Richard Beddard

Richard is companies editor of Interactive Investor and a columnist at Money Observer magazine. A keen private investor through his Self Invested Personal Pension, he manages two virtual portfolios. The Share Sleuth portfolio is a hand-picked collection of mostly small-cap value shares, while the Nifty Thrifty is a mechanical portfolio designed to pick large, successful companies at cheap prices.

This week’s shares: Holidaybreak, Numis and Dawson

The good, the bad, and the ugly
The flow of new annual reports for cheap companies with good profit records all but dried up this week. The nation’s board directors obviously had better things to do over Christmas. Nevertheless, the three companies that did produce reports also produced plenty to talk about.

Dewhurst: not perfect, but...

Dewhurst pushes most of the right buttons

Before I talk about this week’s shares tomorrow, I promised more on Dewhurst (DWHT), last week’s pick of the week.

There’s a funny story in a novel I’ve just read, ‘The Marriage Bureau for Rich People’*1. Irshad, the number one valve salesman in Southern India, complains that none of the marriage bureau’s prospects shows any interest once he’s met them.

This week's shares: Britvic, Brewin, Euromoney, Formation and Dewhurst

Pushbutton hero is pick of the bunch

Piotroski taught me the importance of looking at annual reports when evaluating smaller, unfashionable companies. It’s easy to shuffle glibly through doorstoppers from FTSE companies, indeed if you committed yourself to reading them thoroughly you’d probably retire before you’d read enough to invest all your money.

Happily, the size and complexity of annual reports seems to be proportional to the size and complexity of companies.

Small companies going private

On not falling in love with powerful women

I was dismayed by words attributed to Lorna Moran in the Financial Times yesterday. Not what she said, which was already apparent to many of the former shareholders in Northern Recruitment, the company she founded. Being reminded of events last month was enough to dismay me, and perhaps, the fact that she, and the FT, should inadvertently rub our noses in it.

Aga’s blimmin’ pension fund

Despite its monumental cookers, I think the investment case for Aga (AGA) depends on something even more monumental, its defined benefit pension scheme.

Last June Aga’s pension liability was £682m, and although the scheme was in surplus, which means actuaries reckon it has more than enough assets (shares, bonds and property) to pay the pensions of all the Aga employees and former employees enrolled in it, since December that surplus had more than halved to £31m.


The cheapest six stocks in November

Here are the cheapest six stocks in November, as measured by Dr Keith Anderson’s Naked Price Earnings ratio:

As I’ve described many times, this measure boosts the predictive power of the PE by accounting for a

Are you a speculator who thinks he’s an investor?

Apologies for this chart, a sketch from my notebook, but I’ve never seen it drawn by anyone with the patience to use a ruler, so this will have to do*1. Sketch of relationship between speculation and investmentI imagine many of us thought we were invest

'Renaissance of Value' postponed


I thought I’d discovered the holy grail of value investing.

Financial Shenanigans

Uh oh.

Mirror, mirror

Investors are groping around for the market’s bottom. We won’t know if they’re right until it’s a lot higher but that’s not a good reason for turning our backs on companies. In fact, investors should be scrutinising them closely.

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