Alex McKinley is the founder and Director of Share Talk. A leading platform designed to give free advice to the professional investor and the novice. A daily rundown of the UK and US markets is provided and interviews with leading CEO’s in a wide spectrum of industries.
by Kay Hare
You are the founder of Share talk. Did you have a clear idea/ business plan in mind when you started or was it an organic process? See what happens?
Share talk morphed into a company organically five years ago. I have always been absorbed in the markets from a young age. My background working in the far East and the US with upstream and midstream oil and gas companies gave me working knowledge of many companies and investing. I am interested in the mechanics of markets that led me to trade investor shows. I use to work six weeks away, and then six weeks was free time at home. I resonated with many of the owners, CEO’s, and characters involved in the industry. They became friends. In the ’80s, when many companies such as BP and BT were privatizing, I made valuable connections and started to respond to companies asking me to write blogs and speak to investors.
In 2015 I met Simon Rowe (pictured right), he, too, saw investors’ potential to get more information to help them make wise and profitable investments and in November 2015 Share Talk was born. Simon created our website and social media accounts and has driven forward technical aspects of the business since its creation. During the late autumn of 2015, the QE2 held an investor show called the ‘Golden Bear’ at Westminster, London. I was not working, so I went along with an Argos camera and got a lot of interest in articles and interviews. It was an exciting time as there was minimal information for investors and only a few people reporting. I started to represent companies and meet investors.
We thought it would take 2-3years to expand, but it very quickly grew. In six months, we had a substantial audience. One interview would attract many new readers, and then the interest from other companies rocketed, all wanting to gain exposure. I interviewed the industry giants like Jim Mellon, who owns the Master Investor Show, who has a net worth of 900 million pounds. I remember he was in a rush, so I met him in a busy pub in Westminster, London, while his driver waited outside.
We always cherry-picked companies we liked as it was still a hobby, and as I was working full time this attracted people. They realized there was no hidden agenda and that our reviews and interviews were always neutral. Our aim was to provide an honest and informative assessment of a potential investment. We focused on the companies that we believed would multi-bag, and many did. At the time I did not invest as I was more interested in credibility and building a reputation for transparency.
In 2015 I also met Zak Mir through ‘Tip TV’ today it is called ‘Core London,’, I was invited on their platform to discuss the markets, and this was a fantastic opportunity to build connections. We all worked for free because we loved our work and enjoyed sharing our knowledge. It was a great time.
What is the aim of Share talk? Is it for beginners as well as professional day traders?
It is a cross-network platform that aggregates market news and provides exclusive interviews, podcasts, and webinars for private, retail, and sophisticated investors. We believe that what we publish has something for everyone. We cover a broad spectrum, so we don’t get pigeonholed, and we can reach as many people as possible. We dig deep with our research and have put a lot of groundwork into our content, saving many people time and money.
Share talk is growing in the audience. Do you think this is because more people are starting to trade as people have been working from home due to the pickle we are in regarding covid? Or is it more word of mouth recommendations?
It has changed this year. During the lockdown, people have more time on their hands, with many furloughed finding disposable incomes. We have witnessed many novice investors tip-toeing into the markets, many curious new buyers, especially on social media. There was a stock market crash at the beginning of the year, which provided the informed investor with new opportunities. Our job is to leap over the negatives keeping the market buoyant with new possibilities such as the pharmaceuticals industry. It was quite exciting as we picked up one pharma company that went from 19p to 1000 pounds and others, but you have to be ‘on the ball’ to see this.
It has been a good year for us as newcomers have created liquidity in the markets and have re-invested. It is a domino effect. For example, in Bulletin Board heroes past March – April, we covered companies that were getting a high traffic rate, and a lot of new money was appearing.
Is share talk a full-time job for you? Or do you manage to do other things as well?
I stopped working in the oil and gas industry two years ago. I decided to work on Share Talk full time. We have investor shows in London, Birmingham, and Manchester. We advertise the dates on our website and social media. We also have two apps and live RNS feeds, so Share talk keeps me busy. We are a ‘pleasant disruptive force in the market place’ that also takes hard work. I work pretty much every day, including weekends. We also have the most extensive social reach in our business. Our corporate website is https://corporate.share-talk.com and you can see here the services we offer corporate clients.
We have never had a fixed business plan as we know the landscape is continuously changing, and it’s always important to gauge and act on market sentiment. What we think will be great sometimes does not go down too well, then we get good surprises with content that we presumed was weaker. However, we keep growing and remain flexible and open to new ideas.
With the recent changes in politics and more people suggesting that the US invest more in the environment and greener energies, are you also keen to promote this? For example, if you know a company is damaging the environment, would you still go ahead and announce it, etc?
We cover companies that promote green energy, for example, PowerHouse Energy (PHE). We don’t get involved in politics. We are interested in publishing companies that are hopefully profitable. If the public wishes to invest in carbon or environmentally friendly fields, we provide the information for both. As I have said, we try to remain neutral.
However, there are many facts not highlighted with the green evolution. For example, battery cars are energy efficient; yet, the batteries still have to be recycled? The parts for the batteries are often dug out of the ground in the Congo by children. Electric wind farms, wind turbines are made of glass, and carbon these also have to be disposed of, somehow? It’s the elephant in the room. Shining a light on greener, more efficient companies is not a ‘bed of roses’, and there is still a price to pay.
What are your thoughts about the penny stocks over the next 12 months, will there still be an emphasis on pharma shares, or will it swing back to oil and gas? Or do you think we will see a completely new landscape in the future?
Now there is a vaccine for covid; the markets will change radically. Green energy could also be at the forefront with Biden’s emphasis on the US, and Germany is very keen to promote greener lifestyles. We have a vaccine, but we will not be immune from Covid or possibly new covid versions as it migrates. Masks may become compulsory. We interviewed Remote Monitored Systems (RMS), a company that has designed a revolutionary mask that kills Covid. It could be very exciting and lucrative in 2021 for this new company.
Share talk is free, but do you offer specific advice if people need it?
We could charge, but our policy has always been to provide a service to share information and content for free. Share Talk is funded by the corporate services we provide to companies by arranging events online or in-person in our National Events. Now we have thousands of followers and subscribers, we are open to tailored advertisements, and have many new ventures planned for the future. With regard to offering specific advice, we will never tip shares and we remain neutral regarding advice, we suggest that people take the content and make their own decisions from there.
What is the secret to investing in penny stocks? What advice would you give the novice?
The simple answer is not to be emotional. You have to be detached. It is an investment at the end of the day, and you should have an open mind to make a calculated decision. A lot is not logic but sentiment. For example, some companies’ market cap is so small it can change in the blink of the eye regardless of its facts, research, and quality.
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