ShareHub Hotlist 2018 Final Results

TheShareHub top ten picks wins the Hotlist cup for 2018 by a country mile. Despite a late dash for the blue finish line, the top ten picks came in with a minor loss of 2.23% which feels like a result in a very volatile market – a backdrop which saw many of the newspaper expert picks slaughtered on mass.

The DailyMail won the cup in 2017 with a very respectful 20% gain but in 2018, the cup holders limped in with a loss of just under 17% (excluding dividends). The Guardian top picks suffered early losses through Footasylum and never really recovered. Ending the year with a whopping 27%+ loss excluding any dividends.

TheShareHub brought in fresh blood with the 2018 picks and this proved to be a smart move. On a comparable basis, had the ShareHub top ten picks of 2017 simply rolled over into 2018, the end result would have been a brutal 18% loss. Just goes to show that Portfolio rotation and getting rid of some dead wood, is or can be, a winning strategy.

Week 52/Final Results Below, along with a short summary on TheShareHub top ten.

ShareHub final Results – week 52
Daily Mail final Results – week 52
Guardian final Results – week 52

Summary of ShareHub Hotlist 2018: (in no particular order)

  1. Amerisur Resources – A strong finish to the year saw AMER close out the year like a bull in a china shop. A large distressed private investor had been actively selling down over 100m shares throughout the year which took its toll. The seller is now cleared and AMER is getting back to doing what it does best… delivering great news flow with the drill bit. A poor share price performance year for AMER, but operationally, it was an absolute success. The market is slowly waking up to the disconnect between recent success and an oversold share price.
  2. Columbus Energy – In transition phase and spent majority of 2018 getting the house in order. Production steady but growth has been limited due to legacy issues. With new acquisitions bedded in and exciting exploration planned in 2019, 2018 should be a year to forget and 2019 a year to look forward to. Schroders and other large investors have been filling their boots so 2019 could see strong gains.
  3. Cora Gold – Disappointing year largely due to managements sleepy approach to funding. Success with the drill bit needed to be turned into an early fundraiser as 2019 plans were always going to require more funding. They left it too late which is the one reason for the share price’s decline. Problems at Hummingbird’s Yanfolila Mine have not helped much either. Without Hummingbird doing well, Cora have an uphill struggle ahead as large financial packages for small mine developments is nigh impossible in current market space. Farming out or doing a deal with HUM would be best way forwards for all involved. Dropped from the ShareHub picks for 2019.
  4. Hummingbird – First multibagger of the year for ShareHub top ten picks in 2017. Unfortunately, the rainy season and some poor management decisions by CEO Dan Betts put an end to HUM’s golden boy glow. Instead, investors were left scratching their heads at what seemed like a management team asleep at the wheel. Poor year for HUM and 2019 looks far from a stroll in the park for them. Tough challenges ahead remain but a deal with Cora could see value added fast. Extending the mine life and stability issues are paramount.
  5. Petrofac – Had a very solid year with strong debt reduction and new order book builds. SFO investigation still a concern and keeping some investors away. Crash in Oil prices reduced a very good year to a 6% loss in the last few weeks. Should recover with Oil Prices but SFO case firmly on investors minds going into 2019. A successful outcome should see the stock rerate. Dropped from TheShareHub picks for 2019.
  6. Premier Oil – One of those head scratching moments. Trading at 146p a few months ago yet closed out the year on its knes at 66p. Makes no sense. Company has made great progress across bulk of folio with production rising and exploration kicking off again at Zama, Mexico. Debt is a concern in lower PoO environments, but equally large exploration finds like Zama and Sealion assets need to be factored into values to. At present the market is discounting PMO based on lower oil price projections yet is not accounting for the $70pb hedges in place. The stock should be double the price and like Ophir Energy recently, a takeover offer from India or Asia could be forthcoming.
  7. Providence Resources – A decent year for getting farm out deals agreed but the long awaited Barryroe appraisal/exploration phase has been delayed and that’s a significant blow to investors that do not like cash tied up for months and months with little growth or movement. Great prospects and a decent hold longer term. Useful 31% gain in 2018 but dropped for 2019 on Barryroe delays.
  8. Serica Energy – BP have become Serica’s sugar daddy of late. Gifted some incredible assets at bargain prices. The question now for investors is how well will these assets produce? Iranian issues on one shared licence appear to be resolved but after a very solid 50% gain in 2018, it’s time for some fresh blood. Dropped.
  9. Solgold – Another head scratcher. Share price drifted down from high 30’s to test 20p against a backdrop of great exploration assay news. BHP taking a large slice of stock from a previous seller soon woke the market up and the share finished the year up 25%. Not a bad performance but with several large mining companies swarming around the honey pot, the real event should be coming in 2019 with an agreed buyout on one or all of the company’s assets.
  10. W Resources – A great year with 40% gain. Many operational boxes ticked and whilst there were some annoying fundraising events, the stock looks well set to produce cash flows from early production in 2019. Looks like a solid year ahead for WRES.

