The IC Alpha service was launched in March as an additional level of content to enhance that already provided by Investors Chronicle. Aimed at serious self investors, Alpha complements our existing subscription content through a regular flow of investment ideas from tips editor Algy Hall’s AlphaScreens, new deep-dive sector reports, Small Cap Research reports and, pulling it all together, James Norrington's insights on portfolio management and tactical asset allocation.
For regular readers of Investors Chronicle, Alpha complements our existing content by providing even deeper research on small companies and key stock market sectors; more frequently updated quantitative metrics; and offering portfolio management and asset allocation ideas - teaching how to find investments which suit individual needs.
For the first time, our AlphaScreens provide frequent updates on some of the stock screening strategies, previously only refreshed once or twice a year, in Algy's popular Stock Screening columns. The screens offer a regular stream of ideas to suit different investment styles with the results updating on a rolling four-weekly basis. Our readers have made it clear over the years how much they value the investment trust coverage we already provide and Algy has also created a new investment trust screen for Alpha, which will be updated on a monthly basis - further enhancing our coverage of this under appreciated area of the market.
Deep dive special Sector Reports allow our writers to go into greater detail, mine more data and explore additional valuation metrics on key sectors of the UK stock market. Where applicable, a sector's performance and valuation is set in a global context to provide a reference tool for investors seeking deep understanding of the potential, and risks, of particular stock market sectors.
Our Small Cap Research reports, the first two of which have been published by Simon Thompson, expand on company analysis we already carry out using additional data and valuation metrics in the under-researched small cap arena. Often these Small Cap reports will examine companies that fall outside our standard coverage due to being below our normal market capitalisation cut-off.
As well as giving you a host of investment ideas, Alpha provides an overlay through James Norrington's portfolio management, tactical asset allocation and global valuation reports. Quarterly reviews of the wider investment climate give an idea of tactical portfolio opportunities, framed in the context of how tilting exposure to different asset classes affects investors' reward-to-risk trade-off.
The story so far.
Algy Hall’s AlphaScreens
Our tips editor Algy Hall has devised four of his favourite stock screens for our AlphaScreens service. The Quality, Momentum, Dividend Diamonds and Growth At a Reasonable Price screens all mine the FTSE All Share, All Small and Aim indices – giving readers a steady stream of ideas to start their deeper investment research.
Algy updates each screen every four weeks. From time to time we will also highlight individual companies that emerge from the screen that catch our eye and each quarter Algy will cast his analytical eye over themes which may be emerging from the output of his screens.
Here are the latest versions of each of Algy's AlphaScreens:
Investment trust screen
Algy has also devised his investment trust screen which scans the closed end trust universe for candidates which are displaying the rare combination of value and momentum. Algy will update the investment trust screen during the week beginning 30 April.
Small Cap Research reports
Simon's two small cap company research reports showcase his analytical skills and the depth of investigation we will be carrying out into the investment case of individual companies. The Alpha service will aim to provide one such Small Cap Research report for Alpha readers every month.
Alpha Sector Report
At least ten times a year we will produce Alpha Sector Reports, giving the lowdown on one particular stock market sector and the most promising companies within it. During the free access period we produced sector reports on the Oil & Gas sector from deputy companies editor Alex Newman and the Housebuilders by property correspondent Jonas Crosland. Both reports examined the challenges and opportunities facing their respective sectors (and the companies therein) and provided a host of relevant sector data.
Quarterly asset allocation review
Four times a year we will be aggregating and critiquing leading institutional investment research and producing our own analysis of the asset classes investors should increase their exposure to. The idea is to stay invested in a strategically diverse blend of asset classes but tilt into 'over' or 'under'-weight positions in order to take advantage of current opportunities while keeping portfolio risk within an acceptable range.