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

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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2022 is turning out to be a pretty unpleasant year for investing in growth stocks. After a dire January, February turned out not to be a whole lot better and March has started off grimly too. Much of this has been driven by the same fears of inflation and impending interest rate rises. However, events have now of course been overtaken by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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It’s been a difficult start to 2022 for growth-oriented investors. Most growth stocks have been falling since the minutes from the December Fed meeting were released in early January. These took a more hawkish tone than expected and fears of runaway inflation and rising interest rates appear to have taken over.

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Portfolio Review: January 2022

The last quarter was a bit of a rollercoaster, extending the volatility of the previous one. My portfolio and watchlist have hit some speed bumps, with various shares selling off one after the other and only some rebounding. Not everything has been hit but in general small caps seem to have fared relatively worse. The net result is that I have made little progress over the last quarter and have a 13% total return for 2021, underperforming most of my benchmarks over the year for the first time in a while. This is naturally a bit disappointing but could have been a lot worse I suppose.

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Copycat portfolio update

This is the end of the second year of my copycat portfolio experiment. So far it’s performed well but not outstandingly. Over the past year it returned 25.2%, which compares favourably to the FTSE (11.3%) and S&P 500 (23.1%) and my actual portfolio (21%). Over two years the copycat portfolio has returned 46.9% compared to FTSE (-1.61%) and S&P 500 (45%) and my portfolio (45%).

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Black Friday

Stock markets seem to have taken a bit of a fright at news of a new Covid variant and the prospect of lockdowns rearing their ugly heads again. This news has unsurprisingly hammered the sectors most affected ie travel, retail and other cyclical sectors. My portfolio has fared relatively better than the indices in response to this news, though this is coming off the back of a week’s mauling by another short but sharp rotation from growth to value.

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October trades

October was a decent month and my portfolio managed to claw back some of the fall from the end of September. The market as a whole seems to have recovered some of its mojo and US earnings season has started fairly positively, though I’m not sure how long this will last. The spectre of rising inflation and interest rates still looms in the background.

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Portfolio Review: October 2021

The last quarter was not a great one with my portfolio dropping by 2.6%. After a decent summer, September was a real shocker with a rotation away from growth shares hitting most of the shares in my portfolio and my watchlist simultaneously. I was also hit by a couple of profit warnings from CMC Markets and Boohoo. Underperformance against my benchmarks will happen from time to time so this isn’t a great cause for concern but it does serve as a warning to check my strategy is still working. I’m feeling cautious about its short to medium term prospects from here so have raised a bit of cash.

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Quality meltdown

Inflation has been consistent theme in my posts for a while now, to the extent that it has become rather boring to talk about. However, it is unfortunately still the most important macro issue at the moment and the signs of how disruptive and persistent its effects might be are getting worse. Central bankers are starting to express concern that it might be less transitory than they hoped and asset markets have reacted badly with yields rising again and equities resuming their rotation from growth to value. Last week was pretty dire for my portfolio (down around 9%) as many shares turned down at the same time.

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