Contrarian Investor UK is British, but now lives in Switzerland. I first started investing in the stock market in 1998, just prior to the period which ended in the infamous "dot com" bubble in 2000 which caused many overvalued technology stocks to crash. Even Amazon got hammered in those days, but in the darkest days it is often the time to put your money in!
The big market corrections in 2000 and 2008 were the years where I have learnt the most, and generated the most profit from my trades as well as perfecting my contrarian approach to share trading.
My investing philosophy is to either buy companies which are either "under the radar", out of favour because of bad news or corporate mistakes or ones with significant news flow which will dramatically lift the valuation. Especially the latter.
Oil and gas shares are a particular favourite since I have built up considerable technical knowledge on the sector in respect of onshore and offshore drilling, allowing me to have a good grasp of the significant jargon. Oil is exciting as it is so news flow driven. There have been ups and downs over the last 20 years, Xcite Energy and Afren have been expensive mistakes (but in the case of the former was fortunate enough to sell before the worst and eventual bankruptcy) but Falkland Islands oil proved a profit bonanza, Desire Petroleum, Rockhopper Exploration and Falkland Oil and Gas (in the period 2009-2012). You learn from the errors and adjust your strategies going forward. The bulletin board hype on Desire Petroleum was incredible, shame the company is no more and part of FOGL. Fond memories of oil then water for Desire and the Sea Lion discovery for Rockhopper!
If a share is hammered on a bulletin board and is very popular with great numbers of posts I see this as often a buying opportunity. A contrarian indicator if I ever saw one, indicating packs of shorting hyenas are out and about.
My greatest lesson is to do the homework before buying any share, don't just listen to bulletin board hype and "buy and research" not "buy and hold" . Take profits and monitor your buy in and sell out points carefully. Buy in and sell out in chunks, don't try and time the market perfectly it is impossible. This is especially the case with highly volatile stocks.
My biggest trading hero is Warren Buffett and his Berkshire Hathaway fund because he has consistently delivered big investment returns beating the S&P 500 without ripping off investors. I'm sceptical about many fund managers since often they buy shares which mirror the FTSE 100 or S&P 500 and charge much, much more than ETF's (Exchange Traded Funds) which do the same job. If everyone buys one particular share, they follow like the flock of sheep.