26 mins ago


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

As promised a few weeks ago, this week I want to provide an update on my International SIF virtual portfolio. I’m going to make some changes in response to reader feedback in August. Plus I’m going to review the five stocks that are up for eviction this month. Strategy changes After receiving a fantastic response from readers in August, this week I want to share…

This week I’m looking at one of the top-ranked stocks on Stockopedia. It’s not necessarily a company you’d expect to fit this description. As a small-cap, single-commodity miner operating in South Africa, Sylvania Platinum isn’t without risk. This very profitable firm currently qualifies for my Stock in Focus screen, which hunts for affordable growth stocks. Sylvania also has a StockRank of 98 and has delivered…

It’s been almost a month since I last added a new UK stock to the SIF folio. The company in question was small-cap building services firm Bilby. This holding hasn’t got off to the best start as it’s already fallen by 17%. This makes Bilby the second biggest faller in SIF. Regular readers will know that I don’t use stop losses or sell stocks ahead…

I’d like to start thanking the many readers who completed my International SIF survey last week, or left comments sharing their views. I really appreciate your feedback. Happily, 75% of you were keen for me to continue experimenting with rules-based investing in foreign stocks. However, only 51% thought I should include stocks from all of the markets available on Stockopedia. About one quarter of you…

The StockRanks system has now beaten the market consistently for five straight years. Ed Croft wrote about some of the lessons learned in this piece in June. But for me, one of the most interesting insights was that Stockopedia’s proprietary QVM (Quality, Value & Momentum) ranking system hasn’t worked equally well in all regions. You can read more about this in Ed’s accompanying webinar (available…

Roland Head's Latest Comments

Hi timarr, Many thanks for this extra info on Derichebourg. It sounds like outsourcing/support service companies in France may be suffering from similar problems to those which have plagued their UK peers... Hopefully things won't get worse. A 40%+ drop still seems severe given the TTM ROCE of almost 17%. Cheers, Roland

I don't really know what's gone wrong (if anything) at Derichebourg. A number of the International SIF's European stocks seem to have been big fallers without any financial deterioration. Perhaps these markets are taking a more cautious view of the future than UK/US markets? I hope to see some recovery by the time I have to consider disposing of this stock! Regards, Roland

Hi BB, I've experimented with owning Russian stocks in my UK portfolio before and after mixed results ( I decided not to buy anymore. These firms almost always appear cheap, but I fear that political interference and vested interests mean that the Russian market doesn't operate in quite the same way as western stock markets. As this is something I just don't understand, I no…

Hi BB, Thanks for your comment. As a value investor at heart, I also like buying asset-backed stocks at a discount to book value. But the reality is that this is often only possible during severe downturns, such as that seen a couple of years ago in the mining sector. Although Anglo Pacific (LON:APF) now trades at a premium to book value, I don't see…

Hi Si, Thanks for your comment. You're right in that Anglo Pacific (LON:APF) is probably still too dependent on coal. But the firm is taking steps to improve diversification. Revenue from Vanadium trebled during H1 and the company has spent $51m so far this year on diversifying its portfolio (e.g. new copper and iron ore royalties). In the near term, global demand for thermal coal…

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