nothing really significant and certainly nothing to boast about.

In 6-12 months I will come back and review how these above stock plays have worked out. Hopefully I will have something to boast about then!

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