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

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

    Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

    £30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

    Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

    £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

    Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

    £23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

    Day In a Page

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee