Category: Phil Oakley

Should private investors follow celebrity fund managers into Rightmove?

There’s no harm in using fund managers as a source for investment ideas but blindly copying them without doing your own research can be a costly mistake. Phil looks at the recent purchase of Rightmove shares by two well-known professional investors to see if private investors should consider buying in as well. Why copying others […]

Private Investing: Choosing your first investments in company shares

For some people, the thought of picking their own shares can be a little bit daunting. Rest assured, it doesn’t have to be. Whilst it is best to do at least a little bit of homework before you part with your hard-earned cash, successful investing does not require a high IQ or lots of specialist […]

Private Investing: A brief guide to tax-efficient saving in Isas and Sipps

Tax-efficient savings accounts such as individual savings accounts (Isas) and self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs) are the best option for most savers and investors. Here’s what you need to know. Isas Isas are tax-free savings accounts. This means that you are not liable for tax on any income you receive – such as interest or dividends […]

Are share buybacks good for investors? – a look at the evidence

Phil uses SharePad to examine the impact of share buybacks on shareholder returns. Do they make shareholders better off and should investors focus on growing companies instead? Do share buybacks really make shareholders better off? Should they prefer dividends instead? Opinion is divided on this subject. The great thing about a dividend from an investor’s […]

Private Investing: Why the free tools on your broker’s website aren’t good enough

If you already have an Isa or Sipp account, you’ll have access to your broker’s free website. This probably provides you with investment data about funds and shares and will also let you see how your investments are doing. Why subscribe to SharePad when you can get all that for free? Well, it is debatable […]

Private Investing: How you can beat the fund managers


If you are new to private investing, it’s very easy to think “How can I compete with professional fund managers? Surely, I am better off investing my money in their funds and letting them make the decisions”. This article from esteemed investment writer Phil Oakley shows you how. So, are you better off investing all […]

UK shares are cheap but bargain hunters should tread carefully


The UK stock market is undoubtedly cheap, but that doesn’t mean it won’t stay that way. Phil uses SharePad to show how you might sift this unpopular market for undervalued shares and creates 4 new SharePad stock screening filters for good measure. When I first entered the world of investing over a quarter of a […]

AG Barr – Buying Boost may re-energise its profits but investors will have to wait

Phil asks whether AG Barr’s recent acquisitions can turn it into a growing business again. Soft drinks companies are a long-term favourite with investors. Their products are affordable, small and regular consumer purchases which can produce a nice blend of steady growth and resilience which can make them all-weather investments. The giants of the industry […]

Moneysupermarket shares could keep on rewarding investors

A business that aims to save its customers money should be doing well during a cost of living crisis. Phil looks at and asks if the recent rally in its shares has further to go. The business Moneysupermarket (MSM) is the UK’s largest price comparison website. It aims to save people money on household […]

Investing in government bonds for income – is it worth it?

Phil looks at the income on offer from UK government bonds and asks whether sticking with shares might still be a better option. Since the 2008/09 financial crisis, investing in government bonds for income has not been very fruitful. The policy of very low-interest rates as a response to the crisis meant that many governments […]

Is SSE an undervalued renewable energy business?

Phil Oakley takes a look SSE (formerly known as Scottish & Southern Energy), which despite its history of unsustainable growth highlighting the dangers of investing solely on the basis of dividend yield may still be undervalued given long-term potential of its renewable energy portfolio. The dangers of investing for high dividend yields For years SSE […]

Have investors wrongly called “time” on Watches of Switzerland?

Watches of Switzerland shares have been stellar performers since listing on the London market nearly four years ago. However, since peaking at over £15 at the end of 2021, they have more than halved in value. This is despite profits continuing to grow and forecast guidance being maintained. The sales of luxury watches boomed during […]

Invest-ability presents: How to understand return on capital employed (ROCE)

It’s nice to be back writing some articles for SharePad. As some of you may know, I worked for ShareScope between 2014 and 2018 and helped to design many of the financial analysis features that are in the SharePad software. I remain a very happy user of SharePad today and use it extensively for my […]

Stock Watch: Morrisons – Is a bad business turning itself into a reasonable one?

Ten years ago, Morrisons was doing reasonably well. Under the leadership of Dutchman Marc Bolland it was wooing customers with a very simple and powerful strategy – offering good food at low prices. When he left to run Marks & Spencer, the supermarket industry was beginning to change and the company lost its way. It […]

Avoiding bad shares is just as important as picking good ones

If you’ve been investing in individual shares for a while then you’ve probably gone through the experience of losing some money on one or more of them. It’s a horrible feeling that happens to the best investors. You’d rather it hadn’t happened but the lessons you can learn from it can be invaluable in making […]

Stock Watch: Hill & Smith Holdings

Shares in Hill & Smith Holdings (LSE:HILS) have been a very solid investment in recent years. The company’s strategy of focusing on niche infrastructure markets with significant regulation and health and safety characteristics has seen its businesses grow and become increasingly profitable. Total returns to shareholders have increased by 258% over the last five years. […]

Stock Watch: Superdry

Superdry wants to create a global lifestyle brand by selling premium, high quality and affordable clothing to people. Its brand may not be as recognisable as leading sportswear brands such as Nike or outdoor brands such as North Face but its distinctive logos with Americana and Japanese graphics are not an uncommon sight. Superdry is […]

Should investors avoid low margin companies?

