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The Tippi Hedren rule

What worked for the critical success of The Birds can work for investing, too. Faced with investment’s equivalent of malevolent sea gulls, the instinctive response is to do something – anything – because flailing somehow seems an acceptable way of failing. However, staying calm and doing nothing can often be better.

Thus, by doing nothing the Bearbull income portfolio enjoyed its best month-on-month performance for over eight years when it recorded a 6 per cent gain in January. Clearly one month’s performance alone has no significance, but it served as a reminder that, despite 2018’s losses, putting together a portfolio of good-quality, high-yield stocks has, on average, produced monthly gains three times those of the FTSE All-Share index over a 20-year period, and with much less volatility than the All-Share’s returns.

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