There is no such thing as a free lunch.

By whatever measure, the result of the recent election could turn into a disaster for business and the United Kingdom.  Obviously enough there are big consequences for the stock market too.

The principles of trend investing work whoever is in power. So in that sense, the Saltydog system is completely apolitical. But with the political and economic risks I see at the moment, I feel compelled to speak out.

Forty percent of people voted for a hard left socialist leadership that believes in the doctrines of Marx, Engels and Lenin. It has also been reported that a majority of teachers and University staff also voted for Labour. Not surprisingly then, with this educational influence and the ability of social media to misinform and rabble rouse; we saw the young inexperienced 18 to 26 year olds voting for this economically challenged socialist agenda. It is incomprehensible that the Conservatives did not shout out that socialism has never worked, and is a proven disaster for the populations of the countries inflicted with this disease. There is no such thing as a free lunch, except for the ruling Dictators and their party comrades!

Three recent examples of this infliction are;

-The German Democratic Republic run by Erich Honecker and his Socialist Unity Party (1971…1989)

-Cuba run by President Fidel Castro (1959…2008)

-Venezuela run by Hugo Chavez and his United Socialist Party (1999…2013). Succeeded by Nicolas Maduro.

All three are similar in that the population lived in poverty and dereliction whilst being subjected to the terrifying attention of a secret police force. In the case of East Germany it was rescued by being absorbed into capitalist West Germany. Cuba after the death of Castro is now becoming capitalist and was assisted by a lifting of USA sanctions; it has now become the fastest growing economy in South America.  Venezuela used to be one of the richest countries in the world on the basis of having enormous oil reserves, then Chavez took power and became the darling of the socialist world, making vast social commitments with money that the country did not have. The price of oil subsequently fell and the economy collapsed. Today crime is rampant, hospitals no longer function, parents desert their children to prostitution and food is so scarce that eating pets is considered normal.

These corrupt country leaders all became vastly wealthy at the expense of their populations.  Yet all these men have in the past been lauded by Corbyn, McDonnell, Abbott and McCluskey. They have thrust their Marxist ideology forward, as an improvement to the democratic one that we presently enjoy in the United Kingdom. Today, aided and abetted by television and social media, we live in real danger of a future Labour government taking control. This would mean a programme of high taxes, uncontrolled public spending, nationalisation, union monopolies and soaring national debt. Under these circumstances we might well be taking the first steps down the same road as East Germany, Cuba and Venezuela. Yet the same people who have been taken in by these socialist “sellers of snake oil” do not realise that they will be the first to suffer when the economy collapses and unemployment and inflation soar.

I am however an optimist and a believer in the greatness of the United Kingdom. Hopefully we will find future politicians with an understanding of national economics and the ability to stand up for the well-being of the country. Those that understand there is an inequality between the rich and the poor that needs addressing now; who can balance austerity with the need for a secure NHS and an education system fit for the future; who accept the need for inward investment and controlled migration, in order that we can maintain high employment and free enterprise. People who realise there is nothing wrong in wishing for a better world, but accept that it must be earned and cannot be gifted. The wolf is at the door, now is the time for them to step forward and be recognised.

Whatever the political outcome in the next few months, as Theresa May tries to form a working government and negotiate Brexit; as Corbyn promising everything and anything to anyone who will listen; as Donald Trump appears to be becoming an irrelevance in the States, it is virtually certain that the markets are going to be volatile.

And this means it’s never been more important to take on active management of your investment portfolio.

Now’s the time for you to be watching currency movements and the basic make up of your portfolio. It is not a time to be passive, sitting with your fingers crossed hoping that the “investor fairy” is going to be kind. Instead, keep track of the Saltydog numbers and graphs, and be as active as necessary. Identify the trends be they or up or down and act accordingly. Never forget that  in times of uncertainty, whilst inflation is low, cash is a sensible place for some of your money.  Good luck to you and the country!

 

 

 

The recent few weeks have been enough to give the devil the hot sweats!

Last year Brexit, and this year the election – what a nightmare this has been for your average DIY investor. Politicians and commentators demonstrated, yet again, that they were never going to be stopped by a lack of facts and accurate information. Perhaps, instead of giving politicians the keys to the country, we would be better off changing the locks!

After the unexpected Brexit result, sterling fell by around 15% and this meant any fund with a high proportion of dollar based investments made very nice gains, whilst your sterling based funds fell back. A few months later the U.K. economy started to show improvement on all fronts, and sterling started to stage a recovery. All change again, the ‘UK Smaller Companies’ and ‘UK All Companies’ sectors were on the move forward making handsome gains, until the turmoil of the recent general election campaigns brought that momentum to a halt. Then along comes the election result, and it is a hung parliament where Theresa May`s Tory government is expected to be kept afloat by the Northern Ireland D.U.P.  Unexpectedly, Sterling did not immediately tank, but hiccupped and we all wait with baited breath to see what happens next.

One sector that has been making progress through all this unrest, as we have discussed many times before, is the Technology sector. Until recently we at Saltydog had been looking for those funds that might be investing in the new generation sciences rather than those of the recent ‘Information Age’. Then it dawned on us, that it was those very same companies Amazon, FaceBook, Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft, Alibaba, Netflix and the like, which were hunting down and buying these new technology start–ups. So in fact, the technology funds that we already own were invested into the new sciences, and so were we, but second-hand and by default.

This got me to thinking about how vulnerable we might become in the future. If these enormously wealthy companies can sift through these new tech. businesses, and purchase at will, then are we in danger of seeing them becoming world dominating retail and I.T. monopolies? It would become a similar situation to the Middle Eastern oil countries of the 1970`s who, lacking competition, were able to dictate oil prices to their customers. A take it, or leave it, situation.

Imagine Amazon with another twenty years growth to their warehouses and data centres. They could dominate supply chains across the retail market from food to clothes and everything in-between. They would be able to control prices and freeze any competition out at will. The High Street, and out-of-town, shopping as we know it today will have disappeared. They will have the ability to decide who sells what to whom and at what price. A similar situation could also exist on the Internet where these huge monopolies will decide what we watch and what we learn. I guess this is a bit 1984, but it might take world legislation to prevent it happening.

Back to the real world, and it would seem that those of us at Saltydog who are invested into Technology funds will be able to enjoy the growth of these enormous companies. The p/e. ratios that they carry at the moment may look like bubble prices, but perhaps they are simply reflecting the huge profit opportunity they are creating for the future.