Isaac's Thread - High Yielding Shares & other stuff

Sunday, May 16 2010 by

Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy and the time of maximum optimisim is the best time to sell.

Sir John Templeton


Aviva (LON:AV.)
-Price 326.9
-Forecast Yield 7.71%
- Forward Cover 3.02
-Forward PE 4.3

-Price 530.2
-Forecast Yield 7.04%
- Forward Cover 1.82
-Forward PE 7.6

United Utilities (LON:UU.)
-Price 521.5
-Forecast Yield 6.58%
- Forward Cover 1.7
-Forward PE 8.97

Scottish & Southern Energy (LON:SSE)
-Price 1082
-Forecast Yield 6.5%
- Forward Cover 1.49
-Forward PE 10.3

Severn Trent (LON:SVT)
-Price 1128
-Forecast Yield 6.29%
- Forward Cover 1.42
-Forward PE 11.21

Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA)
-Price 1779.5
-Forecast Yield 6.25%
- Forward Cover 1.81
-Forward PE 8.86

National Grid (LON:NG.)
-Price 618
-Forecast Yield 6.23%
- Forward Cover 1.55
-Forward PE 10.38

Vodafone Group (LON:VOD)
Price 134.5
-Forecast Yield 6.01%
- Forward Cover 1.91
-Forward PE 8.73

British American Tobacco (LON:BATS)
Price 2033
-Forecast Yield 5.58%
- Forward Cover 1.54
-Forward PE 11.66

Glaxosmithkline (LON:GSK)
Price 1167
-Forecast Yield 5.53%
- Forward Cover 1.86
-Forward PE 9.69

Astrazeneca (LON:AZN)
Price 2879.5
-Forecast Yield 5.37%
- Forward Cover 2.58
-Forward PE 7.22



Investment Greats: Ben Graham



Graham's approach is based on the principle that, while markets are not good at pricing investments, over the long term the true value of businesses will be revealed. "In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine".

'Mr Market', as he described the emotional and irrational marketplace, sets share prices that you may not agree with, based on your fundamental analysis of a share's value. When Mr Market's price is sufficiently below your assessment of the share's value, you have the opportunity to buy with what he referred to as a 'margin of safety'.

Allowing yourself this margin of safety is in stark contrast to the 'greater fool theory' (note the lowercase 'f'), whereby people buy shares regardless of valuation in the hope of finding someone to buy them later at an even higher price. It's all about risk and reward.

Risk can also be mitigated to an extent by buying a portfolio of shares, so that even if some companies go bust, the overall return may still beat the market.

Selection criteria

In the mid 1970s, Graham and his colleague, James B. Rea, refined his ideas into ten criteria for selecting a portfolio:

1) earnings yield at least twice the AAA bond yield;

2) price/earnings ratio below 40% of the highest P/E ratio the stock had over the previous five years;

3) dividend yield of at least two-thirds the AAA bond yield;

4) share price below two-thirds of tangible book value per share;

5) share price below two-thirds of net current asset value per share;

6) total debt less than tangible book value;

7) current ratio greater than two;

8) total debt less than twice net current asset value;

9) earnings growth over the previous ten years of at least 7% per annum; and

10) a maximum of two annual earnings falls of 5% or more over the previous ten years.

If you want to trawl for shares meeting these criteria, ADVFN has filters that facilitate this; you can see the results of a recent search I did in this article. Finding shares that tick all these boxes is quite difficult, but tests 1), 3), 5), and 6) were deemed to be the most important.

The following were considered sell signals:

1) share price up more than 50% since buying;

2) share held for more than two years;

3) company stopped paying dividends; or

4) profits fell enough to make it overpriced by 50% or more on the earnings yield criterion.


Books to Read

Investment Strategy:
Security Analysis - Benjamin Graham (HEAVY READING This is the old testament from the 'Dean of Wallstreet')

The Intelligent Investor - Benjamin Graham (HEAVY READING The New Testament)

Value Investing Made Easy - Janet Lowe (Easy read to see if you agree with the strategy)

The Rediscovered Benjamin Graham - Janet Lowe (Easy read with some late interviews that were interesting. I like this book.)

The Warren Buffett Way - Robert G. Hagstrom (Easy read and interesting examples of some of WB's great investments)

Buffettology - Mary Buffett and David Clark (An interesting slant on things. Easy Read)

The Essays of Warren Buffett - Warren E. Buffett (From the annual reports of his company Berkshire Hatherway. Fascinating).

Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits - Phillip A. Fisher (Regarded as an investment classic. Fisher was one of the greatest growth stock investors. Buffett says he's 85 % Graham and 15 % Fisher, which is a real compliment).

One Up On Wall Street - Peter Lynch (Peter has a gift for making it all sound simple. I think this book extols the benefits of understanding brands).

The Real Warren Buffett - James O'Loughlin
(Buffett is so much more than an investor. What he has created in the management structure and culture of Berkshire Hathaway is truly unique).

The Smartest Guys In The Room - Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind
(How it can all go wrong. The ENRON scandle. (A riveting read. You couldn't make this up).

Accounts: Interpreting Company Reports and Accounts - Geoffrey Holmes and Alan Sugden

The Great Crash 1929 - John Kenneth Galbraith
(Easy read. I think it's important to understand bubbles, crashes and investment history statistics. It may stop you being panicked out of a sound investment one day or help you avoid investing during the later stages of a bubble cycle).

The BZW Equity-Gilt Study (Facts and figures going back to 1918 on Equities, Gilts and the Cost of Living Index. Great for looking at corelations).

The Death of Inflation - Roger Bootle (Bootle saw the change coming 10 years ago, while inflation was still raging. He's a genius economist imo).

A Very English Deceit - Malcolm Balen (The South Sea Bubble and an excellent account of how London's financial power house started in the early 1700's. Insurance companies and share traders in coffee shops, no less).


20 years of dividends and still going strong

Here's its pick of 20 UK companies that have at least held their annual dividends since 1990, together with their forecast payouts for financial years 2010, 2011 and 2012:

Vodafone Group Mobile Telecoms 180 8.3 8.9 9.5
Royal Dutch Shell Oil & Gas Producers 2,145 107.2 111.2 118.0
Tesco Food Retailers 403 13.1 14.9 16.0
Schroders General Financials 1,851 34.0 37.0 40.0
Serco Group Support Services 553 7.2 8.0 8.8
Meggitt Aerospace & Def. 349 8.6 9.2 10.0
Cobham Aerospace & Def. 209 6.0 6.6 7.3
Derwent London REITs 1,552 29.4 32.1 35.0
PZ Cussons Personal Goods 360 5.9 6.4 6.9
Spirax Sarco Engineering 1,843 41.2 45.3 49.8
Halma Electronics 340 8.5 9.1 9.8
Close Brothers Group General Financials 858 39.0 39.0 39.0
Brown N Group General Retailers 280 10.8 12.3 13.5
Rathbone Brothers General Financials 1,150 42.0 42.0 42.0
Greggs Food Retailers 480 17.5 18.6 19.9
Daejan Holdings Real Estate 2,781 74.0 74.0 74.0
AG Barr Beverages 1,150 23.1 24.5 25.7
Cranswick Food Producers 850 25.0 27.5 30.2
Oxford Instruments Electronics 617 8.4 8.8 9.3

Filed Under: Income Investing,


As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. The author may own shares in any companies discussed, all opinions are his/her own & are general/impersonal. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested.

Do you like this Post?
22 thumbs up
9 thumbs down
Share this post with friends

National Grid plc is an electricity and gas utility company focused on transmission and distribution activities in electricity and gas in both the United Kingdom and the United States. The Company's segments include UK Electricity Transmission, which is engaged in high voltage electricity transmission networks in Great Britain; UK Gas Transmission, which is the gas transmission network in Great Britain and United Kingdom liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage activities; UK Gas Distribution, which includes approximately four of the eight regional networks of Great Britain's gas distribution system, and US Regulated, which includes gas distribution networks, electricity distribution networks and high voltage electricity transmission networks in New York, and New England and electricity generation facilities in New York. Its other activities relate to non-regulated businesses and other commercial operations not included within the above segments. more »

LSE Price
Mkt Cap (£m)
P/E (fwd)
Yield (fwd)

Severn Trent Plc treats and provides water and removes wastewater in the United Kingdom and internationally. The Company provides clean water and wastewater services through its businesses, Severn Trent Water and Severn Trent Business Services. It operates through two segments: Regulated Water and Waste Water, and Business Services. The Regulated Water and Waste Water segment includes Severn Trent Water Limited's wholesale operations and household retail activities, and related support functions. The Business Services segment includes the Operating Services businesses in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy; its renewable energy business, and Severn Trent Water Limited's non-household retail business. The United Kingdom Operating Services provides contract services to municipal and industrial clients, and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defense (MOD). The United States Operating Services provides contract services to community, municipal and industrial clients. more »

LSE Price
Mkt Cap (£m)
P/E (fwd)
Yield (fwd)

Aviva plc is a holding company. The Company provides customers with long-term insurance and savings, general and health insurance, and fund management products and services. Its segments include United Kingdom & Ireland; France; Poland; Italy and Other; Canada; Asia; Aviva Investors, and Other Group activities. The United Kingdom and Ireland segment consists of two operating segments: Life and General Insurance. The principal activities of its French operations are long-term business and general insurance. Its Poland Activities in Poland consist of long-term business and general insurance operations. Its Italian operations are long-term business and general insurance. The principal activity of the Canadian operation is general insurance. Its activities in Asia consist of its long-term business operations in China, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Indonesia, Taiwan and international operations. The Aviva Investors segment offers a range of asset management services. more »

LSE Price
Mkt Cap (£m)
P/E (fwd)
Yield (fwd)

  Is National Grid fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

334 Posts on this Thread show/hide all

Isaac 19th Nov '10 175 of 334

I got out of POG this morning. I am taking a wait and see approach as I want to see how far this market corrects. I have my eyes on a few shares which I am looking to buy into, that includes buying back POG at a lower level.

I think the markets will be twitchy until we get a resolution to the Irish situation. Not that Ireland is actually such a big deal for the markets IMO, markets still using any old excuse to correct as we have had a good run since early Sept without a decent correction.

Feels like too much too fast so happy to sit on the side with some cash. Still think the markets will go higher over the next 3-6 months though.

| Link | Share
Isaac 20th Nov '10 176 of 334

Trump tower latest victim of Florida foreclosures

A tower named after US billionaire Donald Trump was the latest victim Friday of the mortgage crisis, with lenders foreclosing on the 200-unit luxury condominium project.

"Trump Hollywood," an imposing 41-story beachside tower in Hollywood, north of Miami Beach, offered condominiums with prices ranging from one million to seven million dollars, but only 25 of the units sold, realty consultants said.

Units could be purchased with an initial downpayment of 20 percent of a given property's value and a mortgage on the remainder, but the deep recession and a sharp fall in property values spelled troubled for investors.

Trump for President?

| Link | Share
Isaac 22nd Nov '10 177 of 334

Wow....FTSE gone negative and all the banks are down! Looks like selling out of RBS last week was a good move. I did it because I felt the risk reward just was'nt worth it........I'm not in any rush to get back in though.....

The government was so silly not to sell some of their stake down when the price hit around 55p a few months back and LLOY hit around 77p. Why not sell down an 85% stake of a huge bank when HMG was in profit and pay back some of that UK debt which keeps building interest everyday!?

Clearly private Investors are not the only one who suffer from Greed!

HMG holding 85% of RBS actually deters Investors IMO. The US got it right selling down large chunks of their Citi holding when a good opportunity came.

I'm in no hurry to part with my trading cash just yet.......waiting for a much larger correction. And if it does'nt come who cares......I prefer not to risk my cash unnecessarily.

| Link | Share
flyinghorse 22nd Nov '10 178 of 334

Surely thats one of the problems-is your cash safe.(i assume you dont keep it under the mattress)
I have been pondering doing a "Tournesolf" and cashing out, but that does not feel safe given the limited protection.
My current thoughts are along the lines of moving into dividend yeilding shares and keeping the few oilies that I feel really good about.
I note you dont have Centrica in the mix.


| Link | Share
Isaac 27th Nov '10 179 of 334


What do you mean if my cash is safe? You mean safe from inflation?

Holding cash for extended periods is not a good idea in the current economic climate. I agree.

But I don't think one needs to be fully invested at all times in the markets. Sometime markets get ahead of themselves and it makes sense to cash out atleast some of the portfolio and wait on the side IMO.

I have'nt bought back what I sold yet but there are stocks cheaper now then they were when I sold.

I'm trading with a bit of money because I am not that keen to lock away this cash. But I still hold all my LTBH stuff like Soco and I don't expect that to change until all the value is realised.

| Link | Share
Isaac 29th Nov '10 180 of 334

I bought a chunk of BP today, Now that GoM is mostly out the way in terms of costs and oil is at $85 does that not mean BP is generating a lot of cash from producing Oil ?

Results in two months, I think the opportunity to get a decent price will slowly be closing as we get closer to the results and some more info is revealed in terms of what will happen to the dividend and what is the 2011 strategy.


