Jonathan's Story

How did you pick investments before you used Stockopedia?

"Prior to Stockopedia I invested mostly in Unit Trusts and Investment Trusts. The 20% of my portfolio that I had in shares were mostly FTSE 100 shares that I had found in my ISA/SIPP provider's platform. My research consisted of looking at their price history and acting on “tips” in magazines and other newspapers. There was little/no understanding of their technicals or fundamentals and I never ever looked at a balance sheet, the RNS news, share ownership or any of the other info that is available on Stockopedia. I’d never even heard of Candlestick charts."

Has using Stockopedia changed your approach to investing?

"Since joining Stockopedia my portfolio is now 80% in shares. I now wouldn't ever dream of making an investment without looking at a number of factors on the site. I can now easily look at the PE ratio, debt, StockRanks, analysis articles, recent RNS’s, ROCE, margin, recent share volumes and a number of other factors. I am now looking mostly for value stocks - I want to find companies that look undervalued and could grow significantly especially where there is some form of catalyst for this.

I religiously read the Small Cap Value Report (SCVR) every day and review any companies that catch my eye. One or two I have been convinced enough to invest in. I also review any discussion topics that tickle my fancy - I particularly like the Stockopedia Staff Investment Club and a couple of other regular contributors. The breadth of knowledge and experience on the site is fantastic and the SCVR authors Jack & Paul are highly experienced and extremely talented."

"It has enabled me to become much better at selecting stocks with strong potential" - Jonathan

Has Stockopedia impacted your investment results or quality of life?

"I joined Stockopedia at the end of March 2020. The last 5 years returns for my portfolio have been:

2016 - 14.6%
2017 - 18.0%
2018 - (-7.5%)
2019 - 17.2%
2020 - 35.1%

I was down over 20% at the end of March 2020 when I joined Stockopedia - so my total return was far more than just the 35% as I had to make the 20% back to start with. This has now meant that my plans for very early-retirement are within reach and I have a clear glide-path to achieve the aim of financial independence with a pretty good margin of safety."

What's your advice for investors that are just starting out?

"I have learnt a lot in the last few months. Some of it from Stockopedia and its community, along with reading a few books that have been fantastic and using the internet where there is an abundance of free material. My main points would be:

- Protect your capital - set a point where you will get out of a stock if it drops (mine is 20%). Remember when a stock has dropped 50% you need its price to double to get back to even. There are plenty of other opportunities out there!
- Understand the story behind a stock's rise - just because they've already gone up 100% doesn't mean you have missed the boat. But make sure there is still a good story & the financials stack up - I avoid chasing penny shares and have also deliberately not chased the US tech momentum bug - this may restrict some of my opportunity for returns, but I feel the risks have been too high.
- Avoid heavily indebted stocks - net debt must be less than 3 years of profits.
- Avoid illiquid stocks - it is too hard to exit the position if you need to get out in a hurry

By all means listen to others' thoughts and ideas, but check out the story and financials yourself - there are a lot of rampers out there."

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