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Ideas for new investors #finance #investments

If you’re new to investing and haven’t yet bought your first shares it might be a good idea to see if your analysis of the stock market is good. Several brokers offer ‘fantasy’ accounts and I have a couple with London South East. One is a copy of my ‘real’ portfolio and one is just to track a few companies. It is a good idea for new investors to open an account and then use their ‘portfolio’ like an investment game.

ideas for new investors

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Waiting for the share price to hit bottom #finance

My portfolio of investments looks like a disaster zone at the moment. Many of the share prices have crashed in recent weeks and this week the share price of Carillion crashed from around 190p to just 55p although it is beginning to rally a little today. The share has been shorted a lot in recent weeks but this crash doesn’t really make sense. Carillion has huge debts but it recently paid a very good dividend. Why if its cash flow was in question did it pay such a large dividend? The CEO has now resigned and they have hired HSBC as a second corporate adviser. It seems likely that their debt will need to be restructured and Jeffries are saying they will need a 500 million rights issue. The rights issue should have come a couple of months ago, along with a suspension of dividends. What was the board thinking? Hopefully, the share price has now hit bottom and the only way is up!

has your share price hit bottom?

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Escaping from slavery #finance #health

I usually write my finance and investment post on a Friday but I had a few other things to do so I’m a day late. Escaping from slavery sounds like a title about the deep south or a post about a third world country but many of us in developing countries are enslaved by addiction or debt. We become slaves to tobacco, alcohol or interest payments. Gambling and even shopping can be addictive and can also enslave us. So we need to throw off our shackles and live free. The prize in many cases is peace of mind, debt can drive people to suicide. In the great depression of the 1930’s financiers were throwing themselves off the skyscrapers of New York, such is the power of money in our lives.

escaping from slavery

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Living in Neverneverland #finance

Yes, Britain is now living on the never-never. Credit and debt appear to be official policy. The government is trapped in debt and so are most its citizens. The government can just print money and cause inflation which will effectively inflate away debts in sterling terms but not in the terms of the reserve currency, the almighty dollar. The thing now is, the almighty dollar is being devalued too, as are most currencies. A global economy based on ever-expanding currencies which of course lead to property bubbles in our capital cities. We are in Neverneverland but we’re not the only ones!

Living in Neverneverland

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Watching for patterns and trends

It can be lucrative if you can spot  patterns or trends. If you can be one of the first to sell the fidget spinner before they get discounted or recognise the latest fashion that is about to take off  you can make a fortune. The same is true of any market and the stock market is no exception. Patterns and trends are computer analysed and traders talk about the ‘candles’ on their charts. I don’t often use charts but they can be useful sometimes. Alliance Pharma seems to be fairly static for long periods and then it’s share price will suddenly jump either downwards or upwards for example. That is a useful trend to know about.

patterns and trends

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The big move to safety #investments

I’ve noticed a lot of movement this year from the FTSE 250 to the FTSE 100 where it appears to be safer. Yesterday there was a big move to safety as investors dumped mid-caps in favour of safer companies. Retailers, in particular, were hit as retail sales figures worried investors. The Bank of England MPC was split and doesn’t seem to know what it’s doing with interest rates. Obviously, mortgage rates need to go up to take the heat out of the housing market but short term borrowing probably keeps retail sales going. It seems likely the government will now abandon its austerity drive and try to stimulate the economy with infrastructure projects. I hope these new projects will be hospitals and road improvements and not vanity projects like HS2. The proposed Severn barrage project makes more sense than HS2.

move to safety

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Perceptions of political risk #finance

The election result has given us a result that appears to be perceived as increasing the political risk for investors. The stance towards negotiations with Europe was to go into it with a tough approach. The approach now could be softer and more conciliatory which might actually be beneficial. The risk for investors hasn’t really increased it has probably decreased but investors traditionally lean towards the Conservatives. We small investors are more inclined towards a liberal view and small investors are often ethical investors. While small investors wouldn’t welcome Labour raising corporation tax they don’t want austerity either. The political risk for investors may be perceived as being higher but over the summer we could see the actual risk changing in favour of small investors. We might even see a small increase in interest rates.

