Michael's Story

Before Stockopedia, how did you go about finding investments?

"I had come across Stockopedia courtesy of the Adventurous Investor in the FT. While I have always been interested in stocks I did not really invest before I found Stockopedia. I used to read a few bulletin boards but found these dangerous places to find investments."

In what way has Stockopedia changed your approach to investing?

I probably would have made more mistakes along the way and had more losses.

"I like to think that if I had not come across Stockopedia my investing style would have been similar but it would have taken me longer to get there. I probably would have made more mistakes along the way and had more losses. I have learnt so much from the site and particularly Paul Scott. I still believe a concentrated portfolio is the way to go and I don't use a purely mechanical investing system.

I like to invest in growth stocks but also balance that with investments that I can keep over a much longer period. I look at my investments as though I was an owner with a three to ten year view. Due to time pressures (caused by running my own business) I tend not to over analyse stocks but check a few metrics, Pauls Scott’s view, the StockRanks and that is it. Given more time I would prefer to analyse a little more deeply but that is for the future."

Michael saves time and gains insights for both his and his wifes investments.

Has this impacted your investment results and/or quality of life?

"My aim is that by having outsized gains the income I can draw when I stop working full time will impact my quality of life. In my financial plan I assume 8% growth for my stocks with a 4% yield but last year I achieved around 45% (inc divis and interest on cash). In 2017 to date I am up 21% with 10% cash, if that continues then investing using Stockopedia will have impacted my quality of life. With my success so far, my wife has gone from thinking that property is the only sane investment to giving me £200k of her SIPP to invest!"

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

For new investors I would advise them to subscribe to Stockopedia

"Read everything you can lay your hands on by the great investors. Reading is the single activity which should take up an investor's time in their investing life. Particularly books about emotions and the psychology of investing and investors, we are definitely our own worst enemy.

Use a checklist, don’t try and time the market and don’t use leverage. Don't check share prices obsessively, aim for once a week and achieve once a day. Trade only out of market hours, this keeps emotions from getting in the way. Exercise, meditate, get eight hours sleep and don't trade while drunk or with a hangover. Record your decisions publically, it will help you learn from the past and keeps you accountable. Finally, have skin the game. I really don't believe a virtual portfolio teaches you how you will react when a stock (or the whole portfolio) jumps or falls. Big falls or rises can be emotionally shredding but they won't be if you have not made or lost real money."

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