When UK voters shocked the market by opting for Brexit in 2016, the resultant sell-off was sharp and brutal. Most stocks bounced back as quickly as they fell, but not all.

Stockopedia founder Ed Croft’s annual NAPS portfolio suffered from this dislocating event. The NAPS returned just 5.4% in 2016, compared to a 12.5% return for the FTSE All-Share. In contrast, the six-monthly SNAPS version of the portfolio delivered an 13.9% gain for the year, beating the market.

The big difference between the two was that the SNAPS selected a fresh set of stocks at the start of July, after the Brexit vote. The NAPS selections were held unchanged throughout 2016.

Ed’s conclusion was that if the market plays a joker card, it can make sense to deal yourself a fresh hand. With this in mind, it would be easy for me to argue that it’s unwise to add new companies to my SIF folio at the moment.

Not only has Parliament’s planned Brexit vote been postponed, but the European Court of Justice ruled on Monday that the UK could cancel Brexit and stay in the EU. Without wanting to get into a political debate, it now seems that we could end up with anything from full EU membership to a hard Brexit.

I nailed my colours to the mast two weeks ago when I said that I thought a no-deal “cliff-edge Brexit is increasingly unlikely”. Time will tell. But I think that whatever happens, two years of worry mean that the eventual decision is unlikely to have the shock value of the original Brexit vote. I think that at least some of the downside risk is already priced into the UK market.

I intend to continue buying and selling stocks as usual, both within my personal holdings and in the SIF fantasy fund.

I’d be very interested to hear what you are doing with your folio -- are you making allowance for Brexit, or is it business as usual?

My screen delivers another surprise

The Stock in Focus screening results have dwindled to about 10 stocks in recent weeks. Last week, software firm D4T4 Solutions (LON:D4T4) surprised me as a completely new entrant.

This week I received another surprise, when small-cap Carr’s (LON:CARR) appeared at the very…

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