Category: Strategy

Homing in on quality

Richard tightens up his “Minimum Quality” filter so that SharePad is doing more of the heavy lifting. In a not-very-scientific test, 18 out of 21 good-quality businesses were identified by it. Last month I shared a list of all the companies that passed my semi-automated sifting of the entire stockmarket over the course of the […]

Show me the MONY

Richard unearths five good-quality businesses that have recently published annual reports. Top of the list are InterContinental Hotels (IHG), and MoneySupermarket (MONY)… Joyfully, I am away on holiday but my holiday is mistimed in one respect. The post-Christmas lull in annual report publishing has come to an end. A large number of companies with financial […]

How do YOU SharePad?

In the latest in the series, we have a very experienced investor who you can find on YouTube and the-social-media-channel-formerly-known-as-Twitter – Ramin Nakisa AKA PensionCraft sharing a bit about his investing history and how he uses SharePad. As we all know, there is a lot of functionality in SharePad and there are many different ways […]

Is it time to ditch ROCE as a measure of company performance?

Phil looks at the issues with one of the most important ratios in investing and argues the case for a cleaner and more realistic alternative. Return on investment or return on capital employed (ROCE) as it is commonly referred to is seen as one of the best measures of a company’s financial performance. It is […]

Eight Common Investing Mistakes Made by Private Investors

“Investing success is two-thirds avoiding mistakes, one-third doing something right.”- Ken Fisher Private investing offers the opportunity for individuals to take control of their finances and even achieve financial freedom. However, without proper knowledge and preparation, private investors can unknowingly make mistakes that hinder their portfolio investment returns. Of course, because we are human, it […]

My SharePad system

Having used the 5 Strikes system for nine months, Richard has decided it is a keeper. Commenting on the latest investment candidates to achieve less than 3 strikes, he explains what he was thinking while he was separating the wheat from the chaff. Happy New Year! At the turn of every year, I review my […]

Six new stock ideas

Six shares have passed the first stage of Richard’s 5 Strikes process. Many of them are destined for the “too hard pile”, perhaps the most underrated element in an investor’s toolkit. Here is an update on the latest companies to have published annual reports and passed the 5 Strikes system*. Since the last update four […]

Should private investors follow celebrity fund managers into Rightmove?

There’s no harm in using fund managers as a source for investment ideas but blindly copying them without doing your own research can be a costly mistake. Phil looks at the recent purchase of Rightmove shares by two well-known professional investors to see if private investors should consider buying in as well. Why copying others […]

15 new stock ideas

It has been a month since Richard revealed the latest shares to pass his 5 Strikes system. The good news, some have passed with flying colours. 5 Strikes* is my main method of discovering new long-term investments, and since we share my discoveries here regularly, some readers will be familiar with it by now. If […]

Hey big spender

The Capex to operating cash flow ratio can tell us a lot about a firm’s priorities. Richard explores the ratios of a number of capital-intensive businesses. For many years I have held shares in Goodwin, a family owned mini-conglomerate of engineering businesses. This gaggle of businesses is capital intensive, which means Goodwin has to invest […]

All the zeros

Since Richard started scoring companies in SharePad last April, twelve companies have scored zero strikes, the best possible score. In this article, he decides which of them to research next. Five-strikes-wise, there is not much to report on. I have awarded four shares that have reported in the last two weeks with less than three […]

Are share buybacks good for investors? – a look at the evidence

Phil uses SharePad to examine the impact of share buybacks on shareholder returns. Do they make shareholders better off and should investors focus on growing companies instead? Do share buybacks really make shareholders better off? Should they prefer dividends instead? Opinion is divided on this subject. The great thing about a dividend from an investor’s […]

Behind the Dip: Unravelling Stock Price Drops and Crafting Winning Strategies


Alpesh Patel OBE looks at the causes and potential strategies when a stock that has risen significantly experiences a sudden drop. When a stock that has risen significantly experiences a sudden drop, it can cause concern for many investors. This situation is common in the stock market, and it’s crucial to understand the reasons behind […]

