Ask Colin

I regularly read your column with interest and would welcome your view on this small cap stock ...yours views on its upside potential or is this price it? To Which Colin replied: I am not a licensed adviser and regret I can not give advice about specific stocks. Which prompted a further question: Thanks anyway, I don't want advise just your opinion would be appreciated.

I regularly read your column with interest and would welcome your view on this small cap stock ...your views on its upside potential or is this price it?

To Which Colin replied: I am not a licensed adviser and regret I can not give advice about specific stocks.

Which prompted a further question: Thanks anyway, I don't want advise just your opinion would be appreciated.

There is in fact no difference legally between advice and an opinion under the law. I am prevented from responding to your request unless I am licensed and observe the requirements for giving advice such as the "know your client" rule. The only other situation in which I can comment on specific stocks is as a journalist in my columns. However, there I am discussing the stock, not making a recommendation.

If you think about it, no opinion exists in a vacuum. It must be relevant to a time frame (investor, trader, day trader etc) and to other elements of the financial plan of the person for whom the opinion is being given.

I am very happy to try to help people to learn how to form their own opinions about the market, but I do not have a desire at this time to become an adviser.

The other aspect of your request was that you were asking me to forecast the upside potential for the stock. This is something that I am not competent to do. You need a fortune teller....

I do not believe that you can predict markets in the sense of saying how far a stock will rise or fall and in what time frame. There are some technical analysis tools that purport to do this, but they are at best indications that work only some of the time, which could be co-incidence. If you make enough predictions, some of them will turn out to be true. However, this is not of much practical use for a trader.

The approach that I teach is to assess the condition of the market and adopt strategies and tactics appropriate to the risks and opportunities you see.

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