With Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee on Sunday 6 February, interactive investor looks at the twenty-five most widely held stocks on its platform by customer number. More than half have been around for at least seventy years or more, often passed down through generations – and they tell a story of Britain’s changing landscape.
These companies range from engineering greats, financial services institutions, and grocers, through to miners. Others reflect sweeping changes from Government – including Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s privatisation boom.
There’s no telling where these institutions will be in the future. Will Marmite still be dividing opinion in 2092, and will Unilever’s other staple brands such as Domestos still be in existence? Or will the exponential rise in technology stocks (often accessed by ii customers holding Scottish Mortgage shares, a company itself formed in 1909) result in a raft of UK companies which have yet to be born?
interactive investor takes a look, and Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, looks at the pitfalls of investing in commemorative memorabilia as an investment.
Richard Hunter, Head of Markets, interactive investor, says: “Resilience and longevity can rightly be applied to the current monarch, and in the cut-throat world of business there are also some venerable British brands which have stood the test of time.
“Of the 25 most widely held stocks by customers of interactive investor, the vast majority are blue chip names who were already established at the time of the Queen’s ascension in 1952.
“Indeed, some go back rather further. For example, “Nat” and “West” did not officially get together until 1968, but the roots run much deeper, with Coutts having been founded in 1692. UK banks are well represented on the list, given their ongoing reputation as companies being able to oil the wheels of the economy through thick and thin.
“Other sectors such as the supermarkets have also displayed resilience over a long period of time. Tesco is an example, founded in the East End of London in 1919. Nor is the longevity confined to London, with Marks & Spencer having made its first appearance in Leeds in 1884.
“The current concerns over the systematic mining of the earth’s natural resources has one which has been building for decades, with the likes of BP beginning operations in 1909 following the discovery of oil in Persia (now Iran), Rio Tinto in 1873 Shell in 1907.
“The list is also littered with companies which were in existence but did not come to the market until the Thatcher privatisation boom. Represented are the likes of BT (a child of the 1980’s), National Grid (1990), and British Airways (now part of International Consolidated Airlines which was founded in 2011).
“In terms of companies which may still be around in 70 years’ time, speculation is of course just that. Will Marmite still be dividing opinion in 2092 and will Unilever’s other staple brands such as Domestos still be in existence? Or will the exponential rise in technology stocks (often accessed by ii customers holding Scottish Mortgage shares, a company itself formed in 1909) result in a raft of UK companies which have yet to be born?
“The past, of course, gives no guarantee for the future. However, the best of British plan to remain so and while new themes, sectors and stocks will undoubtedly emerge for the rest of the century, there is also a historic possibility that the list of 2092 could have something in common with the list of today.”
|Most held stocks on ii platform by customer number||Date founded|
|LLOYDS BANKING GP||3 June 1765|
|SCOT MORT INV TST||17/03/1909|
|NATWEST GROUP PLC||18/03/1968|
|BARCLAYS PLC||20 July 1896|
|ROLLS ROYCE HLDGS||15/03/1906|
|LEGAL & GENERAL GP||1836|
|HSBC HOLDINGS PLC||3 March 1865|
|INTL CONS AIRLINE||21/01/2011|
|MARKS & SPENCER GP||1884|
On the investment trusts on the list, Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says “Historically, collective investments were the only way for ordinary savers who were priced out of purchasing individual shares to access the market. Investment trusts have a rich history that predates mutual funds – and many still are extremely popular with our customers, with Scottish Mortgage and Alliance Trust a case in point.
“The proof is often in the pudding when it comes to investments. Investments that have displayed a nimbleness to adapt to fundamental economic shifts over the very long term can offer at least some form of reassurance on the robustness of the strategy.
“Of course, investors should scour the whole universe and the investment trust sector has also seen new launches come and go. But it is a testament to the investment trust sector that so many trusts are still around 70 years since the accession of Queen Elizabeth II.”
Buying commemorative memorabilia as an investment
Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst, interactive investor, says: “There are scores of one-off items being sold to commemorate the length of the Queen’s momentous reign. The Royal Mint released a number of limited-edition coins, included a 50p coin featuring the Queen on horseback, for public sale, but they are either out or stock or no longer available.
“Collectors are expected to battle it out to buy these coins on secondary marketplace websites such as eBay, paying multiples of the initial price tag to nab collectables.
“Beyond coins, there will be lots of commemorative collectables around, but crucially, not all of them are worth much. Cups and saucers found on in souvenir stalls are unlikely going to be worth much. If you are buying memorabilia for investment purposes, it is best to look for items that are high in quality, produced in limited runs and have a personal connection to the royal family.
“Pottery makers like Royal Doulton and Wedgwood, which hold the royal seal of approval, also produce collectable pieces which can hold value. But like all Royal commemorative pottery, a chip or crack can render items almost worthless – this is why commemorative coins are more popular among collectors.”