Derek Pain: Now the annual report is threatened by the rush to online

No Pain, No Gain

Well, I suppose it was bound to happen. After the determined but so far unsuccessful campaign to eliminate paper share certificates another hard copy investment asset is under attack – the printed yearly report and accounts.

A little known organisation called the Financial Reporting Council is at the forefront of this latest craziness. The expense, usage of paper and even the carrying weight inflicted on the poor old postman are among the factors cited in support of the abolition of the printed report. It is estimated that between seven and nine million shareholders prefer paper certificates. I would imagine those requiring hard copies of reports is much greater. The FRC believes all investors are happy to go on line to read about their company.

What nonsense. I suspect most are capable of doing so, if they so desire. But don't forget around ten million do not use computers and many of them are bound to be investors. How on earth are they going to be accommodated? Will they be left isolated, probably forced to sell their shares? It is, I suppose, old folk, like me, who most resent the internet intrusion. Yet we do collectively own part of a company and as proprietors should, if we want, receive printed reports. I also wonder about the reaction of the companies concerned. Many regard yearly reports as part of their promotional activities. In hard copy they are far more effective than in online form. I have recently received paper reports from Avon Rubber, Marston's and Mitchells & Butlers. All are presentable affairs, seeking to promote the company. Any business that is worried about cost can always produce a cheaper abridged version.

The FRC, and some other City organisations, seem remote from the real world. Cutting costs and to hell with the consequences seems to be their main objective. They do not consider the needs of people they are supposed to encourage. The FRC says it wants to promote "high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment". Of course, investors should be able to use the internet if they want. But suggesting all of them should be forced to embrace it seems contrary to the stated aims. It all resembles the drive to abolish paper share certificates, that will no doubt be resurrected, and the plan to eliminate cheques. The anti-cheque brigade will ignore the simple fact that 37 million people signed cheques in the past year. Progress is necessary but not at the expense of the needs of so many.

Now to a couple of companies that I hope will come out against the abolition of printed reports (the deadline to object is the end of March). Following the departure of Printing.com and Private & Commercial Finance from the no pain, no gain portfolio, I have, as signalled, descended on Avation (90p) and Capital Pub Co. (120p). Both shares have made headway since I indicated my interest but I feel the portfolio can live with the gains they have achieved.

Avation, which leases aircraft to airlines, moved from Plus to full listing in October. It owns 51.8 per cent of Capital Lease, an AIM-traded leasing group. On Monday, the shares jumped 15.5p flowing a lease deal with two Australian airlines covering 18 aircraft. Naturally I am disappointed I did not embark on the shares ahead of the tie-up.

Capital has around 30 pubs, in and around London, and has its sights on establishing a 50-strong chain in the next few years. With royal events scheduled, plus the Olympic Games, London is in for a busy time which should benefit hospitality groups including another constituent, Whitbread.

Recent encouraging interim figures – adjusted profits up 45 per cent at £2m – suggest that the group is heading in the right direction. Stockbroker Panmure Gordon rates the shares a buy.

I am thinking, as I said two weeks ago, about instituting more portfolio changes. But it is foolish to rush into buying shares even if delay, as illustrated by Avation and Capital, costs a few pounds. Buying small caps can be tricky and it is better to be safe than sorry. The portfolio is not a trading vehicle but a buy and hold operation. Still, by its standards, recent activity, four constituents out and two in, has been quite hectic.

yourmoney@independent.co.uk

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
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

    PMO Analyst - London - Banking - £350 - £400

    £350 - £400 per day: Orgtel: PMO Analyst - Banking - London - £350 -£400 per d...

    Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

    £300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

    Insight Analyst – Permanent – Up to £40k – North London

    £35000 - £40000 Per Annum plus 23 days holiday and pension scheme: Clearwater ...

    Test Lead - London - Investment Banking

    £475 - £525 per day: Orgtel: Test Lead, London, Investment Banking, Technical ...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game