Investment Advice


I agree with you Vincem, if there is one message that I have always valued with the pin it is to go into things with your eyes open. Time flies however and though I’m delighted that I’ve put a few quid together what to do next is something of a challenge for those of us for whom what to do next is a challenge. Its something of a tyranny of choice for the uninitiated but the advice I’ve received in the last 24 hours has done a lot to get the ball rolling. To that end I’d appreciate it if you could pm me the details of the broker you mentioned above Mr A.



Your welcome and good luck with the broker - remember his priorities are not necessarily matched to yours, and prompt him that you are interested in low cost index funds, you can mention HSBC or Vanguard. Either of these companies may even be contacted directly depending on the amount of money you plan to invest.
Sorry about the broker bashing, no offence meant to anyone in the business.

PS - ETF’s are also worth a mention … funds.html


Not sure if this is a coincidence but Devere’s gets a mention here … un-goofed/


Sounds very Glengarry Glen Ross.


If you are investing ETFs are probably the way to go, vanguard as suggested above are the cheapest. Fixed return are the safest and cheapest don’t expect great yield.

I have no idea where to make a good investment these days and I am not convinced the stock market offers good value. Trying to make a prediction as to where the world will be in ten years makes my head hurt.

Maybe invest in yourself in some way?


On the general topic of equity advice, a good, reliable and transparent source is “Seeking Alpha”, if you have time to read even a tiny fraction of their considerable output.

It’s considered the creme de la creme of free crowd sourced opinion, and much like Wiki, analysts have found it just as reliable as the stuff you pay for. They have 8,500+ people writing for them, and they pay them on different tiered scales. Once you register/sign up you can subscribe to a wide variety of daily emails cut and diced by sector/country etc. You’ll never be able to read them all.


+1. I use these funds for 401k and find them to be good. At the v low end for fees, easy to switch around funds without penalties and easy to mix it up between equities/regions/bonds/etc.


I think you are largely wasting your time with this kind of micro financial analysis. It’s impossible to predict the future and index funds have been found to equal informed professional investors.

My own maxim is to try and predict global trends (almost impossible see Nassim Taleb) and then just buy a generic etf in those areas. Then enjoy the sun. Too much analysis is counterproductive for multiple reasons including the delusion that you are in some way informed. How accurate is the data set… It’s almost impossible to answer this question.


I’d guess that most of the three million who’ve signed up to SA would disagree with you. Some people allocate funds to different sectors and seek advice on more than one category of investment. If people have the time, money, interest, and desire, I don’t see the harm.

Every investor is not passive.It’s designed for the hands on active investor. The various index funds haven’t exactly being setting the world on fire lately.

There is I think, in the US, a stronger tradition of activist investor than in EU. The Value Line Survey with which SA competes directly, has been around since 1930 and has about 300,000 subscribers who pay between $200-$1,000 a year.


I did a lot of research and writing for one of these newsletters many years ago and in my experience many of the subscribers are pros, and or fairly well off people who devote most of their work time to their finances. Obviously the web has brought many many more people into the stock picking game which is why you now have many more publications available for free. But managing investments is a time consuming exercise which is why there is an enormous business in doing it for people. I think the point about having too much micro info is a good one; it’s beyond the scope of most people with jobs to keep up with whats going on in a sector never mind industries, and analyzing info and trends takes more than just lots of information. There is a reason almost every article on seeking alpha type newsletters has a list of warnings at the bottom. Fun to read though.


The number of people signed up or paying a subscription is not correlated to the accuracy of the information. Subscribers are willing to pay for the ability to make more money as they see it as an investment not an expense (why do the FT and WSJ have such successful online subscription models while other papers do not?). It’s harmful as people are in effect deluding themselves as they think they are well informed and can easily lose all their money.

These two articles explain my thought on the subject: … -investors … stors.html


Only a fool would contradict Warren, and I agree with him entirely, or is it the other way round? :slight_smile: But Warren is making a different comparison there, he’s comparing low cost index funds, with high cost money manager type advisers. Seeking Alpha & Value Line are catering to a different investor, the active investor who doesn’t rely on either. Such investors may have some portion of their funds in a variety of investments such as managed and/or S&P index funds, and some other portion they actively manage themselves, with the goal of being NO cost. It doesn’t have to be one or other, it can be both. Just because it’s not your cuppa…

Here’s a piece from SA explaining why they were not particularly concerned at being dropped by Yahoo in 2014. … y-research

A 2014 WSJ piece on an academic study that finds crowd sourced analysis, specifically Seeking Alpha, equal or superior to professional analysts. … ysts-news/


Just because it is better than crap according to some metrics doesn’t mean it is valuable.

Interesting article from Taleb:


Anyone got a view on the Institue of Investing and Financial Trading ? Thinking of doing one of their courses but they aren’t cheap and, to do so, will probably require relocation to Dublin for duration.


But more valuable than crap?

Taleb is opinion, as opposed to the fact found in the study. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan noted: “Everyone’s entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts”.


I’ve read the paper. It’s interesting however is totally different to how most people would interact with a site like Seeking Alpha. As it effectively removes bias as it is data driven.

I would be interested to see how their algorithm worked over different time periods e.g. 2005-2006, 2011-2014 etc. Also different return values not just ‘abnormal returns’.

There are other algorithmicly driven funds such as hedge funds etc that no doubt use data scraping (from multiple sources… I’m sure we can all think of various indicators) and textual analysis in their algorithms. These things sometimes give the impression that they work… until they don’t.


Well at least we’ve migrated from crap, to better than crap, to interesting. That’s progress. Be thankful for small mercies etc. :slight_smile:


A good example of the value of Seeking Alpha. Apart from the utility of the pieces themselves, the awards encourage other writers to up their game,