Why closet index trackers need to be regulated out of existence

stock market

The point of most actively managed investment funds is to beat the market, but in order to beat the market they must in some way be different from the market. Generally speaking, the more different an investment fund is from the market the more chance it has of outperforming.  On the other hand, the more […]

Pension fund managers: Are they ignoring sustainability risks?


Most people would expect pension fund managers to take a long-term view of the investments they manage but, as Prince Charles recently pointed out, that isn’t always the case. In a short video to the National Association of Pension Funds, the Prince outlined why pension fund managers arguably have a duty to “identify and manage” a variety […]

Is SABMiller’s recent poor performance a buying opportunity?

SABMiller results 2013 10

SABMiller is right near the top of my list of companies to buy.  It’s one of the most successful companies in the FTSE 100 and has nearly tripled in value since the financial crisis.  Earlier this year the shares peaked at more than 3,600p, although they’ve since dropped by around 15%.  So they’re cheaper than […]

How to get a progressive dividend income from your shares

Portfolio Management

Progressive dividends are the Holy Grail for many investors.  They want steady, reliable dividends paid out from the companies they own because they want a progressive income from their portfolio as a whole.  But you don’t have to have an obsession with progressive dividend paying stocks just to get a steady, inflation beating income from […]

Go-Ahead shares return 36% in less than 2 years

Go-Ahead Chart 2013 10

Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s busiest public transport companies, with a focus on urban markets. It is split fairly evenly between rail and bus, with most of the company’s revenues coming from rail, while most of its profits come from regulated and deregulated bus divisions. Public transport is a relatively steady business to be in, and […]

Defensive value portfolio: 2013 Q3 performance review

Model portfolio results 2013 10

Conducting a portfolio performance review on a regular basis is a key step in the investment process.  If you aim at nothing, you’re likely to get it, as the saying goes.  So, self-directed investors need a goal and they need to review their progress towards it at suitable intervals. I have chosen quarterly reviews because […]

Tesco shares: Have they been a good investment since the profit warning of 2012?

Tesco share price chart

In 2012 Tesco PLC announced its first profit warning in 20 years.  Immediately, Tesco’s shares fell off a cliff.  The Sun newspaper said it all: “Tesco profits warning wipes £4.3bn off company”.  The question is, were those investors right to sell? One of the basic principles of value investing is that you are looking to […]

What is defensive value investing?

Investing ROI

Since the financial crisis and market crash of 2007/8, defensive investing has become all the rage, and it’s easy to see why.  With what seems like an endless flood of bad economic news, tinged with talk of great recessions and depressions, investors want a “safe haven” where they can park their assets and insulate themselves […]

Fossil fuel divestment and the carbon bubble

Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuel divestment is a movement in the US with the goal of getting pension and endowment funds to remove fossil fuel companies from their portfolios.  The logic is that pension and endowment funds exist to provide funds for future beneficiaries, yet fossil fuel companies represent one of the biggest known threats to that future. […]

Are National Grid shares a good buy?

National Grid Results 2013 09

National Grid PLC is the company that owns and operates the electricity and gas transmission networks in England and Wales.  It’s listed on the FTSE 100, has a market cap of around £28 billion and has paid a consistently growing dividend for many years – but does that make it a good buy with today’s […]