Well this proved to be an unexpectedly busy month; perhaps my most active of the year. This could just be a reaction to an indolent August but it seems to me that a number of interesting opportunities popped up in the month and I couldn't resist taking a few of them on-board. In addition a few of my holdings disappointed and, for various reasons, I felt inclined to cull them rather than hold on in hope of a recovery. In fact the word "hope" is something that came up in a tweet a few weeks ago - the gist being that if I find myself holding a share where I "hope" that something positive will happen then that's a sell signal!


Portmeirion Group Bought 1180p - September 18

I've been running through my rules-based watch-list recently to see which new shares rank highly and how my existing portfolio of shares measure up. This is always a slightly tricky exercise since I like to give my investments time to perform, which means holding them through a few reporting cycles, but on any particular date they may not look so attractive. Anyway Portmeirion has popped up in this list a few times but I've always vacillated between this company and Churchill China - and ended up buying neither. This time I decided to be decisive, with ex-dividend dates approaching for both shares, and used both Stockopedia and SharePad to directly compare their financial performance and current forecasts. In the event I could find nothing to choose between them and only plumped for Portmeirion because its historical performance looks to be slightly more stable. With very recent results looking solid I'm quietly optimistic that Portmeirion will keep chugging along.

B.P. Marsh Bought 299p - September 18

I first came across this unusual investment trust earlier this year when Graham Neary covered it in the SCVR. I liked the sound of its alternate approach, which involves providing venture capital to financial services businesses, and long-term history from 1990 before entirely forgetting about the company. Fortunately my memory was jogged earlier this week when a trading update emerged with a lot of detail on how £17m has just been raised and how their portfolio is becoming more geographically diverse. In addition the founder (Brian Marsh) has reduced his holding to a more reasonable 44% and this suggests to me that…

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