15th Feb


Occupation: Academic, Journalist

Interests: Economics, Geopolitics, Stocks

Location: France, Spain, Brazil

About Me:

Jane is a writer and translator, mostly of business and economics articles for country and company supplements in newspapers and for news agencies, while she also collaborates in the conception and writing of proposals for television series. She has lived in six countries with very varied cultures and business environments and thus has knowledge and awareness of different cultural influences on business, besides a ready understanding of meaning in different contexts. She uses these assets and her language skills to research deeply and widely into a deliberately restricted small number of stocks.

Investment Strategy
I trade... a few times per year
I tend to buy... after much research
I hold for... years
Diversification is ... dead
Extensive research and very close monitoring of prospective and current investments, as well of their competitors and their market sectors, besides modelling of expected results. Emphasis on getting behind the figures and the statements by management, on assuming nothing, on starting each time with fresh eyes and then of forming an understanding and on being convinced of the business and of its management. Concentrated portfolio, usually of between 10 and 15 shares, with an emphasis on mitigating risk and ensuring a good margin of safety pre-actively through extensive research and then pro-actively through close monitoring (including asking "what if.........?", "what do I not know that I ought to know?" and "would I buy this stock today?"). Investment usually in what would be classic but perhaps hidden "value and growth" stocks, usually small-cap and under-researched and with undiscovered potential and prospects, often very much off the radar of bulletin boards. As an unashamed technophobe, I find it difficult to understand tech or resources stocks as investments so I usually avoid those sectors and find stocks in sectors I can relate to and understand personally, that is I usually invest in stocks that are within my comfort zone of competence and experience. There are exceptions, with some stocks where I can understand and relate to the end-uses of the technology concerned and where I can compensate for my technical ignorance through simply working even harder to understand enough to make informed decisions on investing. This strategy has worked fine for me.

Janebolacha's Latest Blogs

Investors Chronicle has just published this article on Weir (LON:WEIR) and the "travails" (perhaps) of its CEO, Keith Cochrane. This is a business working in sectors which are highly cyclical. The thrust of the article is that it has been hard on the CEO to see his total pay reduced by three-quarters as a result of his bonuses and options, from £4.73m in 2011…

ITV (LON:ITV) is due to isssue its interim results on Wednesday, July 27.  This is a stock I have been following for quite some time and which I see now as an attractive investment opportunity.  Should there be a note of caution in the outlook statement on Wednesday with respect  to UK short-term advertising revenues, as some analysts have hinted, and that leads to the…

The Financial Reporting Council has just published its decision and report in the case of the conduct of the CFO of a company that collapsed several years ago, a company called Healthcare Locums. I had been a shareholder but sold long before it went belly up. Here's the link: It makes for very interesting reading. I'm sure we would all have our own lists of…

Janebolacha's Latest Comments

In post 11, I wrote this about Laura Ashley Holdings (LON:ALY): "There is one real unexploded bomb in the accounts, imo. This is the tremendously high inventories, equivalent to about four months cost of sales, obviously far too high for a business that is subject to changes in trends and fashion. I would expect there to be the need for very substantial write-downs of inventories…

Graham, the FT today said that MUIB, the effective controlling shareholder of Laura Ashley Holdings (LON:ALY) , ought to take it private and put minority shareholders out of their misery. You are on the same page with your comments above. I wonder whether Laura Ashley could become part of the divorce settlement for Tan Sri Dr Khoo's former wife, Pauline Chan. Or perhaps go as…

Re Laura Ashley Holdings (LON:ALY) , I had jotted down a couple of days ago a few points that seemed positive signs of change in this wasted and wasting opportunity of a stock. These were: 1. Hope that Tan Sri Dr Khoo may finally be handing over the reins to someone else, namely his son, named to the BOD a few months ago, who would…

"I'd also like to hear more of Paul's opinions on UP Global Sourcing Holdings (LON:UPGS) - as and when appropriate. Ta!" Worth noting that James McCarthy, the Chairman, who bought 300k shares at 33.4p yesterday and who now owns 1% of the company, is the former CEO of Poundland. He ought to be capable of recognising a bargain when he sees one!

Ken, thank you very much, that's very kind of you. I have been receiving the occasional company analysis from Phil Oakley for several years but have never subscribed. His work is always first rate, I agree, and his newsletters really pithy and clearly thought through. I may well subscribe, it looks very worthwhile. Thanks once more. Regards, Jane.

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