melonfool wrote:...it has been AGREED that ULV is and can be discussed...
Even when it leaves the FFTSE100 after its reorganisation is complete? Like Santander, it will be fully traded on the London stock exchange, but no longer included in the index. Strict application of the 'must be in the FT350' rule would seem to make it impossible to discuss.
The HYP Practical guidance also
allows discussion of "shares which have been selected in the past", and Unilever has been selected in the past by many different HYPers - enough that it would be totally ridiculous to try to argue that none of them was actually running a HYP, so that it hadn't been selected for a HYP in the past.
In short, it's clear that Unilever does
qualify for discussion on the HYP Practical board by that alternative criterion. And that dropping out of the FTSE 350 (if it actually happens, which sounds probable but not 100% certain) won't alter that in the slightest.
A large part of what made the thread concerned
very long was not discussions about whether discussing Unilever specifically was allowed, but more generally about how the HYP Practical guidance is to be interpreted. It could be clarified considerably - as just one instance, that "shares which have been selected in the past" can be interpreted as anything from "shares that are an actual existing holding of a HYP, having been selected for it in the past and not sold since, and only for the purpose of discussing a practical question about that existing holding" to "any share that might have been bought for a HYP in the past, no matter whether it actually has been or what issue about that share is being discussed".
And while the OP of that thread was a poll specifically about whether Unilever could be discussed, it wasn't exclusively about that - it did add "(and other shares with average yields)". Also, its subject was the much less specific "HYP Practical discussions", which made it rather non-obvious whether the aim of the thread was just resolving the question about discussing Unilever or a more general discussion about what was acceptable discussion on the board. Add to that the fact that every post contains a reminder of the subject at its top, but not a reminder of what the OP said, and I'm not surprised that the thread drifted towards the more general discussion!
Just to be clear, when I say that the guidance could be clarified considerably, I'm not
saying that it could be clarified totally - I think there will always be borderline cases. Nor am I saying that it should be clarified as much as possible: just that there are potential problems both
with too-vague guidance that leaves people genuinely uncertain about what's unacceptable or able to divert discussions a long way away from being about practical HYP matters, and
with too-tight guidance that leads to 'rules lawyering' or to people being driven away unnecessarily.
Besides unclear guidance, I see two other big reasons for the continuing problems about the HYP Practical board. The first is widespread confusion between the question of which shares a HYP should buy and the question of which shares are allowed to be discussed on the board. Opinions and judgements about the former will vary between users, and indeed there would be little to discuss on the board if they didn't! Answers to the latter need to be the same for all users and as far as possible should be quickly and easily determinable on objective grounds by moderators who aren't experts on HYPs themselves. They should also be broad enough to allow the vast majority of existing HYPs to be discussed, but not so broad that it effectively becomes a clone of another existing board.
That inevitably means that any particular HYPer will see shares being discussed there that they don't feel a HYP should buy. They need to be able to say that - but they also
need to avoid saying that the share shouldn't be being discussed on the board at all. Basically, if they feel that way, they should either
report the discussion as being against the board guidance or
accept that it's within the board guidance even though it's not within their own HYP selection criteria, and therefore that it can be discussed on the board. And when reports about being off-topic are moderated, they should be judged by what the guidance says - I have seen a few remarks by moderators that bring in things that the guidance doesn't
say, such as the primary income aim of a HYP, and I suspect they've done that because they either think themselves that it's always been a part of HYP or have been persuaded by the reporter saying it's always been a part of HYP. That's less than ideal even if it has always been a part of HYP (as the primary income aim has been) because it's expecting everybody (including newcomers) to know what's always been a part of HYP without being told, but in addition there are plenty of myths around about what's always been a part of HYP. (And incidentally, debunking those myths is my usual reason for bringing old documents such as pyad's original articles into discussions - they quite simply don't contain a word about HYPs being annuity substitutes or 'strategic ignorance', for instance. If anyone knows of a better way of checking assertions about history than looking at the actual historical documents when they're available, I'd be fascinated to hear it!)
The other big reason I see is simply the history of conflict, which has led to stereotyping of HYPers, often in 'religious' terms such as fanatics or zealots, but also as e.g. going for the highest yield to the exclusion of any other consideration. Maybe some are, but a lot are simply investors like me who have found that the strategy suits their temperament, available time / other resources and investment aims - and are sick and tired of encountering statements such as "True disciples of course would ignore that argument and simply go for the higher yield.
" that perpetuate such stereotypes. Especially when the person making them has been around quite long enough and seen enough discussions that they ought to have seen HYPers looking at many other factors, especially about dividend sustainability and diversification. And of course, a likely result of that is that such statements often get ignored or responded to in a short, sharp and over-simplified way - both of which unfortunately look just like typical behaviour of someone acting out of blind faith and so reinforce the stereotype...
Fully stopping that stereotyping once it's happening is a hard problem, and I don't know how to do it. But descriptions of other people, especially in ill-defined group terms that leave people uncertain whether they're meant to be included, play a major part in the stereotyping, and so does language with religious associations.