General News

Are AIM tech company directors underpaid?

Grant Thornton have published a report which says that AIM technology company directors do not pay themselves as much as in other AIM companies. Author Amanda Flint suggests the former might feel themselves undervalued and move elsewhere.According to the report, the average total pay package for AIM technology company chief executives was £383,000 last year. That is less than half the average pay across all sectors. And only 36% of technology CEOs received share-based awards compared with 60% of main market ...

A nation of DIY investors?

Research firm Compeer have reported that funds held by stockbrokers in "execution-only" accounts have increased by 20% in the first nine months of this year.  And a survey they undertook of 1,000 investors showed that half of them would invest without taking financial advice (i.e. by using an IFA or taking advice from a stockbroker for example).This growth in the DIY investor community might partly have been driven by the Retail distribution Review that took effect in January of this year ...

The level of speculation in AIM stocks

How much speculation is there in AIM stocks? Quite a lot based on some figures recently published in a FinnCap newsletter. “Speculation” might be defined as a short term bet on a share price rising or falling. That’s the opposite of “investment” where someone takes a view on the medium to long term returns from investing in a company. These are the figures published by Finncap for the ten most traded AIM stocks in September – based on the percentage of the overall ...

Is this a record – 950 share certificates?

Yesterday was the AGM of Crown Place VCT. A somewhat unexciting meeting in some ways (a full report can be found here), but it did give me the opportunity to meet someone who holds 950 share certificates for different companies. This is not just unusual, it may be a record. The shareholder had already been to two other AGMs earlier in the day. He apparently handles probate matters for individuals which accounts for this. Another shareholder asked me about the current dematerialisation ...

Top performing VCTs and performance fees.

Yesterday the AIC published a note on the “dividend stars” and “strongest performers” among Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) now that such companies have been in existence for 18 years. In terms of total dividends paid out since launch ProVen Growth & Income came top with Baronsmead VCT in second place. But investors should bear in mind that some VCTs pay dividends out of the capital of the trust which sometimes just means that investors are simply having the money they invested ...

London Investor Show Olympia

ShareSoc exhibited at the London Investor Show at Olympia on the 25th October. It proved to be a good show in terms of attracting new members and meeting existing ones even though there is substantial effort in organising and manning a stand. A photograph of the stand is shown to the right - Member Steve Holdsworth assisting at front, Director Chris Spencer-Phillips talking to a visitor. Incidentally the posters we used on the stand were printed by Printed.com – a division of ...

What happens to bond prices if interest rates rise, and the latest Co-Op news.

If interest rates rise, what will typically happen to bond prices? That was a question posed to 30,000 US adults according to a report in the FT today. I would hope readers of this blog know the answer because it is quite important now that QE might be tapering off and interest rates rising. Only 28% got the answer right, which is of course that bond prices will fall. People buy bonds in the belief that they are “safer” than equities. It ...

Trusting the regulators? You should not.

The recent case of Catalyst Investment Group highlights the fact that sensible investors should not rely on the financial regulators to warn them about dubious investments and those who promote them. Indeed so far as the FCA, and its predecessor the FSA, is concerned, the fact that a business is regulated by them does not necessarily mean they are trustworthy at all. All it means is that they have met the regulatory requirements at some point in the past.The recent outrageous ...

Royal Mail flotation – private investors losing out both ways

Some ShareSoc members are very disappointed that they will not get any shares in the Royal Mail flotation because they subscribed for more then £10,000 worth. These are my personal comments: This seems to be discrimination against the moderately wealthy and those who just happened to have some spare cash in the bank.  Either everyone should have got the same allocation of £750 of shares, or there should have been a graduated scaling back. It's just illogical. What is being done is that ...

Share Options and Perverse Incentives (Nokia and Elop)

Outrage about the amount Stephen Elop is getting (Euros 18.8m) for selling the mobile phone part of Nokia to Microsoft extends from the Finnish Prime Minister to the editor of the Financial Times. It is not helped by the fact that Mr Elop left Microsoft to join Nokia as CEO, and is now returning to them. Mr Elop did not manage to really revive the mobile side of Nokia while he was there, although some might say he established a base ...