By Peter McCready Telecoms and IT shares may have taken a hammering since the bullish ratings enj...
By Peter McCready
Telecoms and IT shares may have taken a hammering since the bullish ratings enjoyed a year ago, but David Harbage, an investment manager at Barclays Stockbrokers, told the conference he believed there were still high-growth and niche areas worth considering by investors.
There are five main areas of business, which can loosely be described as those that encompass "unique technologies and intellectual property". They are IT protocol routing, dense wave and optical switching (fibre-optic) software equipment, personal digital assistants, and anything involving security and data encryption.
Harbage is optimistic about internet protocol routing, which enables one network to handle all electronic data and communications on an integrated system.
He said it was now cheaper to own shares in this sector after de-ratings. Barclays invests in these areas. But no one could forecast how these companies would fare over the next three years.
In a discussion on the pros and cons of short-term versus long-haul investing, Justin Davis, a day trader, said it was folly to assume that blue chips would still exist in three to five years because long-term investment was threatened by accelerating competition.
The afflictions that blue chips such as Rolls-Royce and Marks and Spencer have experienced over the past five years indicate that the past is no longer a guide to the future, Davis said. But he believed the new giants would probably still be in the IT sector.
If the pace of the business world and technology continued to speed up, investors might find they had more in common with Davis's day-trading approach than with fund managers.
Davis said forecasting had now become so contracted that six months was about as far ahead as anyone could predict. And judging by the investors at the show, perceptions of what was long term and what was short term were shifting. Of those polled, 60% considered short term to be less than one month and 37% said it was no more than a year.