OTB, BUR sold; MCGN, NMC, BUR bought

I’ve been away for a week and so haven’t yet had a chance to update on a number of trades I have made. I have taken profits on two large holdings, Burford Capital and On The Beach as they fell through stop losses. I have bought three new positions, buying back NMC Health, Burford and buying Microgen for the first time. Continue reading

Trading news flow

One of the first things I learnt when investing was to ignore news issued by the businesses I invested in. News would be taken account of immediately by the market. Bad news often meant an opportunity to buy a business at a cheaper price as it would already be baked and into the price and, provided the business was good, the bad news was likely to be temporary. This seemed to make sense at the time and appealed to my desire to be smart and ‘contrarian’, but like pretty much everything I learnt from reading beginner value investing articles at the time, it was terrible advice.

I’ve found overwhelmingly from my experience since then that buying shares soon after they issue positive news leads to outperformance (and vice versa). As I have later found, there is a huge wealth of academic research supporting this too. Continue reading

Valuation metrics

Buying assets for less than they are worth is fundamentally at the heart of most sensible investment strategies. However, approaches to identifying value can range widely, from direct attempts to value businesses to approaches that exploit the systematic behavioural errors that other investors make (resulting in ‘factors’).

In my view detailed valuation exercises are generally too arbitrary and difficult and so are a bit of a waste of time compared to basing a strategy on statistical factors (e.g. quality, value, momentum). However, some simple valuation modelling can have incremental value if you understand its limitations and get the rest of your investing framework right. Continue reading