They say that investing is a learning process and that's certainly true in my case. While I've had various amounts of money invested in shares for almost 15 years now I've never quite reached the point where I feel that I know or do enough (quite the opposite in fact). An example of this is that I've never systematically recorded my reasons for buying shares (or continuing to hold them for that matter) and without an audit trail it's hard to identify what I'm doing well/badly. This became obvious when I wrote my review of 2017 and so this post is the start of my attempt to be a bit more organised when it comes to trading.

Essentially my plan is to write up short, contemporaneous notes of my investment decisions on a monthly basis. This will include brief thoughts on trading statements and results even where I do nothing as deciding not to trade is just as significant a decision as buying or selling. Finally I'll probably tag on a few sentences regarding the portfolio performance in the month and which shares made the difference; this should make other people feel better if nothing else.

Purchases

H&T Group Bought 355.5p - Jan 18

As a first trade of the year I've promoted H&T Group to a full position size. My initial holding was only taken out in December but their Trading Update of 8th Jan speaks of profits being ahead of market expectations with the Personal Loans book increasing by a remarkable 94.7%. Note that this follows a previous "above expectations" update on 3rd Nov. So H&T clearly have the wind in their sails and aren't notably expensive on a forward P/E of 12.4 when they're flagging up 33% profit growth for 2017 and 13% in 2018. This latter figure feels too low given the way in which the business is performing.

Boohoo.com Bought 205.5p - Jan 18

Like many small-cap investors I've been aware of Boohoo for over 3 years now; all the way from Paul Scott's prescient post identifying their early profit warning as an excellent buying opportunity. Sadly I wasn't open to this at the time and missed out as the share price 10-bagged. Such is life. Still I've kept half an eye on their trading and operating performance and noted how the management have done an…

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