Motley Fool

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 08:38

When Warren Buffett looks for prospective investment opportunities, he goes to great lengths to unearth businesses that have 'economic moats.' This is a condition or circumstance that puts a company in a favourable position in relation to its competitors, resulting in consistent profits year after year, with little concern that competitors will steal market share.

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 08:12

At the beginning of next month, savers will have one more option available to them in the form of the new Lifetime ISA (Lisa). This product is designed to be an alternative to self-invested pension plans, offering all the benefits but with more flexibility. 

Available to under 40s only, the Lisa is a long-term savings product which can be used for either retirement or to help fund a deposit for first-time buyers. Savers can put away £4,000 a year boosted by a 25% government bonus. They are eligible to use the Lisa to buy a property after it has been open for a year. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017 - 08:03

I never thought I'd be investing in something like Sirius Minerals (LSE:SXX) at this stage in my life, not when my early days as a growth investor are way behind me and I've turned mainly to blue-chip FTSE 100 shares paying good dividends.

But I'd been following Sirius for some time, regretting not getting in after the shares soared to 45p in July 2016. And my long experience of early growth candidates that are years away from profitability has taught me that early good news often tends to cause price spikes which then fall right back down again.

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 09:20

With the stock market trading near an all-time high, I expect many investors are holding off from making many new investments. Stock valuations have become a bit stretched in recent months, and I'm waiting for the market to offer a discount before I buy into these two companies.

Dominant market position

Rightmove (LSE:RMV), the UK's most visited portal for property listings, is a company that benefits from a wide economic moat.

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 09:17

Deciding which dividend shares to purchase is never a straightforward task. Certainly, a company may have a high yield or be forecast to raise dividends at a rapid rate. But there is no guarantee that dividends will prove to be sustainable, or that they will cause investor sentiment in the company to improve. In fact, analysing a company from an income perspective requires a focus on their finances, maturity and business model.

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 09:10

According to an investment survey conducted by asset manager Schroders last year, income from investing remains a priority for 86% of investors. Some investors live off the income stream from assets, while others reinvest their dividends to accelerate long-term returns. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017 - 09:00

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE:GKP) has been one of the great oil disaster stories for investors of recent years. Its protracted fall from grace culminated in a virtual wipeout for long-term shareholders last year in a hugely dilutive debt-for-equity swap.

The company still seems to be viewed as poison by many in the market but does this present a great opportunity for new investors to make a killing and old shareholders to recoup their losses? In other words, is it finally time to start buying Gulf Keystone stock?

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 16:47

The Innovative Finance ISA was launched in April, but you probably haven't given it much thought since then -- and with good reason, because there are only a handful to choose from. However, that is about to change.

Meet your peers

You're going to hear a lot more about the Innovative Finance ISA, with City regulator the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) now processing more than 80 applications, many of which should be authorised from next month. They will pay rates ranging from 5% to 15% a year, in a bid to seduce savers who are struggling to get just 1%.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 15:41

Africa-focused explorer Tullow Oil (LSE:TLW) surprised investors last week by unveiling plans to raise approximately £607m through a rights issue. Because of this, its shares have been heavily punished by the market -- they're down 34% since the start of the year.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 15:26

Gulf Keystone Petroleum (LSE:GKP) was once a poster child for all that's wrong with the AIM market. The company's management was overpaid, the business was struggling to meet its goals, and a massive debt mountain left it dependent on cash calls and the kindness of investors to keep the lights on. 

However, after its dramatic restructuring last year, it looks as if the group now has what it takes to stage a comeback. 

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 15:18

This year has been eventful for BT (LSE:BT.A). Already it has released a profit warning, had its Italian operations investigated and agreed to major changes in the way Openreach will be run. This has led to high volatility in its share price, with a fall of as much as 17% since the start of the year. However, in the last eight weeks it has risen by around 10%. Despite this comeback, it appears to be worth avoiding at the present time.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 15:12

The oil and gas industry has been a painful place in which to invest in recent years. The falling oil price has caused capital expenditure levels in the industry to plummet, which has meant support services companies focused on the sector have endured falling sales and profitability. However, in the long run there could be significant capital growth potential for long-term investors.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 14:20

Future demand for potash is likely to keep on growing -- a growing global population needs ample amounts of fertiliser to meet rising food levels, of course.

That is not to say that Sirius Minerals (LSE:SXX) is guaranteed to deliver rich long-term rewards however, once the company's titanic polyhalite project in North Yorkshire begins to pull material out of the ground from 2022.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 13:27

While the FTSE 100 has risen by over 2% this year, there are major risks facing its future. Investor sentiment could be hurt by the start of Brexit negotiations, or by the slow progress of Donald Trump's spending plans. As such, it would be unsurprising for the index to come under a degree of pressure as the year progresses.

In such a situation, defensive stocks could help to protect a portfolio from index declines. With that in mind, here are two shares which could deliver relatively strong performance this year.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 12:24

The exceptional potential of Vodafone Group's (LSE:VOD) broad global network convinces me that dividends should continue to mash those of the broader market.

The telecoms star has long offered up delicious dividend yields, and the City expects this trend to keep on rolling. A payout of 12.5p per share is forecast for the year to March 2017, up from 11.5p last year and yielding a splendid 6%.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 10:48

Leading international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty (LSE:BBY) finally returned to profit in 2016 after a couple of years in the red, and several years of significant underperformance. Last week's full-year results for 2016 were in stark contrast to those of the previous year when the group suffered an underlying pre-tax loss of £123m.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 10:33

Which is the best financial sector stock to buy as we head for Brexit and the wider world? Here are three of my favourites.

Taxpayers' bank

Lloyds Banking Group (LSE:LLOY) has presented a dilemma for some time. On fundamentals it looks cheap, with forecasts suggesting P/E multiples of under 10 for this year and next.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 09:49

You only have to look to the popularity of Game of Thrones or the never-ending stream of Marvel comics movies to understand just how much pop culture has come to embrace nerd culture. And just as consumers at large have found their inner nerd, I think income investors should learn to love tabletop gaming figure maker Games Workshop (LSE:GAW) and its 5.7% yielding dividend.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 09:31

Brexit is currently viewed as a negative event by many investors. Sterling is weaker and has pushed inflation to its highest level since 2013. This means that consumer spending is being squeezed, which could lead to a difficult period for the wider economy. However, such a situation could present an opportunity for investors who are focused on the long run. In fact, profiting from Brexit might be easier than you currently realise.

Friday, March 24, 2017 - 09:19

As more and more of our critical data moves online, cyber security is becoming an increasingly important preoccupation for individuals, companies and governments alike. As investors, this trend should pique our interest for obvious reasons. And while most large cyber security firms are listed in the US, there are a handful operating here in the UK.