Freaky Franchises

Richard finds 11 franchisors listed in London and pits them against each other in a championship to find the best one. In round one, a wildcard goes out to the number two seed. One of the first things I noticed when I started scoring companies in SharePad this spring was that franchises were scoring well. […]

Market Moves 29/05/23: Shares on the move | Trending sectors | Results to look out for

In this week’s Market Moves, Ben takes a look at some of the biggest winners and sector trends over the past week, including a dramatic price surge in the US tech sector (and encouraging moves in UK tech shares) plus a look-ahead to a quieter week of financial results and updates. Semiconductor specialist Alphawave IP (now Alphawave […]

How to avoid investment mistakes: Part 3 – Company problems

In the third part of this series about avoiding investment mistakes, Ben looks at some of the reasons why companies disappoint investors – and the red flags that can help you avoid them. When it comes to navigating your way through the stock market, there are plenty of factors that can lead you astray. Psychology […]

Investing in the Future: A Look at Stocks in Artificial Intelligence

In today’s fast-paced world, artificial intelligence has emerged as a disruptive technology with the potential to transform various industries. Investors seeking exposure to this exciting field may consider investing in stocks that specialise in AI solutions. In this blog post, we explore the world of artificial intelligence and highlight some of the best AI stocks […]

Market Moves 22/05/23: Shares on the move | Trending sectors | Results to look out for

In this week’s Market Moves, Ben takes a look at some of the biggest winners and sector trends over the past week, including a look at the performance of gold and gold shares, plus a look ahead to another big week of financial results and updates. Despite the market drifting sideways and a sense of […]

How to avoid investment mistakes: Part 2 – Outside influences

In the second part of this series about avoiding investment mistakes, Ben looks at how influences from the outside world can ruin the best investing plans, and what you can do about it. When it comes to sensible stock selection, careful portfolio management and navigating the ups and downs of markets with aplomb, we really […]

Investing in government bonds for income – is it worth it?

Phil looks at the income on offer from UK government bonds and asks whether sticking with shares might still be a better option. Since the 2008/09 financial crisis, investing in government bonds for income has not been very fruitful. The policy of very low-interest rates as a response to the crisis meant that many governments […]

Market Moves 15/05/23: Shares on the move | Trending sectors | Results to look out for

In this week’s Market Moves, Ben takes a look at some of the biggest winners and sector trends over the past week, including significant moves in travel and leisure stocks, plus a look ahead to a bumper week of financial results and updates. Among mid and large-cap stocks, pubs group Mitchells & Butlers was the […]

Market Moves 09/05/23: Shares on the up | Trending sectors | Results to look out for

In this week’s Market Moves, Ben takes a look at some of the biggest winners and sector trends over the past week, including consumer discretionary shares and housebuilders, plus upcoming financial results for the week ahead. Shares in the Consumer Discretionary industry have had a very mixed 18 months. As one of the most economically-sensitive business […]

Market Moves 01/05/23: Shares on the up | Trending sectors | Results to look out for

In this week’s Market Moves, Ben takes a look at some of the biggest winners and sector trends over the past week, as well as upcoming financial results for the week ahead. Towards the end of last week, it seemed increasingly likely that another US regional bank – this time First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) – […]

Market moves – Fund managers, earnings, strongest risers and upcoming results

In this week’s view of the market, Ben takes a look at fund manager performance, the earnings outlook, sector momentum, one-year share winners and upcoming financial results for the week ahead. Last year was a difficult one for private investors, so in a way, it’s reassuring to hear that many professionals had a hard time […]

Market moves – Turn of the month effect, fastest risers, director deals and upcoming results

Ben Hobson takes a look at market moves this week, including the highest risers, director and City dealing and upcoming results. I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for seasonal stock market anomalies. Making connections between price trends and the calendar has always been a popular pastime for some. And despite the acres of […]

The Top Portfolio Mistakes We’ve Seen from Our Analysis

Prepare to be captivated, as I unravel the troubling discoveries I made after analysing dozens of investment portfolios sent to me via my Campaign for a Million to educate a million people to be better investors. Biggest errors 1. Over-diversification: The curse of too many funds A prevalent issue was over-diversification, resulting in subpar performance. […]

Stock Market for the Rest of 2023: Should You Be Cautious?

