Howard wrote:But I'm not inclined to be judgemental about others' choices.
Surely you have to accept with hindsight that in broad terms holding a tobacco share like IMB for the past three years looks just about as foolish as holding BT?
For the record I am not being judgemental about others' choices, only about the shares themselves. The difference between BT and the tobaccos is that I think I know (because is it well documented, and anyway it is there for all to see), what is wrong with BT shares. Fundamentally it is because the dividend is often under threat, and that for reasons that I have outlined earlier.
The tobacco dividends do not seem to be under threat and the problems with the tobacco shares have not changed dramatically for a long while; the slow decline of their traditional market and regulations. And yet their yields gave/give the impression that a dividend cut is imminent. The market is not usually so inefficient as to leave these very large yields unchanged for long if there are no threats to the dividends, and that is the great puzzle to me. With hindsight and the dramatic slide in their share prices it is obvious that holding a tobacco share like IMB has not been a good idea, but the decline was largely unseen and to me largely unseeable, whereas I do not think such is the case with BT.
I hope this does not come across has whistling in the dark because it is really how I see things. I ducked out of BT in January 2018 at £2.5871 having finally got the message that it was a most unreliable share. If the tobaccos recover I may or may not sell them and the dilemma is that on the one hand they have an undeniable good yield and on the other they may have a limited life, although I am inclined to think they are unlikely to disappear in the next decade which frankly is about all that I am interested in.
And when I said we could do well with BT, its volatility might make it a decent share to trade and make some gains but it is surely not a share for LTBH.