If you’d invested in: Persimmon and Centrica

Persimmon is the UK’s second-largest housebuilder. In November, it said the total sales rate per site for the third quarter was in line with the same period last year.

If only...

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Persimmon (LSE: PSN) is the UK's second-largest housebuilder. In November, it said the total sales rate per site for the third quarter was in line with the same period last year, although it reported £909m of forward sales reserved beyond 2017, an increase of 10% on the same period last year.

The government's help-to-buy equity loan scheme, which allows people to buy newly built homes with deposits of only 5%, has been used in more than half of the firm's sales.

Be glad you didn't

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Centrica (LSE: CNA) provides energy for homes and businesses. Its shares have fallen by 57% over the past four years. In October, it announced a restructuring the management plans to reallocate £1.5bn of resources from asset businesses to customer-facing businesses by 2020. In November, it also acquired REstore, a firm that manages electricity demand for heavy energy users, for £62m.

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