Steve's Story

How did you pick investments before you used Stockopedia?

"I started investing in 1983 at the age of 21, putting £50 a month (which I couldn't really afford) into a PEP. My first direct share purchases were on Black Monday, when I bought 2 shares for £500 each. Central & Shearwood was one, and it folded completely within a few months. GSK was the other. I still hold this, and with re-investment of dividends it has turned into a nice investment.

Prior to using Stockopedia I struggled to obtain the relevant information that I wanted in order to pick investments. I generally stuck to relatively large caps - companies that were relatively easy to understand, not loaded up with debt and generally that had suffered a large share price fall for a reason that I was aware of and felt would not matter overly with a 3-5 year timescale. In my working life I lent money to businesses for a big four bank, so am able to analyse accounts and balance sheets. However this can be quite onerous when you are trying to go through a large list of potential investments. "

Has using Stockopedia changed your approach to investing?

"Stockopedia has indeed changed my approach to investing. The access to so much financial information within seconds is a revelation. When I started to buy and sell individual shares the only price for a share that I had was obtained from the FT for the previous day's close, or if I phoned broker for a price, and you generally only had access to accounts if you already owned the share!

I can now quickly sift through potential shares to buy, and can utilise a multitude of different parameters to narrow down a search easily and quickly.

The facility to set up alerts for RNS's on shares that I hold or am interested in has made a big difference. The StockRanks also make me think twice about buying a stock with a low ranking without carrying out a lot more research. The Small Cap Value Report has opened up a whole new world of opportunity and led me to look at small caps that would not have been on my radar previously."

"The access to so much financial information within seconds is a revelation" - Steve

Has Stockopedia impacted your investment results or quality of life?

"It's hard to say how Stockopedia has impacted my investment results as I started using Stockopedia in late February 2020 - just as Covid-19 was rearing it's ugly head. I did manage to hold my nerve. I didn't sell any of my holdings and utilised my "war chest" that had been sitting waiting for such an opportunity. I bought a range of funds, drip feeding money into these on the regular market falls - I had no fund exposure prior to this. I did also buy around £90,000 of individual shares over a 9 month period.

The upshot of this is that I am comfortably ahead of where I was prior to the big market falls. The "new" share purchase decisions were informed by Stockopedia and have performed well. I think that Stockopedia may be of greater value in actually minimising potential losses - I am able to avoid shares that I might have invested in without the in-depth information found within Stockopedia."

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

"My father never had money to invest, but did provide advice to others. At age 21 when I asked him for advice on investing he simply told me:

"Make your own mistakes".

I was livid and held a bit of a grudge for a number of years. It took a while for me to realise that he was right. You can take advice from someone else, or receive stock tips, but when all is said and done it's your own money that you invest, it's your own decision, so you can't blame anyone else when a share purchase goes wrong. I suppose it was old school for "Do your own research"."

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