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

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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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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