MelloMonday, Goodbye to 2020, Good Buys for 2021!


Stockopedia – Ed Croft’s Top share picks in 2020

Stock Picking Challenge 2020 – in Review

The Stockopedia Stock Picking Challenge was initiated at the start of the year with 2,150 entrants selecting 5 shares each to be held for a full 12 months.   Ed Croft, founder at Stockopedia, will be reviewing the story of the year from the lens of these conviction picks.   After a remarkable year, the winning picker will have returned more than 500% over the year from his or her five picks, and a portfolio of the top 20 picked shares, diversified across sectors, has returned 25%.   

Stock Picking Challenge 2021

Can 2021 return the same results.  It will be available on Monday afternoon to enter at  with some great prizes on offer.

Ed Croft – Stockopedia Founder and CEO

Edward Croft is co-founder and CEO of He previously worked as a wealth manager at Goldman Sachs and for a family office before founding Stockopedia. Ed graduated from Oxford University with first-class honours in Chemistry, is a Chartered Financial Analyst and Zend-Certified PHP Engineer.

End of Year Review – Goodbye 2020, Good Buys for 2021

Leon is a recently retired professional investor. Prior to his retirement he was founder and managing director of Equity Strategies, a boutique corporate finance firm. Leon started his career at EY where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant.

Leon has been investing since his late teens. In 1993 he opened his first PEP and has since achieved annualised returns of 18.42% (to Dec 2019).

Leon was previously a non-executive director of ShareSoc. Twitter: Leon Boros @Boros10

Gervais Williams is Head of Equities at Premier Miton Investors and manages a number of funds and trusts that aggregate to over £1.5bn, he joined the group in 2011. His fund management career extends over 30 years including 17 years at Gartmore Group Ltd, where he was Head of UK Small Companies investing in UK smaller companies and Irish equities. Gervais is a member of the AIM Advisory Council, and a board member of the Quoted Companies Alliance. He was a member of the Patient Capital Review panel with the Chancellor of the Exchequer two years ago where the recommendations were put into legislation in the subsequent budget. Gervais Williams has published three books, ‘Slow Finance’ in the autumn of 2011 (Bloomsbury), ‘The Future is Small’ published in November 2014 (Harriman House) and ‘The Retreat of Globalisation’ published in December 2016 (Harriman House).

I trained as an accountant with a Top 5 firm, but that was so boring that I spent too much time in the 1990s being a disco bunny, and busting moves on the dancefloor, and chilling out with mates back at either my house or theirs, and having a lot of fun!

Then spent 8 years as FD for a ladieswear retail chain called “Pilot”, leaving on great terms in 2002 – having been a key player in growing the business 10 fold. If the truth be told, I partied pretty hard at the weekends too, so bank reconciliations on Monday mornings were more luck than judgement!! But they were always correct.

I got bored with that and decided to become a professional small caps investor in 2002. I made millions, but got too cocky, and lost the lot in 2008, due to excessive gearing. A miserable, wilderness period occurred from 2008-2012.

Since then, the sun has begun to shine again! I am now utterly briliant again, and immerse myself in small caps, and am a walking encyclopedia on the subject. I love writing a daily report for on most weekday mornings, constantly researching daily results & trading updates for small caps. Cheese!

Analyst, Blogger, Company Director, Entrepreneur, Event Organiser, Private Investor

Investment Strategy
I search for fundamental value in smaller caps, especially companies which are overlooked, or where price has become irrationally low due to negative sentiment. I like businesses with decent cashflow, strong balance sheets, and like dividends. I tend to hold for 6 months to 10 years, but a typical investment is 2-3 years. Special situations, and situations where the market has not yet priced in an improving commercial outlook for a company particularly interest me, as do turnarounds. But above all, shares which are cheap!

John is a former City fund manager with 40 years investment experience. He founded John’s Investment Chronicle in 2012.  He reports on the progress of two live portfolios and shows all trades in real-time explaining the rationale behind every investment decision. He comments on the latest company news, portfolio strategy, topical issues and performance

John also writes a monthly column for the Investors Chronicle Magazine.

