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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

My Magic Hat fantasy fund, which is mostly mechanical, is on Stockopedia: Its goal is too achieve above capital returns greater than the FTSE350 and Magic Formula screen using a portfolio of about 12 shares selected from Stockopedia’s Greenblatt Screen.The Greenblatt screen is beating my human-intervening portfolio on a 2-year basis, but not on a 1-year basis. That doesn’t necessarily prove anything, as relative…

It’s about that time of month when I can have a trawl of the Stockopedia rankings to see what looks interesting.ALY (Laura Ashley) has a Stock Rank of 99, and has fallen 9.8% to 30p today. Paul Scott picks up the story ( the time of writing, I hold a long position in this share … It has decided to spend £31.1m buying the freehold…

Thorntons is up 42% to 145p today on news that Ferroro bid for the company (Motley Fool: I had sold out in May ( at 92p. I made a nice profit on the trade, but still, it’s always galling to see that I could have made a lot more.I had also sold FLYB (Flybe) prematurely, before its big runup.Too little patience! By nature, I…

Shares in DIA (Dialight) fell 30.6% today to 516.8p after issuing its trading update, stating:… the Board expects that underlying operating profit for 2015 will be significantly below expectations and that the results for the first half will be less than the prior year. The Board believes that this reduction in orders is linked in part to a slowdown in the oil and gas sector.…

Many investors focus on increases in earnings. Perhaps “focus” is the wrong word. It is more like “obsession”. There are commentators that point out, though, that it is not growth in earnings that is important, but return on capital. Growth in earnings achieved by investing below the cost of capital is actually value-destructive.I would take the idea of ROCE (Return on Capital) one step further:…

Mark Carter's Latest Comments

There once was a growth stock named Quindell, Who's prospects the directors did kindle, When the stock reached a high, Rampers urged all to buy, Which turned out to be a big swindle.

Paul, yes, I agree. I had made annotations in my blog article to that effect after it was transcribed here. Stockopedia shows the same figures as Digital Look, so I guess the data is from a common source. Stockopedia's "Cash from Financing Activities" is all blank, and should have tipped me off that the data were wrong. I guess the moral is: always look at…

Thanks John, and good advice. I'm finding that (so far) I'm able to keep to this kind of trading discipline. Stepping back and being more sanguine about everything helps. I may never be a Robbie Burns, Paul Scott, or whatever, but in the end, does it really matter? I guess the money would be nice, though.

Ultimately, of course, there's no one "right" answer. Robbie Burns trades frequently, and gets good results. Lord Lee trades infrequently, and get good results. If they swapped strategies, then they might both get lousy returns. I've had a look at what I've been doing, and my conclusion is: too much! I wanted to step back a little from the process.

Paul, I think the bargepole spreadsheet is a great idea. It gives less experienced investors like me a reality check on what not to invest in.

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