Welcome to Quality Share Surfer.

This is a UK focused investing blog, where I regularly set out my thoughts on investing strategy, economics and behavioural finance and chronicle the decisions I make for my own portfolio. My goal is to bring clarity to complex ideas and provide original insight you won’t find elsewhere.

My investing style is ‘behavioural’ in that it aims to take advantage of systematic errors made by other investors. Part of the idea is that these errors lead shares with certain attributes, e.g. value, quality and momentum, to tend to outperform the market. My strategy is focused primarily on exploiting two such attributes in combination: a) the tendency for high quality businesses to outperform over time and b) the tendency of shares with momentum to continue to do well. You can find out more about my strategy following the menu above.

Here are examples of some of my most popular posts.

I hope you find the blog useful. Please leave comments if you find this interesting or would like to ask questions or discuss related topics.

Quality Share Surfer

Portfolio Review: January 2023

2022 goes down as my worst performance investing so far, with the portfolio down just shy of 20%. It’s small consolation that this was a similar return to the S&P 500 and that many growth-focused funds were down a lot more. While most of the underperformance is down to my focus on quality growth stocks there are some lessons that could help me avoid more of the damage next time.

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Copycat portfolio

It has been a difficult third year for the experimental copycat portfolio. It is down 33.9%, which compares very unfavourably to the S&P 500 (-11.3%), the FTSE 100 (4.5%) and my own portfolio (-16.8%). This leaves the copycat portfolio down 2.9% over three years, compared to S&P 500 (29.9%), FTSE 100 (3.1%) and my own portfolio (25.5%).

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Autumn trades

A modicum of normality has been restored in the UK since Rishi Sunak has been brought in to replace Truss after her chaotic but short-lived reign. Well, at least the markets have been placated a bit, with gilt yields coming back down and the Pound recovering a little. Stock markets had been doing fairly well over the past few weeks, until the Fed poured another load of cold water on any optimism that had started to re-kindle with its latest pronouncements on interest rate hikes.

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Portfolio Review: October 2022

It has been another tough quarter as the summer rebound gave way to further selling, leaving the market indices and my portfolio currently near their lows for the year. This is unsurprising given the macro outlook. Even as the economy is showing signs of weakening, there is little sign of inflation dissipating yet and most central banks are rapidly tightening interest rates. The inauspicious launch of Trussonomics has added to the general turbulence, causing UK interest rates to rise and causing some concern for mortgagors like me.

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Bear market resumed

After a strong rally over the last couple of months, things have come crashing back down to earth over the past week or so. Fears about rising interest rates have come back to the fore and were crystallised in Jay Powell’s comments last Friday, aimed to signal that the Fed will take no prisoners when it comes to tackling inflation.

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Portfolio Review: July 2022

In ’real life’ I’ve had a good (albeit quite stressful) year so far. However, in the worlds of geopolitics and investing, 2022 seems likely to go down in the record books as a pretty terrible year, as the extent of the self-inflicted damage from the lunacy that has prevailed for the past couple of years has begun to reveal itself. Oh yeah, and Russia decided to start a war in Europe. For the US stock markets it was the worst first half since 1970. This seems appropriate as the high inflation, rising interest environment has felt reminiscent of the 70s. My portfolio has has its worse ever first half too – down almost 25% (though it has since recovered 5%-odd over the last couple of weeks).

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Catching up

I’ve neglected the blog since my last quarterly review back near the beginning of April. I’ve had rather a lot on my plate with work and family and haven’t had the time or mental bandwidth to get my thoughts down on paper. This has unfortunately coincided with the unpleasant but fascinating carnage unfolding in economies around the world and in the stock market. This has left my portfolio battered and bloody at the half-way point this year. I should have a bit more free time over the coming months to resume writing here. First I have a bit of catching up to do on my recent trades.

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Portolio Review: April 2022

I think it’s fair to say that it’s been a difficult first quarter for most investors, but especially those who invest in growth stocks or small caps. A rout in growth stocks driven by inflation and the anticipation of tightening monetary conditions was compounded by the war in Ukraine. There has been a significant rebound since then but my portfolio is still down by around 10% YTD, having been more than 20% down at one point.

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