Oxford Metrics has an illustrious past, and judging by management’s targets it expects to augment it in future. Richard investigates the past, and ponders the future… I discovered Oxford Metrics while paging through SharePad’s list of the whole market (LSE shares, excluding Investment Trusts) skimming the summary pages of companies that had recently published annual […]
Category: From Ideas to Investment
Richard warms the cockles of his heart in front of a digital fire, while reading his favourite investment book… Christmas is approaching, and I must confess to a new and slightly eccentric guilty pleasure. In addition to mince pies and Irish Coffee, I have taken to working (from home of course) in front of an […]
Richard likes a business that is in control of its own destiny. He takes a look at DFS plc, the sofa seller that unexpectedly featured in his list of vertically integrated businesses. Of all the names that came up in my trawl for vertically integrated businesses, sofa seller DFS was perhaps the most surprising. To […]
In the chaotic business conditions we are experiencing, self-reliance has been a source of competitive advantage. Since we do not ever know what the future will hold, Richard goes in search of companies that have an element of vertical integration. I hope it is not smugness, but I have felt a sense of satisfaction when […]
Animal breeder Genus Plc is at the forefront of animal genetics and highly valued by investors, yet standard measures of Return on Capital Employed (ROCE), a marker for quality, indicate only modest levels of profitability. Unusually (for me) I rediscovered Genus because of an idea, rather than as a result of trawling through shares in […]
Richard goes hunting in his own portfolio for companies incubating better businesses. They may be undervalued as a result. As promised, this week I am following up my last article on past pivots that worked with an article about live pivots that look like they are working. I used the word pivot to describe a […]
In the first of two articles, Richard celebrates perhaps the sweetest investment of them all: The humdrum business that incubates a better one. Though my stock-in-trade is businesses reliably executing established and successful strategies, my biggest winners have often been businesses that pivoted. They incubated better businesses from within the business they already operated. In […]
Filters are one of the most powerful tools in SharePad, but Richard has been experimenting with another way to discover investment ideas and increase his “market intimacy”. Traders, of course, have price charts to guide them. Many investors focus on financials, and use filters to find new shares with attractive financial characteristics. Being a buy-and-hold […]
Richard is thinking about joining computer games developer and publisher Team17 as a shareholder. It would be a bold decision, but he would rather invest in Team17 shares than the closest alternative, Frontier Developments. The first thing that attracted me to Team17 was the financials. The second thing was the chief executive. That is because […]
Impressive profit growth, a ‘scalable’ business, hefty insider ownership and a P/E re-rating have helped Impax Asset Management become a huge share winner. Maynard Paton looks closer at the ‘green’ fund manager.
Richard’s pursuit of Quarto, a publisher of illustrated books, takes him on a trail that leads to Hong Kong and Delaware. What he finds is anything but a straightforward turnaround.
Moneysupermarket wants to get to know us, so it can sell us more products. Innovation and diversification are the pillars of a strategy responding to a maturing market.
A company’s strategy should not just tell us what it wants to achieve, but why and how. Richard introduces a simple framework for analysing strategy and highlights a good strategy, and one that is more difficult to fathom.
I am probably jinxing it now, but owning shares in Howden Joinery has never lost me sleep. Despite the pandemic and a fall in profit, this year’s annual report has the same calming effect it does every year, and not just because of the pictures. Howdens explains the business very well, and quietly delivers on the promise.
Over the years I have ignored Kingspan because it is big, acquisitive, and supplies building materials. My gut reaction to these facts is that Kingspan is best avoided, but my gut could well be wrong.
