Trader or investor? or both?

Podcast: Trader or investor? Or both?

In JSE Direct, Latest by Simon Brown

Trader or investor? or both?

Trader or investor? or both?

Simon Shares

  • British American Tobacco (JSE code: BTI) is in trouble on two fronts. Firstly the US is looking at requiring nicotine be reduce to non-addictive levels. Then the UK is investigating the company bribing African governments to get favourable smoking legislation. I suspect many had though the legal issues for these companies were behind them.
  • Bank results are showing surprisingly low dab debt levels. Barclays Africa (JSE code: BGA) at 0.96% and Nedbank (JSE code: NED) at 0.47%. Good news, but cost-to-income levels remain high with Nedbank blowing it out at 59.3% and Barclays 56.4%. These high cost bases are a problem and are not coming down.
  • MTN (JSE code: MTN) update was bleak. It finally gave us real numbers and shows it is down by about two thirds compared to 2015, which is pre-Nigeria.
  • Local markets toying with all-time highs but unable to break higher.
  • Understanding ETF TER ratios.
  • Upcoming events;

Investor or trader? Or both?

I got an email about how a long-term investor had a 15% trailing stop loss on their share and asked it this was the right stop loss level. The question was moot as the writer seems confused as to whether they were a trader or an investor.

The easiest measure is how long you plan to hold a position. If less than three years than you are a trader as SARS says holding less than three years is income and hence taxed at your marginal rate. So derivative or not short-term under three years is trading.

But there is another issue which is technical vs. fundamental. Traders generally use charts as price action trumps all else and plays out in the short term regardless of valuations. Long-term investors use fundamentals as they will play out over the long term. So a long-term investor would have a stop loss but it would be fundamental based, not price based.

Lastly, you can be both. Certainly I am both short-term trader and a long-term investor. Importantly use separate accounts, even if with the same broker.



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