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Option strategy graphs

It was a request…. buying a call looks like: so unlimited upside but limited downside equal to call premium. Selling a put: limited upside – the put premium – downside limited by the fact that a share price can only fall to zero. So as you can see both strategies are in profit as the share price [...]

Sports Direct taking a punt on Tesco..

Mike Ashley has upset his institutional shareholders in the past with his bonus share schemes and non-City behaviour.  As a mother of a ever growing sporty daughter I am just grateful he has bought lower prices to sportswear (pair of astro football boots bought last night only £26 thankfully). This once again shows that when you buy shares in Sports Direct, you [...]

A rant against the inaccurately named “mansion” tax.

Tuesday 23rd September 2014 To prove my point I have gone through property websites and found a number of properties that are far from mansions and not in PCL (prime central London). £2mn buys you a 3 bed flat in Kingston: 5 bed semi in Clapham for £2.25mn 3 bed flat in Kings Cross for £2mn These [...]

Times column on PIGS and marshmallows..

“While the PIGS put their houses in order, others huff and puff” Times column today on why it is core Europe that we should be worrying about and not the Periphery.. Also in the short column: what the Marshmallow experiments teach us about investment decision making. I argue that the PIGS – Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain have [...]

Sceptical Tesco thoughts..

There is little detail in the latest profit warning from Tesco.  But just a few lines have cost Tesco shareholders around £1.5bn.  The share price is down almost 10%. The new CEO Dave Lewis, says profits were overstated by £250mn for the fist six months of the year.  There seem to be a number of issues - “accelerated recognition [...]

Risk for UK assets?

Could this be the worse result for RUK financial assets in the long term? Beware of the euphoric rally from a Yes vote – it is deeply problematic for the UK.  Most importantly Alex Salmond’s economic plans will never be shown to be the tosh they truly are.  Like most politicians who wants voter support, he has tried to bribe [...]

Quick look pre market open on Scotland vote..

As I wrote this the results has gone from being neck to neck to the Nos an outright win. But Sterling has been rallying since yesterday afternoon.  It has already moved from 1.62 against the dollar Thursday morning to 1.65 currently.  This is a sharp move and sterling volatility has shot up to levels not [...]


So 255 banks have been given a total of E82.6bn for 4yrs from the ECB at an interest cost of just 0.15%.  This is way below what markets had forecast banks would ask for.  E130-150bn was the range. Draghi is trying to push on a piece of strong.  The TLTRO was his way to force banks to lend [...]


A brilliant suggestion from one of my Twitter followers (@paulalexander26) as to what any new Scottish bonds should be called. I was away at a wedding early this week and so haven’t sent out my Times column: It looks as the City’s inability to price political risk.  That Salmond is not easily put into a [...]

Brave Heart?

Is Alex Salmond styling himself as the modern day William Wallace, fighting for Scottish freedom?  If he is, there is form for such behaviour.  I am currently reading Iain Martin’s book “Making it happen. Fred Goodwin, RBS and the men who blew up the British economy”.  In it (p78) is the fascinating fact that Fred Goodwin ”hung a replica long sword [...]