Maynard Paton

Maynard wrote investment articles for The Motley Fool UK between 1999 and 2014. At the start of 2015, aged 43, he became a full-time private investor. As well as the articles he writes for ShareScope, Maynard publishes his own investment blog at maynardpaton.com and hosts an investment forum at quidisq.com

I’ve developed my investing approach after years of learning about the stock market and experiencing what actually works for me. Important influences on my style include the strategies of Warren Buffett, Peter Lynch, Jim Slater and Nick Train. Simply put, I look to invest in respectable companies trading at modest valuations and to hold them for the long term. 

Latest Articles

  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Curtis Banks 22nd September 2021 by Maynard Paton - Specialist SIPP firm Curtis Banks has seen its dividend go up but shares go nowhere during the last five years. Maynard Paton now wonders whether the small-cap's recurring income and high margins make it a 'QARP' stock. Shares offering 'Quality… ...more
  • Should you buy SDI shares? | Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner 8th September 2021 by Maynard Paton - Acquiring private companies that make precision instruments has propelled SDI shares to 12-bagger status over the last five years. Maynard Paton recaps the story and prospects of the 'buy and build' specialist. Everybody loves a share that keeps going up.… ...more
  • Should you buy Purplebricks shares? | Small-Cap Spotlight Report 25th August 2021 by Maynard Paton - Deep pockets, low pricing and fancy IT can't always guarantee 'disruptive' success. Maynard Paton studies the mixed progress of estate-agent challenger Purplebricks Investors love disruptors. Find a pioneering upstart that is stealing market share from industry dinosaurs, and your portfolio… ...more
  • Should you buy Hornby shares? | Small-Cap Spotlight Report 18th August 2021 by Maynard Paton - Events at Hornby prove how turnarounds can take years. But fresh capital, better management and a return to profit could mean the model-train specialist is over the worst and finally heading towards a proper recovery. Turnarounds can be tempting. You… ...more
  • Should you buy ASOS shares? | Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner 28th July 2021 by Maynard Paton - ASOS share news Fashion website ASOS is among the market's greatest growth stocks, but a recent update knocked 18% off the share price. The P/E may not be outrageous if huge warehouse and IT costs can one day deliver a… ...more
  • Should you buy Calnex shares? | Small-Cap Spotlight Report 14th July 2021 by Maynard Paton - Calnex shares might be one of the more promising new issues of last year. But were the accounts 'window dressed' for the flotation? Maynard Paton weighs up the pros and cons. Warren Buffett admitted the other year that he had… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Impax Asset Management 11th June 2021 by Maynard Paton - 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. ...more
  • Small-Cap Spotlight Report: WANdisco 18th May 2021 by Maynard Paton - WANdisco has raised $217 million since 2012 yet has never made a profit. But could deals with Microsoft and Amazon finally trigger a sales boost? The board's optimism is not backed by its share dealing. ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Venture Life 21st April 2021 by Maynard Paton - I like companies that boast significant net cash. I therefore apply certain filter criteria to identify some reasonable cash-flush businesses. ...more
  • Small-Cap Spotlight Report: Norcros 24th March 2021 by Maynard Paton - Let me start by confessing this article covers pension deficits. What follows may not be that thrilling and does require you to concentrate. But please stick with me, especially if you have ever fallen victim to a ‘value trap’. ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Best of the Best 10th March 2021 by Maynard Paton - One of my favourite SharePad screens identifies good-quality companies that have grown without acquisition. One such is Best of the Best. ...more
  • Small-Cap Spotlight Report: Argo Blockchain 24th February 2021 by Maynard Paton - Let’s start with a wealth warning: This article covers bitcoin miner Argo Blockchain; I am not a bitcoin expert; The bitcoin price is highly unpredictable; Argo’s share price is highly unpredictable, and; Argo issues frequent updates. The upshot is my… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: IG Group 11th February 2021 by Maynard Paton - For some time now IG Group has been flashing on my SharePad filters. The three screenshots just below show IG offers: High margins; Decent returns on equity; Cash-rich accounts; Attractive five-year growth; A lack of past acquisitions, and; A modest… ...more
  • Small-Cap Spotlight Report: LoopUp 27th January 2021 by Maynard Paton - Welcome to a series of occasional articles in which I shine an investigative spotlight on particular small-caps. My aim is to demonstrate how to analyse companies in SharePad and beyond to help you become a more informed investor. I start… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Avon Rubber 13th January 2021 by Maynard Paton - Happy 2021! I trust SharePad will help bring you good fortune in what could be another twelve months of financial thrills and spills. As usual I plan to trawl the market for interesting shares that I hope assists your company… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Manolete Partners 20th November 2020 by Maynard Paton - I am always looking for ‘multi-baggers’ — investments that can double, triple, quadruple or more. And here’s some very good news: I have stumbled on a company that can find them for me. Not just the occasional five-bagger or ten-bagger… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Jarvis Securities 4th November 2020 by Maynard Paton - Today I have returned to one of my favourite SharePad screens. This screen applies two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors — operating margin and return on equity (ROE). The main filter criteria are: 1) An operating margin (latest and 10-year… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Polar Capital 30th September 2020 by Maynard Paton - I am not a great fan of the fund-management industry. I cannot think of another sector where the employees collect enormous