That concludes the 2018 stock review. Disappointing after the early surge which saw the top ten picks up 18% for the year. TheShareHub top ten performance in 2016 was an enormous 130% and it was always a tall order to match. That said, a minor loss of 2.23% feels like a victory in this market and considerably better than the 9% loss in 2017.

More depth and coverage to follow on the new 2019 ShareHub top ten picks over the coming days.

ShareHub Hotlist 2018 Review – Week 50

Not a good week. I’ve been saying for sometime that the DOW looked expensive at 26500 and even at 23000 it is not exactly cheap. Unfortunately, markets are so Algo Bot driven these days that if the DOW drops then the numbers of sparrows also fall in outer mongolia. You may need to verify that last point. Just about everything seems linked to the DOW’s movements. It’s like the market lost its brain about a decade ago (it did have one at some point, I promise) and the rest is history. Volatility is now the norm. Get used to it. Index swings of 5% daily is good for business if you trade daily. Long term investors will acknowledge that there are good times and there are bad. But at present, it’s like riding a banana boat on choppy waters. The Hedge Funds and Investment funds are using other peoples money so the pain feels less to them than to a Retail investor who has lost his/her savings. That’s why these markets are dangerous places for the Retail investor. It’s also why record numbers are now deserting the markets. Brokers in UK are seeing the lowest recorded interest from PI’s in decades since Crest certs were swapped for their digital equivalent.

New EU regs have reduced Retail investors ability to place larger bets. That’s not a bad thing at all and at present most should be grateful. But the effect on market volume is clear to see. It’s like a ghost town on some AIM stocks. Neglected by II’s and practically a feeding ground for wonga style or death spiral funding outfits like YA Global and co.

For those that follow the markets closely, many will tell you that the market is a very different place now. It’s changed. And not for the better. Investors are losing faith in a broken valuation tool. If a company’s market cap is determined by Algo Bots rather than fundamental analysis then what hope do we have? The fact is, Algo’s and volatility are here to stay so you best get used to it or exit for good. At the moment, many are doing the latter. There is of course another option. Depart now and come back in a year or two? Pop your head in and if you see the same old rubbish, just walk away. That’s an option open to Retail investors. It’s not an option open to Hedge Funds or II’s. Their job is to churn money over. For the last decade their job has actually been more about taking free cash from QE and turning it over, taking a nice cut and hoping what’s left makes its way back into the economy. Stabilising the Banks balance sheets after Lehmans at the expense of governments / tax payers money was and is the number one goal. That should have been achieved by now. Just in time for the next recession? The FED Reserve seem hell bent on getting US rates higher as fast as they can. The main reason for that is that they need higher rates simply because they need to have some firepower to stimulate the economy when they eventually start cutting them again! The UK and EU are less fortunate. Hiking rates would have been the goal but due to Brexit woes this has been placed largely on hold bar one UK raise. Super Mario might have to dip into his pockets again in 2019 the way the EU economy is going.

Headwinds ahead? Absolutely. And not helped one bit by China v US trading wars. Talks have been booted down the road until late Feb. If Trump is not careful he will be remembered for boosting the stock markets to all time highs and then fumbling it into the next recession and biggest crash since Lehmans.

