Private Investor: While the punters are away, it's time for a summer play

Anice light summer dalliance with a real mover is what I really fancy.

Anice light summer dalliance with a real mover is what I really fancy. Looking back over the market movers in the last few months, it seems to me that it has been the riskiest stocks that have been the most rewarding. Most of the rest have been dull.

Stuck in London for the summer, I think I have spotted how I could have some fun. August has emptied the market of backers of many small, speculative stocks. They have taken their dark glasses off to Monaco or Marbella, leaving their stories to wilt and the shares to wane from neglect.

Now is the time for bargain hunters to pounce - but only on companies with real attractions. There should be assets on the balance sheet (preferably cash) and they should be inexpensive to run (penny stocks for choice). But most important, the shares should look sure of recapturing their mentors' interest and former high ground when the holidays are over. After all, I only want a short-term summer punt.

Some of the speculative so-called shell companies look ideal picks. Though reduced, the City is not so empty that it is impossible to find an expert with a list of such busted companies, shorn of their operations but still with value. While not the rage they were in the dot.com boom, these have been coming back into fashion. They are still one of the easiest shortcuts to a stock market quote for a private company that can buy control of them.

So I now have a list of shell possibilities, attractively set up, mainly on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), with racy stories and some money to spend. One is Chaco Resources, a newly funded penny shell with ambitions on oil and gas in Paraguay. Another is Gaming Insight, from the self-styled shell-wallah Haresh Kanabar's stable. This has been emptied of its former greyhound racing broadcasting operations, and returned to AIM to seek acquisitions.

Aurum Mining is being pushed my way, although it is a bit above my budget at over 100p. But the gold run seems set to continue, and this cash shell plans to invest in mines in the resource-rich former Soviet Union.

Otherwise, tech stocks, right down in bargain basement territory, are surely a must. At a mere 1.5p I am looking at Cybit, whose software enables businesses to track their car fleets. Yet it has just announced a strong order book plus backing from Norwich Union Insurance in the form of a three-year strategic partnership to implement its software.

Oil cannot be left out and I have found one whose regular followers seem to have gone away, or tired of waiting. Desire Petroleum is exploring in the Falkland Islands. Its price went to 37p a few weeks ago on news that it had completed seismic studies. But since then the shares have drifted. Or I could go back to my shell list, where the recently floated oil investment company Ragusa Petroleum looks risky enough. It is rumoured to be closing a first deal.

But maybe these are a bit too racy. I am counselled by my sage broking friend, Murray Liddell at Redmayne Bentley, that it is not wise to be too frivolous, as that is the road to ruin. Take a punt if you must, is his view, but do it on shares that will pay dividends. More expensive, maybe, but not in the long run. And they will not cause worries when it is my turn to go on holiday. He suggests running with the cigarette group Gallagher: after all, whatever nanny-state pressures are deterring smokers here, the developing world smokes like a chimney. It's a frequent bid candidate story.

Another is Standard Chartered Bank, as a punt on the booming Asian economies. Land Securities is possible, because it looks to gain most from the new Property Investment Funds, based on the US Real Estate Investment Trusts, proposed by the Government.

Then there is GUS, because sooner or later the mega-retailer's Argos and Homebase empire will be broken up. Or BOC, as a beneficiary from IT recovery, because its gases are used to create the ideal environment for chip manufacture.

I'll go for a mix of prudence and frivolity: I can't be doing with too many sleepless nights.

sally@sallywhite.fsbusiness.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
The teaser trailer has provoked more questions than answers
filmBut what is Bond's 'secret' that Moneypenny is talking about?
Sport
footballDoes Hodgson's England team have an identity yet?
News
news
Sport
Lewis Hamilton secured his second straight pole of the season
f1Vettel beats Rosberg into third after thunderstorm delays qualifying
Travel
travel Dreamland Margate, Britain’s oldest amusement park, is set to reopen
News
Founders James Brown and Tim Southwell with a mock-up of the first ever ‘Loaded’ magazine in 1994
media
News
Threlfall says: 'I am a guardian of the reality keys. I think I drive directors nuts'
people
Voices
voices The group has just unveiled a billion dollar plan to help nurse the British countryside back to health
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

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss