I bought shares in APH (Alliance Pharma) in April 2014 for 33.8p. By the merest stroke of coincidence, I was out at 49.9p yesterday, just in time to avoid its fall of nearly 10% today to 46p. Sometimes you just get lucky like that.
How was I able to do this? Stoplosses! I set a 20% stoploss below the 52w high, which was triggered yesterday. The 52w high is 61.13p, so that would be a stoploss of 48.9p.
It was not a share that I wanted to talk about, as I did not think it had any interest value until today. Here’s my notes from my trading diary: “Sold out at 49.9p, for a 47.6% gain over 19 months. Not bad. Reason: shares in downtrend since Aug and 20% from high stoploss triggered. Revenues flat over 5 years, so I’ve lost interest. ROCE has steadily been declining since 2011. Valuation is reasonable”.
Here’s the chart:
As you can see, there was a massive run-up from Dec 2014 to Aug 2015. Momentum then petered out.
There was a placing today that the market did not take kindly to. I actually wonder if the markets knew about it all along, judging by the chart.
I am being increasingly switched on to the idea of using stoplosses. Although I was not persuing a momentum strategy with APH, I am coming to believe that stoplosses are a crucial component of momentum investing. After all, how else would you know when to get out?