Monday, January 30

Stock Picks for 2012 ?

Stock Picks for 2012

FTSE down 51 points at the moment - DOW and Nasdaq to open lower (currently down 91 points) - see

Bob Doll from Blackrock has just been on CNBC - he likes the healthcare and energy sectors and stock picks he pecifically mentioned were United Healthcare, Chevron and Conoco Philips. He also likes high dividend stocks with good free cash flow that can raise their dividends higher.

Share Tips from the Motley Fool

The Motley Fool is well-known for its sage advice - here are ten of their latest stock picks for 2012 including well-known FTSE large caps and a selection of smaller companies.
Tesco Store

  1. Tesco - After its 20% slump in one day many people, including yours truly and Warren Buffett think it could be a good punt, but it may be worth waiting a while to see which way the wind is blowing. It could drop back as far as 275p (currently 320p) - unlikley though IMHO.
  2.  Invensys
  3. Man Group
  4. RSA Insurance
  5. Miners - Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton
  6. Balfour Beatty
  7. Devro
  8. Teva Pharmaceuticals
  9. GVC Holdings
  10. Punt of the month -Camco
For all the details and check out -

Tesco 3 month chart

Also from Mr Griffin who picks eight FTSE 100 shares he thinks are worth taking a close look at.

Company P/E Share price

Pearson(PSON)12.5 1,155p
Rolls-Royce(RR) 11.8 733p
Diageo(DGE) 14.3 1,418p
GlaxoSmithKline(GSK)10.5 1,427p
WPP(WPP) 9.8 737p
BG Group(BG) 13.2 1,404p
Johnson Matthey(JMAT)13.8 2,021p
Rio Tinto(RIO) 6.7 3,798p

For more stock picks for 2012 see this short video Five Stock Picks for 2012

Tuesday, January 24

What is a Black Swan Event?

Black Swan Event in the Markets?

On CNBC the guest chartist has just been talking about the possibility of a Black Swan event.

So what is a Black Swan event?

The term refers to "unexpected events of large magnitude and consequence". It was developed by scientific advisor Nassim Nicholas Taleb at Universa Investments.

The reason the CNBC guest predicts the occurrence of a black swan event is the mismatch between the VIX which is low and the SKEW which is rocketing upwards. So basically we can expect the unexpected, with a significant event occurring that will affect stock markets and which ought to provide a buying opportunity.

It is also said that although these events are very difficult to predict they may be catastrophic for our bank balances, and may even change the way we look at the safety of our investments forever! So quite important.
Nicholas Taleb gives all the details in his book (now available for the Kindle) The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: "On Robustness and Fragility"

To summarize a black swan event is a surprise, it has a major impact, and it is rationalized after the event (implying that it could have been predicted, whereas in reality it couldn't).

So charts predicting an unpredictable 'black swan' event seems a little unlikely, although I guess that the chartist on CNBC was being a bit loose with his terminology. The charts according to him are pointing to an unexpected pull back in the markets and a subsequent buying opportunity. This may of course happen but it would not be a black swan event according to the definition above.

Sunday, January 22

Real Time Stock Charts Online

Real Time Stock Charts

The chart below shows the real time prices for the DOW, NASDAQ, SnP, FTSE 100 indices etc... . It also allows to display the charts of individual companies, to change the chart just start typing in the name of the company you are looking for in the window, then choose the stock ticker symbol you want.

You cana also change the various technical indicators - just click on the tabs and select the indicators you want.

Wednesday, January 18

Zynga a Good Investment?

The Zynga IPO - Is Zynga a Buy?

Here's an interesting video by 'stock trading master' about the Zynga IPO. Zynga make games like Farmville for places like Facebook, that some people (although not as many as you might think) actually pay real money to play. How many people actually pay to play Zynga's games? All is not as it seems. Check out what Mr Pincus really thinks. Some people think investing in stocks and shares is a much better game than Farmville.

This video may concern Zynga but it is actually worth bearing in mind for all IPOs. During the famous dotcom bubble privileged investors were allowed to buy stock in IPOs on the condition that they then bought more stock after the IPO to give the stock price a massive boost on the day it went public.

Zynga floated at $10 and is now worth $9.22.

Also, did you know the French already have their own  ratings agency ? It's called Fitch