political risk

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More ideas for small investors #finance

Life isn’t easy for small investors and the biggest problem is dealing fees. The Halifax does have a discount once a month for just two hours on its dealing service and today it has a ‘birthday discount’ all day but although that helps, dealing fees still take a big chunk out of investment returns. It is not surprising that few people invest on the stock market. If Jeremy Corbyn put the stock market on his list of things to nationalise, I for one would cheer. The LSE is a monopoly that is undemocratic.

ideas for small investors

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Inflation and investments #finance

Inflation is on the rise once again and stands at around 2.5% which means my return on my investment in Zopa has been cut substantially by the effect of inflation. The return has increased, it dropped to under 4% and is about 4.5% now. Even so, the return in real terms is now only about 2% but still better than a bank account! My point is that we should consider investments in the light of rising inflation and look at what returns are in real terms.

inflation eating away at savings and investments?

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The ups and downs of #investing #ideas #investor

There are ups and downs for the small investor. We make paper profits and losses all the time. The real profits and losses come when we actually sell investments. The paper losses are important, though, they reduce our financial security. I have known the value of my portfolio drop by nearly 10% in one day and that is a big drop. I stay calm and hope it will recover. My losses over the past two weeks are a little worrying. After a surge by Solo Oil, there have been a number of avoidable drops in the share price.

investor

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Feelin the Brexit blues #finance

The stock market continued to drift and there was little enthusiasm as the uncertainty brought about by Brexit and a general election continued. We appear to be back to a two-party system with the Lib Dem all but wiped out and UKIP a shadow of its former self. The Labour manifesto seems to be a watered down version of what the leader would actually like. They are beginning to actually look electable. The Conservatives look strong on leadership but weak on actual policy. The result of the general election is impossible to predict and so yes, we have the Brexit blues. We like uncertainty, it provides opportunity but only if we can make reasonably accurate predictions of which way the market will move.

Brexit blues

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AIM market risks and opportunities #investments

I’ve written a lot about companies on the AIM market and Solo Oil in particular which has been dropping fast this week. The spread keeps changing and market makers appear to be doing their best to panic private investors. Suggestions have been made on the chat boards that the stock market is corrupt. It is not inspiring confidence is it? There is also a general feeling that globalisation is bad despite the fact it has brought us cheap goods. The AIM market is riskier and we can accept that but something seems wrong. Nearly ten million shares in Solo Oil were sold close to the close of the market yesterday and another ten million as soon as it opened this morning. That looks like panic to me. Is it a buying opportunity? One broker rates Solo as a speculative buy.

AIM Market

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The end of the month #finance

It is nearly the end of April and the weather here has changed to cold and wet again. I’m thinking of changing my car and have one at a local dealership in mind. I’m not in a hurry but at the end of the month, salespeople like to add a little to their commission. I hope to get a salesperson so enthusiastic to make a sale, that they will reduce the price or do a good deal on the part exchange to get that end of the month bonus.

end of the month

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Looking for certainty in an uncertain world #Investments

Any sign of common-sense and cooperation between the superpowers is good for the global economy. There doesn’t seem to be much chance of that at the moment as things get more volatile. Someone once said there is never a bad day on the stock market, when it’s down you buy and when it’s up you sell. It’s not quite as simple as that but there are always opportunities. We need certainty but we find continued risk and uncertainty.

certainty in an uncertain world?

