The December 2017 edition of the UK Investor Magazine is now live: What will Father Christmas be putting in the stockings of the writers of ShareProphets, nine share tips , plus sexism at the BBC
Goals Soccer Centres – ‘investment delivering improvement’, ‘progress from strategic recovery plan’. Hmmm…
Published 98 days ago
Hello, Share Twangers. A share which has given me a lot of pain, though (thankfully) I don’t think I’ve recommended it to you very much, is a telecoms giant which has seen better days. In fact, under two years ago the shares touched a fiver. Nowadays, they are less than three quid. But analysts at Barclays have just repeated their fairly long-standing target of 450p, which would cancel a big chunk of my loss.
Published 152 days ago
Too many years ago to remember as a fledgling analyst and junior portfolio manager, I was told by an old hand that 'WPP is the company with the greatest correlation to the FTSE-100'. I have no idea - nor the boring Excel skills - to say whether this is true but the notion that the world's largest advertising company should broadly share the same ups and downs as the very international main UK market index makes quite a bit of sense.
Published 178 days ago
Hello, Share Twiggers. Probably the hardest decisions we have to make as diligent share shifters is when to sell a big winner. Because even the strongest share can reach a point where it is overbought. It may continue to defy gravity for some time, but what goes up too far must come down.
Published 256 days ago
Hello Share Squishers. It seems fairly obvious that gas and electricity supply companies may well see slimmer share prices after all this general election talk about capping energy bills. But so far, the market has not cropped shares by very much.
Published 265 days ago
Hello Share Planters. Here I am again, risking a commendation to look at the shares of one of the major British banks. This time Lloyds (LLOY) seems to me a worthwhile proposition. I am heavily over-exposed to this lot, so I personally hope so.
Published 278 days ago
Hello Share Troopers. I’ve long been a fan of British insurance giants. They are a chance to invest in the fast-moving financial world without too much fear of heavy fines and compensation payments for mis-selling and so on. Though, of course, there is an element of that.
Published 287 days ago
Hello Share Slicers. If you've visited Germany in the last few years, as I have, you’ll be impressed by the prosperity which swirls around the place. People driving posh cars, while smartly dressed (compared to Blighty anyway where the standard is admittedly exceptionally low). There is a fully-listed British property company which has a load of business parks in Germany - including the prosperous cities of Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich. It is doing them up to attract bigger rents.
Published 302 days ago
Hello Share Finders. One of the more stable shares in my bag is becoming even more favourable to this old punter, given the current uncertainties of the world economy and that it has not really kept up with the rising Footsie.
Published 315 days ago
You’ve probably guessed already that I mostly prefer future prospects to past performance when assessing if a share should attract my hard-earned. Thus a balance sheet is of interest to me - but not quite as much as a bit of old-fashioned imagination when trying to second guess if a service or product will fly in the next few years.
Published 327 days ago
Hello Share Smashers. With the Footsie once again pushing into a new all-time record, it is perhaps time to re-visit an old favourite of mine.
Published 328 days ago
Hello Share Swipers. Though I think house sales will remain sturdy, despite the doubters, I am not so sure about internet estate agents. Rightmove (RMV) is one of those companies which you expect to do well for shareholders as internet house-selling seems to be gaining in popularity. But a popular service is not automatically such a good investment.
Published 340 days ago
Hello Share Squirmers. There was a rather unnerving fall for shares in Photo-Me (PHTM) in the middle of last month. It was based on a scare story that the quality needed for official id photos could be provided by mobile phones and so could be something of a challenge in the future for automatic photo machines.
Published 343 days ago
Hello Share Puddlers. I’ve previously commended to you the outer space firm of Inmarsat (ISAT). It sends satellites up there to help with mobile phone signals in difficult places, like Everest. It also provides navigation for ships and planes.
Published 348 days ago
Hello Share Pluggers. I’ve held my ITV (ITV) shares since Noah went to youth club. And though I’ve seen a horrible dive or two, the shares had been climbing back strongly for at least five years now.
Published 355 days ago
Hello Share Scrapers. Already this week, I’ve brought to your notice DCC (DCC), a Footsie distribution giant. I’m so cheerful about the sector, I bring you another one which is also in the big 100 club.
Published 357 days ago
Hello Share Trudgers. I’m going to suggest again you look at Diageo (DGE), one of the world’s biggest drinks companies. If you look at your FaceBook pages, you’ll see snaps of loads of friends and relatives, leering with a drink in their hands.
