The Shifting Shares review of this year's Growth and Innovation Forum (Part 1/2)

By Richard Mason


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I attended the Growth & Innovation Forum this week at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

The event – which was held by Shares Magazine in partnership with Cenkos Securities – was fairly well attended, with many familiar faces and private investors appearing.

Over 30 companies were there, along with ShareSoc, and directors were trying their best to recruit new shareholders and get their message out.

First of all, many of these representatives should probably go on either a sales course or a course on how to have a normal conversation. With alarming regularity, I found myself having to extricate myself from being spoken at for large periods of time, about things I did not care about, unable to ask the few questions I actually wanted to ask (think used car salesman). Considering that these companies are spending £3,900 of shareholder cash (£1,000 in a Cenkos client) in order to speak to shareholders – they are doing a disservice to the companies they work for.

Gervais Williams of Premier Miton gave a talk extolling the virtues of small caps, which is good as small caps historically represent the best risk/reward in the stock market. I no longer bother attending presentations these days as most directors prefer to read from the slides – something I can do much quicker myself!

TClarke (LSE:CTO)

This is a low margin business where the directors pay themselves an exorbitant salary (I tried to check the Annual Report but, as there were no contents, I didn’t fancy flicking through 100+ pages.. did they do that on purpose?).

The share price is going up, and it’s SETS traded, which means you can swing trade when it’s trending. The trend appears to be up, and the business is improving, but it would be an avoid for me.

All charts taken from SharePad)

Shearwater Group (LSE:SWG)

This is a company that I found interesting. It’s a cybersecurity business, doing a buy-and-build, where the directors have actively been buying shares – and at much higher prices.

Perhaps this company can succeed where Falanx failed.

The chart is now above all of the moving averages, and it would need to break out of that high and 300p before I considered taking a position.

I quite liked the management here. They were friendly, engaging, and approachable. It doesn’t mean you can trust them, but it’s a start. Generally, I tend to have a higher opinion of directors who have backed the business with their own cash and have skin in the game. Options are just not the same.

Ixico (LSE:IXI)

I hold a long position in Ixico, which has something to do with clinical trials – their website states: “Ixico helps pharmaceutical and biotech clients to get more from their clinical development programmes”.

The shares are uptrending, and look like they are entering an earnings upgrade cycle. I’m happy to hold as long as the shares are going up, even if I don’t know exactly what they do. The company is self-sustaining and profitable, and both the fundamentals and technicals are strengthening.

Keep your eyes peeled for Part II of my review early next week.

Author Michael Taylor’s website contains a number of tutorials on how to trade and invest as well as his free book – ‘How to Make Six Figures in Stocks’.


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Author: Richard Mason

This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

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