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Real Name: Mark Carter

Occupation: Private Investor

Interests: Stocks

Location: Scotland

Twitter: mcturra2000

Fantasy Fund: Magic Hat

About Me:

I am a private investor living in Scotland. I am a computer programmer by trade.

Investment Strategy
I trade... monthly
I tend to buy... according to my system
I hold for... a year
Diversification is ... a hedge for ignorance

I tend to follow the guiding principles of Ben Graham, although since 2011, I am becoming increasingly interested in GARP stocks.


Investment blog of an amateur private investor. The blog also contains non-investment related posts.

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Mark Carter's Latest Blogs

I have been scanning through Stockopedia’s Screens, looking for interesting shares. What I noticed is that the Winning Growth & Income screen, and Robbie Burns Naked Trader screen have exceptionally low volatility and exceptionally high returns. This is apparent just by looking at the chart. If you want to be more quantitative about it, you can look at the maximum draw-down figure. Both are reasonably…

Decisions, decisions. In the stock market you have to make them, never being sure if they’re right or wrong. Anyway, I sold my holding of specialty finance company REDD (Redde) today.I bought it in Jan 2014 when it was called HHR, at a price of 5.753p. Adjusted for consolidation, it’s 57.53p. I see from my notes that I put a FV of £420m on the…

AO World is an online retailer of domestic appliances. Its shares dropped 14% yesterday to 140p on the back of its interim report ( Revenues grew 21.7%, but it suffered an operating loss of £8.9m (2014: £0.9m profit) “reflecting the ongoing investment in German operations and start-up costs in further Europe territories”.I am not convinced by the story here. AO floated in February 2014, which…

Stamps dealer and auctioneers Stanley Gibbons released their interims today (, sending the shares down nearly 10% to 98.2p.Sales were flat, but alarmingly, “Like-for-like sales, excluding Mallett acquisition, were £21.6m, down 21% on the prior period”. Trading profits were £0.5m (2014: £6.1m), but that figure excludes “investment on internet development, exceptional operating charges, pension service and share option charges and amortisation of customer lists”.Mallett made…

Fixed line telecommunications company TalkTalk released its interims today (, sending its shares up 12% to 243.9p in early trading.Revenues were up 12.2% year-on-year, and the interim dividend was raised 15%. The final dividend expected to be raised by the same amount.Their summary narrative states that they have lower net debt. However, their figures show net debt of £631m at 30.9.2015, compared to £555m at…

Mark Carter's Latest Comments

Although there's every sign that house prices are increasing, I think great care needs to me made about Quality scores for cyclics. They may look like good quality now because they're coining it in now, but that could also evaporate in a couple of years time. It's difficult to judge divvies based on BKG, but if you look at housebuilder BWY for example, it's on…

Don't forget though that the All-Share is down 5% in the last 5 months. So the SNAPS are ahead 6%. Extrapolating that to a year - dangerous, I know - that's actually pretty good. It may not be indicative, but if you can come out 10% better than the market, then that's a roaring success.

Maybe tiddlers like SGI and VLK are too volatile for things like momentum strategies to work. I think you need to pull in the crowd gradually, which won't happen with the micro-caps.

An extra thought here ... I was scanning through the site Trading Bases (, and he offers a lot of sensible advice. Perhaps part of the trick is not to have an oversized position. That way, you don't feel pressure to top-slice, and can ride the whole position to the top. Just an idea.

Actually, I get the impression from your writings that you're a far better investor than me, so I dare say that anything you do will be far more sensible than anything I can say. Yes, I can understand your view on top-slicing. Because of the large gains, holding it was uncomfortable for me, too. I think sometimes one has to be sensible about these things…

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