Wasn’t Burford Captial exposed for fraud by muddy waters?
No, Muddy Waters and their mates sold the shares short and then put out a hatchet-job, ‘throw the kitchen sink and see what sticks’ negative report, accusing them of everything from poor corporate governance (e.g. directors married to each other, true) to fraudulent/ false and misleading reporting (generally not).
The latter was mostly MW’s deliberate / pretend misunderstanding as US-based investors of how international accounting standards work and misrepresentation of what they believed investors would have thought when reading Burford’s reports and presentations, and how it couldn’t possibly stack up, with the intention of shaking the price down so that MW could profit.
The report was roundly rebutted by the board, with the transactions properly explained, but not before the damage had been done to the share price which is hard to recover from in an AIM small cap which does not have the support of the main capital markets - especially when casual investors such as yourself are still thinking a year later, “hmm, I heard they were exposed for fraud…”. I looked at all the reports and announcements after they had tanked and made a quick 40% as they bounced back, and then bought back in after the Covid falls which is looking OK so far, but you never know with speculative punts on smallcaps
Most of my individual holdings are via AJBell for ISA/SIPP or Jarvis X-o for unwrapped, some bought at Interactive Investor before their price structure changed for the worse.
As an aside, those example AIM companies available through FT such as ASOS, GB Group, Boohoo are not really ‘relatively small caps’; those three at least are all £1-5bn market cap range, and would be FTSE250 stocks if they were on the main market, all too big for FTSE SmallCap index.