Marks and Spencer’s shares may disappoint investors


Marks and Spencer is currently focused on international expansion and transforming itself into a true multi-channel retailer, but will that drive enough growth to offset its relatively weak dividend yield? It’s an interesting question because, after looking at the company’s history, I think it would take a giant leap of faith to assume it can produce […]

UK Housing market valuation and forecast – June 2015

UK House Price to House Buyer Earnings Ratio - Heat Map - 2015 06

The UK housing market has staged an incredible recovery since the financial crisis, so does that mean houses are now too expensive, or can house prices just keep going up? To do this UK housing market valuation and forecast I’m going to borrow a couple of visual tools from my work on stock market valuations […]

FTSE 100 forecast and valuation – June 2015

stock market

It’s time for another one of my semi-regular FTSE 100 valuation and forecast updates, using the latest data for both the index’s price and its earnings. Valuing the FTSE 100 using CAPE My tool of choice in the valuation game is Robert Shiller’s CAPE (Cyclically Adjusted PE). CAPE is basically the same as the PE ratio that most […]

Why I won’t be buying shares in J Sainsbury

No Entry

J Sainsbury PLC, along with the other major supermarkets, has been through the wars in recent years. Most people know the story by now, if only because of the more severe and highly publicised problems at Tesco. J Sainsbury: It’s a supermarket Here’s my extremely short version of the backstory for J Sainsbury. The big […]

Some lessons from my investment in Serco

Serco share price 2013 to 2015 06 01

Serco is the first investment to produce a net loss for the UKVI portfolio. As inevitable as this was, selling at a loss is still an unpleasant thing to do. But rather than cry over spilt milk, my task now is to try to understand why the milk was spilt in the first place in […]

Debt ratios and pension ratios: Connecting the dots between them


A company with too much debt is like a tall vase with a narrow base. Everything looks fine until you kick the table, at which point it falls over and explodes into thousands of pieces. In an attempt to avoid companies that might explode, I always look for those with “prudent” amounts of debt. At […]

The defensive sectors most at risk from a bond market sell-off (part 2)

Defensive sector by total risk rank 2015 06

In my last blog post, I took a brief look at the market’s defensive sectors and how they might be affected by a bond market crash. Specifically, I looked at which sectors were most at risk from a valuation point of view. The basic idea is that as bond market’s fall their yields will rise, […]

The defensive sectors most at risk from a bond market sell-off

Defensive sector by dividend yield 2015 06

A recurring theme in the news recently has been the global bond market sell-off and its impact on defensive shares, specifically those being branded as “bond proxies”. There’s a good article on this subject on the Woodford Investment Management blog. In short, their conclusion was that a prolonged bond sell-off was unlikely in the short-term, […]

The 5 most profitable, debt free, dividend paying shares

ROI - return on investment

Here’s a list of stocks you might find interesting. It contains five consistent dividend payers that are debt free and highly profitable. Companies like this are often very successful, with competitive advantages that allow them to grow while paying out much of their earnings as a dividend. Their lack of debt also gives them greater […]

The FTSE 100 at 5,000 or 10,000: Which is more likely in the next 5 years?

Question mark

Now that the FTSE 100 has broken through the 7,000 barrier investors can finally set their sights on something more interesting: The big 10,000. Obviously this isn’t going to happen overnight. From where the FTSE 100 is today it would take a 43% gain to reach that giant milestone and you just don’t get gains […]