Private Investor: Blunkett takes a tumble, but Tesco strides on - for now

Well, there's no doubt what the big story of the week is. Apart from David Blunkett, of course, although I rather wonder about his investment strategy; a lump of cash placed in the shares of just one company.

What about pound cost averaging David? What about the clear advantages of a collective fund for those with relatively modest sums - say £15,000 - to invest. And what about only investing in businesses that you actually understand? Well, maybe DNA Bioscience actually does qualify on that criteria.

The returns from a shareholding in DNA Bioscience, for Blunkett and/or members of his family may well have turned out to be substantial, even spectacular. But what a lot of risk, eh? Now he's back on his backbencher's salary of £59,095 with a problematic background when it comes to acquiring new company directorships. If I were Blunkett I'd be finding myself a decent financial adviser and looking into some broad based investment trusts ( Foreign & Colonial is my own long term core investment). Has Blunkett got the pension provision in place he needs for his retirement? I only ask.

Then there was that other eye catching tale; the Telefonica bid for O2. I have been buying lumps of O2 actually ever since it was spun out of BT four years ago, when BT shareholders were offered some "free shares" from the demerger plus the opportunity to acquire some more at an attractive price of 80p.

So I bought some more. Then the great telecoms crash sunk O2 and they slumped to half that level, at which point I bought some more. And have carried on buying the occasional slice, the last purchases being only a couple of weeks ago at about 156p. Now we have a cash bid of 200p, so I'm in the money.

Naturally, I have to add that nothing yet seems to have happened to the other smaller telecoms companies I bought into - Colt and Kingston.

By the way, your one share in the old 2001 BT, worth, say, 333p, is now one share in BT worth 210p plus one share in O2, now 200p. So you're better off. Not much, but a little.

However for me the truly significant development in the past week has been the persistent pressure driving even more persistent rumours that the competition authorities might be willing to take an axe to Tesco.

The worrying thing is not where Tesco is now - at 30 per cent of the grocery market - but where it is going. This was explored by Jeremy Warner, The Independent's business editor, in a recent column and it made for interesting reading. Tesco itself says it wants to grow in the UK by 6 per cent a year and it has the land bank and the management expertise to make that happen. It can also continue expanding into almost every nook and cranny of our lives, from car insurance to broadband internet connections. There must come a point when even Tesco's most ardent admirers might wonder if one chain can receive perhaps 50 per cent of all retail spending with no ill-effects.

On the other hand, apart from the businesses that are knocked sideways when a Tesco turns up on their doorstep it is difficult to identify what actual harm has so far come about simply because of Tesco's size.

Returning to the Blunkett affair, the state the Government is in you never know what sort of crowd pleasing stunts they may pull. Knocking the supermarkets occupies roughly the place in our national life that knocking British Rail, the Gas Board and the Post Office did in the 1970s. Except that in those days we criticised them for being too unsuccessful.

Now it seems Tesco, as with the big pharmaceutical firms and fast food companies, is too successful. Will we ever be happy?

Email: s.o'grady@independent.co.uk

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

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
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
News
news
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