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Diary of a Dumb Investor: I’ll settle for a 242% return
I'm hoping past performance is at least a bit of a guide to future returns.
I’ve learnt that investors live in a sort of parallel universe to everybody else. While consumers – I among them – raged at SSE’s latest electricity and gas price hikes, investors rubbed their hands with glee. Even as grandmas around the country were fretting over how to stay warm this winter, the shares rose.
Same goes for the banks; while everyone else was despairing that previously squeaky clean Standard Chartered (STAN.L) was being investigated for breaking US sanctions against Iran, investors – this time including me – were gleefully buying up shares, perhaps even glad the whole thing had gone down (yes, I’m holding onto my Standard Chartered shares; it’s the bright star in my portfolio. And the shares aren’t back up to their pre-scandal levels, which I fully expect to happen in the not too distant future).
My portfolio: Click to enlarge
So call it a hedge. I buy SSE shares to make a tidy profit, offsetting the increased price of getting my energy from them. I could, of course, change energy provider, but the other providers will blatantly all follow SSE. Plus I'm a bit lazy with household admin.
Why SSE? Well, categorise the company how you want – I was worried it might be a dull ‘income stock’, meant for the over 50s – but there is a place in my portfolio for a ‘dividend stalwart’, a high-yielding, bad-ass heavyweight share that seems to bulldoze through all obstacles. Past performance is a guide to future returns, isn't it?
SSE has piled money into renewable energy – wind and the like – an investment that will pay off in the future. The renewables programme ‘is about to move from a balance sheet drag to an earnings driver’, one City analyst apparently said.
Ostensibly heavily regulated, the watchdog never seems to actually lay down the law.
I also admit to feeling slightly nervous that I don’t have any of the shares that ‘every portfolio must have’, or however the wisdom goes. SSE definitely fits into that category.
Yes, I know I should have bought in a gazillion years ago, but I wasn’t even born then, so lay off.
Like any good investor I’ll be looking to pick up some SSE action in the dips. In the meantime, I need to offload something to raise cash. I'm getting impatient with BP (BP.L), waiting for news on the Gulf spill court case and sale of its Russian business. Look at it festering miserably in my portfolio screen grab above. I despise it. It's a blight on my portfolio, a black spot on my life, a scar on my beautifully crafted investment landscape.
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