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Old 02.02.2016, 00:11
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The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

Dear fellow members,

For the past year or so I have been joining and over time dropping from various sites on investment and investment advice. Started from ads and hopped from one to another by reading and researching.

Since Q3 of last year I have narrowed my daily feeds and commentary to SeekingAlpha and The Motley Fool. Questions to all in a similar situation or already retired sipping martinis (looking at you, FatManFilms ):

- what feeds your daily updates on your portfolio investments?
- what sites /blogs would you recommend?
- would you go for a paid subscription to any of those (all are sub $100 but struggling to see how this can benefit a buy-and-hold "investor" like me)
- do you rely on any of your bank's investment committee reports or monthly newsletters/outlook forecasts?
- how do you weather the current dip in equities and do you think we'll see recovery to pre-December levels soon(ish) or it will be a long walk this one...

Cheers and thank you for your tips and comments
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Old 02.02.2016, 05:07
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Re: The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

Save your money! Both can give food for thought but most of the times the writers are talking up (or down) their own book. Read the comments after and you'll see reasons not too invest.

As for analysts reports from the banks - useful tools but do not rely on them. Companies hold analysts days where they present the company. They're not going to present doom and gloom are they? These days are often fun filled days with Golf on exclusive resorts, slap up dinners etc that the analysts aren't going to write bad things in case they don't get invited next time!

As you're a long term holder your time horizon is 5 - 10 plus years so you don't need to time your entry, though try not to buy on an all time high. Do your own research and look for the following.

Read the annual and interim reports and avoid if the chairman talks about "challenging times".
Is the p/e around the average for the sector
Does the company have an unbroken record for paying dividends
What is its profit record like
Is it in a growing market
Do people depend on the product
Is the company defensive

Spend money on a quality publication such as the FT. This will give you a balanced view of world markets with some valuable commentary and editorials such as the "Long View", market reports etc. I love the epaper. Ft.com/epaper, just as you'd see a paper copy but on your chosen device. I think they do free trials so try it for a month.
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Old 02.02.2016, 05:19
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Re: The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

I have enjoyed the Motley Fool for many years, since ~2002. However, I've never subscribed. Very helpful for getting a quick overview of investing and usually the articles are interesting. However, I have been wary to go for the subscription or books as well. Curious to know if anyone has done well with it.
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Old 02.02.2016, 08:13
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Re: The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

I have a subscription to Motley Fool. What I don't like is that you get bombarded with offers for other products they offer, with typical US heavy marketing style stuff which grates a bit.

However, as a complete newbie to investing, I find it quite helpful. Maybe I could pick up the tips from the FT but I wouldn't know how. Maybe it's a waste of money, but it's not a huge amount. The fee's negligibility depends on how much you're investing. If you invest 20000 and get above 0.5% growth as a result of their tips, then you've got your fee back.

Of course it's heavily geared to the US markets. That gives you currency exposure; if the franc strengthens and your stocks stay the same, in CHF value you've made a loss. Also, it doesn't really help in choosing Swiss stocks. On that subject, I've gone for Nestlé (NESN), Roche (ROG) and Barry Callebaut (BARN).
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Old 02.02.2016, 10:53
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Re: The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

You say you invest with a multi-year horizon so your decision-taking takes much longer than a few hours or a day. Why then do you care about the daily noise? Because that's what the news mostly are from a long-term perspective.

People in the financial industry want to sell their wares and services, no more no less. While some provide good info (including some on SeekingAlpha) it helps to always keep this in mind, because their income are your costs, which obviously reduce your net return. However, some people posting on Seekingalpha are definitely good, I like for instance Jeff Miller with his "Weighing the Week Ahead", he helps me think and plan.

As for subscriptions, since you are in Switzerland which makes the CHF your base currency, I suggest Finanz und Wirtschaft (german). If you want to add risk to your portfolio you could try their "Risk Portfolio", which usually contains about a dozen swiss companies the editors think are undervalued (usually due to internal problems, sometimes because their market is rearranging), are probably past their low and promise improvements within a few years. It's a virtual thing that ignores any and all costs, updates (buys, sells and portfolio report) happen and are published at the end of each calendar quarter. The portfolio beat the SMI by a huge margin, IIRC it's existed for almost 30 years.

Swiss companies have another plus:
You get considerable foreign exposure in nearly all cases with inherent currency risk management by professionals.

One little known area are closed-end funds, my idea here is to buy with a bigger discount than is the historical norm if I think the market sector warrants buying, and sell once the discount is back in its historical range. A good starting point for more info may be etfconnect.com. One caveat here is that they usually come with high costs (fund fees).
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Old 02.02.2016, 11:01
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Re: The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

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...
One little known area are closed-end funds, my idea here is to buy with a bigger discount than is the historical norm if I think the market sector warrants buying, and sell once the discount is back in its historical range. A good starting point for more info may be etfconnect.com. One caveat here is that they usually come with high costs (fund fees).
Interesting. I was only looking at this last night.
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Old 02.02.2016, 11:51
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Re: The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

If you're looking at ETF's here's one whose funds I have bought. There's also some good research here.

https://www.etfsecurities.com/Institutional/CH/en-GB
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Old 02.02.2016, 15:48
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Re: The Motley Fool and Other Subscription Investment Sites

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Interesting. I was only looking at this last night.
With closed-end funds' return you want to differentiate between "return on assets" (financed by divis, interest earned, etc; in short where one would expect the money to come from) and "return of assets"(payback of assets), which are summed up in "return".

For instance PGP with seemingly 20% return on NAV (13% on market price) seems to finance its payouts mostly from assets, as implied by its -2.8% return on assets over the last 12 months. This staggeringly high return has investors pay a huge premium of 67%, which makes it a near certain loss generator:

Buyers today pay $1.67 on the dollar but get back only $1, and even less after tax. Assuming 20% tax rate (on that $1 they get back) this amounts to more than 50% loss over time.

Caveat:
I didn't check any PGP filings so I may be missing a crucial detail.
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