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A Merry Xmas to you, dear reader! It’s been a bit of a bumpy year – so remember to take some time out this Xmas to relax and enjoy the season with family and friends.

Yes, looks like it’s been one of those years where the blithe buy-and-hold 100% home market ‘investor’ beats most of us hard working egghead investor types..! I’m thinking specifically of the S&P 500 (and the US dollar, of course), which is up v marginally for the year, vs. most other (down) markets ‘round the world. Not trying to pick on US investors, but the average US Joe Public investor  usually suffers from a pretty bad case of home bias. (And no, I don’t blame the average US investor. It’s ludicrous to see most US financial journalists, advisers etc. recommend an ‘adventurous 20-30% allocation to foreign markets/currencies when the US share of global GDP is limited to 25%!).

It’s a little frustrating to wonder why we didn’t just opt for the simple one click investment solution..? Damnit! If it makes you feel a little better, the average hedge fund manager feels exactly the same this year. Hmm, but they still manage to be v well compensated..! A word of encouragement, hindsight’s a bitch, don’t worry about it – smart, consistent and well-diversified (value) investing will win out in the end. In fact, simply managing to eliminate some of the usual fear and greed that dominates the average investor’s thinking and decisions will put you well ahead of the game in the end also.

Philip O’Sullivan has set some of us a good challenge to start 2012 with a bang. Xmas is going pretty well so far though, so I might letting the side down a little between now and New Year’s! We’ll see, maybe I’ll even manage to throw in a little macro commentary for once!

But my main aim will be to continue to write fairly detailed posts about new or existing stocks I own. Hopefully, I’ve provided some good meat & veg already for you, dear reader, in the past two months? Any comments or emails with your observations and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. What do you like best, what do you like least, what would you like to see more of…or less of, what do you think is missing, any interesting stocks you know of that are a good alternative to those I’ve written about or a good play on themes I’ve mentioned, etc.?

OK, it’s about time to get back to the family and Santa Claus:

But first: A lump of coal for every EU leader – after God knows how many summits in 2011, can you please get your f***ing act together in 2012…stop putting off the inevitable, just bloody well get it fixed!!!

Now, I just want to raise a glass to all you hard working investors, and bloggers, out there (value, or otherwise) – stick with it, it does ‘rub off’, and more importantly it does pay off in the end..! And here’s wishing for a Prosperous New Year for all of us!