Investing in procurement technology firms? Ignore everything I say…

Jason has come up with another great idea for a series of posts. He's looking at three firms who are publicly quoted on the stock market in our sector, and analysing whether they might be good from an investment standpoint, and as suppliers.

He stresses that he's not an investment adviser, and that he has no personal interest in the sector. I'm in a similar situation - I have no shares in tech companies, although I have a small number in Xchanging, the outsourcing firm, in my pension scheme (see below).

Anyway, I've debated whether to try and do the same for UK and / or Europe, but..  I don't know. While I wouldn't be recommending firms, I suspect I could be the kiss of death to any business of which I speak well.

I set up my personal pension a few years back (a SIPP) and over the first couple of years chose about 10 individual shares and about the same number of funds. Two of my 10 firms have gone bust - Rok and Southern Cross. That's a pretty impressive (in a bad way) ratio ! And four of the others are at least 40% down from when I bought them. There's another lesson there - quite a few I chose because someone I knew and respected was the Procurement Director or in another very senior role. So that didn't work too well as a methodology....

But what I will do, as well as linking to Jason's posts, is take a look at a few European firms and maybe just identify those that are quoted, in case you do have the urge to invest in our sector.  All at your risk, I should emphasise...!

And in the meantime, do read Jason's first post in his series here, when he takes a look at SciQuest. They're largely a P2P provider, with particular strengths in the scientific and further education sectors, and leading technology in terms of catalogue management for highly complex items. Science Warehouse in the UK are a pretty good equivalent - smaller, but doing very well, and unlike SciQuest, not quoted.

So have a look at Jason's analysis here, and look out for our "recommendations"!


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