Going hi-tech reaps reward for club

This month's winner of our Bulls and Bears competition runs accounts in euros and holds club meetings on the internet.
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The Independent Online

The prosaic name of this month's £1,000 winners of The Independent's Bulls & Bears Investment Club Competition, the Be-Ready Investment Club, belies a thoroughly innovative and cosmopolitan enterprise.

The prosaic name of this month's £1,000 winners of The Independent's Bulls & Bears Investment Club Competition, the Be-Ready Investment Club, belies a thoroughly innovative and cosmopolitan enterprise.

The 19-strong club consists of four people in Edinburgh University and the rest in Slovakia. It operates through one broker in Brussels and a second in the UK, it runs all its accounts in euros, and club meetings, far from being held in the traditional pub, are conducted via the internet.

The club's chairwoman, Dr Stanislava Uhrinova, works in the department of chemistry in the University of Edinburgh. She says: "We started the club in February, when we all got very excited by technology stocks." Despite the subsequent shake-out, the club is sticking with its hi-tech philosophy, she says.

This may have helped club members choose this month's Bull and Bear shares, which had to be chosen from the telecommunications sector. The Bull share, Dataflex, rose 2.16 per cent during the selected period, while the Bear share, Atlantic Telecom, fell 11.11 per cent.

Dr Uhrinova says the club chose Dataflex because it had good results at the end of July and strong development potential in telecoms and the internet. They chose Atlantic Telecom because they think it lacks critical mass and has been in loss for a number of years.

Dr Uhrinova adds: "Choosing the shares was quite a procedure. We looked at the 20 telecoms companies on the shares page, and found out which ones were in profit and whether directors had been buying or selling shares in their own companies."

* Here's your chance to emulate the success of Be-Ready Investment Club and win £1,000 in our Bulls and Bears competition, run in association with ProShare, the investors organisation, and Charles Schwab, the stockbroker.

Each month we award £1,000 to the investment club that nominates the best performing share in percentage terms (the Bull) and the worst (the Bear) in a particular stock market sector. The stocks will be drawn from the FTSE All Share Index. Entry is free for all those clubs which have been members of ProShare Investment Clubs for at least two months.

This month we have chosen the real estate sector, which you will find listed on the page headed SHARES in the main section of today's Independent.

Choose the share whose price you think will go up by the greatest percentage and the share you consider will fall by the greatest percentage, between close of business on Friday 15 September and close of business on Friday 29 September. Shares can be chosen only from those listed in the real estate sector and published in today's Independent.

The club with the highest combined figure when their winner and loser percentages are added together will receive a cheque for £1,000. In the event of a tie, the club judged to have offered the best reason for its riser choice will win.

Judging will be by John Willcock, Personal Finance Editor, and his decision will be final. Closing date for entries into this month's competition is Friday 15 September.

Your entry should include:

* The name of your club;

* The name of the Bull (biggest percentage riser) and the Bear (biggest faller);

* The reason for choosing the biggest riser (in no more than 25 words).

Don't forget your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers.

Entries must be received by e-mail, post or fax at ProShare's offices before 5pm on the closing date. Entries received after that time will be invalid.

You can send your entries by e-mail to jan@proshare.org, by fax to 020-7220 1731, or on a postcard to ProShare, Centurion House, 24 Monument Street, London EC3R 8AQ.

ProShare, 0870 2645484 or www.proshare.org; Charles Schwab, 0870 601888

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