Email of the day
Comment of the Day

June 26 2012

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day

On my personal long-term investment portfolio:
"Royal Dutch Shell is a significant part of your long term personal portfolio. Considering your opinion that energy prices, in real terms, will fall over the coming years won't this bear negatively on the share prices of companies such as Royal Dutch? I do know you invested in this stock primarily for yield, but I'm sure you'd hope to see some rise in the share price over time?

"And speaking of your long term personal portfolio, have you considered doing another review? With values as attractive as they are right now, it would, I think, be an opportune time to take a look at these and similar such investments.

"Thanks again for your time and excellent coverage."

David Fuller's view I first bought Royal Dutch Shell (RDSB LN and other listings) (monthly & weekly) because it is a leading energy Autonomy, and yielded over 5%. Yes, I do think energy prices will be lower, in real terms, in the next decade, although this is currently a minority opinion. Not everyone agrees that the tapping of unconventional (tight) supplies of oil and gas by fracking, plus technological advances in the production of most renewables and especially solar, will be sufficient to lower energy costs. However, everyone agrees that the global demand for energy will rise significantly in future decades. This should be good for RDSB. Also, Shell produces more gas than oil and should therefore benefit from increasing demand for this valuable commodity over the medium to longer term.

The main point I wish make on investments is that in this challenging environment I would not buy any share that did not offer an attractive yield. A good dividend usually cushions downside risk in a difficult climate and provides compensation for one's patience while waiting for market performance to return. Over the last year my modest additional investments in equities have been to increase my longs in RDSB and the Aberdeen Asian Income Fund (AAIF LN) which yields 3.7%. I also bought Asian Citrus Holdings (ACHL LN & 73 HK) in early February as a medium-term recovery candidate which also yields 3.2%.

Fullermoney's share reviews continue to focus mainly on Dividend Aristocrats and Autonomies. Overall, they continue to show relative strength, particularly those which have brand recognition among global consumers. Miners and medium to small-cap shares may be cheaper but most are likely to remain so until investor confidence improves and the global economy strengthens. China and India need more monetary stimulus to improve their growth prospects before they perform once again.

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