Looking at my watch lists, I see that right now there are some interesting possible share picks.
Thats the good news. The bad news?
The roster of names includes such shares as Tesco(LSE: TSCO). Currently the markets whipping boy for a long list of heinous crimes including a sagging market share, a weak board, misstated accounts and white slavery okay, I made that one up investors are supposed to be fleeing the stock in droves, rather than buying it.
So too with companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, ASOS, Majestic Wine and Centrica.
In short, despite their intrinsic virtues, these and other such stocks are firmly out of favour.
Reverting to Tesco for a moment, fund managers and analysts have been falling over themselves to explain why they arent buying it, despite the share price touching levels not seen for well over a decade.
Jeremy Lang, manager of the Ardevora UK Income fund, thinks Tesco is a value trap. Francis Brooke, who runs the Trojan Income fund, has sold out and wont be buying back in. Job Curtis, of the City of London Investment trust, is another seller not attracted back at present levels.
And so on, and so on.
Whats more, although I havent asked them, they probably wouldnt be interested in some of the other companies that Ive been tempted by recently.
But frankly and pay attention here I wouldnt buy these shares either, if I were in their shoes.
Relevant opinion, not expert opinion
Hang on, I hear you say. I thought youd just said you were tempted to buy?
Well, I am. But Im not a high-profile fund manager and at the moment, because such naysayers are getting all the press coverage, the bargepole view is fast gaining favour.
Just take a look at what these well-respected managers all do for a living: they all manage income funds, or (in Job Curtis case) an investment trust renowned for the high and sustained dividend growth that it achieves.
So in their income-centric shoes, one has to ask: is Tesco or a number of other such shares likely to deliver a decent, growing income? Quite the contrary, as weve seen with the companys 75% cut in its interim dividend.
Which is why, in the case of income-fund managers subject to intense and minute quarter-by-quarter scrutiny, theres little incentive to take risks with shares that might play fast and loose with dividends even when, as in Tescos case, it has a long-term record of rewarding shareholders very handsomely.
But you and I are different. No one is subjecting our investing record to intense and minute quarter-by-quarter scrutiny of its income performance, so were freer to take a longer-term view.
And the view that I often take is one that is five to ten years out which, after all, is when I plan to rely on my investment income when I retire.
Certainly, Tesco and several other beaten-down shares are in difficulty and out of fashion today. But Id be very surprised if their problems persisted for half a decade or more.
So viewed that way, whats on offer today is the opportunity to buy into a blue-chip income stream at bargain basement levels and potentially bank some decent capital growth as well.
Which is a rather different proposition.
Why, then, dont the finance and business pages of the weekend press say this sort of thing?
Because printing acres of gripping insider journalism describing the train wreck that is Tesco today sells more newspapers than would sober articles counselling taking a long-term view, weighing up the downsides, and discounting a lot of the hysteria and punditry that accompanies such high-profile falls from grace.
And of course, there are downsides. Although companies do self-heal a lot of the time, sometimes they dont. Especially when accompanied by some sort of accounting scandal which is certainly something that is spooking the City in Tescos case.
But in my view, rather than bleating about the supposed coming dominance of the UK high street by Lidl and Aldi, Tesco shareholders and would-be shareholders should be thinking back to the misstating of oil reserves at Royal Dutch Shell (LSE: RDSB), a similar accounting scandal that was revealed in 2004.
You can be sure of Shell
Few people now remember the affair, but on the back of Peak Oil and the Gulf War, the reserves misstating caused Shell shares to plunge to bargain basement levels.
Whats happened since? Simple. Shares in Shell have climbed 72%, while the broader FTSE 100 index has gained only much a more modest 44%.
And over that period, of course, Shell shares have consistently offered an attractive yield, meaning that shareholders have banked decent capital gains and an enviable income stream.
None of which, of course, was foretold by the naysayers and doom-mongers back in 2004.
Finally, let me leave you with a statistic. Last week, it seems that dealing in Tesco shares soared 30-fold at private investor broker Hargreaves Lansdown. And apparently, 92% of those trades were buys.
So heres a question to mull over: do Hargreaves Lansdowns savvy clients know something that you dont?
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Malcolm owns shares in GlaxoSmithKline, Royal Dutch Shell and Tesco. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in GlaxoSmithKline and Majestic Wine and owns shares in ASOS and Tesco.