Company presentation – Gaming Realms

Mark Segal, Chief Finance Director 

Mark worked as Finance Director of bingo division, having been Finance Director of Cashcade until it was acquired by PartyGaming plc in July 2009. Mark was responsible for the full finance function, including commercial negotiations, business intelligence and operational support in the business and took the lead in the sale to PartyGaming plc and acquisition of Independent Technology Ventures in July 2007. Prior to joining Cashcade, in May 2005, Mark spent five years at the accountancy firm Martin Greene Ravden, where he qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2003.


As the creator of a range of Slingo™, slots and casino games, we develop a ‘Slingo’ genre of games for our partners internationally, marrying our compelling slots and bingo mechanic with other recognisable brands. We are proud to have worked with some of the most successful global platforms and operators.

Michael Buckley, Executive Chairman

Michael was Executive Chairman of Cashcade, which he founded with Patrick Southon and Simon Collins in 2000. Amongst a number of functions he performed for the company during this period, Michael was responsible for raising the £7 million equity needed for the company’s development, created a number of important commercial relationships for Cashcade, and led the sale process which generated an aggregate sale consideration of approximately £96 million for shareholders.

Does the Santa Rally exist?

Simon will be discussing the Santa Claus Rally, which refers to the tendency for the stock market to rally over the last weeks of December into the New Year. Several theories exist for its existence, including increased holiday shopping, optimism fueled by the holiday spirit, or institutional investors settling their books before going on vacation.  We have a very different situation in the UK this year of course, will it excite the rally or calm it down?

Simon Flather – City Confidential

I am a qualified chartered accountant having qualified with Peat Marwick Mitchell (that
shows how old I am!) now KPMG.  I entered the investment industry back
in the 1980s just before the privatisation of BT (1984) and Big Bang
(1986) which saw major changes in the stockmarket and the way it
operated.  I therefore worked through the market crash of 1987 and other
major market events – the dotcom boom (and collapse)at the turn of the
century, the financial crisis which saw Lehman Brothers collapse etc.
Originally I worked for Rensburg (now Investec Wealth) and left in 1993
to set up City Confidential.  We have also produced some sponsored
company research through BrokerLink and over the years we have acted for
over 100 companies.
We stopped producing cityconfidential in printed format earlier this
year and so it is now only available in digital format.  The actual
newsletter is now produced monthly but our website is updated daily with
comments on companies, mainly small-cap and AIM stocks.  We also have
features on penny shares and short-term trading ideas.

An interview with author, actuary and investor Guy Thomas

Guy Thomas is an actuary and investor, and an honorary lecturer at the University of Kent.  His books include “Free Capital: How 12 Private Investors Made Millions in the Stock Market”(Harriman House, 2011) and “Loss Coverage: Why Insurance Works Better with Some Adverse Selection” (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Click here to receive a special offer of  30% off with code FREECAPITAL30

Specialist Insights – Shifting Shares

Michael Taylor 

Using technical analysis to find trades

Michael relies on technical analysis to find stocks to trade and in this session he’ll look at several charts to find key levels of support and resistance and search for potential trading opportunities. 

Michael Taylor has traded his own capital in the market on a full-time basis since 2016. He is a long and short trader of UK stocks and has a trading column at Investors Chronicle.  He has written extensively on trading on his website

Twitter: @shiftingshares

Mark Simpson – My Investing Mistakes of 2020

His book, Excellent Investing, shows how overcoming investing mistakes is the key to generating higher and more consistent returns.

Book Link:

Mark Simpson

Investing Rules!

Investment Author Mark Simpson conducts a 2020 portfolio review with a difference. By focusing on his investing mistakes instead of victories, he shows how these can provide vital learning points in order to become a better investor.


ShareSoc update

Mike Dennis

Mike Dennis will be talking about ShareSoc’s upcoming events in 2021 as well as recent developments in the Woodford campaign, which Mello will present on in the New Year.

Mike Dennis is a ShareSoc Director and chartered engineer by profession who worked firstly for Shell and then later for BOC, the industrial gas business. In the latter part of his time there he moved into sales, marketing and business development and ultimately spent several years as a board director for BOC’s UK businesses. Since 2012 Mike has been running his own consultancy business and spending time developing his own investment portfolio. Mike is also a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) ambassador and spends time encouraging students to take in interest in STEM related careers.