Good morning and Happy Friday!

This is the usual placeholder article, published the night before, to enable early comments and suggestions from readers.



Good morning!

It's quiet in RNS-land, with only a few announcements of interest today.

So I thought I'd spend a few moments explaining what I've been doing with my personal portfolio this year - and please remember that these articles don't count as advice, merely discussion!

One of the practical reasons an article like this can never offer an advisory service is because each of us has our own individual situations, with our own individual investment goals, time horizon, risk tolerance, liquidity requirements and tax situation.

Because of this, even if we all had exactly the same opinion on particular stocks, and by some miracle it was the correct opinion, it wouldn't follow that we would all want to invest the same way. We would still have to tailor our portfolios to each of our individual needs.

With that out of the way: this is what I've been doing in 2017.

In the first half of this year, I added IG Group (LON:IGG) and Next (LON:NXT) to my portfolio (currently 5% and 4% of my portfolio, respectively).

In the second half, so far, I have mostly been selling. This was due to my personal situation where I was bidding on a property and needed to be ready to buy it. So I sold up my lowest-conviction shares and moved 40% into cash.

However, bids on that property eventually moved to a level which I thought represented poor value, so I let it go.

Since then, I've been trying to figure out what is an appropriate level of risk exposure for someone who wants to make a property purchase within the short-term (e.g. within two to three years). As always, greed and fear need to be balanced. There is not going to be an exact or a perfectly scientific answer.

One thing that plays on my mind is the belief that with the FTSE at c. 7400 and the Dow at 23,500, there is the pronounced risk of a broad market sell-off.

In normal circumstances, I would welcome such a sell-off for the buying opportunities it would present, but in my specific circumstances,…

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