Welcome to the 40th CONKERS’ CORNER recorded on 6th December 2016. In this interview I have the pleasure of speaking with Martin Flitton @private_punter the highly regarded blogger, private investor and Small/Micro cap financial writer for the Cambridge News newspaper.
Martin describes his early years in Cambridge as “unremarkable”, however he did attain two O-Levels in English Literature and Language and his interests in writing and reading had been nurtured. He left school at seventeen and took the route of undertaking an apprenticeship, which was normal for most young men in the mid 1970s. After completing a Painting & Decorating apprenticeship, Martin quickly embarked on setting up his own business in the trade.
In the early 1990s, Martin gained a real interest in shares and wanted to learn more. However, with the exception of the Financial Times and some other magazines, he found it really difficult to find decent information and to research investing thoroughly. So he went to his local library and ordered a range of books, which he then read and studied and this piqued his interest. More importantly he began watching, studying and then doing dummy runs on stocks without making any real investments. Eventually, following more research, he took the plunge and made his first two investments. Both stocks were subsequently taken over at premiums.
From there, Martin became more involved in shares and more focused. Around the same time a group of his friends had participated in the privatisations of British Gas and British Telecom and they decided to form a Share Club. Some time later, “The Cambridge News” was doing a feature on Share Clubs and contacted them. The Share Club, which at the time consisted of around ten individuals, nominated Martin as their spokesperson. After the feature, Martin was contacted by its Editor Jenny Chapman and she asked him if he would write a one off article on a stock that he liked. This proved so successful that Martin was asked to write a monthly column for Cambridge News and this later became a weekly column. Martin has now been writing his column for Cambridge News for sixteen years and fulfilling his passion for writing.
With his background in the construction industry, Martin’s early investments tended to relate to the construction industry. He would research, filter and then select his stocks that were fundamentally strong, not too geared, cash generative and profitable. He states that he is “definitely not a trader and does not do spread-betting”. What he likes to do now is to focus on the small cap and micro cap end of the stock market as he feels that “if you actually do your homework and you get it right you can do very well”. Martin is an advocate for thorough research and prefers to speak to and actually meet with the company that he invests in, wherever possible.
Listen now to gain insights into how Martin Flitton selects, researches and filters small and micro cap stocks in order to find the best potential opportunities for optimum long-term returns on his hard earned money. Learn from the lessons in his successful, insightful investing journey.
You can find Martin’s regular column for the Cambridge News here: Share price on the up for this beauty and cosmetics firm