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Real Name: Roland Head

Occupation: Analyst, Blogger, Private Investor

Interests: Bonds, Commodities, European Markets, Interest Rates, Oil, Property, Stocks, US Market

Location: United Kingdom

Twitter: rolandhead

Fantasy Fund: Stock in Focus portfolio

About Me:

I'm a private investor and writer on stock markets, with a particular fondness for free cash flow, dividends and value. I also have a lingering interest in commodity stocks.

In earlier life, I worked as an engineer in telecoms and IT. The rules-based approach required for this kind of work undoubtedly influenced my investing style. I also learned a lot from seeing the tech bubble deflate in 2000-1, when I was working for a large and now defunct Canadian firm. 

My investment focus is increasingly on developing rules-based strategies such as my Stock in Focus portfolio. This reflects a significant part of my personal portfolio and is the subject of my weekly column here at Stockopedia.

Investment Strategy
I trade... monthly
I tend to buy... according to my system
I hold for... years
Diversification is ... essential to reduce risk

I run two portfolios: the first is a fairly traditional mixed-cap value portfolio with a bias towards income stocks and contrarian picks. I look for asset plays and good businesses going cheap due to short-term pressures.

My second portfolio is the Stock in Focus Portfolio (SIF), which I run as a Stockopedia Fantasy Fund. I write a weekly column about this portfolio for Stockopedia.


Freelance financial writer, offering news, investment and opinion articles covering primarily UK stocks. Particular interests are dividend and value investing, plus the oil and gas industry. I have the CFA UK Investment Management Certificate (IMC).

Web Address:

Address: North Yorkshire

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Roland Head's Latest Blogs

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…

As I hoped, last week’s results from SIF folio stocks Motorpoint Group and Character Group were showed decent progress at both firms. Graham and Paul covered both sets of results in last Thursday’s SCVR report, which you can read here. I won’t repeat their excellent commentary, but one thing I would like to add is that Motorpoint continues to qualify for my stock screen based…

We still don’t know whether Theresa May’s Brexit deal will be supported by MPs, but I have a strong feeling that a cliff-edge Brexit is increasingly unlikely. I feel this could be good news for our stock portfolios. Markets hate uncertainty and according to this article in the FT (paywall), $1tn $20bn (the article has been corrected) has been withdrawn from UK equity funds since…

Debate about the government’s draft Brexit deal dominated the headlines last week. This isn’t the place for politics, but I have noticed that even US analysts are now referring to Brexit uncertainty in their market commentary. It’s hard to say how Brexit will affect our investments, but one factor that could affect many of us would be if a Brexit deal led to a sharp…

With Christmas approaching fast, now seems like a good opportunity take a closer look at a company whose profits depend heavily on festive trading. Toy manufacturer Character Group has had a tough year, thanks to the bankruptcy of top customer Toys ‘R Us last October. But the company’s year-end trading statement in September made it clear that it’s back in the game. Management expect results…

Roland Head's Latest Comments

Hi Howard, Your results so far this year are certainly ahead of the market and my own portfolio, so congratulations! I don't think I could keep up with such a high level of trading over so many stocks. Good luck as we head into the New Year. I don't know what will happen with Brexit, but it looks like we still have a Prime Minister,…

Hi Warranstar, Thanks for such an honest reply. I can certainly see the logic behind your decision, especially if you're portfolio was weighted towards high flyers. Good luck in the markets, Roland

Hi Ramridge, I think that £D4T4 TTM operating margin and ROCE are likely to fall back to historic levels when the full-year results come through. These ratios will have been boosted by last year's H2-weighted profit being added this year's H1-weighted figure. Having said that, ROCE has generally been impressive in recent years, averaging nearly 16% since 2013. Regards, Roland

Hi Bill, Thanks for your comment re. Plus500 (LON:PLUS). I think Plus500 is fairly open about its dependence on new customers. For example in the H1 2018 results, new customers of 94,148 accounted for nearly 40% of total active customers (248,564). In H1 2017 the proportion of new customers was even higher. (New customers and active customers aren't defined in exactly the same way, but…

Hi Merlotman, Thanks for your comment. My holding in Plus500 (LON:PLUS) (which I've now sold) and IG Group (LON:IGG) fall into two different parts of my portfolio. I held Plus500 in the section of my personal portfolio which mirrors the SIF. My IG Group holding is a long-term holding in a different part of my portfolio, unconnected with SIF. I would certainly choose IG over…

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