Last year (and the previous year too, if I am being honest), using the excuse that the world was going to hell in a handcart, so whatever I did would spell disaster, I took the easy way out and left all my investments where they were.
Basically, though, I was being bone idle.
Mid-way through I had cause to regret my sloth. I hung on to gold for too long, missed out on some very cheap equities in Europe and generally wallowed about in blissful ignorance until the end of March.
If it wasn’t for some fluky bonds in 2012 it could have been a lot worse.
“I gave my family and the dog short shrift and went to the downstairs loo with some financial magazines”
This year, then, come December, I gave my family and the dog short shrift and took myself off to the downstairs loo with some financial magazines and my wife’s iPad.
It seems a lot’s been going on since the recession started.
In fact, it took a couple of successive morning visits to the bog before I’d even begun to catch up.
Turns out bonds are no longer the flavour of the month, so they’ll be down to less than a third of my holdings sharpish.
European equities are up as a consequence – although I’m inclined to think that the real reason bonds are suffering because no-one believes it’s a proper, owns-its-own trousers recession until interest rates look like we’re back in the 70’s.
The USA is planning on continuing counterfeiting it’s own money, so it wasn’t such a bad idea to hold onto gold after all, thankfully.
North America, though, is an interesting one and so is China for the same reason.
“Perhaps I should open a shop in Beijing for Americans…”
It seems that both will have large consumer groups in 2013 all intent on spending their money.
I can’t for the life of me think how I can benefit directly from that though, unless I open a shop in Beijing for Americans.
Whatever effect this may have on their indexes won’t really show until later in the year and China (dodgy banks, regime change) and America (fiscal cliff) both have big hurdles to clamber their ballooning, consumerist derrieres over before then.
So where does that leave me?
Well, apart from the adjustment away from bonds, pretty much where I started – turns out it really is true about having a balanced portfolio not needing much work.
However, the loo is a lot tidier and considerably warmer.
Whilst sitting there, I finally got around to bleeding the radiator.
Robin Bennett is the author of Kicking the Property Ladder, a guide to giving up the futile house price bubble and making more money from investing in stocks, gold, stamps and more.