24 mins ago


Real Name: Roland Head

Occupation: Blogger, Entrepreneur, Journalist, Private Investor

Interests: Bonds, Commodities, Emerging 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

It’s another quiet week for the Stock in Focus Screen, which is now down to just 10 results. Five of these are already in the SIF portfolio. The remaining five are excluded for various reasons. There are no new stocks to buy this week, so I’ve decided to do something a little different. A few weeks ago, I explained why I insist on dividend payments…

The portfolio’s sale of housebuilder Redrow appears to have been well timed. This stock has fallen by 20% this year and by another 5% since I ditched it from the SIF fund and my own holdings on 25 June. Stagnating house prices and rising wage and materials costs suggest to me that margins and perhaps profits may have peaked for most housebuilders. And as John…

It’s the end of June, so it’s time for my regular monthly review of stocks that have been in SIF for nine months or longer. There are only two stocks to consider this month: Alliance Pharma - this specialist pharmaceutical group has delivered a stonking 80% gain since last September. But do the shares still pass all of my screening tests?Redrow - the portfolio’s oldest…

Last week I wrote about the SIF portfolio’s heavy exposure to cyclical stocks. The cyclical companies I was referring to are mostly stocks dependent on consumer spending or the construction market. One cyclical sector SIF isn’t currently really exposed to is the energy sector. Although the portfolio has made some money from the the mining sector in the past (PAF, CAML, S32 & RIO), it’s…

Is the SIF portfolio too heavily exposed to cyclical stocks? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself more and more often. Of the 18 stocks currently in the portfolio, only two or three can be classified as defensive: Specialty pharmaceutical supplier Alliance PharmaAnimal feed and fuel/heating oil group NWFInsurance and employee benefits group Jardine Lloyd Thompson (some elements of this business may be defensive, or…

Roland Head's Latest Comments

Hi Merlotman, Thanks for your comment. Re. IFRS 16, I agree. It will be interesting to see how some companies' balance sheets look once lease assets and liabilities are accounted for under the new guidelines. Regards, Roland

Hi Howard, Thanks for your comment, you make a good point! Based on the examples I've considered so far, I'm happy that my dividend requirement is working well. I believe it fulfils its intended purpose of reducing risk and identifying attractive valuation opportunities. I can't be sure that this will always be true. Obviously there are plenty of good quality companies that don't pay dividends.…

Hi Tristan, What I thought was most interesting about the Barratt Developments (LON:BDEV) update was the emphasis on new product ranges (houses!) that are quicker and cheaper to build. It seems as though these could support margin and profit growth even in a flat market environment. I don't know whether these new designs are simply cheap and cheerful, or genuinely innovative. But I'd say that…

Hi Phil, Personally, I agree with all of your points. I'm a little nervous about putting money into housing stocks given the political and interest rate risks. But SIF has always been an experiment in rules-based investing. By necessity I have to avoid making too many (any?) macro judgements as this would conflict with the quantitative metrics I used to select stocks. Looking at the…

Hi Andy, Thanks for your suggestions, that's a good idea for a future article and I've noted it down. My goal is to rule out most red flag scenarios with my screening rules, but there are other things I look for too that can be a cause for concern. I'll try to go into negative signals in more detail at some point, perhaps when new…

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