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Comments on Wednesday 23 January 2008:
I have decided to buy some shares. I was grumbling that I didn't have any money free to do so, and that the last time this happened (I wanted to buy shares but was not in a position to do so) it was Google when they just went tradeable, on which I'd have made a silly profit. And I did the same with something else that I forget what it was. So, anyway, this time I have decided to take some of my not-really-free money, out of a cash ISA, and invest it via the other sort of ISA, in Torotrak.

Torotrak have made a smoothly variable transmission; they have a partnership with Flybrid and Xtrac, all of whose products are necessary in producing a kinetic energy recovery system using flywheels. It's basically a hybrid vehicle, only without gearshifts, without the energy losses due to conversion from kinetic to electrical and back, and with a couple of tricky engineering issues that they've mostly sorted (a fast-spinning flywheel produces confusing torque, a-la science museum "spinning chair and bicycle wheel" experiment).

They seem like a good investment prospect to me because:
  • their product is neat. It's an energy efficiency thing that doesn't seem to have a downside other than "new and thus scary".
  • they've been losing money for years and have seemingly just reached the point where it will start to pay off - which is to say, the shares have been falling, and may be about to reverse. Which would be a good time to buy.
  • they've got actual contracts and licensees signed up which should make their profit not negative for the first time in years. Some licenses look really promising - big manufacturer of small cars in India, unknown European car manufacturer, several Formula One groups. Promise of 3.5M paid from the European one by March, which would cover most of a year's expenses of previous years.
  • they've also got a new director, imported from Jaguar, providing them with contacts in the automotive industry which they previously lacked. Step 1: nepotism. Step 2: profit.
  • the transmission has uses other than KERS - it is lightweight and efficient, making it good for all sorts of small utility vehicles.
  • Look at this man's tie!
[08:48]

Shamelessly Sinful
Go for it. That tie is too amazing not to.
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