Motley Fool

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 15:08

I own shares in Barratt Developments (LSE:BDEV). I was tempted in by the colossal dividend yields and, as you can imagine, my love of the stock went up a notch following the release of this week's full-year financials.

Britain's biggest residential property builder announced that it has enjoyed a "strong start to the year supported by a positive market backdrop." While the company's sales rate remained flat year-on-year between July 1 and November 12, at 0.74, the total forward sales jumped 8.4% to £2.88bn.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 09:57

Shares in Interserve (LSE:IRV) have crashed on no less than three occasions this year after announcing two profit warnings and management finally admitting that it was in danger of breaching its debt covenants. With the shares now trading on a ridiculously low price-to-earnings ratio of just two, surely the stock has the hallmarks of a classic value trap? Well, I thought so too, but now I'm having my doubts. Read on to see why.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 09:45

While Lloyds Banking Group's (LSE:LLOY) latest trading statement may have surpassed all  broker expectations, the worrying state of the British economy would still encourage me to sell out of the bank straight away.

In a bright third-quarter update in late October, it declared that pre-tax profit surged 141% between July and September, to £1.95bn. This was thanks in no small part to the Black Horse bank avoiding additional provisions related to the PPI mis-selling scandal.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 09:24

Catching a falling knife is always dangerous, just ask any investor who snatched at Carillion (LSE:CLLN) in recent months. They were already hurting, even before Friday's vicious scythe downwards, which saw the stricken support services company's share price drop as much as 50% at one point.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 09:18

This year has been one to forget for Neil Woodford. His performance has been relatively disappointing, and it has caused many investors to question his ability. However, no investor can outperform their benchmark all of the time. And in his career, he has generally delivered high returns for his investors. That's why investing like him could make becoming an investing millionaire much easier.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:53

There have been some dramatic reversals of fortune in the mining sector over the past few years. Not only has there been an unexpected whipsaw in commodity prices, but we've also seen some formerly out-of-favour mining stocks stage a stunning comeback.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:47

Few companies in the world can boast that 2.5bn people use their products every day. This is a select club you only get to enter after decades of putting the customer first and producing products to enhance everyday life. 

Unilever (LSE:ULVR) has been able to reach this goal by building a strong reputation for its brand and products. The company specialises in food, cleaning and personal hygiene products, three everyday essentials that need to be just right to build consumer confidence. 

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:38

When analysing dividend stocks, not only is it important to look for a high yield, but also to consider dividend sustainability and growth. By sustainability, I'm referring to whether the company can afford to pay its dividend and whether there's a chance of a cut in the future.

Sunday, November 19, 2017 - 08:19

I reckon all UK stock investment portfolios are best if based on a solid selection of FTSE 100 companies, ideally from several sectors to spread the risk. But I'm occasionally asked which would be my choice if I could only hold one.

In the past I'd have gone for BP or Royal Dutch Shell, bacause energy is never going to go out of fashion and they've been dividend cash cows for decades. They're still great long-term investments, but stubbornly low oil prices knock them off my top spot now.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 12:20

The oil price has soared in recent months. Brent Crude has risen from $46 per barrel in June to over $60 per barrel in recent weeks. This has caught many investors by surprise, since sentiment towards the oil and gas industry has generally remained somewhat cautious in 2017.

However, supply cuts by OPEC members and continued growth in demand have helped to push the price of oil to its highest level in over two years. Could this be the right time to buy into its growth story?

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 09:48

Saying that you intend to retain an investment for the next decade might come across as hyperbolic to some readers but that's exactly what I'm planning to do with my holding in robotic automation software specialist Blue Prism  (LSE:PRSM). Here's why.

Comfortably ahead

Despite almost 15-bagging since April 2016, last week's trading update (after the close of its financial year) did nothing to shake my belief that the company's best days still lie ahead.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 09:38

Bunzl (LSE:BNZL) may not be packing the sort of yields that make the heart race. But thanks to the brilliant earnings visibility created by its broad range of operations, the support services play is, in my opinion, one of the best shares out there for investors seeking relentless payout growth. After all, it has hiked the full-year reward for 24 years on the spin.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 09:01

Lloyds (LSE:LLOY) reported a strong financial performance in its Q3 results last month, upped its financial targets for the full year and said it's on track to deliver its longer-term guidance. However, for a number of reasons, I believe the outlook for it meeting investors' current expectations -- particularly on dividends -- is deteriorating and that the risk of a severe downturn is rising.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:55

Warren Buffett is one of the world's wealthiest men, and he's considered to be one of the best investors of all time. Neil Woodford, is one of the UK's most respected fund managers and has achieved outstanding returns for his investments over his career. 

However, despite these two investors' similarities, they both follow very different strategies, and I believe one is vastly superior to the other.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:50

Shares in Just Eat (LSE:JE) have climbed from their 260p flotation price of April 2014 to 790p as I write, which is a nice three-bagger for those who saw the way the UK fast food market was going. Some might say they're too expensive now, but I disagree -- I reckon they could have a lot further to go over the next few years, and that we've so far seen only the beginnings of this new business sector.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:44

Shares in Boohoo.Com (LSE:BOO) have taken a bit of a beating over the past three months. Since mid-August the stock has declined by 18%, dramatically underperforming the broader market. 

These declines have curbed the company's year-to-date gains. At the end of September shares in Boohoo were up 90% on the year, and trading at an all-time high. After the recent slump, the stock is up 'only' 42% year-to-date. 

I believe that there could be further gains ahead for investors as the company continues to grow earnings and expand overseas. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:37

Many income investors make the mistake of avoiding small-cap stocks, despite some offering payouts to rival those of companies in the market's top tier.

That said, it pays to be picky. Sky-high yields are often a warning sign of a looming dividend cut. With this in mind, let's look at two market minnows and question whether investors should be tempted to dive in. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:31

The rise of inflation since the EU referendum means that dividends are becoming of greater significance to many investors. Already, inflation has risen to 3%, and it is forecast to move higher. This could mean that many traditional income investing stocks become less effective at delivering a real income return. In fact, many of them may offer a negative real return over the medium term.

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:15

If you want to achieve financial independence and retire early, it's worth paying attention to the world's best investors. By spending a few minutes analysing how these individuals have made their millions, it may improve your own investing success. Today I've put together four excellent investing quotes from some of the best investors on the planet. Could this advice help you retire earlier?

"The big money is not in the buying or the selling, but in the waiting" - Charlie Munger

Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 08:13

Neil Woodford is the UK's most prominent fund manager. While his performance over the last year has been underwhelming, his long-term track record is excellent. Today, I'm looking at two Woodford-owned dividend stocks that can be bought for less than £5.

Saga

At the end of September, Woodford's Income Focus fund held a 1.34% weighting in Saga (LSE:SAGA). The £2.1bn market cap company is a leading provider of insurance, travel, personal finance and healthcare products and services to over 50s.