A new moneyspinner on the block
Just a year into its life, the Alternative Investment Market is proving its value.
Kaliya Franklin is an experienced disability rights campaigner, writer and speaker. She blogs at the 2012 Orwell Prize shortlisted blog Benefit Scrounging Scum, was voted one of the top 10 most influential users of twitter in 2011 (@BendyGirl), founded the lobbying group The Broken of Britain and was an author of the 'Spartacus Report'
Wednesday 19 June 1996
Although there is still a long way to go before it even reaches adolescence, the toddler has already proved its worth and silenced many of its critics.
There is only one clear initial reason why we need stock markets: they raise money for industry, and that means more investment, more jobs and more economic growth. But why on earth would we need another stock exchange? Surely there are enough red braces in the world without creating the excuse to encourage more?
The main London Stock Exchange is very effective for larger and international corporations, and in fact trades more international shares than any other market in the world, but it is definitely not geared up to handle the tiddlers.
AIM was established with the key intention of making stock market flotations simpler, more understandable, more accessible and hopefully less expensive.
With this in mind, everything from the flotation procedures to the brochures were designed to see how best they could be made more user-friendly to those not normally involved in such transactions. This included not just the companies and their directors, but also the investors, who are normally the last people to be considered.
Instead of the flotation process being centred on the Stock Exchange in London, the responsibility was devolved to broaden the process through new animals known as Nominated Advisers. These advisers had to have a respectable track record but did not need to have the size or costs of the London merchant banks.
There are 167 companies now on AIM, with a current value of approximately pounds 3.45bn. A total of more than pounds 340m of new capital has been raised and this is increasing steadily. This is more than anticipated, and certainly a surprise to those who were expecting or even encouraging infanticide earlier in the 12 months.
Perhaps the most encouraging element is the amount and value of trading that is going on. Far from being occasional, the volume has been quite brisk and been probably ahead of those smaller companies on the main market. It had been thought that just biotech and property companies would be the chief beneficiaries. This has not been the case to date. So far it has spread from printing companies to pawnshops and brewers to broadcasters.
But what about us as investors, should we dive in enthusiastically? Some of the shares listed on AIM have performed spectacularly, including Africa Gold, Celtic FC, DBS Management, Dawson Holdings, Old English Pub Group, Pet City, and Surrey Free Inns. But the answer is a clear no. By all means invest, but cover your targets carefully first.
AIM is a fascinating market, but you should only invest if you are willing to accept a higher level of risk. That risk can earn you a greater return, but also a greater chance of loss. Caveat emptor is the Latin tag which should direct us to be wary, but having weighed up the risks invest carefully.
The good thing about many AIM companies is that they are localised, and thus we as investors can bring our own knowledge and skills to bear to our own advantage. If in doubt, you could consider a pooled investment in AIM, like Singer & Friedlander's AIM Investment Trust.
AIM has had a remarkable first year, and no doubt it will have to suffer the pains of adolescence in the future. To date it has been a great success, and has all the chances of continuing to do so - and let's hope the Toddler doesn't throw a tantrum. Happy birthday.
The writer is business planning director of Barclays Stockbrokers Ltd.
sportLiverpool 5 Norwich City 1: Uruguayan striker has now scored 11 league goals against the club
arts + entsOlivier-nominated actor and singer is set to star in Lloyd Webber's musical about the Profumo affair
filmWith more than 70 per cent of early films lost, archivists are scouring the world to preserve the precious examples that remain
sportThe coach of Chalfont St Peter's under-10s football team was relieved of his duties after he sent an email to parents that said: 'I am only interested in winning'
techA piece of new hi-tech kit aims to get us scribbling again
indybestMake getting out of the wrong side of bed on cold winter mornings a thing of the past with our selection of night-time covers
life + styleClarissa Baldwin is the brains behind the slogan 'A Dog is for Life not just for Christmas'
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
Banks are brought to account by switchers as growing number of people expect to be rewarded by their bank
Bargain Hunter: Playmobil plays to the gallery with discounts on its toy range
How to start your own internet business
Five ways to make money on the internet
- 1 North Korea: Kim Jong Un 'sacks powerful uncle and has his aides executed'
- 2 The hardwired difference between male and female brains could explain why men are 'better at map reading'
- 3 Is this the scariest advert ever? Japanese tyre commercial comes with its own disclaimer and health warning
- 4 A forgotten episode in Russian history leaves links with the Philippines
- 5 ‘Put it in my mouth’: Viewers outraged by apparent reference to oral sex in VIP e-cig advert
iJobs Money & Business
£Negotiable: Citifocus: The role will suit a fund product specialist, current...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits : Harrington Starr: An award wi...
£300 - £400 per day: Harrington Starr: My client is currently looking for an e...
£300 - £400 per day: Harrington Starr: My client is currently looking for an e...
Day In a Page
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.
A charming barn conversion in the picturesque Cotswold village of Ilmington with three bedrooms, a detached garage, workshop and beautifully manicured gardens £675,000.
A three-bedroom new build, ground-floor flat with two bathrooms, close to Bermondsey tube, £445,000.
A three-bedroom house in an enviable new development moments from Oxshott High Street, with secluded garden and decked area, £385,000
A two-bedroom split-level flat with stunning south-west facing roof terrace in the popular Brondesbury Conservation Area, £549,950.
A charming 16th century, three-bedroom detached house in Bidborough with picturesque garden
A top-floor one-bedroom flat in the heart of Pimlico with a terrace providing spectacular views over London, £495,000.
A six-bedroom house, with three reception rooms, 1.5 acres of land and stables, £450,000.