Game Design, Programming and running a one-man games business…

Stock Market Fun

As a hobby, i invest some money on the UK stock market. My interest comes from when I used to work up there for datastream/ICV. Plus it’s a strategy game with spreadsheets, why wouldn’t I love it?

I recently managed to offload a share I’d been sitting on for ages: Renishaw. (RSW). I bought in July 2011 and sold this morning for an (eventual) 11% profit. Not bad, but I’m clearly not warren buffet. Possibly my best ever investment was Autonomy, which I held for a month then sold for a 47% profit. Oh yeah! I also did very well out of admiral (ADM) at 36% and ARM at 7%, 6% then 7% again (bought and sold 3 times). In some ways my most mediocre trade was Aggrekko at 0.4% but that was over 5 hours, so I’m not complaining :D. I can’t be too smug about admiral, as I’m currently holding them at a huge loss and twiddling thumbs hoping to get it back some time… I’m also annoyed at Domino printing, at to some extent Dunelm, which has been a multi-month ‘quick-trade’ opportunity gone wrong :D

Any other share dealers here? Anyone play for fun with one of the virtual sites that lets you practice?  What are your tips / strategies? I’m always wary of losing too much to fees so try to own a few shares at high amounts rather than spreading too thin.

12 thoughts on Stock Market Fun

  1. I always liked SimExchange[dot]com, it’s a prediction market for video games that uses fake currency. Unfortunately I haven’t been there in quite some time, and it seems to have more or less died :(

  2. I tried to invest in promises for the future: solar tech and 3d printing tech.

    The 3D printer company Stratasys doubled my money in less than a yr.
    The solar company Arise went bankrupt, so lost all.

    Also I try to buy companies that are cheap, low PE, and low debt.
    This mainly made me money because they are often taken over in a buy out with a nice premium over share price.

  3. I find it hard to locate simple easy information on company debt levels, where do you find it?
    Solar companies have been a bloodbath over the years. I’d love to invest but most solar share price graphs and scary, and I ended up investing in a physical solar farm instead.

  4. ADM look good at the current price.

    If you were happy to buy them at the higher price, buy more at the lower price and drop the average price per share you paid. This will drop your percentage lost, gain you a higher dividend yield on your holding and make you feel better!

    Oh and was your 11% profit over 16 months including dividends or excluding?

    If excluding dividends then that’s exactly how Buffett does it.

    Debt levels for companies are included in their financial reports which they have to submit to market.

    Investing in promising future sectors is a risky business. Look at cars and airlines. Not too long ago those sectors were new and there were hundreds of companies competing. Eventually they all went bust and left a few major players.

    If you were lucky and guessed correctly which ones would still be around in 50 years you could make a fortune, if you backed the wrong horse you lost everything. Be careful there.

  5. I was once told that it’s not good to hold on to shares just in the hope of reducing your losses… or even worse buying more of the same ‘crap’ shares to drop the average price. This just makes you feel better… it is not the best thing you can do with your money. It would be better to just sell them for a loss and use the money to invest in more promising shares. (Unless you expect them to rise because you believe in the business… but that would only work if others believe in that business too… ;-))

    I can’t follow the above advice. I always hold on to shares and even try to reduce the average price… I guess I’m not fit for this game. When I heard about high frequency trading I decided to stop playing in the shark pool. Now I’m just waiting for my shares to rise a bit more so I can sell them with hopefully no loss.

  6. Yeah me too, I am hopeless at selling shares at a loss. I hold, even if it takes me two years, It’s really tragic :D
    I really should have an automatic sell if I’m down maybe 10%, but I never set it up. It’s my main trading weakness. That followed by selling too early. I wonder if I’ll regret my Renishaw sale, not so far…

  7. I use which works pretty well as a virtual trading thing – I’m still learning at the moment so it’s proving useful for that.

    Apparently the amount of debt and other fundamentals quoted on stuff like Google Finance can be hilariously out-of-date so unfortunately it’s still worth checking the most recent report. No idea if that’s actually true – I just read it somewhere!

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