New Year NAPS - Top Stocks for 2018 and the Benefits of Ignorance

Tuesday, Jan 02 2018 by

2017 has been a good year for stock market investors, but it’s been a great one for NAPS investors. Over the course of 2017 this remarkably effortless stock selection system (that I’m now calling the “no-admin-portfolio-system”) returned over 45% after dividends, beating the performance of 99.8% of 3295 professionally managed funds in the UK.

What’s more this was achieved in less than an hour’s work at the beginning of the year, with absolutely no research into any of the individual stocks in question.

So, I’m going to start the year with a review of the NAPS performance over the last 12 months before considering the difference between ignorance and stupidity.

Once I’ve convinced myself (again) that it’s absolutely fine to know almost nothing about the individual stocks I’m selecting, I’ll then publish the 20 stocks that have made it into the 2018 NAPS Portfolio.

And then I’ll sleep on it for another year.

2017 Performance in Context

I’ve been running the NAPS portfolio since the end of 2014, and the performance has been, you might say, more than satisfactory. The portfolio has more than doubled (+115% before dividends) in these three years, with an average 29% annualised return.

Over this time period, the FTSE All Share has returned about 18.8% before dividends - at an average annualised return of 5.9%. So the NAPS has devoured the performance of FTSE index tracker funds by more than 20% per year since inception, and it’s done this at considerably lower volatility.


2017 has been the best year of the three years so far with 42.5% growth before dividends. The chart above contains three lines which are clearly labelled:

  • The dark green line is the 20 stock NAPS Portfolio (top two stocks by StockRank from each sector rebalanced annually).
  • The light green line is the performance of the top 20 stocks by StockRank (no diversification, rebalanced annually).
  • The orange line is the FTSE All Share.

Although it’s a small sample, I do believe the above charts provide validation of the core ideas behind the NAPS - namely:

  1. Factor investing can beat the market. (The green lines, based upon the StockRanks, dominate the market index).
  2. Diversification across sectors can further improve returns, and reduce risk. (The dark green line beats the light green line).


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As per our Terms of Use, Stockopedia is a financial news & data site, discussion forum and content aggregator. Our site should be used for educational & informational purposes only. We do not provide investment advice, recommendations or views as to whether an investment or strategy is suited to the investment needs of a specific individual. You should make your own decisions and seek independent professional advice before doing so. Remember: Shares can go down as well as up. Past performance is not a guide to future performance & investors may not get back the amount invested. ?>

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285 Comments on this Article show/hide all

Velo 7th Nov 266 of 285



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dfs12 8th Nov 267 of 285

In reply to post #416824

Many thanks Velo. 5.5% drop is a good result I think. Thank you very much for all your time in posting these updates. Seeing the track of ranks and prices during the year is really useful. And adding the effect of the dividends gives that missing dimension. So many thanks. And glad your portfolio is recovering nicely. Hopefully we'll all have a better position to cheer by the time Christmas comes.

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emilstyle 8th Nov 268 of 285

Anybody has a backtest not using just UK market but all the shares of this world following the NAPS system? I'm subscribed to all the world markets and would like to know if this can work also with shares all around the world and not just UK's one.
Thank you :)

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Nick Ray 9th Nov 269 of 285

It's a fascinating result. Starting with the highest Stockrank stocks in each sector, after ten months so far the performance seen has a huge range from -50% to +50%. And the stock with the lowest original SR (VLE 83) has the second highest gain (actually I think it is 47% not the 27% as shown in Velo's table.)

But the really interesting thing is that this a fairly good result. Every metric I have looked at performs similarly. Even when you choose from the top decile, you still only get about a 60:40 success rate (at best) in terms of beating the market, and the market is currently at about -8% or so.

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Velo 10th Nov 270 of 285

Hi Nick,

"...And the stock with the lowest original SR (VLE 83) has the second highest gain (actually I think it is 47% not the 27% as shown in Velo's table.).... "

No, it's as shown Nick ( 27% )
Think you might have inadvertently strayed on to the incorrect line when calculating.

For your purposes, if you take the mid price close as shown yesterday when you posted Friday 9th Nov of 1100p and use Yahoo Finance historical prices or any other plaform you prefer and bring up Jan2 2018 - the closing price on that day was 857.50p

So on end of day mid prices that's 28% not 47%.

For the NAPS I added broker's fees, stamp duty where appropriate, and the margin for the buy price and not the mid price, Additionally I also attempted to stagger/ guesstimate the buys throughout the day as end of day prices in real life would be impossible due to the market being closed, hence above it shows 27% real-life increase which was correct on 2nd November, but now a week later at close on Friday 9th, it's moved on and is now in fact down to 21.5%

Hope that explanation helps.


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Velo 10th Nov 271 of 285

In reply to post #416884

Hi dfs12,

I'm pleased you've found it useful as we draw into the final run to the year end, thanks.

RE: "And glad your portfolio is recovering nicely."
- Think I might have over-egged that bit about my portfolios. They''re still down on Oct 2nd but are improving, but it appears in fits and starts. So, yes, improving but they're still damaged from the recent worldwide correction.

Until next month.......


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Nick Ray 10th Nov 272 of 285

In reply to post #417794

Thanks Velo. For some reason my historical price data for Volvere (LON:VLE) was 740 for about a month around 1/Jan/2018. I've just reloaded it from Yahoo and now I have the correct data. (I don't usually look at stocks below £90M so it's a stock I only track for the sake of the NAPS portfolio.)

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Velo 10th Nov 273 of 285

In reply to post #417809

Ahh sorted, Nick - thanks for advising.

You know if perchance you were right - it would have rendered the folio results for all this year completely innacurate - as the folio is balanced - it couldn't have been that far out without serious consequences to the whole accuracy of the folio. So I'm relieved :)

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Taff6 13th Nov 274 of 285

In reply to post #403219

Key day reversal @resistance for Griffin Mining (LON:GFM) today?

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lightningtiger 14th Nov 275 of 285

Another chunky dividend to come from Plus 500 this month which should be about 100p or so depending on the exchange rate at the time
.November will be my best month for dividends this year and estimated end of year should be about 70% up on last year.
I am questioning the figure of Plus 500 being 49% up to 2nd November since 2nd Jan the price was 881.5p and they have paid out one dividend this year already.which is extra money to the total return.

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Velo 15th Nov 276 of 285

In reply to post #418994

Hi L/Tiger,
You ask:
"I am questioning the figure of Plus 500 being 49% up to 2nd November since 2nd Jan the price was 881.5p and they have paid out one dividend this year already.which is extra money to the total return."

49% gain up to Nov 2nd is correct.

I'll re-post the final para of my post (No:270) about 4 posts or so above here, as it explains why end of day prices were NOT used as it wasn't 'real world' buying as the market would be closed -

"..For the NAPS I added broker's fees, stamp duty where appropriate, and the margin for the buy price and not the mid price, Additionally I also attempted to stagger/ guesstimate the buys throughout the day as end of day prices in real life would be impossible due to the market being closed, hence above it shows .... the real-life increase which was correct on 2nd November 2018...."

Jan 2nd opened @ 899p it closed lower @ 881.50p
Intraday it travelled as far up as 903.50
- and as far down as 869.5p

Take out the close as unobtainable in a real life situation, and which would you choose for the day? (See that para above)
In actual fact, It looks like I chose from quite early in the day, and including all costs as mentioned in the above para I entered Plus as being bought all-in, all costs inc, for 889p ( That's 563 shares equiv. to £5,005.07 and therefore 889p per share).

I do not calculate the percentages per share but copy the percentage gain/decrease directly as shown in the folio here on Stocko. The SP showing for PLUS on this site on Nov 2nd was 1326p - so a quick actual calc and re-check (as I never check Stocko I merely copy over) and yes it's the same as I posted - 49% (49.1%). So the % gain shown is correct.

- Even so, using your closing price as the start point, the percentage comes out pretty similar at 50% gain (50.4%).