One measure that suggests we might still be some way from armageddon is GOLD. The go-to safety metal is trading some $100 per oz below this years highs. In theory, if market woes were serious, cash would be heading into Gold and fast. Seasonally, Gold rises into Dec as festive periods bring in shoppers around the globe. So Gold at $1250 is more like Gold at $1150 if you strip out seasonal exuberance. Keep an eye on GOLD as an indicator. If it tips $1400oz, then I suspect we’ll be in full swing of a market correction by then. Assuming we are not there already. There’s a chance markets may recover going into the Santa Rally period as this wednesday’s Fed Reserve interest rate meeting is virtually the last big news event before 2019 kicks in. If the US holds rates then fears might grow that a recession is around the corner. If the US raises rates, then fears could grow that a recession is around the corner. And … if US raises rates, then markets can fear global growth slowing. Damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Which when viewed like that makes the event a bit of a non-event. Status quo or will the Algo’s go all banana boat on us? We’ll know in about 36hrs time.

Week 50 review: All stock picks are limping or walking wounded. Most would prefer calling an end to 2018 right now. For TheShareHub picks, a recovery in PoO is needed if a blue finish is achieved. Still possible considering the Oil price correction of late. OPEC+ have a habit of stabilising things and putting the Hedge Funds in a difficult place. I would expect some headlines from OPEC to arrive very soon if WTI falls to $45pb. The newspaper picks look down and out. A poor year for all those expert/professional analysts who selected them.

The ShareHUB 2018 top picks – week 50
DailyMail 2018 top picks – week 50 
Guardian 2018 top picks – week 50


ShareHub Hotlist 2018 Review – Week 48

Tricky tricky. Not an easy market at present. Trump and China appear to have called a truce which again is headline news with absolutely zero substance. It’s ‘can kicked down the road’ stuff again. Brexit much of the same although yesterday’s debacle in Parliament looked like a dress rehearsal for next weeks vote. Was that the intention all along? Mr EU… did you take note of that? Did you take it as a warning or a poker style bluff by good old blighty? Worse case scenario… push it all into 2019 and extend Article 50? Please please do not agree to this. I think the UK has had enough of MP’s and politicans in general. Brexit has revealed the very darkest parts of UK politics. From outright lies or false promises to BoE governors predicting huge house price crashes… as well as the previous chancellor. The UK public have been subjected to more dodgy headlines and promises than your average online Black Friday retailer. Was this the idea from the beginning? Exhaust all involved and reduce the most important decision in UK history to a ‘this is the only deal on the table’ situation. 2 years+ and progress is zero. How much tax payer money has been spent on flights, meetings and planning for this poor deal being tabled? Extend Article 50 and you are opening the door to future extensions…. until of course there is another referendum which will be justified based on the contrived mexican stand off which seems to be in the making. The trouble is… a second referendum may well deliver the same result. In fact, after the way the EU has acted, my assumption is it would indeed be more popular to vote the UK away from these EU stalwarts. Brexit is Brexit. Get it done with no deal. Force the UK and EU to then work together, because the idea of them working apart is nigh impossible. Sometimes you have to throw the dog into the water… it will soon learn to swim.

Big day tomorrow. OPEC members hook up for the annual biscuit fest. Plenty of tea and munching going on. This time around there is a feeling of global pressure on Saudi’s. US are squeezing from all sides. Saudi’s need military supplies to deal with Yemen. Saudi’s need Iranian’s sanctioned. Saudi’s need many things which the US can help with. So what do the Saudi’s have that the US wants? Well, in a nut shell my guess is that this is all leading to a US listing for Saudi Aramco. Worth billions and billions to the likes of Goldman’s, JPM and others likely to be the book runners. Saudi’s had flattered many with LSE actually bending over backwards and changing some laws and decades of compliance to allow Aramco to bypass Jail and go straight to GO. There are no gluts out there this time around. There are no major oil tankers floating off the coasts of US or China. Yes there is an oversupply but that is simply because OPEC pumped harder upon request from Mr Trump some 3 months ago and then Mr Trump pulled the rug on delivering meaningful Iranian oil sanctions. Had Mr Trump followed through with his promises, PoO would look just fine in the mid $70’s. So bear in mind, if OPEC cut tomorrow, they also cut Mr Trumps ability to up the sanctions on Iran. Mr Trump wants OPEC to stay as they are so he can then hit Iranian oil with the proper level of sanctions without sending PoO into the $90’s. It all comes down to trust. Which is probably why OPEC might elect to go for moderate cuts citing March as next key review/meeting date. Then it’s over to Mr Trump to deliver further Iranian sanctions. If he fails to deliver, then I would expect OPEC to cut again by Q2. OPEC is fast becoming controlled by the US and that will worry many members as well as the lieks of non OPEC Russia. One OPEC member has already elected to jump ship although to be blunt, they are full of GAS.

