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Wednesday, May 20, 1998 Published at 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK

Biz: Your Money: Money Reports

Investing - art or science?
image: [ Adam gets to grips with the daily ups and downs..... ]
Adam gets to grips with the daily ups and downs.....

Working Lunch's share guru Adam Shaw has been asking a few renowned investors what works for them when it comes to buying and selling shares...

Investing is half science half art. There are no formulas for success and no guarantees that what works one day will work the next.

Getting an investment strategy right means having the right mix of analysis and gut feeling.

Nicola Horlick came to the public's attention in a blaze of publicity after leaving Horlick Morgan Grenfell. She is one of the City's best known fund managers and now works for Societe General.

There are no quick or easy recipes for investment success, she says, but she did offer a few guidelines.

[ image: Nicola Horlick...looking at smaller companies]
Nicola Horlick...looking at smaller companies
"Not enough small investors go to the AGMs. You tend to find the same people turning up and complaining about director's pay. But the Annual General Meetings are good opportunities to question the Board about their strategy and opinions," she said.

This year much of the rise in the stock market has been concentrated on the largest and most popular shares of the FTSE 100 Index. The FTSE 100 has risen very substantially - by 50% in just over four months.

The FTSE 250, which tracks the performance of smaller companies, hasn't done anything like as well. It's risen by 31% in the same period.

But Nicola Horlick feels that some of these smaller companies may soon see the fastest growth in share price.

"We're beginning to feel that there's a two tier market developing with the big FTSE companies doing very well and some of the smaller companies doing particularly badly. We are looking at some of those smaller companies."

Jeffrey Archer is a blockbuster author and very successful investor, most recently in TellyTubbies.

[ image: Lord Archer believes shares are a great investment]
Lord Archer believes shares are a great investment
Of all the investments available Lord Archer thinks the share market is still among the best of investments.

"You want to make sure you're with someone with a first class reputation. You don't want to be with some stodgy bank that gives you 4%, any fool can get you 4% with the stock market performing so well."

That is much the same idea as Neil Simpson of the financial pages of the Mail on Sunday.

He says there is an old rule "It's time not timing that matters" with share investments. As long as you can afford to leave your money in for a long period of time the chances are that share prices will rise.

As amateur investors go, Clement Freud must have had the weirdest investment policy of all.

He once told me that he was infuriated at buying shares in a company, say in Bass, only to find Belgo shares went up. Or buying shares in Johnson Matthey only to find that shares in Jones and Shopman went up.

So he said he bought all shares beginning with J at one time. I think he was joking. But Clement Freud is a gambler and that doesn't restrict itself to the racing track.

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