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Volatile markets and prices #investments

In volatile markets, you have to assess risk and make forward predictions. The AIM is one of the most volatile and you have to look not only at the current value of a company but at the potential value. I’ve been watching Solo Oil and the price dropped quite dramatically from a high of 0.8 right down to 0.45 yesterday. Those are the bid prices and the spread at the close yesterday was a massive 20%. That was obviously the market makers manipulating the price to trigger stop losses and increase their margin.

volatile markets

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Estimated hidden value #finance #investments

The surprise news of the week came from Solo Oil which announced it was investing in helium exploration by buying a 10% interest in Helium One Limited with an option to buy a further 10%. This news trashed the share price even further and wasn’t greeted with enthusiasm by the market. This acquisition could add to Solo Oil’s hidden value. The hidden value is in the gas field that Ntorya2 was supposed to validate. Now we have bought into more potential value but that is all Solo Oil is, potential without the realisation of value. The gas sales from the Ruvuma well was realisation of value and fuelled optimism about Ntorya2 leading to a soaring share price which then crashed when shareholders were disappointed with results.

hidden value?

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Never look back #finance #investments

One thing I have learnt about investing is never look back and regret your decisions. You can’t change the past so concentrate on the here and now and of course try to predict the future. I have sold a few shares a little too soon but who knows what will happen to them tomorrow? It is better to sell too soon and make a profit than sell too late and make a loss.

never look back

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Surviving a crash in the market #investments

Sometimes it is the whole market that crashes and sometimes it is one or two share prices. To limit the damage, we need to diversify and have some investments not associated with the market.  Then a big drop in the part of your portfolio that is invested in the stock market isn’t quite so damaging. I have an investment in peer-to-peer lending through Zopa. Surviving a crash emotionally is a different matter. People get excited about making money and upset when they lose money but you can get used to seeing it as numbers on paper or on a computer screen. There has been a lot of excitement on the forums recently about Solo Oil and the price soared from around 0.3 up to 0.8 more than doubling the value of my investment and then this week the news from NT2 wasn’t quite what some investors expected and the market makers slashed the price.

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Economics and the stock market #investments

Most people understand the basics of economics. Recently there has been a worldwide glut of oil and so there was competition among producers that led to the oil price falling to below $50 a barrel which meant many producers were selling at a loss. Supply and demand largely dictate prices but in the case of oil, we also had to look at how much oil was stored. It will take a while before those stocks are deleted. When oil stocks are low then the oil price could soar to new heights again.

FTSE 100 affected by world economics

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Watching the stock market #investments

As a small investor, I obviously watch the stock market mostly to look for bargains but also to look for trends. I also watch some of the forums to see what other investors are saying. There is a lot of ramping because sentiment does influence buying and selling but not to an extent that we can influence it. I do suspect that traders in the City of London are more positive and tend to buy on days when the sun is shining! I don’t base my dealing on the weather forecast, though.

stock market tips

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A diverse approach to finance #finance

Just the way we think about finance can help us save money and make money. Finance can be about risk and a diverse approach to finance can limit that risk. Using a diverse approach when we are investing is fairly common but we can also use a diverse approach when we are buying too.

A  diverse approach

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Solo Oil soars on AIM #investments

Solo Oil

Solo Oil isn’t the only stock in my portfolio but it is the one I’ve been watching this week. It has soared from 0.42 to 0.53 (BID) since last Friday. The spread is still ridiculously high at 7.55%. The games market makers play! They have triggered a lot of stop-losses this week and stopped the games of some day traders.

Solo Oil

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Balancing the budget #Finance Friday

I missed my thrifty post again this week because I had a busy day again yesterday. January for many people isn’t about bargain hunting but about financial survival. Now we are into February and just past the halfway point of winter, we need to think about winter fuel bills. We also have to think about balancing the budget and make sure no more money goes out than comes in. If we treat our finances like a business we can also watch cash flow and perhaps use a credit card to delay certain payments.

balancing the budget

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Researching investments before you buy #finance

Researching investments can be difficult. The best way is to read all the annual reports of every company. That is a good idea if you are making a major investment but who has time to read them all?

Researching investments

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