Published 362 days ago
Hello Share Switchers. The big word of the moment is ‘infrastructure’. Part of Big Donald’s election victory was his promise to make zillions of new American jobs by launching a big infrastructure improvement programme.
Published 368 days ago
Hello Share Snafflers. Well, it seems the old Footsie has called a halt to its record-breaking run into ground-breaking highs. Does this surprise anyone? Of course not. What keeps on going up has to come down. So it’s possibly time to pause in our headlong rush to find shares which put on capital value. Let’s instead turn once again to an ever-important part of the armchair tycoon’s income - the dividend.
Published 372 days ago
Hello Share Swipers. Though it horrifies me to think of it, I first watched independent television when I was cramming for my eleven plus. It was at my uncle’s house, as we couldn’t afford a new telly to take the second channel and it must have been sixty years ago. Robin Hood was on.
Published 385 days ago
With the oil price rising nicely, it’s a reasonable time to look at a company which always reminds me of that famous frog in Beatrix Potter. You remember Jeremy Fisher? Well, today’s company is also involved in water: James Fisher (FSJ), a marine engineering giant with interests in the oil and gas world.
Published 399 days ago
Hello Share Scramblers. While its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, B&M (BME) the cheapie store is beginning to look like a reasonable punt to me. The full name is B&M European Retail, by the way.
Published 400 days ago
Ho Ho Ho, Share Packers Aggreko (AGK) is a company which I’ve featured recently. And since then, I think the story has got a little better.
Published 405 days ago
Hello Share Geeks. In a very recent survey of the most popular companies in which people are currently buying shares, National Grid (NG.) came in the top ten.
Published 410 days ago
Hello Share Sprinters. Are you ready for Christmas? Thought not. Even more important: are you geared up for the Santa rally?
Published 412 days ago
Hello Share Casters. Being rather proud of my stick-like figure, I’ve entered the habit of avoiding fizzy drinks. This was hard as I have a passion for dandelion and burdock and ginger beer. It’s the government’s attitude to sugary drinks that has put me off an old favourite share of mine, Britvic (BVIC). Normally I would commend this share to your attention.
Published 417 days ago
Hello Share Bashers. Selling computers and phones and big screen television sets has not been easy. In recent years, quite a few stores have disappeared from our high streets and out of town shopping centres.
Published 426 days ago
Hello Share Twirlers. The broadband and phone company TalkTalk (TALK) is not a share I would buy at the moment. And that’s a pity because I think someone needs to break the dominance BT (BT.A) seems to have on the market. Strong competition has always kept fees for broadband from being extortionate, and we can’t afford a shrinking market.
Published 442 days ago
Hello Share Crunchers. I’ve made an awful lot of gelt out of a firm which is mainly known for hiring out electricity generators. But it is a few years since I decided that the share price of Aggreko (AGK) had motored beyond its prospects, and I dumped the lot.
Published 459 days ago
Hello Share Shufflers. I don’t much like the name of the firm Computacenter (CCC). This is because of a prejudice I have against titles based on misspellings and particularly companies which use ‘center' instead of ‘centre.’ But that is just little old pedantic me.
Published 461 days ago
Hello Share Squeezers. I’ve been having fun lately trying to get cheaper car insurance. You know how it is - the renewal quote is always a heck of a lot more than your current policy. Though they always forget to remind you what you first paid.
Published 463 days ago
Hello Share Troopers. United Utilities Group (UU.) is Britain’s biggest water supplier. But the shares have fared worse than most this month. And while many Footsie giants have recovered after the Brexit vote, this stock which rose sharply after the vote is now dragging its feet. Yet there is no important reason to single it out as a loser, in my humble opinion.
Published 466 days ago
Hello Share Munchers. I’m quite a fan of investment in emerging markets. My main reason is that they have room to grow as poverty-prone populations become, well, a bit less poverty-prone. I suppose I’m mainly thinking about India and China. Together with many African countries which are not doing at all badly, despite common perceptions to the contrary.
Published 491 days ago
Hello Share Hammerers. I cashed in my British Airways shares before the price of aviation fuel crashed. This timing error cost me a lot of money. And you probably agree with me that selling just before a share price leap is probably the nastiest feeling a share shifter can experience.
Published 521 days ago
Hello Share Masters. There is so much gloomy comment among the City ‘experts’ these days that I really think it’s reasonable to again put the other side. The Footsie continues to push towards all time highs, so it’s all too obvious that the market is not in step with the pundits.
