The 2011 Hotlist Results – Final

Week 52 of 2011. Final year summary.

The final week of trading was shortened to just 2.5 days and volume/interest was light as was news. Equities limped across the line like a bunch of recruits completing the most toughest of assault courses.

What a year? 2011 certainly kicked off the new decade with more than a bang. If economic concerns were not enough already for the markets to ponder – mother nature thought she would stick the boot in for good measure too. 2011 started with the worst Aussie floods in years causing major disruption to coal production and stymied exports from the world’s largest exporter for weeks to follow.

Then came the worst earthquake in years to hit New Zealand, devastating Christchurch and surrounding areas. Mother nature was clearly in a rage. This was  perhaps the precursor to what then followed in Japan. If investors hadn’t had enough on their plates already – then what came next really tested the mettle. In a few short days, Japan was turned from a calm and relatively stable economic position, into a country that looked like it had the rug pulled out from under its feet. Threatened with nuclear disaster, communication was key and unfortunately it was poorly executed. An unfortunate trait that would continue into Europe later in the year.

Then came the arab uprisings. It started with just one man. Mohamed Bouazizia 26 year old Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire on 17 December 2010, in protest of the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation inflicted on him by a municipal official and her aides. Just 4 weeks later and President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced to step down, after 23 years in power. Bouazizi’s sacrifice/death sparked the most dramatic arab uprising ever seen in modern times. Libya followed but not without a fight. A lengthy crisis that had the markets firmly on their toes. The uprisings still continue with Syria looking like the next one to fall.

If the above wasn’t enough already to cause investors to take flight and exit for safety – then came the big European debt crisis. It wasn’t a surprise to see Greece in trouble, the markets had known about this issue since 2009. As had Merkel and co. Trouble is – no-one wanted to accept responsibility and most of all – most were praying that economic growth would return to keep greece afloat. From early 2009 – it was like a race against time for the banks as they all began off loading their Greek debt/securities exposure. A few rather brave hedge funds thought it would be a good idea to bet on the debt being managed/supported as surely Greece was too big to fall in the grande scheme of things. They were wrong. The debt holders/bond holders were forced to take a 50% haircut which may end up as much as 75%. Many hedge funds went under. Lesson No: 1 – never second guess the market when in unchartered waters.

But hedge funds going under is not out of the ordinary. They play high risk games and will always have a bloody nose from time to time. But a ‘country’ going under is a different matter and ‘countries’ an even bigger issue. With the prospect of the Euro Crisis resulting in precisely that outcome – the ECB was forced to step in and flood the banks with money. In the meatime, the politicians decided that the crisis was an excellent opportunity to strengthen their positions in the EU. The two main players in Germany and France decided they would play ‘chicken’ with the world’s economy while they argued how to spread the burden and bolster their own political standings. The period (which is still ongoing) was like watching an episode of EastEnders. Doom and gloom every day backed up by weakening economic news and Arab uprisings.

2011 was not a year to invest. It was a year to sit out. The real money to be made was by simply not trying to make any money at all. But that is said with hindsight. At the time, and the way events unfolded – it was hard to see the true market direction through the noise that was part mother nature and part arab uprisings. By the time the smoke had cleared – the market was derisking and money was exiting faster than many could believe.

Amongst all of the above – one would have expected the Major Indices to have been slaughtered. In fact, quite the opposite. The DOW Jones finished the year at 12218 turning in a very respectable and remarkable 640pt gain from last years 11578 close.

The FTSE 100 on the other-hand did not fair so well. Heavily weighted to Commodities, it suffered due to the markets negative outlook for the sector. It closed 2011 at 5572 and down 327pts for the year.

In summary – in a year that looked and sounded apocalyptic, the US markets turned blue. Figure that one out!

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A virtual portfolio has been set up using the 2010 Dec 31st close figures as a starting point and £1000 has been invested in each stock. This does not include buying fees or stamp duty and is purely intended to be used as a benchmark or summary for each week. The B-list (alternative picks) and 2 newspaper top tens for 2011 have been included to help monitor/compare against.

The virtual portfolio’s use the ‘last trade’ system to calculate the days close.

