Neil's Story

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How did you pick investments before you used Stockopedia?

Haphazardly without much systematic thought. Because of my lack of financial knowledge and how to read a balance sheet, I tended to rely on others’ analysis of stocks too much.

Has using Stockopedia changed your approach to investing?

I am still a bit haphazard and still follow other investors that are generous with their analysis - e.g. Paul Scott (via Stockopedia's daily Small Cap Value Report), Leon Boros, and Lord Lee. But I definitely make more informed decisions than I used to before Stockopedia.

Stockopedia helps me easily understand whether a company makes a profit. This is my only solid, almost unbreakable rule. It has helped me to avoid many losses. I can also easily assess free cashflow and ROCE, my next two favourite measures.

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"Stockopedia helps me easily understand whether a company makes a profit" - Neil

Has Stockopedia impacted your investment results or quality of life?

I am 54 and have now gone part-time at work thanks to my investing success. I don’t feel fully confident enough to give up work fully yet, and my partner works part time as well. But my investments mean we can help our 3 children out, live a comfortable life and not have any financial worries at all.

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

  • Understand compounding.
  • Understand the stock market in the short term is a bad place to put money. Understand the stock market in the long term is a good place to put money
  • Have a target
  • this will probably change over time. My target has been to average 20% annual growth since I started keeping proper records in 2009… I use a spreadsheet to monitor my returns (it's very important to know how you’ve done). We have averaged 18%.
  • Get your children interested, and let them buy shares in your name. Every time we bought shares we briefly discussed the company with our kids after the age of 11. If they wanted, they would put £20 of their pocket money in. Effectively I set up a Stockopedia portfolio for each of them, giving them an imaginary set of holdings. Slowly, as I sell the shares I will give the cash to our children. It's effectively their money...just in our name..

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