Freetrade diary #3 – March

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Previous article – Calculating my net worth in a volatile market

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Another interesting month in the stock market with many companies forced to close or transition to remote working.

There has been a lot of talk of this not being anywhere near the bottom, and I tend to agree, but nonetheless I have still been buying.

I’ve been averaging down into companies I believe are either still essential, despite the majority of the world being hunkered down in their homes, or had healthy numbers before this all started.

First off, I received one free share (thank you reader). This one coming in the form of the ‘American Investment Trust‘. This looks like your standard US focused fund with many of the top US companies featuring in the top 10 holdings: Alphabet, Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft, Apple, MasterCard etc. This could be a nice option to consider if you’re looking for broad US market exposure.

Screenshot 2020-03-26 at 16.06.11

Like with the other three, I’ll keep it and add it to my free share portfolio; it looks like I have another coming soon too so it’s becoming a little more substantial now which is a nice little bonus.

On to what I’ve been investing in, I’ve averaged down on both BIFF and PETS. Both are continuing to operate, albeit at a reduced capacity.

After initially stating the virus outbreak would not have any ‘meaningful impact on business’, and that trading continued to be in line with expectations as a result, Biffa have since cancelled their divided – a little over 4%.

They later reissued a statement that they are experiencing a ‘significant’ reduction in the demand for their Commercial and Industrial collection services which make up around 50% of their revenue. But I’m confident the business will quickly return to normal once the pandemic shows signs of waning.

As for Pets at Home, they announced their stores will remain open, while also continuing to give customers access to their vets centres. They have, however, closed their grooming parlours, but relocated staff to other areas of the business for the time being.

This means that Pets at Home will be one of few retail stores still bringing in revenue – even if significantly reduced.

One holding I have added to my portfolio is:

Tesco-featured-logo

This supermarket Goliath is one of the largest in the world and diversifies its retail business with banking and insurance services. One of few companies still operating at full capacity – if not significantly increased – I see this as almost a safer hedge against my other investments; let’s be honest, if this lad falls, you’re going to be making a dash for Vault 111.

This was a company I had on my watchlist for a while, but for no specific reason, had been putting off. Over the last 2-3 weeks this stock has performed very well for me and I’ve managed to average down to a fraction over £2.17 a share.

Speaking of watchlists, I had been monitoring the Gym Group (GYM) as it tumbled some 20% in on day when it announced it was closing all its locations.

I was planning to purchase a small holding, but refrained from doing so to only see it shoot up >70% from its week low. You win some, you lose some, but it still remains on my watchlist.

Picture 1
The Gym Group share price shot up over 70% in just 2 days.

I’m also watching Disney like a hawk ready to average down. They’ve closed all their parks across the globe which will see a huge impact on revenue and profits over the coming year.

However, every man and his wife that I know is talking about Disney+. I know this will only make up a fraction of their revenue at this early stage, but it gives them continuous stream of income and gives hope to the future of their streaming service.

That’s about it for this month. Stay safe, stay rational.

3 thoughts on “Freetrade diary #3 – March

  1. Interesting buys – I don’t have the spare cash to buy another Disney share but finally bought into Games Workshop, which I had thought was too pricey before the recent crash. In the main, I’ve been topping up my ETFs and investment trusts and topped up on Legal & General which at one point was 40% down.

    Nice to see your free share portfolio growing – I had a couple more sign ups recently too, including JD Sport which I ended up selling at 50% profit in the recent bounce back.

    Hope you’re keeping well and safe.

    Like

    1. I’ve had Games Workshop in my watchlist on and off. I can’t believe how successful it is just for stores that sell plastic figurines, but delving into their business properly you can see why! I’m watching Legal & General now actually.
      JD Sports is a fun one! I like getting ones I’d never buy on my own. I have three trusts and a share now though out of four so not overly exciting. I’m hoping my fifth won’t be a fund.

      Liked by 1 person

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