Private Investor: I got out of Sportingbet just in time
Saturday 22 July 2006
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.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...
£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SQL Impl...
£85000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Head of IT (Windows, Server, VMware, SAN, ...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony