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Screening Strategies

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Philip Fisher Growth Screen

Philip Fisher Growth is a growth investing strategy inspired by the approach of legendary US investor Philip Fisher, who wrote Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits. The strategy is based on his 15 point checklist for finding growth stocks. It looks for a track record of strong sales growth, above average net margins and a low price-to-earnings growth rate over five years. Philip Fisher wrote: "If the right stocks are bought and held long enough they will always produce some profit. Usually they produce a handsome profit." His most famous investment was stock in Motorola, which he acquired in 1955 and held until his death, during which time the shares grew 20-fold. Philip Fisher's investment management firm is now headed by his son, the highly regarded value investor, Ken Fisher, whose stock picking strategy is also tracked by Stockopedia. more »

Growth Investing
6 Month Return: 12.7%
Piotroski High F-Score Screen

The Piotroski F-Score Screen is a quality strategy outlined by the famed academic Professor Joseph Piotroski and investigated further in a 2011 paper titled "Identifying expectation errors in Value/Glamour stocks". The strategy hunts for the best quality shares in the market regardless of price. In this version of the screen we have selected the highest scoring stocks in the market using Piotroski's nine-point fundamental checklist called the F-Score. While the F-Score was originally used only for filtering value stocks, Piotroski discovered it was just as effective for filtering glamour stocks: "Firms experiencing the strongest improvement in fundamentals (FSCORE ?7) generate a mean size-adjusted return of 5.5 percent annually". What Piotroski essentially was saying was that the highest scoring stocks returned 5.5% more than the market - these findings have been backed up by independent research by Societe Generale. Perhaps as a result the F-Score has become extremely popular with investors and is a core component of the Stockopedia StockReports. more »

Quality Investing
6 Month Return: 12.6%
Martin Zweig Growth Screen

Martin Zweig Growth is a growth at a reasonable price investing strategy based on an approach explained by US investor Martin Zweig in his book, Winning on Wall Street. It combines a focus on growth characteristics, value attraction and market timing. It uses various measures of earnings and sales growth and uses the price-to-earnings ratio as a valuation tool. Zweig's strategy also looks for relatively strong price action. Zweig wrote: "I've found that investors who rely on crystal balls frequently wind up with crushed glass. I'm satisfied if I can predict a market trend, get in tune with it and stay with that trend for as long as it lasts." Zweig was a reputed US money manager back during 1990s as well as an investment newsletter writer. During the 15 years that it was monitored (1980 - 1995), his newsletter returned an average of 15.9% per year. more »

Growth Investing
6 Month Return: 12.1%
William O'Neil CAN-SLIM-esque screen

The William O'Neil CAN-SLIM-esque strategy is a growth investing strategy inspired by a proprietary model devised and owned by US investor and publisher William O'Neill. It focuses on growth metrics but also has a momentum component to determine when stocks should be bought and sold. The 7-pronged formula focuses on Current Earnings, Annual Earnings, New Highs, Products or Management, Supply & Demand for the shares, Leaders over Laggards in a sector, Institutional Support and Market conditions. William O'Neill wrote: "What seems too high and risky to the majority generally goes higher and what seems low and cheap generally goes lower." Studies by the American Association of Individual Investors in the US have found that investing rules based on O'Neill's approach have been some of the most successful over the last decade. The so called 'CANSLIM' acronym is a registered trademark of Investors Business Daily, and the approach has become famous and well followed in the USA. more »

Growth Investing
6 Month Return: 11.6%
Earnings Upgrade Momentum Screen

Earnings Forecast Upgrades is a momentum strategy set out by US academics Phillip McKnight and Steven Todd in research that examined how analyst forecasts affect share prices. It focuses on finding momentum stocks by highlighting those that are receiving the highest levels of upgraded earnings forecasts from analysts. It looks at both the number of analysts that have raised their forecasts on a share over the past month, and the overall percentage earnings-per-share increase among the consensus of analysts. McKnight and Todd claimed: "Stocks with the greatest number of upwards revisions in earnings, net of downward revisions, earn significantly higher returns than otherwise similar stocks." The researchers examined a portfolio of European shares and found that the 20% with the highest net upward revisions outperformed the lowest 20% by over 16% a year. Earnings upgrades are one way of finding stocks with 'earnings momentum'; those that have received upward earnings revisions are likely to do so again in the future. more »

Momentum Investing
6 Month Return: 11.3%
Dividend Dogs (Forecast)

Forecast Dividend Dogs of the FTSE is a high yield income strategy inspired by the popular 'Dogs of the Dow' approach of US investor Michael O'Higgins, who wrote Beating the Dow. It simply selects the 10 highest yielding stocks in a major market index like the FTSE 100, the S&P 500 or the FTSE Eurofirst 300. This version of the strategy uses the rolling 1-year forecast yield. It's main safety net is that blue chip stocks tend to be large, mature and well financed companies with long histories of weathering economic turmoil. O'Higgins wrote: "Beating the Dow is based on simple logic that will produce exceptional returns in any rational market and until excessive popularity turns contrarianism into conventional wisdom." O'Higgins suggested rebalancing the Dividend Dogs portfolio once per year, based on the highest yields available. more »

Income Investing
6 Month Return: 11.2%
Benjamin Graham NCAV Bargain Screen

Benjamin Graham NCAV Bargain is a deep value 'bargain' investing strategy based on rules suggested by legendary investor, Benjamin Graham, who wrote The Intelligent Investor. This is a simple value approach that looks for companies with a market capitalisation that is less than their net current asset value. NCAV is the calculation of current assets minus current liabilities. Ben Graham wrote: "You are neither right nor wrong because the crowd disagrees with you. You are right because your data and reasoning are right." In a study by Henry Oppenhemier in the Financial Analysts Journal, the mean return from discounted net current asset stocks over a 13-year period was 29.4% per year versus 11.5% per year for the NYSE-AMEX Index. Ben Graham advocated buying stocks that, if they were to collapse tomorrow, should still produce a positive return because of the underlying asset backing. To reduce exposure to individual failures, he also looked for a margin of safety of about 33% and suggested diversifying between at least 30 stocks. more »

Bargain Stocks
6 Month Return: 11.1%
John Neff Value Screen

John Neff Value is a value investing strategy based on the rules of successful US fund manager John Neff. It combines demanding value criteria with elements of growth, quality and dividend income. Although he didn't like the term, Neff was a contrarian investor buying good companies with moderate growth and high dividends while out of favour, and selling them once they rose to fair value. One of the tools used by Neff is the Total Return Ratio, which is calculated using the price-to-earnings growth factor (PEG), but adjusted for dividend yield - PEGY. John Neff wrote: "If you buy stocks when they are out of favor and unloved, and sell them into strength when other investors recognize their merits, you'll often go home with handsome gains." During his tenure as manager of Vanguard's Windsor Fund between 1964 and 1995, Neff's average annual total return was 13.7%. more »

Value Investing
6 Month Return: 10.7%
Buffettology-esque Sustainable Growth Screen

Warren Buffett Sustainable Growth is a quality investing strategy inspired by an interpretation of Warren Buffett's investment approach by Mary Buffett and David Clark in their book, The New Buffettology. It is a strategy that combines Buffett's focus on value and business quality. To work out whether the stock is reasonably valued, the strategy forecasts sustainable earnings growth; the higher that growth rate is, the more likely it is that the company has a durable competitive advantage. The strategy also looks for low debt and a growing earnings yield, return on equity and return on capital employed. In The New Buffettology, Mary Buffett and David Clark explain: "Consistency is everything. Warren is not after a company that occasionally has high returns on shareholders' equity, but one that consistently earns high returns." Remember, Buffett is famous for looking beyond financial measures when examining the quality of a business franchise. more »

Quality Investing
6 Month Return: 10.5%
Naked Trader-esque Screen

Robbie Burns Naked Trader is a growth investing strategy based on the rules set out by Robbie Burns in his book, The Naked Trader: How Anyone Can Make Money Trading Shares. It uses a wide range of measures spanning growth, value and price momentum factors and focuses on small and mid-cap stocks. Burns also uses a number of non-financial, qualitative criteria in his investment analysis. He says: "I look at everything I can, and much of the research involves trying to pick out the negative things - I guess I'm trying to put myself off! I use every scrap of info I have to come to a decision - and so should you." Between 2002 and 2005, Burns wrote a column for the Sunday Times, 'My DIY Pension', and apparently doubled the money from £40,000 to £80,000 over this period. By mid-2011 he had turned this into £250,000. more »

