General News

Book Review: Debtonator by Andrew McNally

Now here’s a book well worth reading on your summer holidays. It’s called Debtonator by Andrew McNally. Indeed if you are taking a long-haul flight to your holiday destination, you might be able to read it in one sitting. Like all good books it is short at only 98 pages excluding notes and index, and the format is small as well. But there is an enormous amount of information embodied in there. It covers the problems caused by excessive debt in the ...

Amati AIM VCT AGM and Retailers

Amati AIM VCT is one of those peculiar beasts – a Venture Capital Trust. Yesterday I attended their annual general meeting and here are some general comments on the company and the meeting: Amati AIM VCT (AMAT) is the result a merger of the two Amati VCTs. They had very similar portfolios so this made a lot of sense, and the result is a large VCT with total assets of £147 million. This figure was also boosted by excellent performance last year ...

Shorting Shares: Radio 4 programme

Mark Northway and Cliff Weight were interviewed as part of this programme which highlighted some of the benefits and issues surrounding short selling. Members may wish to listen to the programme which can be downloaded here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b7fj3g#play "Falling Short - Fake News and Financial Markets File on 4 If fake news is poisoning public debate, then what is it doing to the financial markets? Short-sellers - investors who bet on a company's shares falling, not rising- have a mixed reputation. For some they play a vital ...

LoopUp, Audioboom, Social Media Abuse and a VCT AGM

LoopUp (LOOP), a small AIM listed company that provides audio conferencing and in which I have a small holding, have announced a proposed acquisition of a company in the same business – MeetingZone Group. This will more than double the size of LoopUp so it constitutes a reverse takeover. As they are paying cash for MeetingZone it will be financed by a term loan and a large placing. The placing will be at 400p per share, when the share price last ...

New Year Angel Competition

In light of the popularity of our Fat Santa and Scrooge competitions at Christmas time, we thought we would redress the balance and celebrate the beginning of a whole new year...

A Christmas Parable and Productivity

No this is not an examination of how Santa Claus gets around the whole world in one night. But as my last post before Christmas, let me explain how I have automated the sending of Christmas cards over the last thirty years. I am by nature a lazy person, so handwriting and addressing the family’s Christmas cards was a task I chose to tackle with some automation many years ago. The first step was to put friends, family and business contacts ...

South African Politics, Pan African Resources and Mondi

The election of Cyril Ramaphosa as the President of the ANC suggests that the country may be taking a positive step forwards. Under Jacob Zuma South Africa has become riddled with corruption and “state capture” where assets are sold off to favoured parties. Whether Cyril Ramaphosa can become President of the country in due course remains to be seen but it is worth looking at his background. He has a legal qualification and became a trade union activist. After being active in ...

Persimmon Directors, IDOX Profit Warning and Transplants

This morning house building company Persimmon announced that Chairman Nicholas Wrigley and Non-Exec Director Jonathan Davie were departing. The company says that both of them recognise that the 2012 LTIP “could have included a cap” and “in recognition of this omission” they have tendered their resignations. Holders of Persimmon shares like me, or indeed anyone who has followed the debate on excessive executive pay, will be aware of the outrageous pay that has resulted at this and other companies because of the ...

Christmas Contests With Prizes

This month, we’re running two competitions, asking for your nominations. Fat Santa Award: This award will be given to the Chief Executive with the greediest LTIP award, making him...

Should You Invest In Art?

Following the sale of a Leonardo da Vinci painting for $450 million, those readers who like to speculate might think that investing in art may be worth trying. This was a painting that sold for only £58 in 1958, perhaps because its authenticity was doubted and it had been “overpainted” in some areas. It’s now been restored but it’s far from perfect even so. It is now the most expensive painting ever sold. Back in 1987, the most expensive painting ever sold ...
Page 1 of 1812345...10...Last »