Exploring a Guru Screen

Each Guru Screen overview contains a wealth of resources about an investing strategy originally devised by a legendary investor or renowned academic. On this page you can learn about the strategy, track the performance of Stockopedia’s independent model, and discover new stocks which qualify for the rules on a daily basis.

We’ll dive right in and take a look at this page using our model of Jim Slater’s famous strategy “_The Zulu Principle_”.

Explanatory Tabs

Underneath the title of the screen, which also shows the number of stocks qualifying, you’ll find a tabbed explanatory section.

There are four tabs here which we’ll look at in turn:

  1. Description: This provides a brief summary of the strategy and details about the individual it was inspired by. We’ve tried to keep these descriptions standardised with useful links to further reading and key ratios in the glossary. Beneath the description you’ll find a breakout box with some brief info on the ‘guru’ who inspired the method.
  2. Source: The source tab gives details about the book or academic paper where the strategy was first introduced. If you are interested to review the source materials we provide a useful link to either the book on Amazon or the PDF of the academic paper here.
  3. Rules: These shows the precise set of rules & metrics that we’ve used to create this strategy. If you disagree with our interpretation of the rules you can always make a duplicate of the screen and edit the rules. The top-right hand side of the page shows a Duplicate button. If you click it a copy is automatically saved to Your Screens, where you can make changes and additions to any of the rules.
  4. Learn: This takes you to a detailed blog post about the strategy on Stockopedia which tells you all about how and why the strategy works.

Performance Tracking

The second section below is the performance tracking section. This tracks the risk and returns of this strategy daily - as we describe more fully in the Performance Tracking Guide. The long-term performance of each strategy in different geographic regions can be seen on the chart.

We ‘live track’ the performance of these strategies (rather than backtest). The different coloured lines on the chart represent different start points for tracking strategies depending on when we began our coverage in each region.

The table next to the chart shows a further breakdown of various performance and risk metrics.

Specifically we track:

  • The percentage performance of the strategy over various timeframes in different regions versus a local benchmark.
  • The maximum drawdown of the performance, which is a risk indicator that tells you the biggest peak-to-trough decline over the tracking period.
  • The average number of holdings in the portfolio and whether the level of average diversification in the portfolio has been Low, Moderate or Good.

Please note that our performance tracking studies are based on equal weighted portfolios of a maximum of 25 stocks rebalanced quarterly. Past performance not indicative of future returns.

Qualifying Shares

The third section of the Guru Screen page lists the companies that are currently meeting the rules of the Screen.

It should be noted that while we track the performance using quarterly snapshot portfolios, the list published in this section is updated daily. So you can think of this list as the current opportunity set available using these screening rules. As a result this is the most popular part of the page.

Remember! It should be noted that these lists are not ‘buy lists’ but they are a good starting point for further research into individual companies.

Qualification Histories

In each of our tracked Guru Screens you will find the most recent Qualification Date for each share in the table of results. This date is the last time this share qualified for the criteria of the Guru Screen in question.

The link is clickable - when clicked a popup appears showing the full history of qualification for the share versus the Guru screen. The history is both tabulated as a set of dates and illustrated as a graphic chart against the share price chart. Blue vertical bands illustrate the periods when a share qualified for the screen criteria. An example is shown below:

In order to minimise noise of entries/exits from each screen we have applied a 7 day buffer whenever a stock 'exits' (no longer qualifies) for a screen's criteria. If the stock qualifies again for the screen within the ensuing 7 day window the qualification period is taken to be unbroken and is represented as a single blue band on the popup chart.

These are the actual qualifications based on live tracking of portfolios (as we do not use backtesting). The information is available since we started tracking this data on a daily basis in the following regions:

  • UK markets - November 2012
  • EU markets - April 2013
  • US markets - July 2014

Table Views

Stockopedia | Jim Slater's ZULU Principle Screen - Stock Screen

There is a lot of detail in the table so let’s take a closer look.

Each row in the table represents a company that passes the strict screening rules of the screen. The list is sorted according to the default sort order as defined in the rules tab (in this case in order of ascending PEG ratio).

At any time you can take a detailed look at any of the companies by either hovering over the company and viewing the Snapshot, or clicking a company name which takes you to directly to its StockReport.

Each column on the default table view you’ll see all the metrics that were used in the rules in the screen. By clicking on the top of any column will re-sort the qualifying stocks by that column in ascending or descending order.

The last column shows the latest Qualification date for the screen. To find the most recent qualifiers for this screen you can sort by that column. If you click this link it provides a popup chart to show the qualification history for that stock for this screen.

You can of course change the table view by clicking any of the other table tabs which show you further details relating to price Quotes, StockRanks, Value, Growth, Quality, Income or Momentum.

Remember! You can customise table views in any way you want. Click the Pencil icon in the Overview tab and you’ll see a pop-up menu with options to change the current view to include any of Stockopedia’s vast library of ratios. So you get to see precisely the data you want to.

As with all of Stockopedia’s Screening tables, it’s possible to select companies from the list using the check box on the left-hand side of any table. When you click the checkbox for one or more companies two buttons appear above the table.

These buttons give you the option to add any or all of the stocks to a watchlist or portfolio, or compare stocks head-to-head against a range of historical and forecast measures in the Compare Stocks Tool.

Other views - snapshots, charts & bubbles

As well as changing the data in tables it’s also possible to create a completely different visualisation of the companies on the list. To the top-right hand side of the table are four buttons which allow you to view the companies as a :

  • Table - the default list
  • Snapshot - of with some key profile info, data and a chart
  • Charts - in different timeframes
  • Bubbles - which plot the StockRanks of all the companies on the list

You can learn more about these different data views in our dedicated Tables & Views section.

Using a screen as a checklist…

Occasionally it can be useful to know why a company you expected to qualify for a Screen doesn’t make it. This is simple to do by clicking View this screen as a checklist at the bottom of the list of companies.

This will take you to Stockopedia’s Checklist Tool, where you can enter any company name or stock ticker to find out which rules it passes and which rules it fails for this strategy.

Duplicating a Guru Screen to make it yours

Stockopedia’s Screening tools allow you to ‘duplicate’ any screen - including the Guru Screens.

To make a duplicate of a Guru Screen, click the Duplicate button in the top-right hand side of the Screen page. A dialog will ask you to confirm that you want to make a duplicate of the screen. Click OK.

You’ll now have a copy of the original screen automatically saved to Your Screens which you can edit at will independently of the original.