Mark's Story

How did you pick investments before you used Stockopedia?

"I used various tools, low quality in many cases, and the approach would best be described as a little bit random, with a nod to what is typically called ‘value’ and ‘quality’ on Stockopedia. My results were extremely variable. Some significant upside was experienced especially prior and up to 2008, when I took a massive hit. I fell into the usual rookie investor trap of having a buying strategy but not much of a selling one and so my drawdown on some stocks was huge. The pain was extreme, and it took me to the point of thinking that this game was not for me at all. This was allied at the time to some promotions at work and a substantial increase in my daily responsibilities and workload. My time for looking into the stock market was very much limited by this, often working 12-14 hour days. I think I did not really take a great deal of interest in the stock market again until 2011, when things started to calm down a little."

Has using Stockopedia changed your approach to investing?

"Substantially. The tools on offer are excellent, and I particularly love the main StockReport page, where it's so quick and easy to view key ratios and metrics. These also seamlessly link into other details necessary for effective investing, such as the charts, portfolio, news, financial reports and discussion groups.

As time has gone on, I realise that I am much more of a ‘wave’ trader than a QV investor, although I do give more than a small nod to this too, and so short term movements are quite important to me. I guess this comes from my philosophy of ‘focus on your edge, and what you are good at’. I realise that I am never going to be another ‘Paul Scott’ or ‘Jack Brumby’ delving into company reports in detail, and nor do I really want to. To get to their level of knowledge or experience would take some time and commitment, and I am not prepared to commit to this, although I really do love to read their musings and can pick up a lot of good stuff from them too. Also, for the busy person, I find a great deal of use form the Guru strategies. It's very helpful to see what works in the market, and what aligns a little with your own approach. To use and modify the guru screens for your own use is very helpful and has helped optimise many of my picks.

Further, some of the interviews conducted by Ben Hobson with the world's best investors/traders were very interesting, and I think those with Mark Minervini were the trigger point for me to delve much more deeply into his approach and trading style. "

Ian uses Stockopedia to help him feel more confident in his investing.

Has Stockopedia impacted your investment results or quality of life?

"My results are significantly improved. Last year showed a return of 34% which is probably my second best year ever, the best being in the region of 40-50%. I cannot complain at these returns, and feel like I have nearly refined my approach so I can achieve these returns consistently. Like everything in life in so far, you always need to review performance and try to improve wherever you can - I try to do this as much as possible."

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

"Focus on your edge, and do not try to be something that you are not. Decide what your edge is, and when you are sure, try to hone it to perfection.

Oh, and when you start investing, and you start to make some good buys, don’t ever let a strongly positive position turn negative. Or in other words, make sure you have defined your selling strategy and the point at which you will get out. Not every selection will turn out well, and the worst thing ever is to see a strong gain disappear, or even worse, turn to a loss. "

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