My 2018 Bargain Shares Portfolio has produced a market beating 95 per cent total return since launch – FTSE All-Share and FTSE Aim All-Share indices have produced TR of 10.4 and 21.5 per cent, respectively, in the same 40-month period – but it has been far from plain sailing. That’s because the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in the real estate sector and sent shares in my property holdings, property vulture fund Conygar (CIC) and regeneration land developer U+I (UAI) tumbling, so much so that the two holdings have reduced the portfolio’s TR by 6.5 percentage points.
Asset impairments have not helped sentiment, but the subsequent recovery in share prices in both companies since the start of this year would indicate that investors are now taking a more positive view of the road ahead rather than being fixated on last year’s crash. In both cases this is a justified approach as I outline in my financial results summaries below. The same is true of student accommodation and buy-to-rent apartment developer Watkin Jones (WJG). The doubling of the company’s share price since last autumn is fully warranted, but it’s decision time given the price has achieved my target range.