Week 52 performance summary as follows:
The Independent wins hands down. Well done to them. As this is the 2011 final summary – it’s worth throwing in the other two big newspaper tipsters too. The Telegraph came in second with Tempus Times in 3rd and Guardian in fourth. The more risky and commodity based Hotlist and B-list props up the table and demonstrates the risk of placing all eggs in one basket. But the Hotlist has never been about ‘playing safe’ – it’s about seeking multi-baggers. Stocks that can add 100% or more. Like the hedge funds found out in 2011 – if you play high risk stakes then expect some bloody noses along the way. Whilst 2009 and 2010 have delivered Multi-Baggers aplenty to thesharehub – 2011 delivered a brutal blow and a reminder to all investors that the markets are far from predictable.

Week 52 – Final Results
1. The Independent -3.80%
2. The Telegraph -11.00%
3. Tempus Times -14.62%
4. The Guardian -22.21%
5. The ‘B’ List -41.11%
6. The 2011 Hotlist -45.04%

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2011 Hotlist Results – Week 51

Week 51 of 2011.

A quiet week which was expected but none-the-less, a decent one for the major indices. As the markets move towards the last week of the year, they resemble a rather weary bunch who look like they’ve run a double marathon… uphill. With week 52 containing just 2.5 trading days left – volume and news all round will be in short supply as the markets catch their breath for the next outing in 2012.

The FTSE 100 closed the week at 5513 adding 116pts. It’s 386pts down for the year and with just 2.5 trading days left will need a major sprint finish from heavy legs to come in home in the blue.

The Dow on the other hand is looking in surprisingly good health. It closed at 12,294 adding 412pts on the week and is just over 750pts in the blue. The leading index has a chance of reaching close to its 2011 high if it has a good last few days. The S&P also edged into the blue for 2011. The lack of commodity stocks listed in the US indices compared to the commodity heavy FTSE – has clearly made its mark this year as the sector has been one of the worst performing.

A virtual portfolio has been set up using the 2010 Dec 31st close figures as a starting point and £1000 has been invested in each stock. This does not include buying fees or stamp duty and is purely intended to be used as a benchmark or summary for each week. The B-list (alternative picks) and 2 newspaper top tens for 2011 have been included to help monitor/compare against.

The virtual portfolio’s use the ‘last trade’ system to calculate the days close.

Week 51 performance summary as follows:
The independent lurks in the red but has done well in an ugly year. Tempus times has hung in there well as both commodity dominated b-list and Hotlist shows signs of a battered sector in a risk off climate.

Week 51
1. The Independent -5.08% (gain of 2.19% from week 50)
2. Tempus Times -14.78% (gain of 1.10% from week 50)
3. The ‘B’ List -44.39% (gain of 0.13% from week 50)
4. The 2011 Hotlist -45.84% (gain of 2.52% from week 50)

Click on the Portfolio image to increase size.

2011 Hotlist Results – week 50

Week 50 of 2011.

The week ended with another big ‘friday’ event. This time it was the credit rating agencies making the headlines again. Just one week on from the last ‘big friday’ that saw the Eurozone agreeing a united approach (all bar one, the UK) the credit agencies popped up yet again to stymie any market progress. This time it wasn’t the S&P, but Moody’s and Fitch. Acting a bit like a tag team, the credit agencies seem to be playing party poopers to any chances of a year end rally. It’s beginning to look like a concerted effort to ‘bin’ all the bad news in 2011, leaving 2012 with a brighter platform. There’s nothing to say at this stage that the market won’t simply continue where they left off when Jan 3rd kicks in. The markets will be looking for signs of QE3 in the early part of the year – if it gets it, then it could signal a turning point.

The FTSE 100 closed the week at 5387 losing 142pts and is now. At 512pts down for the year. It looks a nailed on cert to finish 2011 in the red.

The Dow closed at 11,886 which keeps it in the blue for 2011 but only by around 300pts. Trading going into the year end close is likely to be thin and the week ahead sees 4 full days trading and one half day on Friday (23rd). Investors would be wise to check any settlement dates they may have on loaned stock as the half days and bank holiday’s can effect trading dates.

