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Wexboy reached the grand old age of one last Friday! I’m so excited I might just sick up over your shoulder! So – where were the birthday wishes? The birthday cards (c’mon, they need the biz)? The birthday gifts? Most of all, where was my bloody birthday stripper?!

Not a bad little milestone to reach. I’ve heard the average blog never makes it past the first post or two, let alone hurdle that major 3-4 month hump. Welcome to the Millenial generation, I guess. Investment (& finance) blogs appear to last a little longer, but it seems like a majority of them still go dark within a year. Blogging is definitely a pretty relentless pursuit:

It demands time, sometimes a lot of it… But most people have an actual life. Blogging will ultimately fall by the wayside, unless you figure out how to embed it into your life in a way that’s personally useful, interesting & (most of all) rewarding. Of course, most web blogs offer nothing of the sort! But that’s the beauty of investment blogs (and likely explains their longer lifespan) – they actually possess the potential to be genuinely rewarding for both writer & readers.

An investment blog also demands brain power, or at least brain engagement. If you want to do it seriously, it requires copious amounts of research, fact-checking, persuasion, debate, cognitive dissonance, and contemplation. A bit like investing itself, really! Most other blogs appear to require the opposite – but perhaps that’s just my jaundiced eye? 😉 I’d certainly be desperate to disengage my brain if I was writing about the likes of Kim Kardashian, and her bikini waxing habits…

And speaking of a cunning stunt – starting a value investing blog certainly wasn’t one. Philip O’Sullivan pointed that out to me pretty much on day one. [Philip, come back, we miss you! All you need is time & a superhero alter-ego ;-)] Writing about investing is only ever going to attract a tiny slice of the web’s readers. And insisting on writing about value investing is going to reduce you to an even smaller morsel of that slice! Hmm, there’s gotta be a funny Venn diagram there somewhere. Oops, I meant a funny meme. Or another Hitler video

OK, let’s celebrate with some random & perhaps even interesting stats/links:

No. of Posts:     141

Average Post Size:     1,794 words

I’m sure there are stat plug-ins for this kinda thing! I just took some sample posts, pasted them into Word, and this was the average word count result. Christ on a bloody bicycle, that implies:

Total Post Size:     252,907 words

Holy fuck! To quote E.L. James. A quarter of a million words – unbelievable! I could have written the entire goddamn Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy instead & be earning a million bucks a week now… And written it a jolly sight better too, I firmly believe! OK, maybe with a little help from this throbbing wonder. 🙂

Shortest Post:     Really…when? Did I fall asleep part-way through a post, and hit the Publish button with my forehead?

Longest Post:     Lord, who knows – 3,000 words? 10,000? A squillion?! Thank heavens for series

Total Comments:     567

Average Comments per Post:     4  (& double that in spam comments)

Doesn’t quite match the wit and intellect of the usual cut & thrust you’ll see on YouTube. But what a relief – more like a nice leisurely chat down the pub.

Most Commented:     35  (by far: The New Vegas: US Oil & Gas (USOP))

No prizes for guessing that post! I have a feeling The Notorious US Oil & Gas Company (TNUC, for short) will be popping up here again…

Dumbest Comment:    Hmm, how about this one: ‘THIS USOP SHARES IS GOING TO BE £100 PER SHARE AFTER ELBANA 2 GOES COMMERCIAL [WITH ELBANA 1 ALREADY PRODUCING 10,000 BARRELS A DAY]. SAM’     (Yes: TNUC, of course!)

I reckon the Caps Lock knocks off about 10 IQ points. But miracles could happen – maybe the voices gave him some remarkably prescient insider info?!

Top Commenter:     Richard Beddard

Good on ye, mate! Though I’m actually ignoring the real top commenter – yes, Wexboy – that’s a really bad case of intellectual self-abuse.

Most Amusing Search:     ‘pretty panties‘   (Top 3, seriously!)

Most Pitiful Search:     ‘what is exciting about Avon’s restructuring?’

Top Referrer:     Search Engines

Here’s my personal Search Engine market share survey:  Google 96.3%, Yahoo/Bing 3.3%, AOL 0.4%. But you knew that already..!

Message Board Referrers:

interactive investor   44%

ADVFN   23%

LSE   17%

Yahoo   10%

Fool   6%

Top Blog Referrer:    valueandopportunity   (awed thanks, sir!)

Top Clicks:     Wexboy files

I’m delighted to see readers actually digging into the info/data!

Top Blog Clicks:

Philip O’Sullivan’s Market Musings   (now sadly defunct)

UK Value Investor

Expecting Value

Top Views by Country:

Country Views
United Kingdom FlagUnited Kingdom   40%
Ireland FlagIreland   20%
United States FlagUnited States   16%
Germany FlagGermany   5%
Netherlands FlagNetherlands   2.4%
Spain FlagSpain   2.0%
Canada FlagCanada   1.9%
France FlagFrance   1.1%
Switzerland FlagSwitzerland   1.1%
Italy FlagItaly   0.7%

This Top 10 looks pretty similar to my last country post – the main change being a steady increase in US readers.

No. of Countries:     129, & growing!

Latest Country:     Gambia

Traffic Trend:

From a base of 100:   Overall, there’s been roughly a quadrupling of traffic in the past year. I’d actually presumed there was a general & steady increase in monthly traffic, but the chart tells a somewhat different story. Traffic actually started off better than I could have expected in Nov-11. This then led to a big jump in traffic in Feb & Mar-12 – presumably reflecting more widespread discovery of the blog, plus the surging popularity of The Great Irish Share Valuation Project series. We then see the usual summer lull, followed by a big bounce-back in September (also, again, a TNUC phenomenon!). Finally, Oct & Nov-12 have been seeing steady gains – we may even see a new peak in monthly traffic soon.

Most Popular Read Post:     The New Vegas: US Oil & Gas (USOP)

‘Popular’ didn’t seem entirely the correct word for the whole TNUC incident!

Best ‘Short‘ Post:     Oh, c’mon! It’s TNUC, again! Down 39%, & teetering

Most Popular Series:     The Great Irish Share Valuation Project   (by far)

Least Popular Series:     US Economy, Government Finances & Debt

Now, was this because the series presented an unpalatable truth, or just ‘cos I’m crap at (writing about) macro-economics?!

Most Popular Stock:     Argo Group Ltd. (ARGO:LN)   (down 30%)

Least Popular Stock:     Trinity Biotech (TRIB:US)   (up 44%)

[More to come on Argo soon.] btw This is not an isolated pattern. There really does appear to be a fascinating inverse correlation between a stock’s post popularity & its subsequent price performance… Must keep an eye on that!

First Post:     Sirius Real Estate (SRE:LN)

Last Post:     German Residential Property V – A Buy!

OK, you gotta admit: It’s rather fascinating to see German property turned out to be my Alpha & Omega. Purely accidental, but persuasive, eh?!

Worst Stock Performance:     Petroneft Resources (PTR:LN)   (down 69%)

The fact Richland Resources (RLD:LN) is a close second should be pretty instructive for us all. Resource stocks – the ultimate crap-shoot!

Best Stock Performance:     Livermore Investments Group (LIV:LN)   (up 80%)

Of course, a blog is nothing without its readers: Most of all, I want to hear about your own experience(s) with the blog? Please share!

Stuff like: What do you particularly like (or dislike) about the blog? What stocks have you particularly liked/held in common? What’s been your favourite post in the past year? Is there a post, a stock, an idea that inspired a portfolio purchase of your own? What have you disagreed with most? Is there a piece of investing wisdom, however tiny, you’ve gleaned from the blog?!

Finally, a big thanks to each & every reader!