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

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
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: Telesales / Marketing Executive - B2B - OTE £25,000

    £17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity to join this new...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £21000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Control Manager

    £36000 - £44000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Encouraging more businesses to ...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower