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. 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.
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
Markets had a bit of a wobble since my last update a couple of weeks ago, but are now looking up again. The financial news often feels like Groundhog Day at the moment, with the same concerns about a US or global recession, the reaction of the Fed, inverted yield curves, trade wars and Brexit appearing then receding from week to week. My portfolio has been holding up relatively well apart from one fly in the ointment – Burford Capital.
In my view, the most important empirical result in equity investing is just how unevenly long term returns are distributed across different businesses. This has important implications, yet is often overlooked. It provides the clearest rationale for why focusing on quality is the main, or perhaps even the only, thing that matters in the long run. Continue reading
After a roaring April with double digit gains, so far May has been rather more frustrating. I have three things to thank for this: one, the rekindling of the US China trade war; two, an analyst note questioning the accounting of what was my largest holding, Burford Capital; and three, a chest infection that’s taking its sweet time to get better. None of these issues seem worth getting too bothered about in the long term, but that doesn’t stop them being a source of frustration right now. Continue reading
This post is inspired by reading George Soros’s paper on reflexivity. I’ve taken the basic idea but then applied it to investing in a different way to Soros. The result is that I end up writing about a something a bit different. The implications are fairly intuitive and I think crucial to understanding why markets behave the way they do. This post is more abstract conjecture than practical advice, but hopefully I’ve managed to come up with something that manages to be thought-provoking but accessible. Continue reading
Everything seems to be looking up in the markets at the moment, at least it does from my particular vantage point. My portfolio has risen pretty relentlessly so far this year and is almost back at its all time highs, something I didn’t expect to happen nearly so quickly back at Christmas time. Many of the other investors I follow on Twitter have also been posting high-teen YTD returns or better (well done if that’s you). As I mentioned in my recent portfolio review, I think the macro picture currently seems fairly benign for investors in high quality equities. What could go wrong I wonder? Continue reading
The last three months have seen a fairly spectacular bounce in many stock markets across the world. After the US markets had their worst year since 2008, they’ve now had the best first quarter since 1998. The S&P 500 is up almost 15% so far this year. The UK markets are not doing quite so well but have still seen a pretty decent bounce. My portfolio has had a fairly satisfying bounce along with everything else, benefiting significantly from its exposure to US Tech but being held back a bit by ‘air pockets’ in some of its smaller AIM investments. Continue reading
This post was prompted by an article I stumbled across, describing a recent presentation by Aswath Damodaran. I found a version of this presentation here, though this version may well be a bit out of date. In it, he argues that there is clear evidence that acquisitions tend to destroy value for the shareholders of the acquiring business. I’ve heard this plenty of times before but haven’t thought much about the consequences for my own investments. On reflection this seems negligent. Base rates matter. I should really have a better idea of what the evidence actually says.