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

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…

Fireworks are exploding outside my office window as I write, but the stock market seems to have calmed down so far this month. My portfolios are now showing a mix of green and red price movements. That’s a pleasant change from the sea of red seen for much of October. As Stockopedia writer Jack Brumby commented this week, October’s correction means that a number of…

The recent market sell-off has hit by rules-based Stock in Focus (SIF) fantasy fund hard. Although SIF is still ahead of the market on a one and two-year view, over the last six months it’s fallen behind index-following rivals. Unsurprisingly, this month’s correction has accounted for the majority of the portfolio’s losses. What’s gone wrong? I think it’s fair to say that this sharp drop…

There seems to be a widely-held view that western stock markets are overdue a correction after such a long bull market. Timing this could be difficult, but it certainly seems as though rising US bond yields could trigger a change of positioning for some investors. After a decade of ‘TINA’ -- There Is No Alternative [to equity] -- investors can now earn more than 3%…

Last week’s market wobble certainly generated some column inches. The SIF folio certainly didn’t escape unscathed, giving up all the gains seen since March. It’s too soon to say whether last week’s falls were the start of a more significant market sell-off. For now, I’m going to focus on stock-specific issues that are affecting my shares’ performance. Unfortunately, these include two recent profit warnings. SIF…

Roland Head's Latest Comments

Hi Jack, I hadn't noticed Ed's piece, thanks for pointing it out. Miton (LON:MGR) is one of my favourite plays in this sector. Cheers, Roland Disclosure: I own shares of Miton.

Hello Melvyn, The Altman Z-Score is not a metric I use very heavily. I do sometimes investigate the figures behind the score, but I wouldn't rule out a stock on this basis unless I had other concerns. In the case of Total SA (LON:TTA), I don't see any serious risk of financial distress in the foreseeable future, so I'm not too concerned by the low…

Hi merlotman,Thanks for your comment. As it happens, we can see how the folio's earnings growth has deteriorated versus the wider market. In one of my articles in June, I asked whether the portfolio had too much cyclical risk. I used Stockopedia's Folio analysis tool to provide a snapshot of certain valuation metrics:June 2018Here's how the same ratios look today:October 2018It seems that the folio…

Hi Colin,Thanks your comment. Strictly speaking, you're probably right. Buying an income stock whose price I hope will stay unchanged probably won't do much for SIF returns. (For new readers, Stockopedia's Fantasy Fund system doesn't currently track dividend income, only price changes).However, all SIF stocks are required to have a yield of at least 1.5%, so to some extent this is an issue with all…

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

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