Private Investor: While Diageo's in high spirits, get a round in

On my travels around the world, I never cease to be amazed at how popular Scotch whisky is. This is especially striking when you consider how much it's gone out of fashion in this, its home market.

I think it's got a lot to do with the "Mike Baldwin" image that the drink has as an "old man's tipple" or at least one that's dated. I still seem to recall scenes from The Sweeney where they'd get a bottle of Scotch out of the filing cabinet when things started to get particularly difficult.

Anyway, they don't think of Scotch in that way in its rapidly growing emerging markets. I've personally seen how enthusiastic the Chinese and the Brazilians, to name two disparate peoples with a growing taste for the stuff, are about their single malts. They're following the Americans and the Japanese, and Scotch is probably having more success now than at any time in its history.

Part of which is why I think it's a good time to buy into Diageo, which has just reported another stonking performance – £2bn in profit from the likes of Johnny Walker, Smirnoff and the rest.

I've been in and out of Diageo shares over the years and I've always felt that I should have stayed in and never bothered trying to take a profit. However, such a habit has helped remedy one of those great psychological problems small investors have – that after they've sold a share for, say, £1, having doubled their money, when it goes to £1.75 or £3, then you somehow think it's "expensive". It need not be, if the company's prospects are rosy.

In that case the share price can, in reality, be cheap, but there's something going on in one's head holding back another purchase, which might even yield more profit than the first exercise.

Well, I've been cured of that now and I'm happy to buy some more shares in Diageo on the back of their encouraging results. I'm not especially bothered by the fact that they're losing market share on Guinness in Ireland and the UK, its traditional home markets.

As we are all becoming lager-drinking homogenised Europeans (with a few pints of Magners on top, in the case of the Irish), the only wonder is why it has taken the black stuff so long to lose ground. Besides, I see the Nigerians are taking up the slack – they started brewing Guinness locally under licence as long ago as 1963. This shows how globalisation and homogenisation can work in Diageo's favour.

Last week I added to my holdings at £10.37 a share, quite a multiple on what I paid for the stock when I first took an interest in it about a decade ago. It is a well-run company with excellent brands and shows every sign of knowing what it's about in the lucrative markets now opening up, such as India and Mexico, as well as the aforementioned China and Brazil.

I've also taken my own advice and added some more to my stock of Capita shares, although I can't claim that I've been able to take any advantage of market weakness to do so.

As I mentioned not so long ago, this is a share that just seems to keep going up in good and bad times; had you joined the party only a couple of years ago, you'd have seen phenomenal growth, and my only regret is not having had the courage of my convictions about Capita and invested more in it earlier.

Given that it runs so many PFI projects, including the hateful London congestion charging scheme, it isn't often liked by taxpayers, public services-users or motorists. It isn't my favourite company either. But if you want a sort of "emotional hedge" that can help you cope with your anger at having to pay a fine of £50 just because you forgot to pay the congestion charge immediately, I can think of no better idea than to buy the shares, at 751p.

Talking of courage, and looking about the market now, I wonder what the truth is about Barclays. It seems hard to credit that such a major institution could be in trouble, and I've no reason for saying it is. But it has been borrowing lots of money from the Bank of England, albeit very short term and for "technical reasons"; to do with the clearing system.

It also has this character who may have gone missing called "Captain Sensible", who was in charge of their sub-prime exposure. It's all conspired to push the share price down, and it ought to be a great buying opportunity. I just don't feel that brave.

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

News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Parker says: 'I once had a taster use the phrase 'smells like the sex glands of a lemming'. Who in the world can relate to that?'
food + drinkRobert Parker's 100-point scale is a benchmark of achievement for wine-makers everywhere
News
i100
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

    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
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing