Another volatile, and cold, month with the FTSE swinging one way and another. While my portfolio struggled higher, courtesy of sparkling results from some of my holdings, this was against a backdrop of my less-loved shares slipping relentlessly backwards on limited news-flow. On the whole I don't like to sell a share just because it's gone down since that's the nature of volatility - in any one year I expect most of my shares to oscillate by at least 20% for no good reason. So my preference is to wait for concrete news and then make a decision. Still I don't mind saying that it's a lot easier to follow this plan in the abstract than it is to sit tight as a share drops by 3-5% every day without having the decency to rally every once in a while!

Purchases

Focusrite Bought 365p - Mar 18

Focusrite keeps a fairly low profile and maybe that's ok given how it's a small company servicing a specific market niche. This does, I think, lead to the share price treading water between updates though. This is a shame as there's a profitable, growing, cash-generative business here. On the other hand for investors this means that positive updates can lead to some sharp upward moves such as the 20% increase since the trading update a couple of weeks ago. Luckily I was in a position to react quickly to the announcement and managed to establish a full position at a decent price. Given the earnings momentum that Focusrite has had since listing I feel reasonably sure that this will continue even if the ride is a little bumpy.

Burford Capital Bought 1313p - Mar 18

As mentioned below the FY results for Burford exceeded all expectations which is probably why the shares rose by 40% over the next week. I was quite keen to increase my position here but I couldn't happily weather the vertiginous rise in price despite the relatively low multiple being asked for outstanding performance. Fortunately the founders came to my rescue by announcing a placing of around 4% of the company at a price of 1350p (a 12% discount). I can understand why they'd like to lock in some very substantial gains but personally having the share price pushed down to around 1330p delivered a useful top-up point for this private investor. I fully expect Burford to beat expectations…

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