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: 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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August trades

I’m feeling refreshed after having finally managed to escape the country and take a quick trip to France. August was a decent month for the markets and my portfolio has been doing pretty well despite a few disappointing reactions to recent results. For now market conditions seem promising – most of the shares in my portfolio and watchlist have strong momentum and look primed to go higher, while overall sentiment seems healthily skeptical. It seems quite likely that we get a bit of a run from here.

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Interesting times

Many of the Covid restrictions have been lifted now but the world still seems far from returning to normal. The information war continues apace, with different groups of people further entrenching themselves in their various bubbles of reality. While fascinating from a sociological perspective, these are not the easiest times to be living through. From an investing perspective, predicting the fallout from the restrictions continues to create its own controversies and unwanted distraction.

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Portfolio review: July 2021

2021 has been an OK year so far investing-wise. My portfolio is currently near its highs and has clocked in at a 16.7% return at the half way point. This is above most of my benchmarks and more or less in line with my long term CAGR. However, after the excitement of last year and given how well the UK market has been doing in general, progress has felt a little pedestrian. Overall I’m happy, though keen to identify any weaknesses in my strategy or whether I could be doing anything differently.

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Summer lull

The summer feels like it has kicked off. A spell of decent weather and the pubs and restaurants opening has contributed to a festival atmosphere, at least round where we live. It’s great to be catching up more with friends and family even if my social skills have got a bit rusty. The stock market seems to be rocking to a more languid vibe. Volatility seems to have come down again since the ups and downs of the first quarter. My portfolio has been idly shuffling backwards and forwards. The main challenge at the moment is to restrain myself from making unnecessary trades driven by boredom and post-pandemic mania. I’m rather struggling with this challenge and have quite a few trades to update on from the last month or so.

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ATVI bought

I’ve been starting to think that there may now be relatively more return from me digging a little deeper into the long term fundamentals in choosing investments. While I still think the overall strategy is the most important thing to get right, at this point it feels like there are diminishing returns to continuing to tweak my approach from a top-down perspective. We are at a point in the cycle where I’m starting to feel more wary about following momentum and want to focus more on holding the investments where my long term conviction, given current valuations, is highest.

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