BP – an unethical investment

Thursday’s Annual General Meeting of BP in London was a lively affair. It seems that some shareholders, who have travelled a great distance to attend the meeting, were not allowed in; that is a disgrace and contrary to the rules governing AGMs. Directors of huge multinationals like BP insulate themselves from the shareholders they serve. The only opportunity that an ordinary shareholder has to see a director and ask questions is the AGM. Large funds get whatever access they need to directors of BP. A shrimp fisherman who has bought a few shares to attend the AGM and travelled from the Gulf of México is ignored, rather like the former Chief Executive of BP who said that he would quite like to get his life back, to which someone responded they would like to get the life of a brother back. Continue reading

Investment turmoil and solar systems – the true return on capital

The financial markets are in turmoil. Some banks are going through difficult times, as recent happenings at the Northern Rock and Bear Sterns demonstrate. Some analysts fear that the worse is yet to come as US dollar rates fall and interest rates throughout the world are turning down, producing lower returns on investment.

If you have money on the stock exchange you will find that although most stocks are still producing income, the capital value of them is declining as markets fear that the financial turmoil will hit equities. Property values are falling. Turmoil in the world financial markets causes turmoil in the economies of individuals. Your savings, with which you hoped to provide for your old age, are growing less valuable, your house is getting less valuable, and your income from your savings is declining and in some cases moving into negative areas.  It can be hard to figure out what you should do.  Continue reading