My portfolio as overly subscribed to builders and they had all risen very well. October was approaching and it looked as if there might be at the very least, a cooling of enthusiasm. There was talk of house prices going down, Polish tradesmen going home and a general air of Brexit doom and gloom. Accordingly, I severely reduced my holding in builders, banking a very tidy profit, it must be said. All well and good.

The builders did not slump as they had a year ago, temporarily. I missed that boat in 2016. The builders carried on rising. "Never mind" quoth I, "it will soon enough end in tears and I will get back in". Not a bit of it. However, two of them, Galliford and Barrett were about to go ex dividend on October 26th. Which way to go? Should I buy back and take the divi, notice the loss on the day but the steady recovery, or, should I guess that the slump after the div would be more than the amount of the div and buy back at an ever higher discount?

My preference was for Galliford so I bought back at a modest discount to the price I had obtained some weeks before. Wrong! Barrett fell less than the div amount and, as if to annoy me, continued to rise. Galliford, on the other hand, fell more than the 64p div and has continued to slide ever since.For some reason, it is the only builder to do this. Why? I can find no online evidence to indicate why there is a general desire to dump Galliford or, conversely, why Barrett in comparison is so very desirable the world and his wife simply must have some.

It'll all be OK in the long run and I'm still sitting on a load of cash in anticipation of good buying times not far ahead and still glad I have a holding in a company I respect. I would just dearly love to know what information marks Galliford out as different right now. What have I missed? Ideas?

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