Latest trade updates and full list of holdings – 06/03/2020

Since I last updated the market has been on quite the rollercoaster. 2019 ended well following the election and that carried on into the early part of 2020 – until the recent panic over coronavirus which has seen the stock market lose over £200bn in value.

I hadn’t done too much trading up until the market fell – I added Micro Focus after its latest profit warning, but the shares didn’t recover as I hoped so it was sold off after around there weeks. I was looking to make a quick profit, but this time it didn’t happen. I took an unusually short-term approach to BT as well and bought and sold its shares within a matter of weeks. Perhaps I ought to stick to long-term value and income investing.

Most shares though are as they were at my last update (not least because the winding up of SVS Securities is ongoing) with a few additions. The main additions after the recent stock market wobble (hopefully!) are WPP, Lloyds Banking Group and DS Smith.

I have a risky buy of WPP shares which have fallen massively. I bought the shares in three goes:
24/02/2020        86 @ 924.2p     £806.76
25/02/2020        48 @ 927.1p     £456.95
02/03/2020        87 @ 739.8p     £655.53

Similarly, shares in Lloyds Banking Group were also bought in three tranches.
24/02/2020         1126 @ 53.24p   £614.43
03/03/2020          2795 @ 50.08p  £1,418.83
02/03/2020          1317 @ 49.32p  £664.85

Lastly, one I’ve had an eye on for a while and recently analysed to be one of the better higher yielding shares in the FTSE 100, DS Smith. So far, I haven’t averaged down its shares, having only bought them very recently.

03/03/2020        275 @ 326.12p  £913.27

In and out of Micro Focus and BT               

Micro Focus
Buy: 04/02/2020               740 @ 810.17p         £6,037.15
Buy: 05/02/2020               192 @ 780.0p           £1,517.18
Sell: 26/02/2020                632 @ 745.19           £4,697.68
Sell: 24/02/2020                300 @ 742.9p           £2,216.63

My short-term punt on Micro Focus shares cost me £640 which is a trough lesson learned. The shares are definitely cheap but the problems with integrating HP’s software is an ongoing problem and has considerable added to the company’s debt. Probably worth investing in at some stage for a turnaround, just not yet.

Buy: 05/02/2020               951 @ 157.6p    £1,518.83
Sell: 24/02/2020                951 @ 150.9p    £1,422.98

This smaller trade was slightly less costly although I still lost money. Slightly less than £100. BT is a high yielder and I’d be happy to hold once the market recovers and perhaps after management steps up and cuts the dividend – something I believe is going to happen.

Full list of holdings now is:

Individual shares:

  • Persimmon
  • Legal & General
  • National Grid
  • AstraZeneca
  • Merchant’s Trust
  • HSBC
  • Synthomer
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Reckitt Benckiser
  • WPP
  • DS Smith


  • Artemis Global Growth Class I
  • Marlborough UK Micro-Cap Growth Class P
  • Lindsell Train Global Equity Class D
  • HSBC FTSE All-World Index Class C
  • Baillie Gifford Global Alpha Growth Class B
  • Slater Investments Slater Income Class P
  • Aberdeen Standard OEIC ASI Global Smaller Companies Class S

I expect the stock market will recover (at some point) – but as I’m no expert on viruses I’ll continue drip-feeding my investments in case things get worse before they get better. That way I can at least benefit from averaging down if the market does collapse – something I should have done with Micro Focus and which has already reduced my losses – in percentage terms – with WPP.

I expect to add some more FTSE 100 high yielding shares (Admiral is top of the list) over the coming weeks and months alongside some investment trusts. I also have a shortlist of AIM companies and lower yielding ‘steady eddies’ which will be added to my portfolio during the year I suspect.

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