About IT Investor

I’m a middle-aged private investor, based a healthy distance north of London, with a fondness for investment trusts.

Married. Two kids. All the usual sort of stuff.

My name is Stuart Watson and I worked as an accountant for several years in the 1990s, first in auditing and then in corporate finance.

Then I spent about 20 years working for The Motley Fool UK, performing various editorial and operational roles.

I’m now working part-time, doing various bits and bobs, including writing this blog.

My investing journey

I can’t remember exactly how I first came across investment trusts, but I do recall being attracted by the monthly savings plans that most of them offered back in the 1990s.

I was fortunate as it was a great time to start investing. The steadily rising markets of the time meant you could see your money grow at a respectable rate. But you didn’t get too carried away by oversized gains that weren’t going to be sustainable.

My monthly investments were topped up with a few lump sums now and then. It was amazing to see how quickly they grew into a meaningful amount.

I’ve owned about forty different investment trusts over the years and I still own about a third of them today.

However, I do wish I had more patience with many of my early investment trust holdings.

For example, I was a fairly early investor in Henderson Technology Trust (now Polar Capital Technology) but sold out in 2004.

And I had a position in Finsbury Worldwide Pharmaceutical in the 1990s, now known as Worldwide Healthcare Trust. I’ve recently bought back into this trust, but at a much, much higher price than I initially sold it at.

I have also been a fairly active investor in individual company shares over the years. But I found that my investment trust holdings seemed to do a little better, with much less effort and stress. So, investment trusts have increasingly come to dominate my portfolio.

I’ve always tried to add new money to my portfolio whenever I can, reinvested my dividends, and take advantage of my annual ISA allowances.

I don’t think it’s possible to time the markets with any consistency, so I tend to stay fairly fully invested.

I’ve written a couple of articles that cover my investing strategy in more detail.

What I write about

Many of my posts are to clarify my thoughts about the investments I hold and to act as a reference point for the future.

However, there are a lot of investment trusts, and indeed whole sectors, that I am not particularly familiar with. I find writing blog posts about these can be a great way of researching them.

I also touch on topics like investing for kids, pensions, taxes, financial independence, and behavioural finance.

The views expressed on this site are my own. I don’t receive any money from any investment trust or fund manager in relation to what appears here. However, I have added some basic advertising to cover my costs and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases made through links on this site.

I often write about investment trusts that I already own and others that I am interested in purchasing. I’ll try to make it clear in the article whenever that happens but I’ve also added a portfolio page that lists all my current holdings.

For the avoidance of doubt, I am not a qualified financial adviser and nothing you read on this site should be considered as any sort of financial advice or as a buy, hold or sell recommendation.

Think of me as a passionate amateur rather than an informed professional. And just because I think something might work for me, that doesn’t mean it’s suitable for other people.

As the usual warning says, you should always do your own research before making any investment decision.

Keep in touch

If you want to be alerted about any new articles that I publish then you can follow me on Twitter or sign up to my email list.

To explore some of my old articles, please head over to my index page where they are all sorted into categories.

You can also search my site by entering some keywords in the box below…

23 Replies to “About IT Investor”

  1. Bookmarked, looking forward to reading more articles. Hope your brave journey into blogging proves to be a success.

  2. Thanks Jon. It’s been an interesting journey already — setting up a blog is certainly very educational in itself.

  3. Found your site from Monevator today.

    Glad to see a fellow blogger using Tsohost.

    As well as helping the investment thought process, I have (unexpectedly) found writing an informative blog can bring all sorts of interesting snippets through the contact form.

    You may even receive offers for writing work (especially if you drop the anonymity!).

    Happy blogging!

    Maynard

  4. Thanks, Maynard! I suspect I will add more details over time. And you certainly do get something interesting feedback and ideas via the contact form 🙂

  5. I have not received any email regarding the subscription.I got the information from monevator.Thanks.

    Chandra

  6. Thanks for letting me know Chandra. I’ve resent you the activation email so hopefully it will get through this time. Assuming you haven’t done so already, it may be worth checking your spam folder.

  7. Recently found IT Investor, interesting and helpful.
    You are very positive of small caps. Bernstein’s analysis of small caps found a negative return for as long as 30 years, I know there are other studies which are more positive. Large caps provide a cushion in tough times which may be approaching. In a down turn small caps disappear but you can sell large caps at a discount and you then have money to pickup bargains.
    I hope you will take this as a positive contribution.

  8. Thanks, Nigel. No problem with a different point of view.

    I don’t think I have come across that particular study, but all strategies seem to wax and wane (although 30 years would certainly test my patience!). Small caps have certainly done well over the last ten years, although not so much the last few of those.