Published 523 days ago
Hello Share Pitchers. Some interesting plays can be in the field of new technology which tends to take a back seat. I’m not talking about high profile improvements in mobile phones and computers, but the grey areas, like helping firms do their admin work, such as billing, more efficiently. A company which really has a big market to go at here is Smart Metering Systems (SMS). It owns and supplies new-fangled, money-saving electricity and gas meters. A million of them, to be exact.
Published 526 days ago
Hello Share Chimps. If you are a saver, the latest drop in interest rates is a bummer. How can you achieve anything like decent returns for your cash? Spend it on shares, of course. While you get nothing from your ordinary savings, you can still get up to 6% and even more by holding the right stock.
Published 529 days ago
Hello Share Touchers. The medical world is going to keep on expanding as new cures and treatments come on the market in the wake of huge scientific advances these days. I once wrote articles for a big global company on efforts to defeat the common cold. I also wrote a popular book on the subject, called Attishoo.
Published 532 days ago
Hello Share Swiggers. Games Workshop (GAW) make tiny figures for the war gaming industry. The name Warhammer might be familiar to you. The very imaginative little warriors can be found in specialist shops in many a high street. The firm also makes Hobbit figures. To say that the Hobbit is popular with our young folk is an understatement.
Published 540 days ago
Hello Share Trundlers. There are folk who think investing in Royal Mail (RMG) is doomed to failure. They point to falling numbers of letters coming through our doors and the possibility of big companies like Amazon to arrange their own deliveries.
Published 547 days ago
Hello Share Twiners. If I am an optimistic bull as far as shares are concerned, then at least I am sometimes right. The current elevation of the Footsie, as it approaches 7,000 again, bears me out. Those who predicted a suicidal Footsie after Brexit were wrong. Many shares are simply blistering ahead, and show no reals signs of fizzling out. Yet Uncle Tom has just said in his bearcast that I am plain wrong to be so bullish.
Published 960 days ago
Hello Share Perishers. When choosing a company which you really want to pay its way then you need one that is very, very likely to make more money year by year. Just one year when profits are not as happy as the one before is a warning sign. One British success story that is expected to accelerate profits from now in is Arm Holdings (ARM).
Published 1119 days ago
I first covered Just Eat (JE.) at the start of December. Three of the company’s founding investors had just sold £139million worth of their holdings, through a discounted placement. This looked like a not so tacit admission that they saw limited further upside for the stock and were very keen to reduce their exposure.
Published 1232 days ago
Following an announcement from provider of software and services to the public sector and asset intensive industries, Idox plc (IDOX) that it has signed a $4.08 million contract with “an American multinational energy corporation”, the company's broker, N+1 Singer, has updated its view on the company. Does this support mine?
Published 1238 days ago
Following another profit warning last week, shares in inkjet printing technology company Xaar plc (XAR) continued to fall – closing the week at 420p. I update in the following with them now having nudged slightly higher towards 423p and on the back of an update from researcher Edison.
Published 1249 days ago
Hello Share Shunters: Let me see if I can interest you in a firm called Impellam Group (IPEL). They are in the job recruitment game. This was not a booming business in the long, dark period after the Credit Crunch. With no jobs going how could you make a crust when nobody was taking on anybody? But things are better now, with many more spare jobs, even if many of them are not paying quite as well as they used to.
Published 1251 days ago
My recent call on buying the rising FTSE100 at 6,644 has been a very good one. Although the German and American markets didn’t fall far enough to trigger my entry targets for the DAX or Dow, within the space of a fortnight, Britain’s main index rose through its target and jumped over 100 points. Once again the MIDAS Method has proved itself to be a superb indicator. However, with the FTSE100 now trading at 6,759, the question is can it make a push on that obstinate all time record? Better yet, can it finally break through 7,000?
Published 1305 days ago
The best laid plans of mice and men will often go astray. That’s another way of saying that investment portfolios need the diversity of about twenty shares to take account of the unexpected; both bearish and bullish. I note, with a heavy heart, the dismal performance of Croda International, a share that I last gazed upon in December 2013, after it had undergone a 15% decline in its share price to 2430p. To be kind to my bruised discernment, the share price did subsequently gain 7% to above 2600p by May 2014 (a decent rate of capital gain in five months), when all seemed to be going to expectations. Since then the share price has collapsed; last seen, the shares were 2106p 20% below last month’s peak and 14% below the last December price.