Massive gap between BP and Shell which must surely close with time?

Just don't understand the current low valuation if Oil stays above $85.

I also think todays drop in the markets are an anomaly. No point trying to apply fundamental logic as to why the market should go down, it will surprise most people and keep going up.

I think 6000 on the FTSE is coming soon...weeks....and I'm prepared to just ride it out for now.

| Link | Share
tournesol 29th Nov '10 181 of 334


why do you focus on the short term so much?

I take a much longer term perspective. I bought BP at 348, 358, 303, 424 and finally 388. Different amounts each time so not sure what the average is,

My short term target is 480 but I expect the SP to overshoot so would not expect to even think about selling at that price unless something unexpected occurs

My medium term target is 560 and I might sell there if the dividend news is unexciting

What I actually expect to do is hold on for the long term on a very attractive dividend yield.

My approach is much less energetic than yours, much less demanding and much less prone to errors in timing, valuation or execution. Try a longer focus and learn to relax.

| Link | Share
Isaac 29th Nov '10 182 of 334


I am focusing short term because I am not willing to commit my funds for the long term as I am looking to buy a property and therefore need to stay quite liquid. I'm waiting for a good opportunity and have a good feeling 2011 will be a good year when I can get that. The bulk of my long term cash is stuck in Soco at the moment which I don't plan to sell at these levels.

So the option is either take 2% interest in a savings account with my cash or trade a bit with a some of that cash to boost my returns.

The trading has worked quite well actually because I am up about 20% since late September when I started this from using 2 blocks of trading cash. The irony is if I just held onto Heritage my first trade I would have made about the same as I have now without having to mess about too much.

The worse trades were the banks, although I did'nt lose money on them I also did'nt make much money either but took the risk!

I'm hoping to make about 10% from BP by the end of the year, If I get that then I will sell. The past purchases I made on BP were actually sold lower down then the current price, but were sold at a good profit and the proceeds were used in other trades to make more money.

I don't mind buying back at a higher price, because ultimately when I swing trade like this I am looking to make 10-20% & past trades are irrelevant. I don't grudgingly think that I sold back lower so won't buy back at a higher price. I think a 10% return from BP over a 1-3month time frame is achievable.

£5.60 is achievable perhaps over 2 years. Not bad strategy collecting dividends whilst you wait especially when analysts are forecasting about 6% at current prices. I kid you not RG If Soco were to sell up then a large part of the proceeds would go into BP for a longer time frame.

I would also stick a bit of cash in Aviva. But think they could drop further, financials are all over the place and won't have a sustained long term rally for a long time IMO. These things take years to sort out, at best one can make money from banks buy buying support and selling resistance.

Anyway hope that explains a bit more about what I've been doing.

This can be more risky then just buying and holding which is a lot easier...

| Link | Share
bugsmunny 30th Nov '10 183 of 334

I think 6000 on the FTSE is coming soon...weeks....and I'm prepared to just ride it out for now

That sounds more like wishful thinking.

As I said a few weeks ago on this thread , I think when the FTSE was topping 5800, no particular reason for the markets to keep rising.

There's a pretty poor economic and financial backdrop, and we've had a pretty decent rally from the lows.

If you want a possible paradigm, look back to 1929 and on.

Perfectly possible for us to return to previous lows and/or bumble along for years.

Given your posts about trading on a HYP thread - I think that deep down you know that good ole days are over.

Agree that BP is probably a reasonable bet at current prices but NOT for HYP reasons


| Link | Share
Isaac 2nd Dec '10 184 of 334

Bugs - Your entitled to a view.

At 5773 we are much closer to my target of 6000 FTSE then a 1929 collapse. I personally see the markets continuing to trend higher.

Very annoying to see POG finally rallying, I actually think POG will go much much higher over the next few months as they are generating so much cash with the higher gold price. But will continue to hold BP which at $88/bbl must be generating a lot of cash as is the other E+P's.

| Link | Share
Isaac 5th Dec '10 185 of 334

Footsie tipped to hit new highs

The index of Britain’s leading shares could rise 25%, which would take it above the peak of 6,930 it reached in December 1999

City experts are betting on a bumper year for shares in 2011, with the FTSE 100 index forecast to hit a new high of 7,000 by the end of next year. Richard Buxton at Schroders, the fund manager, thinks the index of Britain’s leading shares could rise 25%, which would take it above the peak of 6,930 it reached on December 31, 1999, during the technology boom. Buxton has a good record: his UK Alpha fund has beaten the market with a return of 16.4% this year, against 13.3% for the FTSE All-Share, after he spotted takeover targets such as oil firm Dana Petroleum. He thinks Britain will be one of the top tips for investors in 2011. He said: “UK stocks remain relatively undervalued and offer strong recovery potential. Dividend yields are growing and although the UK may just be a small market, listed companies have a truly global reach.”

Several leading investment banks also released bullish forecasts for the Footsie last week. Citigroup predicts the index will end 2011 at 6,750, having forecast 6,000 for 2010 at the beginning of the year, and UBS has a forecast of 6,700. The Footsie closed the week up 76 points at 5,745, a gain of nearly 9% so far this year. Nick Nelson, strategist at UBS, said: “The UK is one of our preferred countries across Europe, given that it has less direct exposure to the eurozone debt crisis, and a flexible exchange rate and monetary policy.” Britain is also one of Morgan Stanley’s favourite areas for 2011, alongside Germany and Scandinavia, because of their “relative security” and “better growth prospects”. Investors are also being urged to buy shares over government bonds (gilts) in 2011. Calculations by Morgan Stanley show you would have to go back to the first half of the 20th century to find the last time equities were as cheap relative to gilts.

I personally am bullish on the markets and expecting a decent run in the first half of 2011. Have'nt made my mind up about the 2nd half though, still think there will be chunks of cash to be made next year.

| Link | Share
Isaac 10th Dec '10 186 of 334

The government has survived a revolt by Liberal Democrat and Conservative MPs over its plans to increase university tuition fees in England.

The policy was approved by 21 votes, with the coalition's majority cut by almost three-quarters following an impassioned five-hour Commons debate.

Twenty-one Lib Dem MPs rebelled, along with six Conservatives.

The coalition motion, backed by 323 votes to 302, would raise fees to a maximum of £9,000 a year.

R.I.P Higher Education

Yesterday was a sad day for the UK. I think it is outrageous that tuition fees have been increased to £27,000 from £9,000.  The LibCon have cut the University budget by 80% and have told future students they have to pay a large amount of cash to fund their education which means they would be saddled with debt for many years. If your saving the taxpayers money then why don't you reduce income tax and thus return the cash to tax payers?

Education is a Right and it does'nt have to be this expensive. The quality of teaching declines and the cost increases. How is increasing tuition fees by 200% in anyway fair ?

What makes me incredibly angry is the tories tried to sell this to people by saying they would pay of a smaller amount each month so the students would be better off? But they will incur interest over the long term and the effects of compunding will mean they would end up paying a lot more!

Why do they insist on talking such dribble and insulting ones intelligence?

The government bailed out the bankers and squeezed the young, the young innocent kids had nothing to do with the financial crisis so I think this is outrageous! Why does this stupid government continue to help the Rich and shaft the poor/middle class? Why don't they heavily tax those reckless speculators who have bought several houses and pay little to no tax on their big property portfolios? Quite simply because the government ministers invest in property, so they are not going to shoot themselves in the foot.

 I'm one of the lucky ones past University education so I am not affected by this. But as a UK tax payer I would much rather my taxes were paid towards educating the young of society rather then funding reckless wars in 3rd world countries that kill innocent people.

The UK debt is still in a complete shambles, unfortunately it is the young generation that will end up with large amount of debt from University, higher taxes & a lower standard of living. It is the younger generation that will pay of the UK debt and get this country out of this mess. Surely money should be invested in the young?

I think having education plays a big part in being succesful, however I don't think everyone should go to University. Some people can be as succesful or more by doing Apprentiships or working etc but I believe those that wish to go to University should be able to without discriminating people from less well off backgrounds.The government should have had a system which provides incentives for future students to study Science, Maths, Engineering at Unviersity, perhaps charging lower fees for key subjects that can produce value adding students to society. And enforced a higher fee on students doing micky mouse degrees such as Media studies etc.

I have an immense amount of respect for individuals who have come from a less well off background and have worked extremely hard to make something of themselves. I think people from poor backgrounds should be given more opportunity to excel. Ofcourse the typical Tories want the poor to stay poor and the Rich to get Richer.

As an Investor the Tory government would be better of for me but life is'nt just about me and me wanting to make lots of money! There are loads of others around me in this world and they too should be given the opportunity to be succesful.

I never voted for Tories in the last general election & I don't intend to in the next. I hope they are booted out of office. Infact none of these politicians are any good - I'm not really a fan of Labour either.....Maybe I just won't bother voting at all next time.



| Link | Share
tournesol 10th Dec '10 187 of 334

I'm surprised at you Isaac

"Education is a Right "

I beg to differ. Education is not a right at all, it is a privilege.

Why should street sweepers and cleaners and other low paid workers pay for university education they themeselves don;t have access to so that young people can doss around for three years and then get a job that pays better than most of the people who funded it?

The whole notion of "rights" is a con trick . If you have the right to education and a house and a job and free medical treatment and a pension - then who is it who has a duty to provide all of that?

Free education is great up to the point when it ceases to be universal. Once it gets rationed and dispensed to only a privileged section of the population then it is not fair to expect those who don;t qualify to pay for those who do.

And speaking entirely personally I'd like to see any student who assaults a police officer or damages public property in the course of a demo get permanently excluded from state education.

You can't attack society one day and then expect it to support you the next.

| Link | Share
Isaac 10th Dec '10 188 of 334


And speaking entirely personally I'd like to see any student who assaults a police officer or damages public property in the course of a demo get permanently excluded from state education.

You can't attack society one day and then expect it to support you the next.

Agreed - I don't support the violence at all nor the damages to public property.

Why should street sweepers and cleaners and other low paid workers pay for university education they themeselves don;t have access to so that young people can doss around for three years and then get a job that pays better than most of the people who funded it?

What is a low paid worker? I understand that anyone earning less then £10k will come out the tax band gradually in the coming years.  Why do you think these individuals not have access to education? Don't kids have to go to School until 16 and then can go to College to study 'A' Levels and then head to University?

Anyway...What if the cleaners and sweepers can't afford to fund their kids education in University? I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the low class & people in low ranked jobs want the best for their kids and would encourage their kids to go University to better themselves. And in turn the cleaners and sweepers will benefit from their kids going to unversity.

As for the 3 years at University, well I have to agree that it does'nt take 3 years to do these degrees. And students have ALOT of time on their hands, I spent a lot of my time learning about the stock market in my spare time as well as doing an intellectually challenging degree. People like Bill Gates came up with Microsoft and Mark Zuckerburg worth $7bn came up with Facebook and today decided to donate a large part of his wealth to charity. So it is not all a waste of time.....

Sure these people are one in a million and the majority of students waste a lot of time in the 3 years. But whose fault is that? I blame the government, why don't they change the system? If I could have done my degree in one year rather then 3 I would have done it,. But I don't think I would have got the student experience from doing it in 1 year that I got from doing it in 3.

I don't think people have a right to a house nor a job and free medical. Infact I think the NHS should be scrapped as it is very inefficient, people would be better of stumping up a large portion of their medical costs and for the government to make a small contribution. As for houses and Jobs, they will come with success whether that be from Education or other means.

The government should have less people going to Unversity, more people studying Sciences, Maths, Engineering etc and the government should close down the underperforming unviersities. Have an entrance exam so most of the individuals that go to university  come out with meaningful degrees that add value to the UK economy. And these students should'nt be asked to pay large sums of money for the privilege of university.

Free education is great up to the point when it ceases to be universal. Once it gets rationed and dispensed to only a privileged section of the population then it is not fair to expect those who don;t qualify to pay for those who do.

I never said there should be free education. I do think students should make a contribution but not £27k. How many years would that take most graduates to pay that off ? Do you think it is fair for young kids to be saddled with debt that will take years to pay off and then not be able to afford a decent house because they have too much debt as it is ?

The truth is there are certain age groups who had it good and left this country in a complete mess and it is the younger generation that will pay for it for years to come.

I think I just feel sorry for the young kids.....


| Link | Share | 1 reply
tournesol 11th Dec '10 189 of 334

In reply to Isaac, post #188


You've misunderstood what I was saying

If 50% of the population go to university or other tertiary education then by definition the other 50% don;t.

Why should those who don;t pay for those who do? Especially when they are almost all going to earn much less than those who go? And start work earlier and retire later?

In effect students are asking for special privileges (1) going to unir and 2) being subsidised) that will result in them achieviing a life long privilege (more money, better job, later start of work, earlier retirement) and they want that to be subsidised by those who are less privileged - that's utterly regressive and unfair.

when we only sent 6% of the population to uni - then the cost could be covered from general taxation and it was not so unfair but if half of our population are going to go to uni the cost is just too high to be met from general taxation and the unfairness is heoightened.

| Link | Share | 1 reply
Isaac 11th Dec '10 190 of 334


If 50% of the population go to university or other tertiary education then by definition the other 50% don;t.

Why should those who don;t pay for those who do? Especially when they are almost all going to earn much less than those who go? And start work earlier and retire later?

I understand what you are trying to say but don't you think society benefits from students going to University?

If you get £27k of education costs + £15k in living expenses over the 3 years then that is £42k + Interest. I think graduates earn about £100k post tax income then a non-grad over a lifetime. So does £42k + interest still make it attractive for students to attend university?

I think the fundamental question people should be asking is why is it costing £9k a year? Where does all that money go? Surely it does'nt cost that much for a 20 hour week full of lectures, a few assesments a year and end of year exams?

The funding includes improving the universities to make them more 'world class'. Perhaps that would be better for future students in the long term,.....But should current students be paying for future students benefit? I suppose someone has to pay.

I don't disagree that students should contribute to their education, I just think £9k/year is expensive. One good thing that comes out of it though will be people will think more then twice about going to University doing micky mouse degrees. Hopefully it will encourage more Scientists/Engineers etc into society and the UK benefits.

£42k + Interest just means students won't be able to afford the already very expensive houses in the UK.  Probably means property will be one of the worst Investments for the next decade....

 Sadly the way to be 'equal' in society these days is to have lots of debt.

| Link | Share
Fangorn 11th Dec '10 191 of 334

I agree Tourn.

Education is a privilege , not a RIGHT.

There's far too much focus on rights rather than responsibilities these days.

As to the cost, if you're that concerned Isaac why don't you campaign against
1) The UK's foreign Aid budget, currently 6bn, rising to 11.5bn by 2015
2) Our ever increasing EU contribution.

Both amount to large sums that could be used to the benefit of UK citizens, rather than wasted on a corrupt Eu(still to get their accounts signed off) and foreign aid which rarely goes to the needy recipients it is intended for(or even worse goes to countries like India and China which have massive financial reserves, their own aircraft carriers and large standing armies.) The saving here of 12bn+ per year alone could instead go into continued subsidised higher education.

But no, everyone wants everything despite the fact that this country is in a massive financial mess.and no it wasn't just the bankers fault, alot of the blame rests at a decade or so of labour splurging (I take it everyone remembers Gordon brown borrowing 30bn per year when the economy was booming!)

Cuts have to be made.

Foreign Aid and EU contributions should go so that the money can be spent where it is needed - in the UK. UK taxpayers money should be first and foremost spent on the UK, improving the living standards of UK people.Not sent overseas. Once we have got our own house in order then we can think about foreign aid.

| Link | Share
Isaac 11th Dec '10 192 of 334

Mark Slater, manager of MFM Slater Growth fund and son of legendary investor and stock picker Jim Slater, tells Robert Miller how he achieved his star performance rating this year with investments such as Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One.


Interesting changes to Pensons :

It makes a HYP style Investing more attractive.


| Link | Share
wgh202 15th Dec '10 193 of 334

In reply to tournesol, post #189

It is generally accepted that educating everyone to a minimum standard benefits society, yet why is it that this same principle cannot be extended to further education. 

Why should those who don;t pay for those who do? Especially when they are almost all going to earn much less than those who go? And start work earlier and retire later?

If you take the view point of I do not benefit so why should I pay, I think you will find this extends to many other areas. If someone doesn't have kids, why should they pay such high levels of Income Tax? If you have kids and pay for your kids to enter the private education system , why should your tax be used to fund other schools. Similarly if you eat healthily, don't drink much and exercise regularly why should your tax be used to pay for healthcare for those who make lifestyle choices and chose not to? Do you use the Library or swim in public pools, if not why should you pay so much council tax? 

However I don't mind paying for all these services for things I personally don’t use as I’m unselfish and society benefits as a whole. This is what the university system is a benefit to society but not necessarily every individual. 

If 50% of the population go to university or other tertiary education then by definition the other 50% don;t

 Why can't the other 50% go if they study hard enough and reach the academic requirements? As they certainly won't be able to with £9k a year to pay on fees alone. 

My solution is simple (and already vaguely mentioned) scrap the more questionable degrees and scrap the Universities which do not reach a certain standard. All of these funding issues stem from New Labours target of 50% of people should go to University, yes everyone should have the chance, however are 50% of people academically suited towards University. What was wrong with Polytechnics teaching more vocational courses (as a slight side note I am not saying University education should be completely free, just that £6-9,000 is not viable).

