Lets proceed with the same approach that we used in previous editions of this StockRanks column. We'll compare two companies from each industry: one with a rising StockRank; one with a falling StockRank. We'll explore the industrials and consumer cyclicals sectors, and I'll tell you about one of my many investment mistakes in the process.

Industrials

Regus currently has a StockRank of 39, down 2 from last week, while Impellam has a StockRank of 91, up from 84 last week.

Regus (RGU)

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Regus was one of my personal blunders. I bought the shares at around 208p in February 2014, saw the price rise by 12% within less than a month, before the price fell as low as 165p by the middle of October. I currently hold no shares in the company, but I want to share (no pun intended) this experience with you because I committed several cardinal sins that you should hear about.


Cardinal Sin Number 1

First of all, I was being a sucker and bought into a story stock. Regus is a multinational corporation that provides flexible workplace solutions. I was swayed by news that Regus intended to operate from at least 2,000 centres by 2014, up from 1,411 in 2012 and 1,084 in 2010.

In my investment diary, I wrote that this "expansion presents a significant opportunity for growth because of the international shift to flexible work – set to accelerate as technological changes, namely the proliferation of smartphones, laptops and cloud-based systems, enable a growing number of staff to operate from various locations."


Cardinal Sin Number 2

That was the narrative, but I also had a misguided faith in gurus. The first investment book I read was Jim Slater's Zulu Principle. I was therefore delighted to see that Mark Slater (Jim's son) was also bullish about Regus and had recently bought shares in the firm.

The company had also been tipped as a ‘Buy’ by the Investors Chronicle as late as October 2013, so I concluded it must be a good stock...

Why I should have checked the numbers

Arguably - stories can be subjective, while…

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