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How to pick small cap stocks – just follow Harry Nimmo

Yesterday was the Annual General Meeting of Standard Life UK Smaller Companies Trust and those who like investing in small cap stocks would have found it useful to go along and learn from the master – fund manager Harry Nimmo.

Gordon Humphries said that the company is basically “Harry’s 50 best ideas”, i.e. it’s a conviction portfolio but with no individual holdings allowed to go above 5%. It has a fairly low yield at 1.4% currently but that has grown at a compound 20.4% per annum.  Mr Nimmo said he had been managing smaller companies funds since 1993, and had been with Standard Life since 1985. The shareholder total return had been 590% in the 10 years the trust had been in existence and it was the best performer of any investment trusts (and in all sectors). Last year the total return was very strong at 35%.

In response to a question from a shareholder he actually explained his investment process in some detail.  As I keep on saying, you can learn an enormous amount by attending AGMs and it is a pity more shareholders do not. But you can read a full report of the meeting on this link, which covers Mr Nimmo’s investment process in more detail and also covers some of his recent portfolio changes.

Roger Lawson

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