Private Investor: I got out of Sportingbet just in time

It's nice to see a bit of life coming back to the market. Sadly, because of pressure of work (no tittering, please) and general business lately I haven't followed my own advice and taken advantage of the market's recent lows.

Another reason is that I've had to shell out for my teeth, seeing as you seemingly can't get NHS dentistry in this country.

I imagine that isn't news to you, either. I do wonder though about how far this Government and its predecessors' proud claims about how much better off we all are, take into account huge hidden increases in the cost of living such as this.

After a course of treatment at my dentist I certainly don't have the feel- good factor, either in my gob or my wallet.

By the way such financial ups and downs are another good reason for that well known investment technique called regular saving. because while I haven't been mucking around on the stock market my usual direct debits have been quietly going through, so I have actually been putting some money into the market.

It's just that you don't notice doing it that way, so you don't even have to think. That's bad when it's gym fees or film club subscriptions (notorious rip offs) but good when it comes to most decent investment trusts.

I'm happy that I've carried on buying shares in Emerging Markets and Indian based trusts because I've been exposed to a little bit of the recent recovery in those markets.

Much more to come, long term I feel from these funds, run by Foreign and Colonial and JP Morgan respectively.

And while that's quite a nice feeling, it's never going to be as nice as peering over a precipice at the wreckage beneath, safe in the knowledge that you escaped the crash. I'm talking Sportingbet. To be fair, this company does actually make concrete profits, although obviously now not as much concrete profit as it and its fans might have been hoping for.

Sportingbet has been pulled down by the scandals affecting the rest of the industry, and I really wonder whether shares in online betting companies such as Sportingbet can recover from their recent pasting.

The most significant problem of all, was actually the one that investors always knew was there; that their business in the United States wasn't as legally secure as it ought to have been and that sooner or later that was going to be resolved by the United States Congress, possibly to the detriment of these offshore concerns.

So it has come to pass and the whole online gambling phenomenon resembles nothing so much as a classic bubble.

I think I made my mind up some months ago that the market in shares such as Sportingbet did indeed have some of the qualities of a bubble, and so I sold my shares. Thus I escaped a terrible thrashing.

I got 318p a share for them last September, and they were then considered weak after a profit warning from one of their peers, PartyGaming. After that they climbed back up to 480p, but now I notice they're at 180p. Even at this price, I have to say, I would have made money because I bought them so long ago as a curiosity. Avoiding a big loss, though, is a much more warm feeling than collecting a small profit.

I ought perhaps to be collecting some other small profits now.

Standard Life is demonstrating steady progress, up to 243p a share now. The question for lots of investors in that company, now that they've collected their post demutualisation shares, is whether to hang on for a year for the bonus issue. Unless you need the money, that seems like the shrewdest thing to do. I've enjoyed watching some other holdings make modest recoveries lately as well, especially Rolls-Royce, BT and ARM Holdings. The paper profits on those are almost enough to cover the cost of having my teeth done. Something for you to chew over, perhaps.

s.ogrady@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

Life and Style
Living for the moment: Julianne Moore playing Alzheimer’s sufferer Alice
health
News
Jay Z
businessJay-Z's bid for Spotify rival could be blocked
News
The spider makes its break for freedom
VIDEO
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Sport
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle v United player ratings
Arts and Entertainment
books
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

    Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

    £25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

    Reach Volunteering: External Finance Trustee Needed!

    Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...

    Christine McCleave: FP&A Analyst

    £36,000 - £40,000: Christine McCleave: Are you looking for a new opportunity a...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

    £15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

    Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

    Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
    Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

    What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

    Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
    The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

    Setting in motion the Internet of Things

    British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
    Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

    Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

    Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
    Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

    Cult competition The Moth goes global

    The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
    Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

    Pakistani women come out fighting

    Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
    Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

    Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

    The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
    LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

    Education: LGBT History Month

    Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
    11 best gel eyeliners

    Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

    Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

    The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

    Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

    After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot