I have written about my thoughts on Next and Young & Co in the recent past. Both have a clear, differentiated business model, focused management teams and look set to keep on delivering value to long term shareholders. But there is another less well documented side to these investments.

Some companies have shareholder perks associated with them, in this case with Next and Young & Co. the companies stipulate that for a minimum holding of shares (Next is 100, Young’s is merely 1) a shareholder is entitled to some perks. In the case of Next it is a 25% off voucher once a year. In the case of Young’s it is discounts off accommodation. These aren’t make or break discounts which tip the investment decision to own them, but are nice to have bonuses. My Young’s shares have risen over 20% since I bought them and I got a further £20 off a room in the Alma in Wandsworth (4.5 stars on Tripadvisor and I must say I thought it was excellent) when staying for a friend’s birthday this weekend. That £20 doesn’t tip the scales if Young’s was a poor investment, but take care of the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. Just nice to have. Similarly my wife thinks Next’s kid’s clothes are great, so 25% off once a year is a welcome saving.

Other companies that offer perks include theme park owner Merlin Entertainments (40% off 2 adult theme passes per annum if you own 317 shares = c£1170 investment) Greene King (mails offers / vouchers to shareholders), Mulberry gives 20% off in certain stores to investors with over 250 shares, Whitbread which owns Premier Inn and Costa coffee emails offers to shareholders with over 64 shares and Restaurant Group which owns Frankie and Benny’s and other restaurant brands gives shareholders with 250 shares a book of 12 20% off vouchers for tables upto 10. Great for kid’s post cinema parties !

A more complete list is here http://www.hl.co.uk/shares/shareholder-perks

The main caveat is that some companies require your shareholding to be in your name rather than in a nominee account. Its worth ringing up the company in this case and finding out. Many companies will try and accommodate you.

Anyway, happy investing.



Veg Patch

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