Here goes nothing.
After a near three year break, I am once again taking the plunge into writing about companies and investing. It has become something of a joke that I have been promising to do this for a good year or so now, but if I’m completely honest I’ve felt too intimidated to actually do it.
Why, you ask?
The world has moved on considerably in the time I’ve been away from writing and engaging on Twitter. In the past few years I’ve encountered a number of personal challenges which have taken my eye completely off the ball when it comes to staying up to date with investment news. Toughest of all, I was forced to sell my entire portfolio two years ago, and for me, it’s far easier to stay invested when you have money to invest. I’ve also had to begin my website from scratch. For regular readers it will hopefully look at least somewhat familiar.
Nevertheless, that was then, and this is now. Time to get up off the mat and get back in the game.
So what can you expect from my posts moving forward?
First and foremost I want to start looking at companies again. Immerse myself in annual reports, stock screeners, and company databases. I want to hunt for undervalued companies and re-learn my methods for identifying suitable candidates for investment. I want to share my findings with a Twitter community that no doubt has grown immeasurably in the time I’ve been away, and I want to engage in meaningful conversations with that community. I want to help others.
I want to catch up on the wonderful business and investing books that have been released in the past few years, listen to the podcasts I used to listen to regularly. Immerse myself back in this world. I want to see where this all takes me and what avenues for research and writing I end up opening as a result.
If you’re still reading, congratulations
“That’s great”, you say. “But who are you and why should I care?”
In the four years I was investing, my portfolio returned an annualised 19.7% for a total return of 71.51%. Four years is nothing in reality, however the results I returned were more than satisfactory for me and proof (at least in my mind) that I had some idea what I was doing. So what is my general methodology?
I look for companies trading at reasonable (not necessarily cheap) valuations, with good returns on equity and low levels of manageable debt. Companies which are profitable and growing, primarily in the UK, US and Europe. Companies with healthy free cash flow and good operating margins. If I can find suitable candidates, I’ll read the most recent 3-5 year annual reports to look for any red flags and to gain a fuller understanding of the business.
It’s as simple as that, really. For reference, at the time of selling my portfolio, my holdings were as follows:
Howden Joinery (HWDN)
Advanced Medical Solutions (AMS)
Diploma PLC (DPLM)
Somero Enterprises (SOM)
Gilead Sciences (GILD)
AB Dynamics (ABDP)
Avon Rubber (AVON)
My plan is to begin publishing a new post every other week, which will be released at midday on a Sunday. In time I’d like to increase this to once a week, as I used to do. In the mean-time, I will be adding more resources to my site, so please take a look from time to time. I also have a mailing list in which I will be publishing new posts, as well as any other interesting resources I’ve found that week. For the first time in three years I’m excited about investing again. I hope you’ll join me for the ride. Here goes nothing!