This year has confirmed that most of the news is at best irrelevant to me as an investor. Worse, the news stressed me out. It regularly fed my mind with impossible problems to solve. Companies I admired closed down, temporarily I hoped. They raised money in emergency fund-raisings. They furloughed staff. So far, the determination […]
Richard returns from his holiday and wonders whether he can put the experience to use by investing in holiday companies. First step: Create a portfolio of holiday companies. It is early September, so I am going to take a wild guess and assume you have been on holiday. Hopefully it was a good one. Mine […]
Richard analyses Bloomsbury Publishing’s segmental report to work out where the profit is coming from. The Harry Potter effect is still evident, but the company is conjuring up another source of profit without recourse to magic. My last article ended on something of a cliffhanger because I had found something out, but I did not […]
In response to a reader’s request for a sell filter, Richard goes looking for trouble in his portfolio by setting some “curiosity triggers”…. One of the better bits of advice passed between investors is to sell shares when the reasons you bought them no longer hold true. Most of us will have all sorts of […]
Richard uses a trick from Judges Scientific’s playbook to assess local hero Scientific Digital Imaging. Both companies acquire scientific instrument manufacturers using a “buy and build strategy”. Last month we worked out how to populate Google Maps with SharePad data to find local companies to invest in. Today, we will take the process a stage […]
One thing we should always check is that a company’s long-term performance matches the story it tells us. Churchill China says it is “adding value” to tableware, a horrible bit of jargon that is easily corroborated in SharePad. I received a nasty shock last time I reviewed one of my long-standing investments. Familiarity, I said, […]
SharePad is not just about discovering new shares, it can help us see shares we are familiar with in a new light. Richard uses it to re-evaluate old favourite Portmeirion and his confidence begins to crumble even before events take a nasty turn… This week, and in a fortnight’s time, we will look at two […]
Richard investigates a company that not only walks the walk, it talks the talk. I am not going to lie, even if it means shattering the illusion investors are cool rational calculating machines. I experienced a prolonged period of joy when I started investigating Bodycote. Snared by my Fundsmith filter, the company not only walks […]
Richard considers whether the supplier of educational resources and software services can sustain profitability and reignite growth. There’s a good chance, he thinks, which makes RM an intriguing proposition at its current valuation. In my last article, we took a tour through SharePad and RM’s annual report to check its profit was real. RM is […]
Richard investigates RM, one of the stock market’s great survivors, starting with just one question. It takes him on a twisty trail… Before we get into the numbers, some reasons why RM, a supplier of 50,000 educational products and IT to schools and nurseries and on-screen marking services to exam boards, is worthy of investigation: […]
The veteran price comparison company is changing, and maybe for the better. Richard investigates one of the companies that easily met the criteria of his Fundsmith filter. I avoid Price Comparison Websites. The notion we should all be like hamsters in a wheel, swapping insurance policies and energy suppliers every year for cheaper alternatives is […]
Richard builds a Fundsmith filter, taking it from concept to conclusion. The aim: To reduce the “junk” in our watchlists so we are fishing in a better-stocked pool of shares. My editor wonders whether my obsession with Fundsmith Equity Fund is a ‘fatal attraction’ but he has permitted one more article. It would be remiss […]
Investors tend to judge their portfolios by how much they go up or down in value, typically compared to a benchmark index like the FTSE All-Share, over perhaps a year. Taking a leaf out of Fundsmith Equity’s playbook, Richard thinks he has found a better way. In my last article, I questioned Fundsmith Equity, a […]
Richard reads Fundsmith Equity Fund’s annual letter to fundholders and suggests a modest improvement that could change your perception of financial history. He also responds to reader’s queries about On The Beach, the company he profiled two weeks ago. If you are a fundholder in Fundsmith Equity Fund, then congratulations. You’ve just received fund manager […]
Richard starts his analysis of fast growing online beach holiday retailer On The Beach with new SharePad views designed to give him the big picture at a glance. Before I start dreaming about holidays, some humble pie. A few weeks ago I ridiculed the idea of using more than three SharePad windows by suggesting they […]
On the face of it Ricardo is a great company, but in recent years its earnings have deviated a long way from the cold hard cash that has flowed into the company. That may be changing. Though I don’t normally pay much attention to share prices, a 40% slump in the price of Ricardo values […]
Richard takes a break from company analysis and reveals a new layout for news, and reflects on some of the other tweeks he has used this year to make SharePad even easier to use. Season’s greetings! As the New Year approaches even my enthusiasm for digging into financials wanes and I indulge myself – and not […]
Richard takes a first look at Softcat, and he likes what he sees, even in comparison to rival Computacenter, another fine business. Both companies make good money distributing IT, but in Softcat he may have spotted a company with a growth culture. I wrote favourably about Computacenter in October, so I have two good reasons […]
To identify great businesses we must go beyond the numbers and understand what causes them. In this article I revisit 4Imprint, an investment I should have made in 2013, and a business probably still worthy of investment today. Back in May 2013 I wrote excitedly about a company selling promotional products to US companies. 4Imprint’s […]
New issues have a reputation for delivering poor investment returns. In this article we filter SharePad for companies that may be more seasoned than they look. In my last article, I filtered SharePad for the firms that had been listed longest on the London Stock Exchange. Statistically speaking, the longer an investment has been listed […]