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Simon Thompson's Bargain Portfolio

The idea behind our annual Bargain Shares Portfolio is very simple. It’s to invest in companies where the true worth of the assets is not reflected in the share price, usually for some temporary reason, but where we can reasonably expect that it will be in due course.

Our portfolios are based on the investment ideas of Benjamin Graham (see box ‘Rules of Engagement’) and they have beaten the FTSE All-Share index in 13 out of the 16 years in which we have run them. During that time, they’ve generated an average return of 22.7 per cent in the first 12-month holding period compared with an average increase of 4 per cent for the FTSE All-Share.

Latest Updates

  1. Fairpoint de-rating unfair

    Fairpoint de-rating unfair

    By Simon Thompson | 11 May 2016

    Shares in a leading provider of consumer professional services drop post a trading update, a move that's wholly unwarranted

    John Gittins is fully entitled to pursue a portfolio career of non-executive positions. In any case, with a £300,000 plus annual package on the table I don't expect Fairpoint to be short of qualified replacements to fill the role

  2. First Property sell-off buying opportunity

    First Property sell-off buying opportunity

    By Simon Thompson | 04 May 2016

    Shares in the Eastern European property fund manager have fallen sharply in the past fortnight, and unjustifiably so.

    The forthcoming results should make good reading. The company’s adjusted net asset value per share was 40.3p at the end of September 2015, up from 35.75p at the end of March 2015, and there is a decent prospect of another valuation uplift in the second half to end March 2016.

  3. Bargain Shares updates: May 2016

    Bargain Shares updates: May 2016

    By Simon Thompson | 04 May 2016

    A quartet of value plays offer clear potential for share price gains.

    'It doesn't take a genius to work out that if Time Out Group joins Aim with a valuation of at least £200m, there is going to be material upside to Oakley's investment'

  4. Take time out to consider Oakley

    Take time out to consider Oakley

    By Simon Thompson | 25 April 2016

    Shares in the cash-rich private equity group are priced on a thumping discount to book value, and unjustifiably so

    Having taken a close look at the latest annual results, the valuation is completely out of sync with a company that produced a 33 per cent return on its investment portfolio, driven by strong increases in the cash profitability of the constituent investee companies.

  5. Scaling up for profitability

    Scaling up for profitability

    By Simon Thompson | 20 April 2016

    Shares in a specialist asset manager are heavily asset backed and its experienced management team is worth backing too.

    The bottom line is that the company has rock solid asset backing through property assets worth almost £11m including the cash due from the Royal Mail sorting office in Edinburgh; deferred consideration from Persimmon of £5.9m which is in effect being released through the Kleinwort banking facility; listed shares worth £5.9m; and investments in cemeteries worth £620,000. It also had net funds of £890,000 at the end of 2015.

Our portfolios

Mr Bearbull's Global Fund Portfolio

A portfolio of instruments designed to capture the rise of emerging markets

Mr Bearbull's Income Fund Portfolio

A collection of high-yielding shares that's beaten the market since 1998

Chris Dillow's Benchmark Portfolio

Simple portfolios picked using simple rules that often beat the market

John Baron's Investment Trust Portfolios

A portfolio of investment trusts designed to generate growth and income

David Stevenson's SIPP Portfolio

Our columnist describes how he manages his pension fund and what he puts in it

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