In effect students are asking for special privileges (1) going to unir and 2) being subsidised) that will result in them achieviing a life long privilege (more money, better job, later start of work, earlier retirement) and they want that to be subsidised by those who are less privileged - that's utterly regressive and unfair.

An increase in fees is the result of the young having to suffer the consequences for the last 40 years of overspending and decadence by the older generations.  Yet those who benefited from low house prices, over inflated salaries, free education, completely free healthcare and healthy pension plans are expecting the young to pay for it. As a recent graduate my future looks like the following, I will waste large amounts of money on rent in the inflated property sector, this in turn will mean it takes longer to save for a deposit (which consequently will have to be larger in real terms than older generation’s deposits), meaning I have to pay rent for longer period of time, wasting more money. Finally I start to earn significant sums, but I have to pay a higher tax rate to fund repayment of this countries accumulated debt and I also at the same time have higher mortgage repayments. I then decide to have kids and find the nice little perks that older generations enjoyed, such as child benefits have gone (I’m not saying sweeping child benefits is a good policy). My kids grow up and are then faced with enormous sums to go to university (probably larger than the current increase if we follow the recent trend in fees) and the cycle starts again.  - In the back ground to all this access to free healthcare and other services is probably declining - . So finally I get to retirement and think I can relax, however will there be any state pension scheme by this stage? I think not, as this is one of the many unsustainable things at the current level that have been built up by the older generations. So in sum my life consists of earning less money, paying for more services and working longer than someone in my position 30 years ago. So are you not asking us to subsidise the older generation, surely this is utterly regressive and unfair?

With the more than likely increase in cost to the individual in all these areas above and the burden of clearing an enormous national debt created by previous generations. How is it fair that the future generations must suffer because of the greed and over indulgence of the older generations, which has and is now compromising one of the world’s great education systems. Save the higher education system for the innocent young and make the cuts against those who created the debt, addressing pensions and the NHS might be a good start.

Apologies if this caused offence this is one graduates opinion concerned about those who are to follow.


| Link | Share
Isaac 15th Dec '10 194 of 334

In reply to Isaac, post #149

Week 5 - 10 candidates to go...

Who will win the Apprentice?

If I was a betting man I would back these three for the winner :

Chris Bates

Liz Locke

Christopher Farrell

Lets see how it pans out........Still wide open to call....But think one of these will win it. If I was pushed to choose one of the above I would go for Liz at this stage.

Interesting to watch this evening that Alan Sugar admitted he made a mistake by letting Liz go last week. I think Liz would have got to the Final and would have won the Apprentice.

Although 6 weeks ago I said Chris Bates is a good candidate and would likely be one of the last three....I'm actually very happy to see Stella in the Final.

I want Stella to win. The girl who had a tough upbringing but worked very hard and has managed to do very well in her career. Whereas Chris who appears to have been born with a silverspoon in his mouth from a privileged background just seems good academically with no real work experience.

Stella's age of 30 may hold it against her & maybe the fact that she is a female, but if I was Alan Sugar I would look to recruit someone with some decent experience that can do business in a professional manner.

Chris is young, Alan can mould him to be his bi*ch........But i'd rather have someone who can just get on with the work without having to teach them the ABC of business. I think at the age of 24 one is still learning and developing, whereas someone at the age of 30 is more established and is more of a professional in their field that can add real value.

What is interesting is both are from similar backgrounds, one whose worked in Investment Banking and the other whose worked on a Trading floor in a big Japanese bank.

It beats me why either would want to work for Alan Sugar............It's hard to call, I think it can go either way. I personally favor Stella more at this stage although historically Alan has gone for the younger person. My gut instinct makes me think on this occasion his going to go for Stella.


| Link | Share

What's your view on this thread? Log In to Comment Now

You can track all @StockoChat comments via Twitter

 Are National Grid's fundamentals sound as an investment? Find out More »

Stock Picking Tutorial Centre

Let’s get you setup so you get the most out of our service
Done, Let's add some stocks
Brilliant - You've created a folio! Now let's add some stocks to it.

  • Apple (AAPL)

  • Shell (RDSA)

  • Twitter (TWTR)

  • Volkswagon AG (VOK)

  • McDonalds (MCD)

  • Vodafone (VOD)

  • Barratt Homes (BDEV)

  • Microsoft (MSFT)

  • Tesco (TSCO)
Save and show me my analysis