The Motley Fool

How I Plan To Trounce The Market In 2014

Happy New Year!

I hope you’ll soon finish off the turkey, pack away the decorations, clear out the relatives…

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…and get ready once again to do battle with the market for another twelve months!

During the Christmas break, it’s customary for the Fool to prepare its most important report of the year.

You see, our top investors spend each festive season pinpointing their favourite shares for the year ahead…

…and I am pleased to confirm the experts at Motley Fool Share Advisor and Motley Fool Champion Shares PRO say they have come up with another superb collection of potential winners!

But let me just tell you now that SHARES 2014 has a LOT to live up to.

That’s because its predecessors – SHARES 2010, SHARES 2011, SHARES 2012 and SHARES 2013 – have all showcased remarkable gains.

Just look at the table below:


Average Gain

FTSE All-Share


Shares 2010




Shares 2011




Shares 2012




Shares 2013




Now I must be clear and say:

  • each report highlighted between 7 and 10 shares;
  • the average gains cited above are all stated on a mid-price basis and declared as at 29 November 2013, and;
  • all returns, including the FTSE All-Share, include dividends but exclude normal dealing costs.

Naturally I cannot promise the shares profiled in SHARES 2014 will perform anything like those highlighted in SHARES 2010, SHARES 2011, SHARES 2012 and SHARES 2013.

But to me at least, the form guide looks very attractive!

I must also say that these annual SHARES reports do cover smaller companies that carry greater risks, but also the potential for greater rewards.

Indeed, the reported returns on the individual shares covered in the earlier SHARES reports range from 600%-plus to a total 100% loss. So there can be extreme volatility!

Talking of smaller companies and attractive gains…

I can’t quite believe it – every share I owned this time last year HAS GONE UP

…my own portfolio recorded a very useful 28% gain last year.

As we started 2013, I owned 11 shares of which 10 were small-caps. Here are the 11 names and their total returns from last year (according to my own spreadsheet):



Abbey Protection


Burford Capital


City of London Investment


Electronic Data Processing


French Connection


FW Thorpe


M Winkworth


Mountview Estates




Soco International




Amazingly enough – and probably unique for me – I enjoyed a positive total return on every single share I held at the start of the year!

Sure, I added a few other companies to my portfolio during 2013. But when I totted up the gains, it was clear the vast majority of my overall performance was down to those 11 names I held at the very start.

So there is a vital lesson here for 2014: it is not always what shares you buy that will dictate your returns, it could well be what you already own!

Oh, and I still hold all 11 shares today.

I will become very rich if I can keep my losers to just one every year!

Let me dispense another nugget of advice I always recall at this time of year.

Successful investing is as much about avoiding losers as it is picking winners.

So as me, you and everybody else is busy thinking of what shares to buy this year, it is just as important to consider what NOT to buy.

I mean, it is no use spending lots of time unearthing great winners in 2014…

…only for those gains to be wiped out by large losses from knee-jerk gambles and impatient decisions.

Thankfully, I limited my portfolio losers to just one during 2013 – the dreaded 3Legs Resources.

And if I can limit my losers to one every year, I’ll soon be a very rich man!

My 3-step plan to trounce the market during 2014 is quite simple

Here’s what I plan to do:

  1. Decide upon SHARES 2014’s most appealing high-growth opportunities;
  2. Make sure the companies I already hold are likely to do well and their shares have room for further upside, and;
  3. Keep to a sensible investing strategy, try not gamble and lose patience, and do my absolute best to avoid more losers!

I will let you know how I get on this time next year. Wish me luck.

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> Maynard owns shares in 3Legs Resources, Abbey Protection, Burford Capital, City of London Investment, Electronic Data Processing, French Connection, FW Thorpe, M Winkworth, Mountview Estates, Record, Soco International and Tasty. The Motley Fool owns shares in City of London Investment, FW Thorpe and Mountview Estates.

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