With the start of 2023 showing promise for US-centric portfolios, many investors may be feeling optimistic about the stock market. However, a closer look at the outlooks and forecasts from major banks and analysts reveals a more complex and varied picture, with some cautionary notes and potential challenges on the horizon. I’ve had a great […]

Refining ROCE

Technically, Sharepad’s ROCE calculation is ROACE or Return on Average Capital Employed. It is a good refinement of perhaps the most revealing performance statistic for a business. Sometimes readers ask me why my figure for a certain financial statistic is different from SharePad’s, or the figure quoted by the company. Usually, it is because the […]

How has 2022 been for UK stocks and any reason to be optimistic in 2023?


Let’s look at the data. Yes, I am data-obsessed. Too many people speak twaddle without looking at the facts or data. By the way, here’s a good trick on social media when you find annoying twaddle, just put this into the comments “Data?”. Out of the 350 largest quoted companies on the London Stock Exchange […]

UK Stock Market & UK India Free Trade Agreement

I write to you from India. In fact from Asia’s largest tech summit. I’ve seen companies in AI, quantum computing, cancer detection, and rocketry (India launches UK satellites btw), and today India had its first private rocket launch. Then there were companies in Advanced Manufacturing, advanced materials and of course cyber security (they do have […]

What Do Experts Say About Portfolio Allocation During High Inflation

We’re not alone – if it makes you feel better. Look at the Americans. Of course, you could argue that the market will help when rates are rising according to history: It’s no secret that inflation can have a significant impact on your portfolio. During times of high inflation, it can be difficult to maintain […]

Is ESG Investing Good or Bad for Your Pocket?

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing is a strategy that bets on companies trying to make the world a better place. Alpesh asks is this just another high-minded idealist fad? Or does the global good make it worth the risk? Type ESG into Sharescope or SharePad’s ETF list and you’ll find around a hundred funds. I […]

Roll-out, Roll-up and public market arbitrage | SBRY, PRZ, COST, DCC, MRL, BREE

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Jamie Ward takes a detailed walk through two expansion strategies and outlines the types of company and sectors where investors are likely to find these strategies as well as highlighting how to spot companies using them well. Two common ways for profitable growth for many companies can be summarised as roll-out and roll-up. Roll-out is […]

A guide to selling Puts: Shares on sale

A couple of months ago I wrote an article extolling the virtues of selling Covered Calls on FTSE 100 stocks. The technique involves selling Call options on shares you already own to bring in additional income. When you combine the technique with a portfolio of dividend-yielding shares, you can create a veritable income machine. However, […]

Winners in an uncertain world | Vertical integration

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 […]

The Trader: 3 principles for trading on the stock market

trading trend

Breakouts are an excellent way to swing trade and profit from bull markets. I love breakouts because they’re a high probability pattern of continuation and also because it means that the price is rising. However, many people try strategies that that are inherently risky. Sadly, one private investor commented that they’d invested into a stock […]

Trading with Golden Crosses: Easy win or easy loss?

I should start by saying that I am no technical analysis whiz, and this article will likely bore those with an encyclopaedic knowledge of buy/sell signals and chart shapes (cup and handle, anyone?). I got into investing after I started working at ShareScope, and I desperately wanted it to be easy. Technical analysis seemed like […]

Financials, filters and FOMO | Using SharePad to find opportunities

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 […]

Alpesh Patel on US Investing: Should We Buy Any Stock Market Dips?

The Five Waves Pattern Motive and Corrective

As the Dow Jones Index took a tumble at the end of February, many analysts saw this as the beginning of a long-overdue market correction. Some have floated talk of a stock market bubble for a while, but despite the challenging conditions of the last year, the market rebounded and finished out the year strongly. However, the dip on the 24th of February — which saw the index shed 1000 points — has led some traders to talk of an opportunity to cash in on the slide.

Fishing like Fundsmith

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 […]

Putting performance into perspective

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 […]

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