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ShareSoc Blog

This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

There is more news given in the News page of our web site and more analysis of news is provided in our monthly newsletter for members – see the Newsletters page.

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Random Thoughts from the Secret Auditor

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Nirvana. Investing nirvana is being as indifferent to losses as to winners. Having been investing for about 20 years I have yet to reach that nirvana, I am never indifferent if the portfolio has had a good day or a bad day, the angst of a bad day outweighs the pleasure of a good day. Which begs the question of whether I would be better off investing in a ...

ABF – Associated British Foods plc Information and Vote Guidance 2023

AGM:  8 December 2023 Proxy deadline:  6 December 2023 ShareSoc provide this added value voting information service for Full Members only, providing background information on leading companies and AGM vote guidance. Below are links to the: 1. Stockopedia summary report. 2. Minerva Vote recommendations for the 8 December AGM based on their standard template. 3. Minerva detailed research report for the AGM. Summary of voting issues at this year’s AGM  The Minerva report highlights various issues and recommends voting against two of the resolutions. Readers should make their own voting ...

Woodford Campaign Update 13

Link Scheme Voting Considerations URGENT: ACTION REQUIRED: VOTE NOW  THE “SCHEME” – WOODFORD EQUITY INCOME FUND COMPENSATION  The FCA has agreed a compensation approach using a Scheme of Arrangement which must now be voted on and approved by Creditors (relevant investors in Woodford Equity Income Fund). If approved, the Scheme must then be sanctioned by the High Court. The Scheme has been devised as a mechanism for Link to reach a final settlement with ALL WEIF Investors, regardless of whether they are involved in ...

When is an Investment Trust not an Investment Trust?

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Opaque Accounts of Alternative Asset Trusts Traditionally, investment trusts invested in highly liquid, listed, operating businesses. The accounts for such trusts are straightforward. The balance sheet simply reflects the market value of the trust’s investments and profit/loss is determined by the change in valuation of assets and liabilities plus any income generated by the investments. In recent years, however (and some not so recently), a number of “alternative” investment trusts ...

Bitcoin vs Cream Cakes

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. FTX prosecution vs that of Patisserie Valerie FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange which became one of the largest in the world with billions in deposits, declared bankruptcy on 12 November 2022.  The trial of Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) commenced in the US at the Manhattan federal court on 3 October, 2023. SBF faced seven counts of fraud and conspiracy.  Three FTX executives agreed to plea deals, hence they became witnesses for the ...

Bonds

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Is it time to buy bonds? I have personally been a huge sceptic of bonds and hence a sceptic of the 60/40 model of equities to bonds put forward by many financial advisers as a model for many investors with medium risk appetite. Bonds have had a 40-year bull market, but all that came to an end when interest rates went up from 0.25% to around 5% as QE was ...

SIGnet Investors Network Launches New Worcestershire Group 

  SIGnet is excited to announce the launch of a new in-person group based in Worcestershire. Investors of all levels of experience are welcome to join. The Convener for the Group will be Mike Kearney. Mike is a qualified and experienced Chartered Surveyor. After 25 years spent exclusively in property, he and his wife set up a consultancy in the Health/Social Care sector which they sold to a private-equity-backed concern 10 years later. For several years Mike has managed both a small family ...

Lord Lee Podcasts – Episode 2

  The second podcast for Lee and the IC  is now live -  "You can’t get selling right every time."  ShareSoc Patron Lord Lee has teamed up with the Investors Chronicle to produce a monthly podcast - "Lee and the IC".  The first episode, in September, focused upon dividends - particularly M&G, Aviva, Legal & General etc., and also touched on a number of Small Caps including Concurrent Technologies and Goodwin. As always, John Lee is a pleasure to listen to and he explains more about investing in ...

IBP Special Administration and Thames Ventures VCT 1

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. I have a very small holding in Thames Ventures VCT 1 (TV1). This is the remnant of holdings in other VCTs originally invested from 1997 onwards and which have generated a total return of minus 58% to date according to Sharescope, although I doubt that is accurate due to multiple consolidations and name changes. I would have sold the holding long ago if it were not for the roll-back ...

SJP and Hargreaves Shares Crash as FCA Consumer Duty begins to bite

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Shares in the FTSE 100 group SJP (St. James’s Place LSE: STJ) have shed more than 35 per cent since July, when SJP announced modest changes to fees in response to the rules. The shares were down 8 per cent in early trading on Friday. Investors’ concerns over its business model have intensified since the Financial Conduct Authority introduced its Consumer Duty in July, which forces financial services ...
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