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for the use of Brokers. A London Share List is obtainable for 6d. (send 7 postage stamps and address) at Mr. Wettenhall, Stock broker, 13, Copthall Court, Throgmorton Street, London, E.C.
Preference Shares. -A Company sometimes wants to increase its Capital. Perhaps the Railway or Canal requires lengthening, to reach some other town, and wants money for the purpose. One plan is to create Preference Shares; thus, the Company gives, to the Shareholders, first the option of buying £10 or £20 Preference Shares (or whatever sum it fixes), and those they do not take are then offered to the Public. These Shares have a fixed Dividend, say 4 or 5 per cent., which is paid the first, then what remains is divided among the ordinary Shareholders.
The advantage of these Preference Shares is, that even if the concern should not be flourishing, still the Dividend on them is sure to be paid, as long as there are funds, even if there is not enough to pay anything to the ordinary Shareholders.
New Shares and Calls.-Another way adopted
by a Company to increase its Capital, is by creating new Shares. The Company, having an increasing traffic, want increasing Capital. offers to each Shareholder as many new as he has original Shares.
Suppose you have two old Shares, it offers you two new ones of £20 each; on which it "makes a Call" of £2 a year, or at such intervals as it wants money, till the £20 is all paid up. You pay the £4 when called for, and for that you are paid at the same rate of dividend as on the old Shares, unless otherwise agreed upon. Should the Company be remarkably prosperous, you may sometimes sell them immediately at a good premium; there are cases when you may sell the Share on which you have paid only £2 for £5, viz. £3 premium. You should always accept these promising Shares when offered, if you hear they can be sold at a premium, because you may sell them and make money, or you can keep them yourself, and pay the Calls when they arise. These
Calls are useful, to those who save money, as a mode of investment for small sums, both because they bring a better per-centage than Shares, on which all the Calls have been paid, and because no expense attends the investment.
Another way which Companies have of raising money is by Loans. They want perhaps a large sum at once, to make some great improvement, which they hope by degrees to pay back. They then offer to receive Loans from anybody, for a certain term of years, paying a certain interest, which varies according to the then state of the Money Market, perhaps 3 or 4 per cent., which careful people are glad to accept, because of the safety of their principal.
The more unsafe the concern, the higher the interest it offers, in hopes of catching the reckless and unwary; but an inexperienced person should consider, that if money can be borrowed by safe
concerns for 4 per cent. no one would offer 5 or more, unless they knew their credit was not good. This high interest is often paid out of the capital, as long as it lasts, and when that is gone the whole concern comes to an end, and the lender may be ruined. Where the concern is good, and the interest fair, a Loan is one of the safest ways of investing money; as at the end of the term you have the whole of your money back, and the interest on Loans is paid before Preference Shares or any Shares.
A person wants perhaps to raise a sum of money. He does not like to sell his land, therefore he offers a Mortgage upon it. Say he wants £1,000. You, wanting to invest that sum, lend it to him at the interest of the day-say 4 per cent.; and he gives you as security the Deeds of his Estate, which should be to the value of £1,500 at the least, so that, if he fails to pay you
back your £1,000 at the time fixed, you can sell his Estate, and, after paying all the expenses of the sale, find a sufficient surplus to ensure the repayment of what you lent.
A good Mortgage is an excellent investment, like the Loans; but much care is necessary, and your own Attorney should carry out the transaction, and should ascertain that there has not been a previous Mortgage raised upon the Estate, and that the person may be depended upon for paying the Interest regularly, as you would naturally hesitate before having recourse to legal measures to obtain it. Here, as in Loans, where a higher per-centage is offered than is given by the Money Market, you may be sure that there is some difficulty in borrowing, owing to the credit or security not being good, as no man will offer more interest than he is obliged. The Borrower always pays his own expenses, the expenses of the Lender, and the Lender's Attorney.
Buildings, and especially factory buildings, are less satisfactory securities than land.