The year that was 2020…

In Summary my overall portfolio is up by 24% for 2020 🙂

2020 is finally over and my YTD is +24% which I am very chuffed with since I was down 40% at one point in march! At one point I would even have been happy with breakeven!

My portfolio performance vs the FTSE All share

I hope all my readers and their families are all keeping well amidst the Covid outbreak, hopefully we can return to some sort of normality at some point this year…

Excuse the brevity and lack of detail here as it is hard to motivate myself to look back at what just happened, I reckon my time is better spent looking at the present and what I can do to maximise returns this year. This is an interesting quote…

Number of Trades

Buy Trades 70 – (That was for 14 New Holdings and 56 Top ups to existing holdings!) This gives a bit of a clue what I was doing amid the chaos 😉

Sell Trades 13 (13 Different companies completely sold) This included 3 Takeovers in 2020

Again I have been adding capital to my portfolio throughout the year so this means I was buying into some new stocks and adding to existing holdings that were doing well and averaging up. This year was an unusual year in that amid all the chaos I was also averaging down because in some cases I was pretty sure the market was over reacting.

In general I remain fully invested at all times but at the moment I am holding off buying until we see a bit more turmoil in the markets. Early January has been quite smooth with momentum coming from Brexit deal, Vaccine news and also US news regarding their new president and his potential spending plans.

Broker Charges

Total Charges for the year came to £1040 – This was made up of £924 for dealing 83 times (Average £11.13 Commission per deal) and Platform fees of £120 less a whopping £4.15 of Interest! (That interest shows that I am usually fully invested!)

Most of my deals are via Hargreaves Lansdown at £11.95 the rest are Interactive Investor at £7.99


Dividends received were around 1.8% on approximate average Cash invested at the end of the year (Ending Cash Invested + Starting Cash invested /2) Maybe there is somewhere in Sharepad or Stockopedia that can give me this figure?

Reasons for selling the 13 sells… (The bad part)

Its always a tricky one, when do you sell?

For me I have rough guide of when a share is down 20% it has my attention – It is put on the naughty chair where the teacher can keep a close eye on it (forgive my school analogy) now typically if it continues on down below -30% then it is out… This is coupled with a watch on the numbers and the story – has something changed with the company that doesn’t sit well with you?? This could result in an even earlier exit no matter the % increase or decrease…

Now 2020 was a test of all that and highlights another valid point which is that if the whole market is dropping then you have to allow or follow a different strategy. Why would you sell your steady long term well behaved companies just because the market is in a huff and throwing a hissy fit! (e.g. 2020)

So as a result my overall portfolio was able to get down to -40% overall when Covid Hit in March with me only selling 1 single holding.

This quick table below shows my sells with my actual portfolio comment recorded in Sharepad, I haven’t dressed them up at all so hopefully you aren’t too frightened.

I have included this detail in case it is of any help to others

DateTickerGain or LossNotes
09/01/2020CARD-26%End of Special Dividend. Q4 numbers not clearly disclosed and LFL down
31/01/2020FCCN-63%Sale fell through Over and out
21/02/2020ADT-2.50%Placing at 320 I’m out
17/03/2020TEG-30.10%Govt shutdown advised against non essential social contact – buy back cheaper?
25/09/2020HLMA78.30%PE has reached 39 revenue tailing off for now
25/09/2020PCF-37.80%Spring Cleaning, unknown levels of default or right off
25/09/2020FLO-26.50%Trying to reduce number of holdings -ve momentum in place no dividend v small holding
08/10/2020CHH-5.20%Second wave here and looks prolonged so no tail wind and rocky 6 months ahead
14/10/2020JLG-7.20%Dividend still to come small holding that I wont add to now SR dropped to 10 Sucker Stock
02/11/2020HAT-36.30%Fall on Lockdown but need to cut or add Price2Book is 0.69 so value here but med term outlook is uncertain/-ve rather b in+ve story
24/11/2020CDM51.80%selling some and I am happy to take this premium hopefully no more bids appear

With all this how did I make a profit you might ask… In a nutshell I would say run your winners!

Bargain Hunting (The good part)

So once the initial shock and horror of the huge market sell off faded slightly I was able to give myself a shake and start slowly adding to my positions at prices that in a way I wish were not available…

Looking at my portfolio chart the low point was around mid march so if I look at my buys from then on I did manage to get a few bargains.

  • Rockrose at £10.57
  • Redrow at £3.37
  • AB Dynamics at £10.48
  • AFHP at £2.54
  • Watkin Jones at £1.47
  • IG Group at £6.77
  • SUS at £16.25
  • Tracsis at £6.02
  • Bloomsbury at £2.28
  • Codemasters at £2.75
  • Reach at £0.87
  • BooHoo at £2.20

Maybe you hold some of these? It’s always hard to buy when things are tough in the entire market, but if you wait to all is rosy you will be paying top dollar for your stocks.

This buying in the middle of the year paid off as stocks began the slow melt up that we seen in the market in the third and fourth quarters.


3 Takeovers swooped in on my portfolio in 2020 so Rockrose Energy, Four Base Bio and Codemasters all were taken out at some sort of premium to the then current share price. I would have been happier to continue holding Code masters than to see it bought out by EA as long term they would have done well. Sumo has replaced Codemasters in my portfolio as some gaming related exposure.

General Performance/Comment

I am still trying to keep a lid on the number of positions in my portfolio and at the end of the year I had 33 Holdings

My top ten holdings at the end of December and their overall returns as at 01/02/2020 (time of writing) are as follows (taken from Sharepad Portfoilio tracker)

  • Sylvania Platinum Ltd +194% (Up 428% from my original buy at 19p)
  • Belvoir Group PLC +46%
  • Reach PLC +67%
  • MTI Wireless Edge +89%
  • Future PLC +78%
  • Boohoo Group PLC +19%
  • AFH Financial Group PLC +33%
  • SDI Group PLC +97%
  • Integrated Diagnostics Holdings +5%
  • Sumo Group PLC +24%

You can see my full list of holdings if you go to my Current Holdings Page

January Note…

Since it has taken me so long to pull this information together its now February!

So by way of an update on January I have only done 1 trade, I topped up my holding in ECK Eckoh to use up a free trade credit in my Interactive Investor account…

I am up 7% so far in 2021 so can’t complain for now.

Looks like I will be selling some shares soon to fund a commercial property purchase as a way of further diversification.

Currently I am more than half invested in the markets balanced up with 35% in real estate/property, see below pie chart.

Thanks for reading!

Any questions on anything let me know and I will do my best to answer otherwise thanks for reading and have a Happy and prosperous new year!

You can follow me on twitter just click the link on the left menu my username is @investorjohnuk I don’t post that much because someone else usually beats me to it with company news releases etc so you won’t be spammed with tweets!

Stock Portfolio break down below…

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Investor John

Investing as a Private investor John has shown success over the last 20 years with a straight forward common sense approach to investing - He can help you to learn and will gladly share his knowledge to get you started.

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