Welcome to the 46th CONKERS’ CORNER recorded on 18th May 2017. In this interview, I have the pleasure of speaking with part-time private investor and blogger @sholdsworth1963 Steve Holdsworth.

Steve was born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and lived in Borehamwood until he was four, after which the family moved to Perivale, West London. His father was a self- employed carpenter and his mother mixed bringing up two children with various secretarial jobs and had a pretty ordinary upbringing. Steve attended Northolt High School a pretty ordinary large comprehensive. Whilst bright and in all the top streams for most subjects, Steve by his own admission “lacked the kind of drive to excel in anything in particular.” He left school at the age of 16 years age with a handful of O levels as he “didn’t do much work”.

On leaving school Steve, found employment as a junior at Barclays Bank, his role was mainly administrative initially but later took on other roles in the Bank, including that of a Bank teller. However after around five years Steve found Banking was not for him. He then took a job as a salesman for the electronics retailer Tandy, but by his own admission he was not a great salesman.

In the late 1990’s whilst Steve was working with a large market research company called Taylor Nelson AGB, he gained his first interest in stocks and shares from some of the colleagues he worked with. However it was also at that time when Steve had got himself into a lot of consumer debt. With a determination to clear his debts, Steve stumbled upon the Motley Fool boards for consumer debt. Via these boards Steve found the Motley Fool investor forums and boards. He describes Motley Fool as a wonderful forum of individuals freely sharing their knowledge and experience. He added that he attended their monthly socials in London and found them “great for his learning”.

Steve admits that he was a bit impatient and actually started investing before he had cleared his debts. The first stock that he bought was Lloyds TSB in 2005, because it was a big blue chip, high yielding stock. He admits that he made ad hoc purchases and bought and sold shares as they took his fancy. He admits that when he first started out he would not look beyond the tips he found via Motley Fool boards and the Financial Times with very little research. However later he found Digital Look and Hemscott (Morningstar) for screening stocks.

Having worked in a series of jobs across many sectors, more recently Steve has worked as a Charity Fundraiser. Starting in June 2017, Steve intends to embark on a phase that will encompass him being a full-time active investor. This ties in seamlessly with the personal blog that Steve has just recently started, which he has called GoStevie’s website http://gostevieblog.weebly.com/ .

Steve has had several investment successes and some made some notable mistakes during the past twelve years or so. This discussion provides an insight into the journey that Steve has taken, which so far has encompassed Banking, Retail, Market Research, Administration, Charity Fundraising, and much much more.

The topics we discussed include:

  • Stocks;
  • Clearing debt;
  • Keeping records/logs
  • Value investing;
  • Attending Shareholder seminars;
  • Investor events;
  • Motley Fool;
  • ShareSoc;
  • Learning;
  • Winning investments;
  • Mistakes;
  • Don’t become too overweight in one stock;
  • Position size;
  • IPO’s;
  • Attending AGMs;
  • Timing markets;
  • Public speaking;
  • Moral compass;
  • Clients first;
  • Mindset;
  • Lessons learnt;
  • Becoming a full-time investor;

Listen now to gain insights into how Steve invests and learn from the lessons in his successful and insightful investing journey.

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