salaries while the customers pay hefty fees and sometimes get nothing in return. Quite often us amateur investors are… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Fuller, Smith & Turner 9th September 2020 by Maynard Paton - First, a wealth warning. The last price-to-book ‘bargain’ I looked at for SharePad was Hammerson. Back then the property group’s £5 billion asset base could be acquired for a £1.6 billion market cap. Investors were in theory able to purchase… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Fever-Tree Drinks 29th July 2020 by Maynard Paton - They say mums always know best. Mine has bought Fever-Tree tonic waters for some years now and I recently asked whether she remained a customer. This was her response. “While we don’t buy many commercial drinks for home consumption these… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Headlam 15th July 2020 by Maynard Paton - Let me start by thanking you for clicking on an article with Headlam in the title. Rest assured, not everyone will want to read about this rather dull business that has suffered badly during the pandemic. But for us contrarians,… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Frontier Developments 10th June 2020 by Maynard Paton - Has the market become too obsessed with ‘pandemic-proof’ shares? I ask because my SharePad screening has brought Frontier Developments to my attention. The shares of this computer-game developer have leapt 66% so far this year as industry sales rally during… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Hikma Pharmaceuticals 13th May 2020 by Maynard Paton - One way to invest during the pandemic is to consider shares that have climbed higher as the market has dropped. Such companies may well be ‘safe havens’ — businesses that are coping well with the lockdown, or perhaps even benefitting… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: A Covid-19 Special 8th April 2020 by Maynard Paton - Let me start with a confession.This Covid-19 ‘Special’ may not be all that special. I have just applied a new SharePad screen to seek ‘quality bargains’ amid the market chaos — and sadly the results were not that inspiring. The… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: AB Dynamics 11th March 2020 by Maynard Paton - Recent market ructions have sent many shares tumbling — and perhaps created some buying opportunities. Amid the mayhem, I devised a straightforward screen. I simply looked for decent-sized businesses that were still expected to grow, paid a dividend and were… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Boohoo 12th February 2020 by Maynard Paton - Cash flow movements can often indicate whether or not a business enjoys a powerful operational advantage. A strong business might: Receive customer payments upfront for goods/services it has yet to deliver, and/or; Pay suppliers months after goods/services have been received.… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Greggs 24th January 2020 by Maynard Paton - ‘Run your winners’ is popular stock-market advice. Great companies often remain great investments for a lot longer than most people expect… … and can deliver life-changing rewards to anyone who refrains from selling out too soon. Where can we find… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Mears 18th December 2019 by Maynard Paton - This article has not turned out as I had expected. I searched on SharePad for magnificent dividend histories, and thought I would be evaluating a business with glorious financials and tip-top management. I have instead ended up with accounting alarm… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Dotdigital 19th November 2019 by Maynard Paton - Today I have returned to the share screen I employed to pinpoint Victrex earlier this year. To quickly recap, this screen applies two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors — operating margin and return on equity (ROE). The exact criteria I… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Rightmove 23rd October 2019 by Maynard Paton - Studying free cash conversion is vital when evaluating a set of accounts. The measure compares free cash flow to reported earnings, and can indicate whether a business is a ‘cash fountain’ or a ‘cash guzzler’. Ideally we want to own… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Medica 24th September 2019 by Maynard Paton - Dynamic growth shares are among the market’s most exciting investments. Find a business that has expanded rapidly and offers the prospect of further earnings growth — but also has an overlooked share price — and you could be on to… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Hammerson 28th August 2019 by Maynard Paton - Buying a share at a discount to its book (or net asset) value ought to be the safest way of investing. Indeed, what could go wrong if you can effectively buy assets worth £1 per share for, say, 50p? The… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: AG Barr 30th July 2019 by Maynard Paton - Quality companies undergoing temporary problems can often become attractive investment opportunities. On that basis, perhaps AG Barr is worth closer inspection. The soft-drinks manufacturer famous for Irn-Bru recently warned that profits would be lower than expected… and the share price… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Imperial Brands 3rd July 2019 by Maynard Paton - Imagine this. You find a blue-chip company that offers: * 21 years of consecutive dividend increases, with the last ten years showing 10% per annum growth; * Management guidance of further 10% annual dividend growth “over the medium term”, and;… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: JD Sports Fashion 18th June 2019 by Maynard Paton - Today I am revisiting the share screen that pinpointed Games Workshop back in January. The shares of the quirky wargaming retailer have soared more than 60% since that review… …and I wonder whether the same screen can unearth another promising… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Jupiter Fund Management 5th June 2019 by Maynard Paton - Today I have revisited a share screen that applies two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors — operating margin and return on equity (ROE). The exact criteria I re-used were: 1) An operating margin (latest and 10-year average) of 20% or… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Domino’s Pizza 22nd May 2019 by Maynard Paton - This in-depth article covers one of the most impressive UK growth stocks of the last 20 years — Domino’s Pizza. Domino’s appeared on my radar after I revisited one of my previous SharePad screens. The screen in question searches for… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Abcam 8th May 2019 by Maynard Paton - Today I have returned to the share screen I employed to pinpoint Victrex the other week. To quickly recap, this screen applies two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors — operating margin and return on equity (ROE). The exact criteria I… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Victrex 25th April 2019 by Maynard Paton - This week I am tracking down a potential long-term winner by employing two ratios favoured by ‘quality’ investors. The first measure is operating margin, which represents the percentage of sales converted into profit. In theory, a company exhibiting a high… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Renishaw 8th April 2019 by Maynard Paton - I am convinced the very best shares to own are often led by executives who truly act in the interests of ordinary shareholders. In particular, bosses who: * do not dilute investors by issuing shares willy-nilly; * create dependable returns… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Craneware 26th March 2019 by Maynard Paton - Years ago I read Super Stocks, an investment book that claimed to reveal “powerful new ideas” to uncover “opportunities for spectacular profits”. I sadly can’t recall identifying any “opportunities for spectacular profits”… …but the book’s “powerful new ideas” did make… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Accesso Technology 12th March 2019 by Maynard Paton - This article has not turned out as I had expected. I was hoping to study a quality growth business that had seen its share price slump to attractive levels… …but instead I have ended up untangling some very awkward accounts… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Hargreaves Lansdown 27th February 2019 by Maynard Paton - Quality companies often produce exceptional returns for ordinary investors. Just ask Terry Smith or Nick Train. These ace fund managers have delivered wonderful gains by investing in first-class businesses such as Diageo, Reckitt Benckiser and London Stock Exchange. Let’s use… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Apple 11th February 2019 by Maynard Paton - Being able to analyse international shares — at no extra cost! — is a wonderful feature of SharePad. And finding overseas shares within SharePad is easy, too. Simply click on Other Lists within the main toolbar… …and take your pick… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Games Workshop 30th January 2019 by Maynard Paton - Could now be the time to return to dynamic growth shares? Wonder-stocks such as Fever-Tree, Boohoo.com and Keywords Studios are all well below their highs of 2018… …and I wonder whether the widespread selling has created a super-growth bargain somewhere… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Plus500 16th January 2019 by Maynard Paton - Before I start looking at Plus500 (LSE: PLUS), I have some good news…. …you can now employ my SharePad screening criteria with just a few clicks! The process involves SharePad’s amazing Filter library. This facility gives you complete access to… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Somero Enterprises 2nd January 2019 by Maynard Paton - How did your portfolio fare during 2018? If you managed to side-step the market falls, very well done. For the rest of us — including me — I guess we can only cross our fingers and hope the FTSE performs… ...more
  • A Special SharePad Investigation: Patisserie Valerie 11th December 2018 by Maynard Paton - Before I go any further, let me just state that I am not here to say “I told you so”. But whenever I have lost money on a share, I have always found going back to see where I went… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Mattioli Woods 4th December 2018 by Maynard Paton - Many years ago, one of my favourite sources for investment ideas was the Financial Times. However, the FT’s articles did not interest me, and nor did the Lex column. Instead, I studied a small table that was tucked away on… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Warpaint London 21st November 2018 by Maynard Paton - I am always looking for shares that can double, triple, quadruple or more during the years ahead. And one good way of finding such great investments is to study shares that have, well, already doubled, tripled, quadrupled or more. Take… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Zytronic 9th November 2018 by Maynard Paton - Let me start with a confession: 2018 is fast becoming a year to forget for my portfolio. Suffice to say, my shares have suffered a further drubbing… and my annual return is now firmly entrenched in negative territory. I have… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: PayPoint 23rd October 2018 by Maynard Paton - I don’t know about your shares, but my portfolio was thumped during this month’s market sell-off. The drubbing prompted me to consider whether I should remain invested in my racy growth stocks and contrarian recovery plays — or seek out… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: Character 8th October 2018 by Maynard Paton - My SharePad screening for buying opportunities has short-listed Character (LSE: CCT) as a possible longer-term investment. The attraction here is a quite extraordinary story about buybacks. You see, since 2006, this small-cap has bought back shares every year to reduce… ...more
  • Screening For My Next Long-Term Winner: CMC Markets 11th September 2018 by Maynard Paton - In this article I continue my hunt for shares that could deliver market-beating returns… …and this time my SharePad system has identified CMC Markets (LSE: CMCX) as a potential longer-term investment. CMC is a high-margin, cash-rich and owner-run business that… ...more
  • Screening for my next long-term winner: Ramsdens 31st August 2018 by Maynard Paton - I am always hunting for great shares that could power ahead of the market during the years to come… …and just few days ago, my SharePad set-up pinpointed Ramsdens (LSE: RFX) as a contender for my long-term portfolio. Ramsdens is… ...more