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You have just three days to get in on this

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Penny Sleuth - Revealing the secrets to help you profit from penny shares
You have just three days to get in on this

From Tom Bulford

image Dear Golden Jann,

Before we crack on with today’s issue there’s something very important I need to bring to your attention...

On Monday, I'll be sending you details on how you can get your hands on a special report from a colleague of mine, Simon Caufield. It lays out what Simon believes is the best investment strategy for creating wealth in the long run.

When he first published his idea over one year ago, the response was pretty stunning. Within a month so many responded he had to close the offer down.

Well I’m very glad to say that for a very limited time, you will finally have the opportunity to take advantage.

But there’s one catch. This time the doors will only remain open for 72 hours.

Yes I know that’s only a very short time period, but the bottom line here is: every time Simon has opened his strategy up, he’s been absolutely overwhelmed by the response. So I wanted to give you a heads up about this so that you are ready and prepared to hear what Simon has to say.

All will be revealed on Monday – so keep an eye out for my email. Now back to today’s issue of Penny Sleuth – and a subject that has a serious bearing on all private investors: over-trading.

Why overtrading is killing your returns

The world of the private investor has changed radically over the last few years. All sorts of things have become possible.

These days I often meet people who have live stock market indices and prices displayed on their iPhone or BlackBerry. With breathless pride they show me some share that was last seen at 10p is now trading at 12p! Maybe at this sudden stroke of good fortune they are tempted to sell, and thanks to more wonders of digital communication they can do so instantly.

No doubt this convinces them that they are in control of their financial destiny. Perhaps also they feel just a little macho, finally able to take their place alongside testosterone-fuelled City traders. But if anybody benefits from this instant activity, I reckon that it is only the communications provider and the broker who gets the dealing commission.

The question is – are these advances actually doing private investors any good?

I worry that they are not...


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How investors got lost in a world of spin

Amongst all the chaos of the financial world one feature that strikes me hard is the extraordinary increase in trading activity. According to the London Stock Exchange, the average holding period for a share back in 1966 was eight years. It has fallen steadily ever since and is now below six months.

The reasons are not hard to discern. The narrowing of bid/offer spreads, at least amongst the bigger stocks, and lower dealing commissions have reduced what used to be a disincentive. Fund managers, driven by quarterly performance considerations, have a necessarily short term view although this is nothing new. What is relatively recent are the computer-generated trading strategies, employed by hedge fund managers, designed to take advantage of slim arbitrage opportunities.

Throughout the media there seems to be fixation on share prices, while very little attention is paid to the thing that ultimately determines share prices: the performance of individual companies and the various techniques for their valuation.

Before the internet arrived the nearest thing we had to a central source of information was the Extel information service, filed cards upon which the essential facts and figures of a company’s recent history were crammed in small type. If you were lucky these might have been available at your local reference library, along with a few other dry studies of industrial trends.

For most investors, though, research began with a company’s annual report and continued perhaps with a chat to the directors at the AGM, with background reading provided by the national newspapers and financial magazines. The keenest investor would patiently plot his own share price charts on sheets of file paper.

If he then wanted to deal he would have to visit the bank, or else call his stockbroker. By today’s standards this sounds thoroughly inefficient, but it did at least give the investor a chance to think and reflect.

Today we are simply bombarded with information. Watch the CNN financial channel with prices sliding relentlessly across the screen and talking heads giving a series of impromptu soundbites, your head will spin and you will learn nothing of value.

An essential toolkit for investing

One of the better things that I ever did was to take the exams necessary to become a member of the London Stock Exchange. There were four papers – Tax, Techniques of Investment, Stock Exchange Practice, and Interpretation of Company Report and Accounts. The last was taught by the wonderful Geoffrey Holmes – who with Alan Sugden wrote a book of the same name that you can still buy today.

In that class we were taught to look for rising sales – not inflated by acquisitions, of course; for steady profit margins; for positive cash flow; for the ability to pay a dividend; for all the signs that a business was still prospering or perhaps was running out of steam.

It was all basic stuff, but to my mind an absolutely essential toolkit for anybody contemplating buying a share. It still applies today.

If you analyse a company properly before buying its shares, you will be more confident of holding it. That will allow the wealth-creating engine of the company to multiply the value of your investment. Hold a share for just a few weeks and that simply cannot happen. Over-trading will kill your investment return. But in today’s world I see that far too often.

Good investing.

Tom Bulford
The Penny Sleuth

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15 September 2011

Kiotech shares jump after
it reports a 32% jump
in profits

● Shares in KIOTECH INTERNATIONAL (KIO) are gaining after it reported a 32% increase in interim profits

● Kiotech supplies fish and animal feeds to farmers and fishermen

● With cash on its balance sheet this penny share is looking for further acquistions

Four Crucial Money Moves You Can Make NOW...
Before Britain heads back to the nightmare 1970s!

Watch your free, urgent report today!

It's HERE.

The Fleet Street Letter is a regulated product issued by MoneyWeek Ltd. Your capital is at risk when you invest in shares, never risk more than you can afford to lose. Please seek independent financial advice if necessary. 0207 633 3780.

Quote of the Day

“Listen to many, speak to a few.”

 – Some good advice for investors from William Shakespeare

Reader's Comment
of the Day

“Outside the monsoon period, sea breezes will develop on most days on the Indian coasts, but their strength is unlikely to be sufficient to make wind generators cost-effective, and they rarely last more than nine hours a day. Nocturnal land breezes are less frequent because night-time air temperatures on the coasts of India do not usually fall much below the sea temperature. Rarely will they be strong enough for utilisation.

4caster, commenting on Profit
from India's wind power revolution
8 September, 2011

Want your say? Join the debate – add your comment here!

Today’s biggest AIM

Argos Resources (AGR) +18.6%
European Nickel (ENK) +17.5%
ITM Power (ITM) +15.0%
Leed Petroleum (LDP) -17.6%
Rethink Group (RTG) -15.0%
Medicsight (MDST) -13.6%

Quotes taken from Bloomberg
at 12.00pm today.

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A special presentation from MoneyWeek's income specialist Stephen Bland...
"Why you don't need to worry whether the market goes up, down or sideways"

(Here's a PROVEN way you could make money from the markets for the rest of your life)

This is far too good to miss - watch the presentation here.

Forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future results. Your capital is at risk when you invest in shares, never risk more than you can afford to lose. Please seek independent financial advice if necessary. MoneyWeek Ltd. Customer Services: 0207 633 3780.
Information in Penny Sleuth is for general information only and is not intended to be relied upon by individual readers in making (or not making) specific investment decisions.

Your capital is at risk when you invest in shares - you can lose you some or all of your money, so never risk more than you can afford to lo se. Small company shares can be relatively illiquid and hard to trade making them riskier than other investments. Always seek personal advice if you are unsure about the suitability of any investment.

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