What does this mean for PoO sensitive equities? Well, the next month could be a decent recovery month if cuts are reasonable and hedge funds begin closing out huge shorts on PoO and there are record numbers out there that need to be bought back. If cuts are on the low side, then it could be sideways trading for the next 3 months. Dull dull dull. But remember one thing… PoO has already fallen from $86pb on Brent to $60pb recently. That’s a huge correction and some might say the worst is already priced in. Some might say too much negativity is priced in. The Algo’s will walk it back up when they are ready.

Week 48 Review.

PoO’s wobbles finally put an end to TheShareHub’s growth in 2018. That’s a drop of 15% or more over the last few months. The newspaper picks look like they are suffering from Brexititus. A Santa Rally looks impossible now especially with Brexit looking like a roll over into 2019. Commodities might get a mince pie or two from OPEC tomorrow but that looks like it for 2018. It would be a victory to finish 2018 with a minor bloody nose but any growth would be a glorious result against 2018’s backdrop. TheShareHub picks still have hope, but the newspaper expert picks looked well and truly done with little hope of recovery.

ShareHub top picks 2018 – week 48

DailyMail top picks 2018 – week 48

Guardian top picks 2018 – week 48

ShareHub Hotlist 2018 Review – Week 47

Another tough week for commodities as Oil continues to get pummeled ahead of the OPEC meeting on Dec 6th. Heavily debted stocks like PMO and ENQ have taken hefty hits. PMO has practically halved from 2018 highs. That’s a serious correction. Markets being fairly unsophisticated places of late, wild swings are aplenty. Equity prices are open to abuse on a daily basis when there is no real focus on fundamental valuations. Until of course a buyer steps in and offers a cash price like that seen by DNO on Faroe Petroleum. Faroe’s share price had dropped from 160p+ to settle around 120p during the recent Oil Price reversal. Not many brokers were issuing buy notes. Yet hours after DNO’s 152p offer, analysts and brokers were out in voice claiming the DNO offer undervalued Faroe. It seems the market wants it both ways. It wants a share price that has no basis or valuation and is more to do with algo bots, ETF trading and shorting. In this situation, the price can go anywhere. But when it comes to a real genuine cash offer, the market suddenly decides on what is undervalued and what is not. Surely in a functional market the value of the business would be the price paid per share. Of course there is some room for some fluidity. But today, the markets biggest problem is that it simply doesn’t value stocks correctly in the first place. Amerisur Resources recently announced a farm out deal that effectively values some assets in the folio at the same price as the full market cap. Meanwhile, a cash pile of over $60m along with a folio of further prospects is valued at zero. The strategically important OBA pipeline valued at zero. And 20mmboe in reserves along with the 5kbopd production valued at zero. If the farm out deal wasn’t a wake up call to the market, then the £1m in cash Director buy certainly should have felt like a second wet fish slapped across the face. More director buys have since followed, yet the share price is still hugely discounted. It seems in today’s market, you actually have to have cash offers tabled before a realistic valuation is arrived at. That’s pretty poor and just shows how far this market has moved away from reality. M&A is the one thing that brings back that much needed reality. Whether DNO’s offer is acceptable or not, the market can’t have it both ways.