Growth Investing
6 Month Return: 10.3%
James O'Shaugnessy Cornerstone Growth

James O'Shaughnessy Cornerstone Growth is a growth investing strategy devised by US fund manager James O'Shaughnessy in his 1996 book, What Works on Wall Street. It combines value, momentum and growth factors, using the price-to-sales ratio, price momentum and earnings growth as its main rules. O'Shaughnessy wrote: "Marrying good value characteristics with price momentum is an excellent way to find 'cheap stocks on the mend'." He found that this strategy produced an annual compound return of 17% between 1963 and 2009. In 2012, O'Shaugnessy updated the strategy rules by replacing price-to-sales as the key value metric with 6 composited value factors. more »

Growth Investing
6 Month Return: 10.3%
John Templeton Bargain Screen

John Templeton Value is a value investing strategy based on the rules used by US investor Sir John Templeton. It combines value and growth factors to identify stocks trading at cheap prices but with a positive long-term outlook. The value components include the price-to-book and price-to-earnings ratios, while the growth rules focus on strong earnings and margins, and low debt. Sir John wrote: "Bull markets are born on pessimism, grow on skepticism, mature on optimism, and die on euphoria. The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy, and the time of maximum optimism is the best time to sell." His Templeton Growth Fund delivered a 13.8% annualised return from 1954 to 2004, versus 11.1% by the S&P 500 over the same period. Sir John also put a great deal of importance on qualitative factors, such as quality products, cost controls, and the intelligent use of earnings by management. more »

Value Investing
6 Month Return: 10.0%
Tiny Titans

James O'Shaughnessy Tiny Titans is a small-cap momentum investing strategy set out by US fund manager James O'Shaughnessy in his 1996 book, What Works on Wall Street. It combines momentum and value factors and focuses on stocks capitalised at greater than £15m but less than £150m. Its key measures include the price to sales ratio and 1-year relative strength. O'Shaughnessy wrote: "Studies are nearly unanimous in their findings that small stocks (those in the lowest two deciles) do significantly better than large ones. We too have found tremendous returns from tiny stocks." He found that this strategy produced an annual compound return of 20.05% between 1963 and 2009. In 2012, O'Shaughnessy updated the strategy rules by replacing price-to-sales as the key value metric with 6 composited value factors. more »

Momentum Investing
6 Month Return: 9.8%
Josef Lakonishok Momentum Screen

Josef Lakonishok Momentum is a strategy that uses price and earnings momentum to identify undervalued companies just at the point when the market is starting to recognise them. It is inspired by detailed research by academic and fund manager Josef Lakonishok, who co-wrote the paper Contrarian Investment, Extrapolation, and Risk. The strategy combines value and momentum factors, including the price-to-earnings ratio, relative strength and earnings surprises. Lakonishok wrote: "Regardless of the reason, some investors get overly excited about stocks that have done very well in the past and buy them up, so that these 'glamour' stocks become overpriced. Similarly, they overreact to stocks that have done very badly, oversell them, and these out-of-favour 'value' stocks become underpriced." A Lakonishok-inspired strategy tracked by the American Association of Individual Investors returned 13.9% in the 10 years to the end of 2014, versus 5.4% for the S&P 500. more »

Momentum Investing
6 Month Return: 9.7%
Altman Z-Score Screen

The Altman Z-Score is a checklist for identifying stocks that might be at risk of bankruptcy. It was created by US finance Professor Edward Altman and detailed in a book he co-authored, called Managing Credit Risk. The Z-Score is a red flag indicator that can be used as a short selling strategy. It analyses five weighted business ratios to estimate the likelihood of financial distress. Broadly, these checks examine a company's asset, strength, profitability, solvency, efficiency and ability to generate earnings. Altman wrote: "The detection of company operating and financial difficulties is a subject which has been particularly amenable to analysis with financial ratios." Tests over 31 years to 1999 found the Z-Score to be 80-90% accurate in predicting bankruptcy one year prior to the event. The Z-Score is one of the components used in another short selling strategy: James Montier Trinity of Risk. more »

