Giving a stock screen the name 'Big Reliables' is asking for trouble when a crisis strikes. Happily, though, my Big Reliables stock screen has done some credit to its hyperbole with a useful outperformance of the FTSE All-Share index over the past 12 months, even if both index and screen delivered a negative total return.
But the bigger challenge to the screen than retaining its 'brand integrity' is how to find stocks that fit the bill when the earnings outlook for so many companies has been laid waste by the coronavirus crisis.
Stock screens tend to sacrifice nuance for process. While the focus on process is the key strength for screens, at times the lack of nuance can be telling. The Big Reliables screen in the current crisis is a good case in point.