Blog

5
Apr
2018

Wood from the Trees

So large technology companies look at what we reveal about ourselves and use it for their gain?  I’m trying the opposite, looking at what companies reveal about themselves…and trying to use it for my own gain.  Analysing the text of company financial statements, maybe there are patterns and relationships, not obvious at first glance – but valuable signals that text...
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23
Feb
2018

Those who fear a loss

But those who speak know nothing And find out to their cost Like those who curse their luck in too many places And those who fear a loss – Sting, Shape of my Heart   Most people can accept that quantum physics is uncertain.  But I’ve been trying to explain finance to someone who is an electronics engineer.  He doesn’t...
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17
Dec
2017

Seasonal thoughts on Goodwill

Tis the season of goodwill.  As it happens I am reading a book on Goodwill – not the goodwill of everyday usage, but accounting and economic Goodwill.  Capitalism without Capital by Jonathan Haskel  ,‎ Stian Westlake   I have found Goodwill fascinating ever since I read Buffett’s 1983 essay on Goodwill and balance sheet accounting.  It’s a little bit of a departure from my attempts...
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29
Nov
2017

Embracing the unpopular

I am attempting to use machine learning to find i) good companies AND ii) the right time to buy the shares. So rather than analyse lots of different companies’ statements, trying to identify characteristics in the text, I focused on one company. A good company is not always a good investment: Solid States share price had trundled along at circa...
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5
Oct
2017

Difficult opportunities

“True words are not fine sounding Fine sounding words are not true.” – Lao Tzu, Tao T Ching I’ve been a sceptical for a while about how anyone might make money from using technology to analyse sentiment. The hedge fund set up in late 2010 to implement the Twitter mood strategy, Derwent Capital Markets, failed and closed in early 2012....
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27
Aug
2017

Sectoral heterochromia

“Aviation in the evening, I can feel it coming on” – Aviation: The Last Shadow Puppets Professional fund managers tend to make their name by taking big sector positions. Famously Neil Woodford did very well avoiding banks, and owning tobacco companies. When I started everyone loved technology and hated mining companies. Then 10 years later this reversed, mining companies had...
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