Highly profitable companies can make outstanding long-term investments. Arguably, the best way to measure a company’s profitability is to compare its profits with the amount of money invested to make them. This is known as the return on investment or return on capital employed (ROCE). One person’s definition of a highly profitable business will differ […]

A smarter way to use analysts’ EPS forecasts

Should investors pay much attention to analysts’ profit forecasts? There is a school of thought that suggests that they should not. Detractors say that forecasts are nothing more than educated guesswork and that analysts are very bad at predicting changes such as profit warnings or recessions. In many cases, forecasts are merely the extrapolation of […]

Searching for companies paying out more of their profits

One of the main considerations for people investing in shares these days is the dividend income they will get from owning them. With a world of low interest rates on savings accounts and bonds and a change in the rules for taking pension income the choice of dividend-paying shares has arguably never been more important. […]

Is the current ratio an outdated measure of company safety?

One of the most commonly cited measures of a company’s financial strength is something known as the current ratio. It is a measure of liquidity and compares a company’s current assets – defined as assets that can be turned into cash within one year – with its current liabilities (those which have to be paid […]

How much is a company worth? A look at different ways to value shares

Two weeks ago I wrote about how to try and value companies that aren’t making a profit. This week I’m going back to basics for more inexperienced investors. Although I’m sure there will be some reminders here for regular readers. For many successful investors, the price they pay for a share of a company is […]

Stock Watch: Redrow

The state of the housing market – and the direction of house prices in particular – is a key driver of Britain’s economy. When house prices are going up, people feel wealthier, banks are happy to lend money against property and economic activity tends to increase. More houses are built, more people move home, more […]

Stock Watch: Ashtead Group

Ashtead makes its money by renting out equipment to construction and industrial companies – things like aerial platforms, forklift trucks, tools, diggers, cranes, power generators and pumps. It makes most of its profits in America and its shares have been a terrific investment. They have been a proverbial ten bagger over the last decade. After […]

Stock Watch: Castings

Castings plc is a foundry business. Foundries are factories which produce metal castings. Castings has two in the UK – in the West Midlands and South Yorkshire – which take scrap steel and alloys and turn them into castings up to 40kg in weight. It also has a machining business which allows it to turn […]

Stock Watch: RPC

RPC (rigid plastic containers) designs and manufacturers plastic products for packaging markets. The company makes thousands of different products such as plastic bottles, food containers, plastic tubes, paint containers, wheelie bins and bin liners. Plastic is everywhere in our lives and there is a good chance that most of us use or come across an […]

Stock Watch: James Halstead

James Halstead has been in business since 1915. It started out dyeing, finishing, waterproofing and rubberising textiles that were used in rainwear and outdoor clothing. Today it has established itself as a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality flooring for commercial, contract and domestic markets. Its main commercial brand is its Polyflor vinyl flooring […]

Stock Watch: Watkins Jones

Stock Watch: Watkins Jones Watkins Jones is a property developer, best known for building private student accommodation. It floated on AIM in March 2016. The company makes money from three sources at the moment: Building student accommodation units for professional investors Managing student accommodation units for professional investors Building private residential accommodation The bulk of […]

Stock Watch: Smart Metering Systems (AIM:SMS)

I recently wrote about Smart Metering Systems in my exclusive weekly newsletter for SharePad and ShareScope customers. It’s an interesting company so I have decided to dedicate a Stock Watch to it. Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has been in business since 1995. The company’s roots were established following the deregulation of the domestic gas meter […]

Stock Watch: FW Thorpe

FW Thorpe was founded in 1936 and has been listed on the stock exchange since 1965. The company designs and manufactures professional lighting systems for commercial markets. It has been very successful in carving out a profitable niche for itself and its shares have proven to be a very decent long term investment. What makes […]

Stock Watch: FW Thorpe

FW Thorpe was founded in 1936 and has been listed on the stock exchange since 1965. The company designs and manufactures professional lighting systems for commercial markets. It has been very successful in carving out a profitable niche for itself and its shares have proven to be a very decent long term investment. What makes […]

Stock Watch: XP Power

XP Power is based is headquartered in Singapore and has manufacturing sites in Vietnam and China. The company makes power control systems which convert power from an electrical mains supply to a safe level to be used in its customers’ products. It sells its products into the Industrial, Healthcare and Technology sector where they are […]

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