Trump has been on the tweet machine again spouting more headlines that read well but actually carry no weight at all. Quite embarrassing for the USA. Nothing meaningful has come from Iranian sanctions. Nothing has come from North Korea talks and much of the trade war with China still seems to drifting along with no real sign of progress. Trump endorsing or supporting Pro Brexit campaigners is just as meaningless. Trump will likely not be around in 2 years time. The UK will likely be dealing with a more open minded US President. Same applies to OPEC and Saudi Arabia. Trump might rant and rave about oil prices but he knows very little about the complex world of Oil&Gas. The Saudi’s have ruled the roost for over a century now. I don’t think they will be dictated to by a man that will likely be of no importance in around 2 years time. Yet again, it is just headlines with no real muscle. The Saudi’s and Russian’s have been over producing now for 2 or 3 months. Production levels have risen beyond the OPEC agreed levels set earlier in the year. So if the Saudi’s and Russian’s simply return to previously agreed levels… is that a cut? Of course it is. But that won’t necessarily be portrayed that way across the media or via Trump. The truth is, the Saudi’s and Russian’s historically reduce supplies from time to time simply to do maintenance/workovers and manage refineries. They can’t NOT do maintenance. In a nut shell, there will be cuts coming but they might not be communicated that way. Trump saving face is an issue that can be spun across media headlines. When OPEC announce the outcome on Dec 6th, I would expect it to go along the lines of maintaining current production as per last agreement… although in reality that actually means a cut of 1.4m barrels!

Week 47 review:

TheShareHub picks are hanging onto positive growth for 2018 which is quite an achievement considering the commodity bear market that seems to be in full swing. The newspaper picks are going sideways or down and mirroring the FTSE100. A poor end to Brexit deal discussions will surely end any dreams of a Santa Rally, but the way things are going, the only thing the EU and UK are consistent at thus far is delaying the inevitable so do not be surprised to see Brexit decisions pushed into 2019. The man or woman on the street has yet to see the deal but listening to some remainers recently, most have turned into pro brexiteers. Why? Simply because of the way the EU has behaved. School-boyish tactics and a desire from the outset to delay for as long as possible has changed many remainers minds. They don’t want to be part of this kind of EU anymore. If a second referendum was to be called, I think it’s now odds on to return the same verdict but with a bit more conviction this time. The UK is better off dealing with grown ups. Tusk and Barnier will be long gone in a few months or years time. The time to do business with the EU is when Merkel steps down in 2021. A new refreshed EU should appear then with many of the stalwarts gone. Then is the time to return to discuss trade deals. The UK can get along just fine without a constant supply of diesels by VW, BMW or Mercedes… some fiddled with and some not!

Watch out for OPEC meeting next week. WTI currently at $52pb which is about $24pb down from highs. With US shale struggling at $50pb, it would not surprise me to see a halfway house agreed and Trump’s face saved with WTI capped at around $60pb for the next few months. Trump can claim prices are down 20% from highs, while the Saudi’s can gain an extra $8pb from todays levels. Win win? Eitherway, a return to $60pb on WTI looks the most likely as the idea of WTI at $45pb makes little sense at all. And in these markets, it’s all about swings and volatility. So do not be surprised to see WTI swing 20% higher from recent lows ($50pb).

Stock to watch: Amerisur Resources. At 13p a share, it’s trading below the value of the recent farm out deal. That’s absurd! A rise back to 21p looks likely but may need a headline success on Indico-1 exploration well to enable a swifter rise.

ShareHub 2018 picks – week 47

DailyMail 2018 picks – week 47

Guardian 2018 picks – week 47

 