The dividends are pooled together as in real life (unless you've instructed your broker to reinvest immediately back into purchasing more stock). The (real life calcs) dividends for the folio as reported above is now a running total of £3.0k+ (£3022.65)
- So "your" PLUS divis are in the divi-pot, so sorry that's where your PLUS divis will remain :)

PS. If you like, It would be quite easy for me to post the individual total divis obtained for each share at the year end, if it helps.

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lightningtiger 16th Nov 277 of 285

Hi Velo,
Thanks for explaining the dividends are pooled together. That is why I was questioning the return.
There is also a 25% tax reclaim on the dividends that comes into the picture as well. The first part where 75% of the dividend is paid & then a bit of a waiting game and the exchange rate comes into play as does their bank charges too! So in fact you do not get the full 25% refund..
If it is easy for you to show each share dividend separately, that would be good.

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Velo 2nd Dec 278 of 285

December 2nd, the penultimate update, for the NAPS 2018 folio should be posted by tomorrow (before the end of Monday evening at the very latest) for results achieved by close of trading on Friday 30th November.

As per usual, now find myself travelling back long distance at each month's week-end; hence slight delay in posting the data.

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Klaus Knapp 2nd Dec 279 of 285

A well thought out Method, with simplicity and brilliance in abundance.
Do you publish monthly results of your Portfolio?

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Gromley 2nd Dec 280 of 285


Ed reports on the portfolio performance six-monthly, but Velo in the previous post to yours was referring to a monthly tracker that he produces. (Both use different methods of 'keeping score' - both for valid reasons imho.)

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Velo 3rd Dec 281 of 285

Results for NAPS 2018 up to December 2nd (Actual Friday's close on Nov 30th) -

Was expecting a worse scenario than last month, but as of the 11th month, only a slight degradation with the folio, now showing a decline of x8.6% to date. ( 0.3% worse than last month report ending).

Dividends for November were on course for contributing the lowest month all year, but SCS came in with their stonking final divi on the 26th of November which was closer to a 5% than 4% yield payment for a single interim payment alone (for holders of SCS) which meant the running dividend total period now stands @ £3.3k+ effectively a 3.3% boost to the results.

The NAPS 2018 is down x 8.6% on capital investment alone, but when dividends to-date are added in, the overall result for the folio reduces to approx x5.2% down (similar to the last month's reporting when divis included).

First table shows increases/decreases:

Up on last month with now 8 shares showing a % gain now (3 up on last month).
thus leaving 12 showing a red decrease since Jan 2nd start this year (ergo: an improvement on last month)

PLUS goes crackers, crushing it's top place last month even further, by a massive rise up to an incredible 70% gain.
(Another 19 like that please ED :)

And just like last month INDV languishes in bottom spot with an even worse performance now showing x75% decrease.

Second table shows the Stock Ranks in comparison to starting out on Jan 2nd this year -

13 shares show a Stock Rank above SR90, compared to the year start - which had 18 commencing in the S/R 90's.
* 5 shares have increased their rating compared to the start of the year
* And 15 continue to show reduced Stock Rank ratings since the year start.

Highest S/R is 99 (4 of them)
Lowest SR is 39 (VOD, which represents a 51 point S/Ranking drop from its start point on Jan 2nd).

VLE shows the largest single improvement in S/R ratings by increasing 14 points from it's Jan 2nd starting point.

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Velo 3rd Dec 282 of 285


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Velo 3rd Dec 283 of 285


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lightningtiger 3rd Dec 284 of 285

Worth mentioning the dividends paid out in November for SCS @ 10.9p / share & Plus 500 @ 79.84p/ share net.,which leaves ESOP to pay the tax refund of 25% back for Plus 500 from Israel. The 70.84p/ share also includes the 1 .% charge for currency charges from Hargreaves. the dividend paid out for plus 500 was $1.3786 US.

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dfs12 4th Dec 285 of 285

In reply to post #424103

Fabulous work Velo. Thanks so much for all your time on these monthly updates this year. You've provided a fantastic running commentary on the Naps portfolio. Fitting that the last month should underline the value of dividends so strongly.

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