The second episode of London South East’s (lse.co.uk) excellent new TV Show for Traders and Investors’ : Share Views’.
Amanda van Dyke, Fund Manager at Peterhouse Capital, is interviewed by Zak Mir for ‘Share Views’ – London South East’s (www.lse.co.uk) weekly Trader and Private Investor show.
As I came away from the eventual .COM carnage I started to realise that overall I had done reasonably well from that particular episode. I exited that couple of years with appreciably more funds than when I had entered but still felt that self-critical nagging that if only I had sold some of those high fliers earlier; maybe even got out at the top. As it happens I had learnt from my earlier experiences that once a good thing starts to come to an end, get out. On reflection although I had made money, I had not been that clever at all: I had really been a member of the herd running into IT stocks as if nothing else existed and in truth setting aside my earlier learning of trying to find and analyse growth companies that actually turned in profits year after year: it was time to head back to that base.
A we reached the end of 1999, the paper profits were just becoming unreal and investors were buying into the idea that this one way trip would go on and on: you even had people in well-paid jobs that had become totally seduced by the technology/.COM story and had given up employment to become full-time investors; fortunately I never really got that feeling. The Sunday Times carried a regular feature entitled The Diary of a Day Trader featuring a chap who had quit his secure job during the .COM boom to become a full-time trader working from home.
The investment landscape started to change rapidly in the late 90’s and whilst I had had a very good run in Blacks Leisure, JJB, MSB International, and Severfield Reeve as the prices started to fall back I took my profits and also booked slight loss on Harvey Nichols: all stocks that had been identified via Jim Slater’s methods. In those relatively early days, I would only be running around 6 to 8 stocks in my portfolio. It’s a crazy feeling because at the time I was beating myself up for having made only a 60% profit on this basket of shares. I thought to myself “if I had been smarter and sold at the top my gains would have been way over 100% for no more than 18 months of investment. Thankfully, I don’t think that way anymore and can live very comfortably with myself in the knowledge that I will probably never be able to purchase at the bottom and sell at the top. However, I did take quite some more years investing before I could leave my remorse of not selling closer to the top behind me.
Well, the first steps in my investment journey had really gone well with the easy stuff of buying shares in the utility company I worked for. I had also branched out just a tad, and bought into some investment trusts run by Edinburgh fund managers and that gave me a buzz in terms of doing something a little more myself rather than just taking the safe pickings from utility flotations. The next logical step of the journey was, of course, to really become a big boy and buy some shares in individual companies but how would I select them. Possibly via tips in newspapers or via tip sheets. In the end, it was a combination of tip sheet and the papers with the first purchase being a house-builder that was rapidly acquired by a larger player for a premium; nice, I thought!
I started to read a penny share tip sheet that suggested two really hot companies to get into were Azur; a ladies fashion company and also the British Taxpayers Association; both traded on the OFEX market. The write up for each seemed to be very convincing and the fact that you needed to subscribe to the penny share publication to obtain these privileged hot tips, gave me the confidence to buy both. I was naive of course and the collective investment soon proved to be a bit of a disaster; I learnt that such very junior markets were not for me: lots of promise of jam tomorrow but as my old granny used to tell me, “tomorrow may never come”.
All private investors that at some time consciously took an investment on the stock markets did so as the start of an investment journey. For many that journey would have ended fairly quickly having suffered a series of poor investment decisions and for others, a little success probably kindled a spark of enthusiasm to go a little further on that investment journey. This three-part series is a story of my own journey starting back in 1989 to the present time, 2016.