6 Month Return: 9.6%
Dreman Low Price to Cash Flow Screen

David Dreman Low Price to Cashflow is a contrarian value strategy developed by the famous US investment manager and author David Dreman in his book Contrarian Investment Strategies. It uses a basic value filter of selecting the cheapest 40% of the market by Price to Cashflow ratio and filtering further for quality according to company size, financial strength and growth. Dreman favours cash flow over earnings: "If we take two companies with similar outlooks, markets, products, and management talent, the one with the higher cashflow will usually be the more rewarding stock. In investing, as in your personal finances, cash is king." Dreman's studies showed that the cheapest 20% of the market by P/CF outperformed the most expensive 20% by 6.8% annually. Dreman cautions towards a buy and hold approach because "transaction costs are often not recognized by investors, but can be very expensive". more »

Value Investing
6 Month Return: 9.5%
Jim Slater ZULU Principle Screen

Jim Slater Zulu Principle is a growth investing strategy inspired by UK investor Jim Slater in his book, The Zulu Principle. The strategy combines growth, value, quality and momentum factors. Its most famous ratio is the price-earnings-growth factor (PEG) which compares a company's forecast price-to-earnings ratio with its forecast earnings-per-share growth rate. It also looks for a high return on capital employed and positive relative price strength in small and mid-cap shares. Jim Slater wrote: "Most leading brokers cannot spare the time and money to research smaller stocks. You are therefore more likely to find a bargain in this relatively under-exploited area of the stock market." Jim Slater's son Mark Slater uses Zulu Principle-inspired rules at his MFM Slater Growth Fund, which achieved a total return of 61% over the three years to November 2014. Jim Slater is one of the UK's most popular home-grown investors and his strategy is well followed. more »

Growth Investing
6 Month Return: 9.1%
Large Cap Dividend Attraction Screen

Large Cap Dividend Attraction is an income strategy discussed by Kevin Matras in his book, Finding Number 1 Stocks. It focuses on dividends paid by strong, large-cap companies with long track records of both earnings and dividend growth and where analysts are upgrading their earnings forecasts. This version of the strategy assesses 5-year dividend growth, Return on Equity, earnings per share growth and Price to Operating Cashflow. It also look for the highest percentage EPS upgrades over the past three months for the next financial year. Kevin Matras explains: "Larger companies with solid earnings, but without the aggressive growth rates that may have marked their earlier years, will often reward their investors by paying out a portion of their earnings as dividends." more »

Income Investing
6 Month Return: 8.5%
Benjamin Graham Enterprising Investor Screen

Benjamin Graham Enterprising Investor is a deep value investing strategy based on rules suggested by legendary investor, Benjamin Graham, who wrote The Intelligent Investor. The strategy focuses on value stocks and the ability to buy them with a significant margin of safety. It uses valuation ratios including price-to-earnings and price-to-book but also looks for a history of earnings growth and dividend payouts. Ben Graham once said: "The determining trait of the enterprising investor is his willingness to devote time and care to the selection of securities that are both sound and more attractive than the average." Enterprising Investor is a less strict approach than Ben Graham's defensive strategies, which often focus on large, well financed and profitable companies. Instead, it looks for unpopular companies, special situations and 'bargain' issues. more »

Value Investing
6 Month Return: 7.9%
Dividend Dogs

Dividend Dogs of the FTSE is a high yield income strategy based on an approach devised by US investor Michael O'Higgins in his book Beating the Dow. It simply selects the 10 highest yielding stocks in a major market index like the FTSE 100, the S&P 500 or the FTSE Eurofirst 300. This version of the strategy uses the current, or historic, dividend yield. It's main safety net is that blue-chip stocks tend to be large, mature and well financed companies with long histories of weathering economic turmoil. O'Higgins wrote: "Beating the Dow is based on simple logic that will produce exceptional returns in any rational market and until excessive popularity turns contrarianism into conventional wisdom." O'Higgins suggested rebalancing the Dividend Dogs portfolio once per year, based on the highest yields available. more »

Income Investing
6 Month Return: 7.3%
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