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

PROMOTED VIDEO
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: Client Services Manager - Relationship Management - London

    £30000 - £32000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, int...

    Recruitment Genius: Credit Controller / Customer Service

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding business...

    Guru Careers: In-House / Internal Recruiter

    £25 - 28k + Bonus: Guru Careers: An In-house / Internal Recruiter is needed to...

    Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project