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Armchair investor

Armchair investor

Ethical investments can be good for the environment and bank balance

ON A midsummer day in the 1980s, a group of friends climbed to the summit of the Merrick in Galloway to protest at the proposal to create a nuclear dump in one of Scotland’s sparsely populated and unspoiled areas. The group were not cranks or dropouts but concerned about the potential hazards of nuclear power.

Far from plain sailing and blue skies as terror and Sars take their toll

I AM happy to be inside writing this column - the heavens have opened yet again and it is pelting wet.

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It pays dividends to pass the home screen test with flying colours

THE quality of viewing a good film on a state of the art television at home now compares favourably with an outing to the cinema. The screens are wider and the definition excellent. The only downside is the risk of interruption during the show - but with a video or DVD that is not a problem. Press the pause button and resume watching whenever peace is restored.

Florist blooms as stamp firm finds philately will get you everywhere

THE EASTER bouquet given to me by my family has finally faded.

Developer cashes in on ever increasing demand for retirement homes

McCARTHY & Stone, the retirement housebuilder, last week announced a dramatic rise in half-year earnings. Pre-tax profits rose 80% to £39.7m, turnover jumped 60% to £102.1m and it sold 831 units compared with 619 for the previous period.

It's a bull market down on the farm

WE ARE all excited by different things. Many years ago when I lived in Hampshire, farming friends from Ayrshire came to stay. They thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the New Forest - especially a trip to the AI (Artificial Insemination) centre outside Lyndhurst where they bought a precious ‘straw’ that would help improve their herd of Holstein dairy cattle.

Find another chemical ally as ICI paints over cracks in its operations

ARE we a nation of gloom and doom merchants? It seems every news bulletin bombards us with ever more misery.

With a fair wind blowing there are profits to be made on the high seas

WE SAILED out of Los Angeles on a Tuesday and five days later, with not a ship or bird in sight, reached the Hawaiian Islands. I have sailed in all sorts of crafts all my life, suffering dreadful seasickness on many occasions, especially crossing the Minch - but am not put off. I love to be on the sea, and provided the ship is large and stable, I enjoy every minute of it.

Shades of trouble as ICI profits warning wipes £630m off market value

BRENDAN O’Neill has made his career selling things to people - most notably Guinness, where as chief executive his award-winning marketing campaigns were responsible for shifting barrels of the black stuff to satisfied consumers.

Return to blue-chips might be good for business on stock exchange

ALMOST a month ago Ceefax 2 informed investors that the state of the FTSE 100 index at 10.45am was Winners 0 and Losers 101.

Shot in the arm for healthcare industry

WHEN the National Health Service began in 1948 it was assumed that after some years of excellent care and the right medicines few of us would need medical attention. Prevention and management of chronic conditions were not considered.

Medical science proves perfect panacea for drugs companies

THE performance of most stock market investments has been so shocking over the past three years that many investors are loath to buy shares. I still have a varied portfolio of shares; some surprisingly are still above their purchase value, some are mediocre and a few are dreadful - the rest is available cash from shares sold. I have bought very few shares lately. Each time I think the bottom has been reached the shares drop even further.

Upwardly mobile Vodaphone defies downward spiral for telecoms

LAST week the FTSE 100 index reached its lowest closing point since October 1995. How I wish I had thought of investing in either the Karachi or Riyadh stock market over the past year. These markets have risen by 76% and 10% respectively. When the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan subsided, prices on the Karachi stock exchange soared. Confidence in the future had returned.

Big brands bring in the dough for ABF as Northern's profits go stale

A COMPANY incorporating seven bakeries was set up in 1935. By 1939 it owned many more premises and four Weston biscuit factories. In 1949 Garry Weston, who died last year, became a director. In 1960 the group changed its name to Associated British Foods (ABF).

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