It is always interesting to look backwards as well as forwards as an investor and no better time than at the turn of the year.
First of all, I would like to say that most, if not all, I have learnt about investing in the stock market has resulted from my involvement with ShareSoc. I would like to express thanks to fellow ShareSoc Directors who have been very helpful but also what I have learnt from the ShareSoc Newsletter, ShareSoc Seminars and Masterclasses.
Previously I only rarely invested in the stock market before my involvement with ShareSoc and usually with poor results as I tended to invest in one share at a time and they were normally “story” stocks which collapsed! I have to say that 2019 was an excellent year for my share portfolio with Future being the best performer up 3 x but many other good performers such as Ideagen, Bioventix, SDI, Luceco, Kape, Advanced Medical Solutions & Creigtons to name a few.
I also held Bilby for some time which was a big loser but I thought I would read their Annual Report before bailing out; I was so impressed with what they were doing to turn the business around, curtail their loss-making business and fix a dysfunctional Board (founder syndrome) that I ended up buying more shares which did very well at the end of the year; they now have an excellent Chair and excellent CEO and I see them getting back to where they were.
Like all investors, I had a few disasters such as Crawshaw and Conviviality but overall, I ended the year 25% up. for which I have ShareSoc to thank. With what I have learnt I now focus on looking for small companies with good growth in revenues and profits, a positive cashflow, ideally paying a dividend (a good discipline) but most importantly for me growth prospects and a dynamic and diverse Board – SDI is a great example of an impressive Board whilst Patisserie Valerie was an example of an unimpressive, cosy Board with no diversity and lacking Independent Non-Execs which had been a large and excellent share for me until I started looking more closely at their Board and not liking what I saw I sold all a short time before they went bust – very lucky!
I wish everyone a happy, healthy and successful 2020!