Derek Pain: I'll stick with this terrible twosome – for now at least

No Pain, No Gain

The no pain, no gain portfolio made modest progress during the past three months. Although the stock market enjoyed a relatively good quarter – making a nonsense of the tired old saying that investors should sell in May – my little collection of shares turned in a rather disappointing display.

True, the total gained advanced more than £2,000 from the last review to around £93,500, but I had expected a rather more compelling result. Still, I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies, even though profits have fallen by around £10,000 this year.

A few disastrous investments have wreaked havoc with the portfolio's recent history. Two of them remain, others have been ditched.

The two worst-performing current constituents are SnackTime, the vending machine operator that expanded too quickly, and TEG, a composting technology group that was forced into an emergency cash call. I have decided to stick with them in the hope they will come good. But any more slips could quickly end their costly participation.

Animalcare is also giving some concern. Although the veterinary products group blotted its copybook with a profits warning, I nurse hopes that, in spite of the squeeze on family budgets, the difficulties will be short lived.

Other stocks in the portfolio are profitable – or marginally out of the money. Even G4S, the security giant that endured an unbelievable Olympic fiasco is, surprisingly, just about showing a gain. Quite frankly I was preparing to dump the shares. But the stock seems to have Indian rubber qualities. When G4S stumbled over its abandoned acquisition of ISS last year the shares slumped to 220p. before recovering to top 290p. The embarrassing Olympic failure sent them down to 240p; they have since exceeded 270p.

The G4S performance has been quite remarkable. Many of us expected a much more dismal display after the odium heaped on the company following the Olympic security fall out. I am writing before the security giant's interim figures this week; they could, of course, have quite a dramatic impact on the share price.

Even so, the negligible G4S advance from my 264p buying price is one of the many influences that have eroded the portfolio's profits. Before the banking meltdown profits were nudging £150,000. Since then they have often topped £100,000. But the last two quarters have been particularly painful. Of course, dividend income, which would be quite substantial, is excluded from my calculations. So are dealing costs.

Avation, the aircraft-leasing group recruited at the same time as the highly profitable Capital Pub Co. which fell to a takeover bid, has been a shade disappointing. With talk that the Australian resources boom is coming to an end, the shares have dropped from around 120p. The group, through its links with the "down under" airline Skywest, could be a casualty of any slowdown in the mining surge that has so benefited the Australian economy. Skywest could already be feeling the strain. Its shares are down to 18p from a year's high of 28p. Clearly I need to keep an eye on Avation which has said it intends to obtain a Singapore share quote to run in tandem with its full London listing.

Booker, the cash and carry chain, remains the star performer. Whitbread, the leisure group, and Hargreaves Services, are also showing handsome returns. However, coal mining to transport group Hargreaves remains perilously close to 700p, the level on which I have put a sell order. Spirit, the pub chain, also deserves a mention. The shares have put in a strong performance since being recruited last year at 42p. Northern Petroleum, which became a constituent at the same time, is just below my buying price although the shares have been much higher. Estimates of the group's enhanced value continue to circulate. The last figure I saw was 123p a share. The stock market, however, seems unimpressed.

The most recent recruit, Brightside has edged ahead. It, too, should produce half-time figures this month. The insurance broker is expected to join the dividend list with a maiden interim which should foreshadow regular payments. The shares are selling on historic earnings of around 9.5.

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Retirement Coordinator - Financial Services

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...

    Recruitment Genius: Annuities / Pensions Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...

    Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Officer - Altrincham - up to £24,000.

    £18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...

    Ashdown Group: Learning and Development Programme Manager

    £35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor