In what must be the most active start to a year in Share Sleuth’s near 10-year history, I have traded for a third time in 2019, swapping a fraction of the portfolio’s holding in Solid State for a small shareholding in Quartix.
Following on from last month’s trades, I have again removed or reduced my holding in two of the portfolio’s shares in order to increase or add holdings in two others.
A few days into 2019, I removed Finsbury Food and MS International from the Share Sleuth portfolio and recycled the loot into XP Power and Goodwin, two existing constituents I believe are substantially undervalued. It is the first stage in a minor restructuring of the portfolio.
I experienced one of those “Aha!” moments last Saturday, when I was reading an interview with novelist and author Matt Haig in the money section of The Times. Asked whether he invests in shares, he replied: “No. Too many numbers and indices. It seems a dull hobby and an inexact pseudoscience, like astrology. It’s like gambling without the stigma.”
This article was written in November for the December 2018 print edition of Money Observer. Market data and share prices are likely to have since changed.
One of the mantras I see wielded by people seeking to improve their performance, be they sportsmen and women, musicians, business people or investors, is the idea of focusing on ‘process over outcome’.
On the last day of August I added more shares in Trifast to the Share Sleuth Portfolio. Trifast manufactures fasteners: nuts, bolts, washers, rivets and screws. The decision was the result of a happy – I hope – coincidence.
It was a hot day on 23 July when I more than doubled the Share Sleuth portfolio’s holding in Solid State (SOLI) taking it from 1,070 shares, or 3 per cent of the portfolio’s total value, to 2,400 shares (6 per cent). I know it was hot that day, because every day in July was hot, but I don’t think my decision was influenced by the furnace inside my office. I followed the same measured process I have followed for every other trade in the portfolio for years now.
This month I have no trade to report, because I am happy with the portfolio’s shape, and, as you will notice if you read the Share Watch column (see page 76), my quest to find new investments that might be better than those I have already picked has drawn a blank.
There are challenges ahead, but Richard Beddard thinks Judges Scientific should prosper over the long term.