April 28, 2011 7:07 pm

A nudge rather than a wink

John Lee Performance year-to-date: +3.5 per cent

I concluded my turn-of-year article as follows: “So roll on 2011. It is unlikely to be a repeat of 2010 (I was up 29 per cent) – as most stocks are now fairly fully valued with few obvious bargains.” So far, this forecast has been broadly validated. For the first four months of 2011, I am up 3.5 per cent in capital terms.

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Numerically, I have had far more risers than fallers: Air Partner, Aviva, Capital Pub Co, Concurrent Technologies, Dawson Holdings, Delcam, James Fisher, Gooch & Housego, MS International, Norcros, Northbridge Industrial, Park Group, Quarto, S+U, FW Thorpe, Town Centre, Treatt (now my largest holding), United Drug, and Wynnstay.

Only PZ Cussons, Pochins, and Cable & Wireless Worldwide are down in price this year. Pleasingly, dividends continue to flow well with many increases, some payments resumed and only a few cuts.

Peter Temple Performance year-to-date: +1.5 per cent

A plodding performance from my portfolio since the start of the year has been enlivened by gains in my holdings in rare coins.

Compared with a 2 per cent gain in the FTSE index, my portfolio – including my pension fund – has risen 1.5 per cent, with the equity and fund holdings up by 1.1 per cent.

National Grid, up 8.7 per cent, has been my best performer while Local Shopping Reit and Merchants Trust have also chipped in gains. I have made a useful turn in the iShares MSCI GCC Countries ETF, as well: it’s 8.6 per cent up on my buying price in mid-March.

Among my other fund investments, there has been a marginal gain overall, but BlackRock Gold & General is down 5.5 per cent, in spite of the surge in the bullion price.

A detailed valuation of my rare coins shows these investments – which account for around 10 per cent of my portfolio – are on average 28 per cent up on their cost price.

Kevin Goldstein-Jackson Performance year-to-date: -1.88 per cent

My self-invested personal pension (Sipp) portfolio has got off to a poor start in 2011 – down by 1.88 per cent.

Oak Holdings has been my biggest faller, down from 4p to around 1.28p. Fortunately, my Sipp’s holding in Oak is minuscule. Other fallers included Lonmin, down from £19.66 to £16.46, and City of London Group – which dropped from 91p to 85.24p following an open offer of new shares at 83p, but then started to recover.

Good performers included Athelney Trust, up from 115p to 135p, and Weir Group, up from £17.80 to £18.74. In March, both companies announced pleasing 2010 results. Athelney specialises in investing in small companies and its audited net asset value increased by 11.9 per cent to 142p per share. Weir’s pre-tax profits rose 58 per cent and the full-year dividend increased by 29 per cent.

However, I maintain a cautious stance, with cash representing more than 30 per cent of my portfolio.


Nick Louth Performance year-to-date: +3.47 per cent

My portfolio has returned 3.47 per cent in the first four months of the year.

My US exposure – now entirely through Apple – has given a 10 per cent return already, hopefully with more to come.

My UK holdings managed a more pedestrian 2.84 per cent, somewhat held back by the derating of pizza firm Domino’s. Star performers have been Mozambique-based ilmenite miner Kenmare, up 52 per cent, engineer Cape, up 25 per cent, and sausage-skin maker Devro, up 17 per cent.

There has also been a steady return from the high-yield defensive stocks that make up a third of the portfolio. I’ve had an unusually low turnover within the portfolio this year, and that has helped keep costs down. My cash holding remains very light at just 1.2 per cent.

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