Ask Colin

 Looking through your web site i found your Portfolio. Why don't you put a watch list as well?
Answer
This sounds like a good idea until you consider: 
  • The purpose of the portfolio disclosure page on my web site is to enable readers of my columns and articles to know whether I hold a stock that I have discussed. It is specifically pointed out on the Portfolio Disclosure page that my portfolio is designed to suit my investment plan and is unlikely to be relevant to others who will have a different investment plan. It worries me that people are even thinking of following it in any way. This is not a wink-wink, nod-nod statement. It means what it says - it is not a form of words to get around the law. 
     
  • I am not a licensed investment adviser. What you are suggesting is tantamount to a newsletter and for that I would need to have a licence. You may well ask then, as others have, why I do not get a licence. The reason is simple. I do not want to advise people. The only reason I write as I do and publish the web site is to help people to learn to make their own investment decisions.  
 It has also been suggested that I put my sell stop levels on the web site. I have not done this for the same reason - it could be tantamount to advice.

You will be aware that I write a weekly column in BRW. In that column I discuss stocks whose charts indicate they may be interesting for appropriate readers to purchase or to avoid. That is as much as I can do - indicate an interesting chart - because I do not know the investment plans of many readers and no single chart will be suitable for them all. I am afraid that this is as close as I can come to a hot-list. Over time, most of the stocks that I buy are mentioned in the column, but that is simply because I find them interesting charts to write about. This is not a wink-wink, nod-nod statement either.

If you think I have been overly formal and strong in this response, please bear in mind that your suggestion is one that puts me in danger under the Financial Services Reform Act and I need to take care how I answer you. I am sure you did not intend to put me in this position, because the law is not generally well understood.

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