Nicholas' Story

How did you pick investments before you used Stockopedia?

"Prior to joining Stockopedia I used a variety of information and data resources. In 2012 I took over the management of my personal pension after parting ways with my IFA. I chose to invest in single company shares and ETFs, thereby significantly reducing fees. I used the stories behind the businesses rather than the fundamentals or metrics and in doing so Apple, Amazon, Facebook have served me well. The US element to my pension fund has performed extremely well whereas the UK element has underperformed due to being top heavy in FTSE100 shares.

In 2017 I attended a 2-day course on Active Investing run by a follower of Jim Slater. The course was based on the Zulu Principle and the use of Company REFS from which I bought and still hold Volex and XP Power. I joined Stockopedia on the basis of the success of REFS, and I continue to follow and get great success using the Zulu Principle screen.

In the 8 years to 2020 my fund doubled in value and in the last 12 months it has grown by 20% largely due to adopting Stockopedia's methodology, learning from their resources, and buying shares with a StockRank of 90 or over.

Outside of my pension I have a small GIA and ISA with Interactive Investor. The annualised return on the ISA is 50%, in which I hold 8-10 shares all selected using Stockopedia metrics and the insights of the Small Cap Value Report investors. "

Has using Stockopedia changed your approach to investing?

"With Stockopedia, I have grown up as an investor. I have cut my losses, run my profits and sold shares that I had become attached to in an emotional way. The key change has been moving out of large and mid cap stocks into small caps, combined initially with momentum but more recently with value stocks. The pre-built Zulu screen is my go-to option.

Stockopedia has given me a number of tools to help me make an informed buy decision. I would say my decision to buy a share is 60% based on the StockRanks, with an emphasis on stocks ranked 90+, 30% on the Small Cap Value Report and 10% on the charts. Rightly or wrongly I use the 200d MA and Pivot Points as indicators to buy or sell but I use the charts as a confirmation tool rather than fundamental to my decision."

"With Stockopedia, I have grown up as an investor. I have cut my losses, run my profits and sold shares that I had become attached to in an emotional way." - Nicholas

Has Stockopedia impacted your investment results or quality of life?

"I am a self-employed semi-retired business consultant, but due to the pandemic I have focused a lot of my time on reading investment books and the great educational content on Stockopedia. The daily Small Cap Value Report is essential reading. Stockopedia gave me the confidence to stay investing during the March 2020 crash and my subsequent performance has been better than many more prominent investors. I cashed out in the market crash in 2008 so this time I learnt from my previous mistake.

I enjoy the process of learning about investing on a micro and macro level and believe I have a level of knowledge that can be of help to others. I have in the last 6 months helped two of my business associates set up ISAs and helped them in their stock selections. Both are sitting on sizeable gains."

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

"1. Open an ISA and/or SIPP.
2. Join Stockopedia and subscribe to the UK and US regions
3. Take the time to learn. Be a DIY investor. DO NOT pay an IFA/fund manager! Few are experts as they claim. Even fewer deliver value and good returns. No one will look after your money like you do.
4. Invest in small cap businesses that have a product/service that you understand and you believe adds value to people's lives. Do not overcomplicate the process, but look for common sense trends.
5. Be flexible and proactive. I have in the last few months pivoted out of large US tech stocks into small cap US cyclical recovery stocks.

Most of my business contacts invest in BTL and commercial property and have no interest in investing in shares. My message to them is to allocate 1-2 hours a week to learn how to invest and they will find it is fun, exciting and hugely rewarding."

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