Retirement brings with it different opportunities and ways of life.
Work with school governing bodies and charities is fulfilling albeit unpaid. However the next generation will need to be earning a living through to their 70s. Thus for people in their 60s today, earning a living - perhaps part time and contrasting with one's previous work - has interesting possibilities of itself and may even serve as an example for the next generation.
Certainly there has been an abundance of opportunities of interesting part time employment in retirement available so far, in SE England at least, one of which I have taken up.
Another opportunity is share investing/trading which may be commenced by converting a spare room at home to an office.
Investing in shares needs both judgment and luck. There is also a risk to one's capital caused by poor investing decisions or worse by apparent mismanagement not excluding the possibility of fraud, affecting the chosen companies.
Personal Investors (PIs) especially those with with comparatively small capital sums available, need to be aware that they might lose their total capital, for example in a company affected by issues set out above.
On the other hand a well thought out investment strategy coupled with more than a little luck, may bring huge rewards rendering the post-retirement self employment aspects, very interesting as well as quite successful.
PIs may also be tempted to invest in smaller cos than those invested in by major institutions, such as pension funds and insurance companies, on the basis that the large institutions would be far better able to invest in say FTSE 100 type companies, more speedily and cheaply than individuals usually can.
Two companies may provide fair examples of the possible disasters and windfalls that may occur:
The first is Oxus Gold plc. A risky investment in a company specialising on gold mining in Kyrgyzstan - the Indy reported some 10 years ago that:
The issue then went to arbitration in Paris. At that point having looked into the arbitration issues and seeing that a large specialist company had stepped in to finance the arbitration by OXUS in return for a large fee if successful, I decided to invest.
However, what I had not expected was that the arbitrators would issue a decision which seemed to have little bearing of the issues in dispute.
Disaster beckoned but then OXUS went into administration under BDO Hamlyn rather than liquidation. Perhaps surprisingly if the company was a write off, the specialist finance company remained involved.
Then recently the OXUS administrators commenced proceedings in the French courts against the arbitration outcome, based on points not apparently too dissimilar to those mentioned above, so all may be delayed rather than lost.
Interesting but obviously hugely difficult for a personal investor.
On the other side of the investing coin is in what is called a "shell company", that is one formed to take over a suitable company already successfully trading but privately, that is not listed on any stock exchange.
Shell companies are usually ineligible for investment by large institutions so provide a way in for PIs at a price which is not inflated by the numbers of large institutions buying stakes or the number of shares issued as a consequence.
Given the costs of listing on the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) there are not too many decent shell companies for a PI to consider.
A canny PI might be able to do well by investing in such a company but equally might lose all.
The key appears to be to look at the reputations of the promoters of the shell. In the event I selected Levrett plc described as:
Levrett plc is a special purpose acquisition company formed to acquire realisable and/or developed commercial technologies focused in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology sector. The Company draws on its expertise in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology sector to assess different propositions and initiate discussions via market contacts and professional advisers.
The share price was low a few months ago and indeed was still low a few days ago. However the company then announced that it was about to take over a small unlisted company called Nuformix which is a medical drug company, specialising in: