Despite market rises I still feel cautious...

happy trader
The FTSE 100 has bounced back up towards all-time highs, but can the index sustain it?

I'm surprised at the strength of the markets but it just goes to show that trying to guess direction or get in and out right at the top or bottom is a mug's game.

I thought it would head down and even put a FTSE short on but it kept going up so I made a hasty exit.

A reminder, the cheapest place to short is http://www.spreadco.com/nakedtrader (0.8 spread).

When shorting goes wrong it can go VERY wrong and it's always best to clear out quick if it goes against what you thought.

I know some people talk about technicals like golden crosses and RSIs, but I'm long enough in the tooth to tell you it is all bollocks!

Despite global markets continuing to climb, I still feel cautious so my "get out quick" strategy when things go wrong definitely remains very much in place.

Interest rates remained on hold today which isn't a great long-term signal. It looked like they were going to raise them so the underlying economy must be pants for them to make no move.

But the portfolio has been going so well I've been perfectly content to sit on a sunlounger in the garden listening to music and eating Twixes rather than bother hunting for much new. In any case, I'm about to hopefully unearth lots of new ideas at the seminar Monday week.

I must stop eating the Twixes, they are supposed to be for the delegates coming to the seminar .

By the way, there will be a full report on what I buy live at the seminar in the next update.

The seminar has been sold out for a bit, but a reminder there is an extra date on June 29. That'll be the last until the autumn so mail me if you fancy it.

But, as always, one or two things have come up.

I'd noticed the statement from Van Elle Holdings (LON:VANL) and I rather liked it so I bought some. It's had a torrid time last year but this statement shows it could be on the up.

It actually came up with a likely adjusted profit figure and forecasts for 2019 look pretty good. If they prove to be anywhere near right, the shares are worth a lot more.

Debt isn't too bad and there's a very good sign in that it has appointed a very experienced new CEO who is very near the top of the tree at Balfour Beatty.

The company still has problems of course, but I reckon these are pretty much all in the deflated share price.

Another deflated share price is an old mate, Scapa Group plc (LON:SCPA) on which I made a few quid in the past.

Results are coming up on May 22. It's always tricky buying things ahead of results but it seems to be starting to rise ahead of them which is a good sign.

I think if they fell below support at around 400p I might bottle it, though!

Cashflow is healthy and net debt is low considering it's made some acquisitions. I'm probably just looking for a rise from the low 400s back to the 500 peak. Perhaps a guaranteed stop on a spreadbet might be considered just in case at under the support level.

I picked up some more Future PLC (LON:FUTR).

Of course again it is risky picking up shares in a company close to reporting (May 17), but the shares are rising here in advance as well.

The recent statement reported strong trading with recent the acquisition of Newbay, which gives it a platform in the US by taking its info and events business.

It should start to see increasing sales in the States and the company indeed looks to have a good long-term future. So, if I can hold onto the shares for one or two years, I will.

This morning I bought back some Entertainment One (LON:ETO). It has been a great money maker in the past and it looks like it has bottomed out.

This one has the rights to Peppa Pig (TF I don't have to watch that anymore...hands up who hates Daddy Pig!)

It has big debt too but has a massive library worth more than £1bn. Content is king and it would be surprising if at some point the company isn't snapped up. I think the takeout price would have to be at the 400p level.

I have ummed and ahhed as to whether to include this buy on the website rather than just to the high risk section of the e-mail. It has only just made it!

The company in question is an old favourite, Dignity (LON:DTY), on which I made an awful lot over the years as it rose from £7 to £28. I didn't get out at the top but as detailed on the site I still made some very decent profits.

Lucky for me I had exited because shares slumped recently when it said it was reducing the cost of funerals. That would lead to a lot less profit but better off in the very long run. ('Til death us do part?)

It is high risk as results are on Monday and it could go up or down by 200 points.

The slump has seemed wildly overdone though, and I think the shares are worth more.  I'd be looking for a rise back up to the 1500p area in time. It says it just isn't sure where the cost of a funeral is going to end up. So there are problems and likely volatility which makes it on the riskier end.

I've taken profits of just under £5,000 on Fenner PLC (LON:FENR). It doesn't look like a higher bid is coming and there's a dividend payout on the way as well. Farewell Fenner, you have been good to me over the years.

Elsewhere it has been another terrific couple of weeks with some massive gains and all accounts on highs. ITV plc (LON:ITV) reported today and the new boss is the former head of Easyjet PLC (LON:EZJ). I always have time for her since she emailed me when I had a complaint about her old employer.

Her report was pretty confident, most parts of it are doing unexpectedly well and there should be more to come after the break. Avon Rubber PLC's (LON:AVON) cracking of 1350p looked bullish and indeed it is trying to get over 1400p. If it can, next stop 1500p!

Iomart Group PLC (LON:IOM) is trying to get over 400p. That's another lovely long-termer with massive profits.

GB Group (LON:GBG) has been climbing fast and sitting near all time highs. A pure delight over the years with over £100,000 profit.

Sopheon PLC (LON:SPE)!  I've now more than doubled some of the earlier trades and I have been tempted once or twice to take profits. It hit 1000p before profit taking came in. But it could easily go above that with a push. NWF Group plc (LON:NWF) has pushed over 200p. K3 Capital Group Plc (LONK3C) is consolidating around the 300p mark. Can it have another go at heading back up to 400p?

My biggest holding, SafeCharge International Group Ltd (LON:SCH) continues its slow march up and looks like soon to break all time highs. It's just a matter of patience here and hoping for a 400-450p takeout. Science Group PLC (LON:SAG) has moved well to the 250p area and hoping a decent statement will push it to 300p. Plus, there are some share buybacks coming too.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the progress but again I remain cautious after recent rises and won't hesitate to short the indices again should a meltdown look likely.

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