A virtual portfolio has been set up using the 2010 Dec 31st close figures as a starting point and £1000 has been invested in each stock. This does not include buying fees or stamp duty and is purely intended to be used as a benchmark or summary for each week. The B-list (alternative picks) and 2 newspaper top tens for 2011 have been included to help monitor/compare against.

The virtual portfolio’s use the ‘last trade’ system to calculate the days close.

Week 50 performance summary as follows:
Worst weekly performer goes to The independent again. It might be wobbling a bit to close 2011 in single red digits, but it still looks a decent performer in a year that has seen 30% to 40% losses across many fund manager portfolio’s (and they were actively managing/trading as opposed to a static top ten list). Takeover talk on GKP might be too late coming to save the Hotlist – had it occurred earlier, it might have made a significant difference. It will be exciting and interesting to see how that story unfolds over the next few days and weeks.

Week 50
1. The Independent -7.27% (loss of 3.12% from week 49)
2. Tempus Times -15.88% (loss of 2.25% from week 49)
3. The ‘B’ List -44.52% (loss of 1.12% from week 49)
4. The 2011 Hotlist -48.36% (loss of 2.33% from week 49)

Click on the Portfolio image to increase size.

2011 Hotlist Results – Week 49

Week 49 of 2011.

Signs that the UK were disinterested in remaining within the Euro Elite was evidently clear by Wednesday when Manchester took the lead by promptly exiting the Champions League. They now have the indignity of playing in the euro equivalent of the Milk Cup (Uefa League) a second rate competition with some rather obscure teams. A position that Cameron might well identify with. He’ll take some stern questions on Monday from MP’s over why he elected to demote the UK from Europe’s elite with little sight or chance of ever playing in the Euro champions league of politics ever again.

The week was dominated by ‘big friday’ and whilst the accord on a ‘euro fiscal agreement’ was reached the answer to the crisis is years away. The sooner the markets realise this – the better. The volatility and nervous swings suggest the market is still treading on hot coals. The sooner it calms down and sees the ‘long’ game the better. It will take time – but history shows that after every recession – there’s a bounce back and return to growth.

In the week ahead, the US will be keenly watched as the Federal Reserve’s policy setting committee, the FOMC, meets on Tuesday. The last quarter was better for the US so any signs of QE3 speak is unlikely – but when the next meet in January, they may announce some extra spice to keep growth on an upward curve.

The FTSE 100 did well to sustain most of last weeks massive rise, losing just 23pts on the week to close at 5529. At 370pts down for the year – it has a blue finish within its grasp but it looks a tall order.

The Dow closed at 12,184 bring its two week performance to over 1ooopts. It’s firmly in the blue for 2011 (miraculously) yet some 600pts+ off it’s yearly highs. Both indices are known for putting in good december rallies and 2011 is proving no different. Question is… is there more to come or have we had the santa rally already? Much depends on the Euro theme which seems to have crucial pivotal meetings at least once a week.

A virtual portfolio has been set up using the 2010 Dec 31st close figures as a starting point and £1000 has been invested in each stock. This does not include buying fees or stamp duty and is purely intended to be used as a benchmark or summary for each week. The B-list (alternative picks) and 2 newspaper top tens for 2011 have been included to help monitor/compare against.

The virtual portfolio’s use the ‘last trade’ system to calculate the days close.

Week 49 performance summary as follows:
Worst weekly performer goes to The independent. I don’t think the list has too much to worry about – it looks nailed on to win the 2011 race. But will it be a blue finish or a modest red one? Considering the steady progress by the FTSE100 most equities were again slow to follow. In a sluggish week for stocks, fatigue and end of year volumes seemed to show through the strongest. 

Week 49
1. The Independent -4.15% (loss of 3.10% from week 48)
2. Tempus Times -13.63% (loss of 1.27% from week 48)
3. The ‘B’ List -43.40% (lossof 1.80% from week 48)
4. The 2011 Hotlist -46.03% (loss of 2.71% from week 48)

Click on the Portfolio image to increase size.

Call for Entries for Hotlist 2012

It’s been an ugly year and most are truly fed up with the markets and the global woes. There’s no magic wand unfortunately and you have to take the rough with the smooth. After 2 bullish years in 2009 and 2010, small cap commodities performed well off their respective lows.

