piworld 2020 round up interview: Stephen English
We interviewed Stephen back in April 2020. Now he updates us on joining Stellar Asset Management, on 1st September 2020. He discusses, what has gone well and how to avoid value traps, advising don’t buy a recovery stock unless it’s rallied significantly, citing Volex (VLX). What didn’t go so well and learnings, where he discusses Shoe Zone (SHOE). Finally, he outlines the investing case for DX Group (DX.), which is his pick for 2020. Full of wonderful analogies and humour, alongside some tremendous pearls of wisdom.
Stephen joins Stellar Asset Management – 00:39
Stellar’s performance to end November 2020, (which has gone up since!) – 01:23
What’s gone well: Volex (VLX) – 02:26
What didn’t go so well, and what did you learn from that: Shoe Zone (SHOE) – 08:55
Top pick for 2021: DX Group (DX.) – 12:00
About Stephen English
Stephen is Investment Director at Stellar Asset Management. He joined Stellar in September 2020, having previously worked at Blankstone Sington since 2002, where an early grounding on the dealing desk paved the way for a fascination with markets, how the ‘invisible hand’ of supply and demand could move prices and how efficient dealing can add value.
With a background in art (good drawer/awful painter) and an interest in psychology Stephen believes that small-cap investment is more art than science. An avid student of the market, he has authored his own 12-page investment philosophy which was well received by professional and retail readers alike. When it comes to the stockmarket, Stephen says ‘when you find the key, they change the lock’ which drives a zeal for continual improvement.
Never one for fads, increasingly he feels the Qualitative aspects of investment will be a key driver of alpha, where anything Quantitative and that can be automated will be. Quality investing to Stephen is as much, if not more so, about the management of a business, and he aligns the portfolios to founders who maintain the owners’ eye and have a superior problem solving ability over peers with no alignment of interest. A strong culture is vital; after all ‘character is destiny’. Stephen also likes an aphorism or two!
With a fast-growing reputation as an independent thinker, his musings are regularly featured in the press, including What Investment, Professional Advisor and MoneyWeek. Investment is one of the purest and most rewarding endeavours in Stephen’s opinion and he is a firm believer in giving back to an industry he is so passionate about. With an irreverent style yet with deep thoughtfulness and humility.
Stephen is a CFA Charterholder, a devoted Warrington Rugby League fan and a wide-ranging reader.