Most Recent Commentary
Date: Thu 04 Jun 2020
 Company: Lookers Plc
Ticker: LOOK
Title: Lookers – Positive Trading Update
This is not a recommendation just something to think about.
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Lookers – After The Lockdown Are They Still Safe?

Ted Baker – Up And Down Over The COVID Period

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Disclaimers And Regulatory Notes

This site is not providing any form of advice and it is not encouraging share investing or trading, it is a personal view on strategy that some people may find interesting. For further clarification on what Advice Is you may wish to read the FCA document that makes it clear that information on this site is not financial advice.

MiFiD (Market In Financial Instruments Directive) - Personal Advice?

There is a specific exclusion in MiFiD38 for a recommendation given through a distribution channel (such as a newspaper or other media, including the Internet), where information is, or is likely to become publicly available. By its nature, a recommendation given through these distribution channels will not normally be a personal recommendation.......... The CESR Q&A39 made clear that, in deciding whether a personal recommendation was being given, one criterion was whether it would be reasonable to think that a personal recommendation is being made.

RAO (Regulated Activities Order) - Article 53(1) or not?

For advice to be regulated at all, it must relate to a specific investment.

The FCA clarification does not explicitly discuss strategy but it does make the following statement.

Advice to buy shares in the oil sector or shares with exposure to a particular country is generic advice because it does not relate to a specific investment and is not regulated.

Beginners Share Dealing / Beginners Share Trading

The internet is full of information on share trading and when I started I took a lot of it to heart.

After trading for a while I began to question a lot of what I was reading as it sounded sensible but did not relate to the reality that I was seeing.

So I created this web site as a place to publish my experiences and the views that I have formed as a private individual actually buying and selling shares with my own money.

Some of the pages may appear odd as they address issues that may not even appear to be an issue to people new to share trading, these may be the most valuable pages.

Having traded since the early 2000's I hope that this site is at least thought provoking even if you disagree with it.

The two biggest issues that I found with the information readily available were
  • Most of the information seems to relate to trading by professional fund managers who have much more money to invest than I have and for a much longer timescale, they can afford to wait 50 years.

  • Almost none of the information that is more relevant to the private investor is backed up by the author having used their own money to do whatever it was that they were recommending.

One of the reasons for the dearth of relevant information is surprisingly obvious, before on-line share dealing there were very few private share traders. So there has only been a short period of time for anyone to gain and publish their experience.

Pre about the year 2000 there were dentists, solicitors, headmasters etc with shares but they were bought via brokers, generally taking the broker's advice on what to buy and then holding those shares until they retired.

Once you get to the point of investing your money what is really telling about the advice and services available is that I have yet to see a financial advisor or wealth management company offer to reimburse some or all of your losses.

Clearly there would need to be caveats on any such guarantee but why are there no such offers?

This is of course a rhetorical question.

This is because the "Golden Rule" that everyone knows even before they start trading may not actually be true, if it were so clearly true then it should be possible to offer the above guarantee.
  • Shares should be bought for the medium or long term.
This view is very seriously questioned within the Short Term Holding section of this site and it is my personal opinion is that may be inappropriate for the typical private trader.

I still regard myself as a beginner, so there may be useful information here for people who have been trading for a while as well!

This site does not have an open forum, as I have yet to see a forum that doesn't descend into name calling, poorly thought out posts and blatant lies but there is a feedback section for posting serious comments or questions.

Barclays, The Numbers For A "Safe" And "Obvious" Long Term Hold

The chart below shows what would have happened if you had bought £5k worth of Barclays shares in 2002 and used the dividends to buy more shares.

Over this period, 17 years, you would have received nearly £3k worth of dividends giving a total investment of £8k and the current value would be around £2.5k or a £5.5k loss.

Normally when I share this graph I am told that I have picked a special case, but ask most people if banks are a safe share and most would say yes and 17 years is a long time. Note that there is no point between late 2007 and now where you could have sold up and not made a loss.

Don't forget that had you always withdrawn your dividends as cash then the current valuation would be lower than the chart shows as you would have fewer shares and that you have had 17 years of depreciation in the value of the £5k initial investment.

There are more details on the numbers here.

Dividend Graph

If you had to sell during the COVID-19 crisis when the share price was 100p you would have lost about £6.25k of your investment or at its worse of 70p about £6.8k.

Suggested Site Reading Order

The suggested reading order is

  • Strategies -> Long Term Holding - Reading this first explains why I believe that private investors may need a non-traditional way of thinking.

  • Strategies -> Short Term Holding - This proposes buying shares with the intention of holding them for 6 months or less.

  • Strategies -> CFDs - A get rich quick scheme that is almost certain to turn out to be a get poor quick scheme.

  • Strategies -> The AIM - AIM companies can appear to be like FSTE 100 companies, but they are not.

  • Strategies -> Long Term - Trackers - Something everyone should consider but possibly reject.

  • Commentary - Some thoughts but not advice on some companies.

  • Feedback - Let me know what you think, good or bad.

  • Strategies -> Tools - If you wonder if I have lost the plot this may reassure you that I am serious.