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Access to Your Own Personal Fund Manager - DIY Investor

In this article, I will outline how a subscription to GillenMarkets is akin to having access to your own personal fund manager.

In my previous article dated 26th February last, I outlined how to Value An Asset. We saw that higher interest rates lower the value of an asset and that lower interest rates raise the value of an asset, or asset prices in general. In addition, to take account of risks an investor needs to discount the value of an asset by adding a premium to the prevailing rate of interest. 

The GillenMarkets website assists subscribers to value all kinds of assets from individual stocks to funds. The funds we cover include both investment trusts and exchange-traded funds, and these fund types are listed and traded on stock markets.

GillenMarkets Offers Extensive Coverage of Stocks & Funds
We cover some 25 different stocks and up to 70 different funds that are listed on the international stock markets. Funds that are not listed and traded on a stock market, like unit-linked funds in Ireland, are cumbersome to deal in, in my view. They also carry higher costs to pay for the 'intermediary' who sells these funds. In comparison, funds listed on the stock markets do not need anyone to sell them, and, so, they do not carry intermediary costs.

We offer guidance on all the asset classes from equities to property to commodities to hedge/absolute return funds to alternative assets like timber and corporate bonds. We highlight when a particular asset class offers no value or contains above average risks.

Developed Market Government Bonds are Grossly Overvalued
Today, we are strongly of the view that government bonds in the developed world are grossly overvalued. On the other hand, Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffett's investment vehicle, appears to us to offer solid value, and the shares are highly likely to deliver returns well in excess of bank deposits on a 3,5 and 10-year view from here. In the past two weeks, we have provided full analysis of Berkshire Hathaway for subscribers following the publication of Berkshire's Annual Report.

Regular Investor Slot Highlights Key Picks
To assist subscribers, we invest €1,000 each month into two separate portfolios (real money is invested). Since November 2009, we have invested €41,677 into both portfolios.

The first portfolio is referred to as the Regular Investor's Subjective Portfolio, as we subjectively buy a stock or fund each month into this portfolio from the list of stocks and funds we provide coverage of, and which is on our recommended list. As the first table highlights, the value of this portfolio today is €50,831 for a 22% gain. To make it more real, the actual holdings in the Subjective Portfolio, and the gains or losses on each holding, are outlined in the second table below.

The second portfolio is referred to as the Regular Investor's Low Price-to-earnings Portfolio. Here, we simply follow the rules of this FTSE 100 Value Approach, which was outlined in detail in Chapter 21, Value Investing in the FTSE 100 Index of my book 3 Steps to Investment Success. As the table highlights, the value of this portfolio today is €52,074 for a 25% gain.

Regular Investor - Gains to date

Regular Inv - Subj Portfolio Gains

Man  vs  Machine
In many respects it is 'man versus machine', and both approaches make us accountable for recommendations made. As the monies have been invested monthly, then the whole €41,677 has not been invested for the full period since November 2009, but for half that time. Hence, the 22% and 25% returns were made not over the three years and five months (41 months) since November 2009, but half that time, say, 22 months. Hence, the compound per annum returns work out at somewhere between 11-13%.

These are highly respectable returns delivered in real time, and easily beat the returns you would have obtained from bank deposits over the same time. Other advantages to investing for your own future in this way - be that with your pension fund monies or personal savings - is that you are; 

  1. Obtaining value each time you invest
  2. Diversifying across different stocks and funds
  3. Keeping your costs low by dealing in stocks and funds listed on markets and by using a low cost, online stock broking account.
  4. Ironing out the volatility that is part and parcel of stock market investing.

Access to Your Own Personal Fund Manager
Seasoned investors will use our website for the independent research and ideas we provide, and then make their own decisions. Less experienced investors may decide to just follow our monthly buys. In many respects, a subscription to the GillenMarkets website is like having access to your own personal fund manager. The internet has made this possible at low cost.

The key is that we are not sellers of stocks or funds. You pay an annual subscription for access to our weekly investment bulletin and the list of stocks and funds we recommend. GillenMarkets is the only website of its kind in Ireland, and there are but a handful in the UK. An annual subscription to our website costs €199.

We also provide training for those who wish to kick start or speed up their knowledge of investing. Our 1-day training seminars have been going since 2005, and our next seminar is on in May. The seminar costs €499, but this includes an annual subscription to the website (which costs €199). Email to info@gillenmarkets.com if you wish to register your interest, book or to get details of the day.

Try Our Free 14-Day Trial Offer
If you are curious, but not sure, then you can avail of our 14-day free trial to the website, which gives you access to the whole website for two weeks, and to two weekly bulletins from myself - published on a Saturday. This week's bulletin covers Berkshire Hathaway and the Blackrock World Mining Trust.

You will have to enter your contact and credit or debit card details to avail of the free offer, but you can opt out before the free trial is up, and before anything is charged.

Until the next Free Newsletter...which will touch on some of the reasons why markets are so volatile. Understanding volatility provides you with the confidence to invest through the many volatile bouts that markets suffer.

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