Derek Pain: I'll stick with this terrible twosome – for now at least
No Pain, No Gain
Saturday 01 September 2012
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.
Debt in Britain: Numbers seeking help on how to cope with mounting bills goes up by more than half in three years
Bargain Hunter: BT improves its mobile reception with 'incredibly competitive' deals
Questions of Cash: Why was my case ignored by My Civil Service Pension?
Offset your mortgage and save thousands
Women to lose benefits from contracted-out pension scheme
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Yorkshire man to win £10,000 off a £1 bet placed six years ago if Dan Jarvis becomes Labour Party leader
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 4 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 5 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
iJobs Money & Business
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: To provide a prompt, friendly and efficient se...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will be the first point of contact for all...
£18000 - £24000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR, Payroll & Benefits Of...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...
Day In a Page
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms
A two-bedroom detached house with ensuite bathrooms and a sun-drenched decked terrace, £750,000
A modern and spacious two-bedroom, penthouse flat with two bathrooms in a prestigious development
A beautifully renovated five-bedroom terrace with three reception rooms and a courtyard garden, £700,000
A four-bedroom period house which has been extended to provide almost 2,500sq ft of living space, £675,000
A pretty three-bedroom Georgian home with a 22ft drawing room and a master suite with a balcony, £525,000
A substanstial family home with five bedrooms and landscaped gardens in the much sought-after Branksome Park area
A well-presented three-bedroom house with front and rear gardens, close to White City station, £475,000
A handsome five-bedroom house in a sought-after location close to the city centre
A five-bedroom country home with valley views, equestrian stables and 27 acres of land, £725,000
A six-bedroom farm house with separate, detached cottages and 371 acres of land
A two-bedroom cottage with parquet floors, chunky beams and an open fireplace
A three-bedrrom flat with 2,733sq feet of living space, a beautiful private garden and 15 acres of communal grounds
A four-bedroom chalet bungalow with three bathrooms and a spacious garden, £525,000
A two-bedroom flat with an open plan kitchen and two balconies, close to Arsenal station