Good morning, it's Paul here.

Apologies - I had a brainstorm, and totally forgot about the placeholder article that I set up last night, which has no content, but does have reader comments. Sorry about that. I was watching the Red Bull Soapbox Challenge on TV at the same time as writing this report. So in all the hilarity of splintering plywood, and wheels falling off on impact with hay bales, and go-karts jettisoning their human cargo, I totally forgot about the placeholder article put up last night. Anyway, I'll rename the 2 reports part 1 & part 2.

As usual for this time of year, it's very quiet for the announcements that we report on here (small caps trading updates & results statements). However, there seems to be plenty of reader appetite for SCVRs, judging by yesterday's reader count, and thumbs ups. So I have resisted the urge to stay in bed until lunchtime!

This is probably my last SCVR of the year. It's been another fantastic year for most of us. As Chris Boxall of Fundamental Asset Management quipped - "If you didn't make money in 2017, you probably shouldn't be in this game!". Chris's roundup for the end of 2017 is on a video here, and is very interesting. I know him well, and he's one of the top small caps fund managers out there, a walking encyclopedia on small caps, and a thoroughly decent chap, so is well worth listening to.

My own portfolio had a sparkling year too, with BMUS (a distilled version of my real portfolio) up 62.7% on the year, and up 221.3% over 2 years. Obviously I'm delighted with that, but can't promise to repeat those returns in future - I think the last 2 years really does need to be seen as something of a one-off.

My performance in the UK Stock Challenge in 2017 was poor, only up 8.3% for the year. Although looking at my stock picks from a year ago, I'm scratching my head as to why I picked 3 out of 5 of them, and in real life had changed my mind & sold them by about March. So I think this demonstrates the need to regularly re-asses one's portfolio, and if the facts/outlook deteriorate, then ruthlessly ditching things before they head further south is vitally important.

Anyway, I've picked 5…

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