A nice day out – London Investor Show 2014

London Investor Show

In the age of gigabit internet and the ubiquitous webinar, you could be forgiven for wondering who still turns up for the traditional exhibition-hall conference. Well, last week I did – along with a reported two thousand others – when I attended the annual London Investor Show at Olympia.

I came up with half a dozen reasons why it was worth my time:

  • for the retired – and those who work from home like me – it’s a day out in the real world
  • summer is officially over, and so for a few months indoor activities trump boozing on some lawn
  • a have a friend who likes to attend finance shows, so it was a social and not a solo trip
  • I live in London so the journey wasn’t too bad (despite the traditional rail replacement bus service) or too expensive
  • I was given free entry to the fair, along with free access to the six lectures in the main auditorium1
  • I can write about it for this blog

If you can’t tick three or four of those boxes you might not think it was worth yours. I didn’t personally expect to learn too much, though I often find that a live show can renew your enthusiasm for investment as well as keep you in touch with the latest developments.

For those unfamiliar with the UK investment scene it could be a fairly efficient way to gain an overview, though it might be a unrepresentative one (see my thoughts on what was available below); and there will also always be those who feel the need to kick the tyres on a product before diving in.

In practice, the audience at the show – which felt more like five or six hundred than a couple of thousand to me – were mostly white, mostly middle-aged and mostly male. There was a significant minority of Asian men, a couple of female speakers and a few more women working the stands.

The speakers and services on offer fall into six boxes, though some span more than one category:

  1. characters – industry veterans / “gurus” with a media profile,  there to sell themselves but often also their own product (Alpesh Patel, Nicola Horlick, Rodney Hobson et al). The main auditorium speeches were over-represented in this category.
  2. information providers – ShareScope, Bloomberg, Newsweek, Investors Chronicle, Stockopedia
  3. brokers / spread-betting platforms – eg. IG
  4. training courses – usually in trading or technical analysis
  5. mainstream productsETFs, ETPs, the SG listed products
  6. alternative and niche products – peer-to-peer, crowdfunding, wind and solar energy, wine, BitCoin etc.

Obviously one man’s mainstream is another man’s niche, but I make the distinction in terms of liquidity, costs and tax-status. Products listed on a UK exchange that I can place in my SIPP or ISA and can sell tomorrow at a reasonable cost are a different animal to those listed abroad, on a proprietary website in cyberspace, or nowhere at all. Fat fees for intermediaries and ineligibility for UK-tax shelters both spell niche to me.

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  1. this is a nominal saving of £175, but I’m not certain how many attendees actually handed over their cash []

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2 Responses

  1. March 13, 2015

    […] first presentation in the main auditorium at the London Investor Show was by Edward Page-Croft from Stockopedia, a company which sells subscriptions to a stock-screening […]

  2. May 18, 2015

    […] up was Sandy Jadeja, who we’ve met previously at the London Investor Show back in October. At that show he gave a fast-paced and somewhat confusing talk about technical […]

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A nice day out – London Investor Show 2014

by Mike Rawson time to read: 6 min