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Smart bombs or smart phones #finance

The British parliament voted this week to extend bombing to Syria and the FTSE 100 dropped two percentage points the next day. Coincidence? Not likely.  We can invest in bombs and bullets or we can invest in building things that will benefit humanity. I would prefer to invest in research to cure cancer.

It is a sad fact that we need defence and the debates on bombing Syria were muddled, at least as far as the general public was concerned. What were they bombing? Isis they said, but what exactly? The Syrian government has caused devastation by dropped barrel bombs on towns and cities. Are we supporting that? It seems the plan is to cut off the money they get from oil by bombing their oil wells and oil-related installations. Why didn’t they say? I would support that and buy a few shares in an oil company! The glut of oil has been a problem for a while…

I don’t actually own any shares in engineering companies or companies that might be making weapons. I am quite fussy about what I invest in. I invested in Immupharma because they have a new drug for lupus that seems promising, but that wasn’t a great idea. The share price has dropped by 60% since. The willingness to do good can cost us money. Verona pharma  dropped too this week but appears to be recovering today.  It’s doing better than GlaxoSmithKline which has fallen and is now losing me money. I expect all the pharma companies will recover when people get used to the idea of spending shed loads of money on smart bombs.

Tesco’s share price seems really cheap now. They are suffering because of the dire state of the economy, but let’s ignore that and blame someone else. Blame bad accounting, Lehman Brothers, Isis; Aldi or Lidl; anyone but the management at Tesco!

I am encouraged by the fact that Premier Foods share price is steadily creeping up. Like Tesco, a good Christmas could really turn things around. The new products and increased efficiency should boost this year’s balance sheet.

It is difficult investing more when you see a sea of red when you look at your portfolio. That is what I see now, but there are bargains to be had now. I’m expecting the FTSE 100 to climb by at least 10% in the next few months and there are some relatively safe companies in the FTSE 100 list. Oil shares are looking attractive and so too are banks. Engineering companies like Rolls Royce and Senior are on my watch list too. Diversifying hasn’t stopped me getting hammered by the downturn, so maybe I need to diversify more. The main thing is to keep calm and carry on!

A least Zopa is bringing in a steady 4% with few worries.

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