My Have-It-All stock screen is a greedy beast. It wants stocks to display many classic indicators of growth, quality and value. It’s perhaps surprising that such a hodge-podge approach has done as well as it has over the past nine years. However, 2020 illustrated some of the frailties of the approach.
Asking for so much can mean finding stocks with hidden problems. The two stocks that did the damage to last year’s result were a case in point. Indeed, the reasons to be concerned about these two particular picks were glaring enough for me to highlight them both as displaying the screen’s shortcomings at the time. Sadly, in terms of overall performance numbers, I was right. But on the plus side, these calamities do help illustrate why the screens run in this column are best regarded as a source of ideas for further research rather than off-the-shelf portfolios. The calamities in question were NMC Health (NMC), where fraud was exposed, and Photo-me International (PHTM).
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