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Some investors like to take a conservative approach in assembling a portfolio that is utterly soporific, while at the other end of the spectrum you find the buccaneers who thrive on volatility, and are constantly searching for shares that go up and down faster than Stormy Daniels’s underpinnings. These thrill-seekers could do worse than to take a shufti at Ecsponent, whose share price trundled along for ages doing nothing of note until this year, when it suddenly started to fly around like a chicken in a hurricane. It’s perhaps a little unfortunate that in its results highlights the company chooses to crow about the rise in its share price to 65c at the end of the reporting period, since it doesn’t take the sharpest of observers to spot that it has nigh on halved since then. The group has its fingers in several financial services-related pies, the most substantial of which is an operation providing secured credit to its commercial client base, largely in the SME sector. The company ...

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