This week in MoneyWeek: how to spot dodgy stocks

MoneyWeek cover image - canary in a coalmine

In this week’s MoneyWeek magazine: six signs of companies heading for trouble; profit from pharmaceutical royalties; and making the stockmarket work for the people.

Plus, will Brexit be bad for farmers; should you take advantage of car scrappage schemes, and  are the markets heading for a big crash? There’s all the usual features, too – our comprehensive roundup of share tips from the rest of the UK’s press, news and views from the markets, politics and economics, plus personal finance, property and pensions.

Again, this week, we’re making all our content freely available on the MoneyWeek website.If you like what you see, why not sign up to the magazine? Sign up here now.

How to spot toxic stocks before it’s too late

Most investors have had a “calm year” says Phil Oakley in this week’s cover story. But some unlucky souls haven’t had it so good. Those who invested Carillion, Dixons Carphone or Provident Financial, for instance, have seen their investments hammered. Of course, you’re never going to be able to eliminate all the risks of investing, but in each of the above cases, there were “some common warning signs that alert investors could have spotted”. Phil explains some of the most obvious, and picks out four companies that are displaying some of the red flags he mentions. There may be nothing wrong with any of them, of course, but anyone thinking of buying them should “take a good look under the bonnet” before parting with any money. Find out what Phil’s six red flags are here.

A useful income from drug royalties

Royalties are used by many companies – the resources sector in particular. They are a way for to raise money by offering investors a cut from their future cashflows. One attractive area opening up to investors is the pharmaceutical sector. Drug companies have products generating a lot of cash but may want to raise funds to invest in new products. It’s a good way to buy into an investment that is less affected by the business cycle – demand for painkillers for example, is relatively steady and isn’t affected by the swings of the market. The  trouble is it’s been a difficult area for investors to get into. But David C Stevenson has identified a new fund that recently listed on the London stockmarket which offers a decent income yield. Read David’s piece to find out more.

Stocks for the many, not the few

Margaret Thatcher famously believed in “popular capitalism”, and wanted the UK to become a “share-owning democracy”. She sold off many large nationalised industries in the hope that the public would become more involved in their running, and the companies would become more accountable. But over the years, those companies ended up in the hands of the “cosy cartel that governs corporate Britain”, says Max King, as the public lost its appetite for equity investment. Now there’s a new investment trust, due to launch on the stockmarket later this month that hopes to draw small investors back into the markets, while targeting a return of 7% a year. Find out more in this week’s MoneyWeek magazine.

As I said, all of these articles and more are now freely available for you to read on the MoneyWeek website. But it’s only for a short time. So have a look around, and if you like what you see, sign up to MoneyWeek magazine.