    From my point of view, small-caps aren’t a major bet as they are less than 10% of my portfolio. I’m still building up my exposure, though.

  9. Hello

    I’ve tried a number of times to subscribe to your site, but unfortunately the Confirmation email never seems to come through (to either the inbox or to spam)
    Could you send me through a confirmation email when you have time.

    Thanks in advance

    PJ

  10. Hi PJ,

    Sorry to hear you’ve had problems with this.

    I’ve just resent the activation email. If you still haven’t recevied it, please let me know and I can add you to the email list manually.

  11. Hello again,
    Never did receive that activation email (see above) in Sept 2019.
    Also have tried a few times since (inc just now) to subscribe to the site – but no activation email comes through.
    Could I trouble you to add me to your email list manually as you suggested above.

    Many thanks in advance

    PJ

  12. Hi PJ,

    Sorry that didn’t work for you before. I’ve added you manually so hopefully that will do the trick.

    The next email should go out this Tuesday afternoon.

  13. Dear IT Investor

    Same as above – have signed up for your emailed newsletter / updates, but yet to receive a confirmation, despite repeating the process and checking my junk folder a few times. Would v much appreciate being added to your list!
    Kind regards,

    Tom

  14. Hi Tom,

    Sorry that you had problems signing up but you should be all set now. There may not be an article this week but you should get the next alert when I di publish one.

  15. Hello Tom,

    Like you I’m an active investor and also operate professionally in the market.
    It would be interesting to have a conversation with you if you’d like to supply a contact email.
    Kind regards,
    Ian Furtado

  16. Hi,
    I have tried signing up to your blog a couple of times over the last year and again today but have yet to receive a confirmation email. Can you sort ‘it’ out for me please.
    Thanks
    Sean

  17. Hi Stuart,
    Just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your extremely well-researched posts. We share a lot of trusts! I too have recently decided to take the plunge with the Buffettology IPO. I have long followed Keith A-L’s investments, but I don’t buy funds anymore, only ITs, so decided I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what he can do with this new vehicle, despite it causing me some pain to buy at what is effectively a slight premium. Would you consider writing a post about your overall portfolio, and whether/how you rebalance?
    Best wishes,
    Octavia

  18. Thanks, Octavia.

    I’ve done a number of quarterly portfolio reviews – here’s the latest in case you haven’t seen them yet.
    https://www.itinvestor.co.uk/2020/10/q3-2020-just-in-the-red/

    I’m probably going to update my investing strategy piece linked to above in the article and publish that later this week or next.

    My rebalancing is fairly informal, I’d say. I’m not following any strict allocation between equities and bonds, for example.

    I usually look at the overall percentage I have in global trusts/funds and the various specialist areas I have and use that as an over-arching guide for where to invest next. That’s been a major change for me compared with, say, twenty years ago when my positions were a lot more random.

    I tend to add to positions with the cash I have available rather than switching larger chunks from one trust to another. So I generally reinvest dividends and put ISA subs into areas I fell either look cheap or where I’m still building up to my desired position size (sometimes both occur at the same time of course).

    Sometimes, I do run out of patience with trusts, though. That usually takes quite some time but when I do finally make a decision like this, I usually try and sell in the next month or so rather than constantly weighting for the right selling price.

    In the last couple of years, I’ve sold out of City of London (too UKy/banky/oily), Murray International and Princess Private Equity (both on long-term performance concerns). In all these cases, I just used to proceeds to top-up on several smaller positions in renewables, small-caps, and healthcare where I wanted to increase my position sizes.

    I’m still ruminating about adding some more direct tech exposure (SMT, ATT, and the other usual suspects) but have felt reluctant to do so after they’ve had such a strong run recently.

    This seems to work for me at the moment but the process does tend to evolve over time I find.

    I’m a little wary about putting disclosing my exact position sizes in my blogs as I think this is something everyone needs to decide for themselves.

    Hope that’s useful 🙂

    Stuart

  19. Hi P Davies, haven’t decided for sure but thinking about covering Caledonia again in December, as its interim results are due out at the end of November.

  20. @ Daniel,

    Sorry about that — I’ve added you manually so you should be all set now. For some reason that I haven’t been able to get to the bottom of, not everyone seems to get the activation email.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2018-2020 www.itinvestor.co.uk

Disclaimer: This site is for informational purposes only. We make no assertions as to the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of anything on this site.
We will not be liable for any errors or omissions or any damages arising from its display or use. Here's our privacy and cookie policy.