Richard Beddard

Why I said goodbye to one share, and doubled my investment in another

This month, I stopped sitting on my hands, jolted into action by an email from a reader wondering why, since I had deemed some shares good long-term investments, I had not added them to the Share Sleuth portfolio. He wanted to know whether I believed share prices would fall again – whether I was waiting to pounce on bargains.

Share Sleuth: TV’s Dexter Morgan lends a hand and new firms for Decision Engine

When I was reaching for a pithy way to sum up the latest month in the life of the Share Sleuth portfolio, the phrase “There’s nothing like a crisis” came to mind, but none of the endings that followed really fitted. I was thinking of “to focus the mind”, but it didn’t hit the mark so I typed the first half of the phrase into Google. The search returned a quote from Dexter Morgan, a fictional anti-hero. It was perfect.

Which shares are pandemic survivors?

Appraising shares today for the long term requires a certain detachment from the present. It’s easier to be detached, of course, if a company has the security of a large cash surplus and supplies something we still need despite the restrictions of the pandemic, like Anpario. Next, one of Britain’s best-run retailers, though, is pitted against an intractable problem: few of us are shopping for clothes.

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Share Sleuth: there’s no escaping the impact of coronavirus

Earlier today, I found my wallet in a drawer. The contents: a fiver, an old receipt, an English Heritage membership, and a card with ink-stamps from Waterstones’ cafe nearly entitling me to a free cup of coffee, seemed like relics from a bygone era. It’s been weeks since I used any of these things.

Share Watch: can these three firms weather Covid-19?

Deciding on the long-term prospects of businesses is a daunting prospect when so much about the short term is uncertain. But a pandemic is just one of numerous ill-defined but serious threats we hope will not happen “on our watch”. Over the course of an investing lifetime, though, some of them inevitably do.

Share Watch: Greggs shares? I’m still chewing it over

This piece was written before the coronavirus severely impacted markets and new restrictions came into force.

A stock market sell-off probably triggered by high valuations and the global spread of Covid-19 is bad news for flighty investors who already own shares, but good news, perhaps, for those who would like to. Almost across the board, shares have got cheaper, if you believe they will survive the short term and prosper in the long term.

Share Watch: good quality going cheap these days is hard to find

This piece was written in early February, before the coronavirus severely impacted markets.

There has been something of a melt-up in the valuations of the 30 shares I score and rank using my Decision Engine spreadsheet. Because prices have gone up, the engine is producing fewer and fewer recommendations.

Share Sleuth: why I'm buying more of this stock

Owing to high valuations across the board and because, despite frantic efforts, I have dug up no new companies to invest in, there were only two high-scoring additions to the Share Sleuth portfolio open to me this month, both existing members that are underrepresented (See Share Watch for an explanation of how I score shares). They were Victrex, which accounted for just 2.2% of the portfolio, and Anpario, which is a slightly smaller holding.