ShareHub Hotlist 2018 Review – Week 46

Battered and bruised. Two words that sum up week 46. You wouldn’t think PoO is almost double the level last seen when OPEC flooded the market. The opposite is in play now and with majority of Oil companies now making bumper profits, paying down debt and pursuing new developments that were shelved some 4 years ago, you’d think the market would be pricing these stocks up. Nope. In fact, some stocks are being priced lower than back in 2015/2016. A bizarr situation to be in and whilst there might be storms ahead for OPEC and PoO in general, a return to the lows $30’s on Brent looks highy unlikely. President Trumps’ habit of making headline promises but then not actually delivering on them is beginning to become a theme. Go hard on the headline but soft on the implementation. It’s like a boxer promising to knock you out but instead sits you down and gives you a cup of tea. All the bluster on Iran and heavy sanctions are just that. Nothing of any major impact has been done. Trump promised but has underdelivered. The Saudi’s, Russian’s and majority of Oil sector were expecting and ‘told’ that Iran oil supplies would be reduced from commercial sale. It is no wonder to see PoO getting hit sideways when the opposite actually happens. Add to this the recent Saudi report showing Oil Demand slowing in next few months and you suddenly have a very bearish scenario. PoO’s fall from $86pb (Brent) to lows of $61pb seen recently is a huge blow to heavily debted companies like Premier Oil and Enquest to name two. They both need PoO higher to ensure debt repayments can be covered and capex sustained. Producers of Gas and Oil have a better balanced exposure and thus the likes of Serica Energy and Faroe Petroleum are performing better or with more support. Debt free producers with low cost production like Amerisur Resources should be in demand. Amerisur is a perculiar case whereby the share price is actually lower today than it was back in 2015/16. The company is making cash, debt free and has exploration underway, all fully funded. Yet at 10p a share the stock is barely wanted. It’s not only Oil stocks that are suffering, Miners across the board have been reduced to levels seen in 2015 and some even below cash balances. It’s fair to say that the DOW and major indices have had their bull run and a correction is long ovedue. But that’s tech / retail and banks that need correcting, not commodities. The mantra out there at present seems to be that as bluechips wobble, so should commodities due to lack of demand. But the difference that should be noted here is that Commodities haven’t even recovered back to where they were in a bull phase market. Most are still 2 years behind. Too many algo’s and bots sweeping across the entire market these days applying a broadbrush. Symptomatic of a market that now seems content to go into auto pilot and disregard all valuations/fundamentals and just leave the computers to do the unwinding. At some point the market will pause and reset itself. Presently, with the DOW at 24600, the sought after reassessment plateau does not look to have arrived just yet. Perhaps a secondary wash out is required and the DOW pushed down to 21,500 would see a few head for the doors no matter what sector they are in. The go-to safety of Gold has yet to see a significant bid. Stuck in the early $1200’s per oz, Gold is not indicating a broad market reversal… yet!

For investors, it’s the toughest challenge of all to find growth in a period of market correction. The last 10 years have felt like a freebie or gift. If you can’t make money in that kind of market then you shouldn’t be investing at all. That said, some do better in falling markets. Mr Woodford, the once admired Fund Manager has failed miserably during a bullish market period. Go back a few years in bearish markets and you’ll find Mr Woodford has performed better than most. The test of any investors mettle is when the market turns, where does the investor turn? Back to cash and on the sidelines or into seeking growth stocks that offer catalysts for share price growth. Commodities are long overdue a bull market and have been out of favour for the last 10 years+. Perhaps now is the time to switch to commodity focused stocks rather than sell them into the ground. The likes of Schroders are doing just that with sizable investments in some selective oil focused stocks. One of the ShareHub’s picks for 2018 (CERP.L) has seen Schroders increase holdings to 15%. That’s a vote of confidence for teh small Trinidad focused company. 2018 has seen most of any growth across the bluechips wiped out. Selective commodity picks within the ShareHub 2018 picks have performed well but some have suffered from the poor sentiment that is swirling around like a green fog of late. M&A is missing in action. This is much needed for a return to fundamental pricing. If anything, the opposite is happening. The big majors are offloading smaller fields to smaller companies. Instead of buying in reserves / resources, many are disposing of them to leaner tax haven businesses like Serica Energy. For the likes of Premier Oil and Enquest, these debt heavy businesses would be better off merging and lowering costs. Same applies to many other mid tier players. Combining businesses, saving costs, reducing debts… all go towards supporting a better investment story for investors to buy into. At the moment, there are still too many smaller sized companies out there that are doing very little apart from paying the directors high levels of salary and bonuses. The sector needs streamlining. The sector needs some ‘spin’ and ‘sparkle’ to get investors interested again.

Week 46 Review: The recent rout in Oil has seen the ShareHub picks slide and if it continues then it might be red across the board by week 47. The Newspaper picks continue to look weak and just goes to show the poor level of interest in equities at present. It’s becoming a bit like a ghost town out there but with Brexit still up in the air – I doubt much will change over the next 3 weeks. A santa rally would be welcome but is more likey to come via Oil focused stocks if OPEC agree cuts on Dec 3rd/4th. The market has 2 weeks left before that event so any bounce in PoO might be seasaw like for next few days. By the time November is out, I would expect PoO (Brent pricing) to be back into the $70’s. That’s 10% higher than today’s $64pb level. The question is… will the market listen and price up equities at the same time? One would hope so!

