Friday, February 26, 2021

Random thoughts: Pence wise and Pound foolish, literally

Recently, I bought BAE systems from London exchanges (LSE) 

When I check my balance i saw this my purchase price is 4.735
I ask why 4.735, when the message alert I received is 473.5 

I thought it is a error from kayhian side. I even joked with my broker and fellow bloggers that I got a 100 baggers.

My broker tried to explain to me it is in Pence. He send me the conversion rate, I say I am aware it it is pound. 

I ask why divide by 100. He exasperatedly said it is pence, like cents ... 

And I go oops. 

And I ask, and they allow trading of 1 share?? 

End up I paid double the commission to get the quantity I wanted. 

LOL. Had a good laugh. Sillyinvestor indeed.


  1. Haha ... yup, UK quotes prices in pennies becoz of historical currency reason.

    That's coz before 1970, the Brit currency wasn't decimalised i.e. not in tenths or hundredths.

    You had 20 shillings in 1 pound, 12 pence in a shilling, and 240 pence in 1 pound. Prices were quoted in pounds, shillings and pence. So if something was 1 pound and 50 pence ... it would be 1p 4s 2d (d represented pence ... d stood for denarius, the standard coin of the Roman Empire).

    So instead of making people do rapid mental arithmetic in their heads, it was easier to simply quote everything in pence. That's why in the olden days primary schools were very focused on multiplication tables for 3s, 6s, 12s. I attended Pri in the 1970s & they still had that British culture.

    1. Hi Anon1

      Wow, you attend Britain school in the 70s. Are you still living there? Frankly, before your comment, I didnt even know about Shillngs. I am suprised that that the base value is not in 10s.

  2. Hi Sir, interesting investment you have there. We are from IN, the investing platform. We are currently taking a hiatus from posting at IN but chanced upon your post. We scouted the UK market last year but left with nothing to invest. BAE was one of the companies researched by us. Back then, what prevented us from putting our money into this company was its pension obligation to the tune of about 1 billion pounds if we are not wrong. An abstract from their 2020 full year result for your reference; "Net debt increased to £2,718m, following the £1bn bond issuance to fund the UK pension scheme, and the $2.2bn (£1.7bn) acquisitions of the Airborne Tactical Radios and Military Global Positioning System businesses.". Another gripe we had was its low net profit margins. Nonetheless, our views formed only a partial view of the company. It is still one of the more notable defense contractors on the global stage and its dividends are good as well. Hope you do not mind our intrusion just dropping by to share what we know of the company from our limited research. Cheers.

  3. Hi Anon,

    Not at all, If I understand correctly, the pension fund shortfall is one-off and will not bother them for the next 5 years. (Do correct me if I am wrong)

    Since they no longer accept new employee into pension scheme, I guess this problem is manageble.

    I do think they will continue to grow, especially their air-defense segment and hence will be able to manage the liability and market will rerate it, since I assume their weak price is due to "Brexit noise"

    Thanks for the alert. Appreciate it

  4. Hi SI,

    I subscribe to the maxim "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me". I don't think you'll do this again. If you do, I can start calling you SSI - Super silly investor LOL

    1. Hahah agreed. 1st time is school fees, second time is you rich, throw away money


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