Diary of a (sort-of) novice investor, aged 46 - (Dec-18)

Saturday, Dec 15 2018 by

I'll do some background in a future post and also some thoughts on how I make my investment decisions / structure my portfolio nowadays.  I hope I have learned some lessons in recent years!

This post, I will cover the sells I made in December.  This has been a busy month as I have done some major portfolio surgery.  It looks like a lot, but I have not sold any shares for 2 years due to various work related compliance reasons so it actually averages out at less than one every 2 months.

All UP/DOWN measures are to the nearest 10% and include accumulated dividends.

I'll cover the handful of buys in the next post.


Gattaca (LON:GATC) - I met with management shortly after the NHI deal and they were convincing and seemed to understand the market they operated in and the challenge of integrating NHI.  I should have sold as soon as the first profit warning was announced but hung on for the dividend, which was cancelled.  [LESSON LEARNED - BE VERY SCEPTICAL OF "TRANSFORMATIONAL" DEALS.  SELL ON A PROFIT WARNING UNLESS THERE IS A VERY CLEAR REASON NOT TO AND ALWAYS SELL ON A CHANGE TO A STUPID NEW NAME.  (HOPE DOES NOT COUNT AS A REASON)].  DOWN 90%

Interserve (LON:IRV) - Originally bought for the dividend but when it became clear the wheels had come off and that there were fundamental flaws with the business model I didn't sell.  [LESSON LEARNED AS ABOVE] DOWN 90%+

Empresaria (LON:EMR) - I saw the management present and was swayed by the presentation and the presence of other respected shareholders but didn't actually do much thinking or research or establish why I thought was a good investment.  And lost money.  [LESSON LEARNED - DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH] DOWN 30%

Stobart (LON:STOB) - I met management and was impressed by them and by the asset they had in Southend Airport.  However, despite the progress being made at Southend, the boardroom fights worried me and I also don't like the strategic direction recently announced.  Not sure what lesson I can learn here.  Maybe I just got lucky.  I can't claim any massive insight.  Southend could quite easily have tanked and Easyjet withdrawn…

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  Is LON:GATC fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

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