ShareHub top picks 2018 – Week 46

DailyMail top picks 2018 – Week 46

Guardian top picks 2018 – Week 46

ShareHub Hotlist 2018 Review – Week 45

Another decent week for TheShareHub picks. The DOW bounced back strongly after US mid term elections delivered a strong result for President Trump. Yet again the President defeats the negative media with an election campaign that was based on common sense and business accumen. Why go after the house, when you know the most important and more realistic goal is the Senate. Past Presidents have either been Lawyers, Oil execs, Actors, Farmers or Writers to name a few but never before has America seen a President with Mr Trumps business prowess. The media has worked hard to paint a picture of a man who is a live wire or a loose cannon. But in true one track mind media style, not many will applaud his business sense. Just imagine Mr Trump doing the Brexit talks. I think Tusk and Barnier would have been put firmly back in their box a year ago. Mrs May is doing a fine job against a party background that is more interested in shifting internal status and power than determining the best deal for the British voter. There is no way that Mrs May can please all of the people all of the time. It’s not going to happen. The EU set out a message from the very beginning that they had to make Brexit feel like a punishment and the end result would need to deter any other country with ambitions of leaving the EU. That’s always going to be a lose lose situation, but that’s just the desired headline. The truth is, deals are made and then chipped away at over the following months and years slowly morphing into the best for ‘all’ involved. Trump would have arrived at that result in year 1. Compared to China, US, Russia and emerging countries like India, the EU looks weak and ponderous. Merkels days are numbered and one would hope that when she steps down in 2021, someone with some business sense steps in to replace her. Don’t get me wrong, a mix of skills is required in all governments, but it’s the lack of business skills that is missed most. Moving on, it’s good to see some Media are getting behind a campaign to u-turn the governments woeful decision to put off the Gambling bet reduction plan. There is no reason what-so-ever that this cannot be introduced in 2019 as previously planned and the likes of Hammond should hang his head in shame. Do the ‘proper’ thing and apologise, and bring it forward to next year. You’ve made mistakes before and done u-turns. You can do it again. The gambling industry will be just fine. Although Tory and other MP’s may seen a drop in election funds/donations next time around.

Week 45 Review:

If you had £100k to invest, then you’d be a lucky person. Based on below’s performances to date, the Guardian’s 2018 selection picked by industry experts (apparently) will have cost you almost £20k. Ouch! The DailyMail top city / analyst picks will have taken off almost £10k. TheShareHub picks at present will have grown your cash pile by £10k. That’s a £30k swing on the Guardian’s performance and a £20k swing based on the DailyMail’s results thus far. Of course there are occasions where you may have sold stocks rather than sitting locked in for 12 months but that’s the way the top picks comp works. It’s where you start Jan 1st and end Dec 31st that counts. Some stocks within the newspaper picks may give out moderate divi’s which could skew the numbers by 1% or 2% but generally, the numbers seen are how they would feel in the pocket.

Still some 7 weeks left to go and the way the markets are trading at present some would be say christmas trading has come early. Volumes are low and participation across the board looks poor. Risk off investors may have retreated to their caves ahead of the big Brexit deal decision. We saw a similar pattern ahead of the US mid terms and markets rallied after results proved to be ok for Mr Trump. Brexit is certainly beginning to heat up now we are at the sharp end. The odd thing is that at this stage you would think the British people would know the basis of the deal tabled. In fact, it is the opposite. Left in the dark at the 11th hour is never a good idea and getting this elephant through a narrow exit door is going to need a great deal of pushing. It’s been messy from the outset and it’s not looking like being a slick finish especially as the very public that voted for it have yet to show their voice.

Roll on week 46. The 175th OPEC meeting is set for Dec 6th. Historically, Oil tends to head higher going into these meetings. Currently at $68.5pb (Brent), it looks cheap considering the lack of floating oil storage out there. Supply is tight and the Saudi’s want brent closer to $75pb than $65pb based on recent hints. So expect some positive movement once the hedge funds have adjusted their short weighted positions of course!

ShareHub top picks 2018 – Week 45

DailyMail top picks 2018 – Week 45

Guardian top picks 2018 – Week 45