The big question is – will the small cap commodity sector perform in 2012?

Well, it’s that time of year again when thesharehub invites readers to submit and share their recommendations for the 2012 list.

The format will be the same as previous years with 10 stocks forming the Hotlist. However, for 2012 there will be two different lists. Instead of having 2 x commodity heavy hotlist picks, there will be one Hotlist for commodities and a second B-list which will focus on a mix of sectors. The latter will be more comparable to the newspaper stock picks where sector breadth is always a crowd pleaser.

A full summary of the 2011 Hotlist results will be issued around Jan 2nd 2012 with the new 2012 Hotlist (and B-list) being issued shortly after.

Commodities may have exited 2010 on a high, but it looks fairly certain many will exit 2011 on lows. That might in itself be a good reason to look at bottom picking especially if the broader markets show a new verve in 2012.

Please keep comments related to this thread if possible as it’s easier for everyone to follow. If your comment or post does not show up in the comments section immediately – don’t worry, give it time – it will appear.

2011 Hotlist Results – Week 48

Week 48 of 2011.

Rollercoaster is an understatement – Last week the S&P had its worst week since 1932 and markets were in freefall. Up steps China to ease the pain with a 0.50 basis cut. The last time they did that was in early Feb 2009. Then comes the US. Seemingly playing ‘chicken’ with the Eurozone, they eventually came to the table to offer a joint liquidity effort which saw a string of major banks stand behind the Euro. The combination of efforts between China and US demonstrates just how pivotal the EuroZone is in terms of the broader recovery. There are some striking similarities between today’s events and those of Lehmans in 2008. However, the Eurozone (or Germany should we say!) are holding on to their baby which shows a strength and unity that might just see the Euro through this crisis. In contrast, the US were not so caring when it came to Lehmans and simply dropped the baby leaving everyone else to nurse the consequences – themselves included. 2011 has very much felt like a ‘pass the parcel’ game with ‘debt’ being the ultimate prize when the music stops.

The Eurozone has approached the sharp end of their discussions with news expected to follow throughout the week. It’s possible that by the time we reach Friday – most of the unknowns will be known. And with that a large wedge of uncertainty removed. But it’s all worthless without growth and attention turns to global economic recovery. If QE3 is unleashed (China’s actions already provide cheaper money) then Equities may find themselves back to a situation in early 2009 where stimulus assisted one of the largest stock market rallies in years.

The FTSE 100 added a very bullish 388 points this week, adding 7.47% on the week to close at 5552. Still 347pts down for the year but looking in much better shape compared to last week.

The Dow closed at 12,019, adding a massive 887pts on the week and is back in the blue for 2011. However, it is still 800pts down from the 12800 level seen earlier in the year.

A virtual portfolio has been set up using the 2010 Dec 31st close figures as a starting point and £1000 has been invested in each stock. This does not include buying fees or stamp duty and is purely intended to be used as a benchmark or summary for each week. The B-list (alternative picks) and 2 newspaper top tens for 2011 have been included to help monitor/compare against.

The virtual portfolio’s use the ‘last trade’ system to calculate the days close.

Week 48 performance summary as follows:
The best performer for week 48 goes to The independent. Although the FTSE100 has bounced back strongly – equities have been slow to follow. The last time the FTSE100 was over 5550, the independent list was firmly in the blue. Today it is still in the red. There are many stocks out there that are trading near cash levels and some even below. The last time this was seen was in early 2009. The markets certainly seem to be setting themselves up for a repeat scenario. If the EuroZone creates a firm plan this week, and QE3 looks more likely – then Equities might begin a rally that restores some of the head scratching valuations out there to something that looks closer to basic fundamentals. The days of the casino market are not over, but it might be time for some sanity and sensible valuations to return.

Week 48
1. The Independent -1.05% (gain of 5.80% from week 47)
2. Tempus Times -12.36% (gain of 5.09% from week 47)
3. The ‘B’ List -41.20% (gain of 4.85% from week 47)
4. The 2011 Hotlist -43.32% (gain of 4.37% from week 47)

Click on the Portfolio image to increase size.