Our share tips ended the financial year in record breaking form last week with the total value of our four investment portfolios increasing by more than £1000 to a fresh 2014 peak.

The gains were spread right across the board with average share prices appreciating by around the 4% mark, justifying our move to refresh the portfolios with three further tips last week.

Débutantes Close Brothers and N.Brown both made encouraging starts while Scotland's Smart Metering added a further 9% after we decided to double our notional investment.

Loading article content

The performance persuaded us to loosen our purse strings by adding Marks & Spencer to the 2014 portfolio at our review of progress on Wednesday. We are encouraged by chief executive Marc Bolland's global expansion plans. We have set a stop/loss target, some 10% below the current share price, at which we advise followers to consider selling.

Royal Mail was our only tip to slip back last week, shedding another 20p on further profit-taking after their rise since floating on the stock market last October.

We expect a rally in anticipation of a fat dividend to be announced with results on May 22 but will join the sellers if the price falls to our stop/loss target.

Best performance of the week came from our 2011 portfolio which added almost 5%, helped by strong performances from retailers Kingfisher and Home Retail, and a recovery in GKN.

The 2012 and 2013 selections put on around 4% while this year's 2014 list ended a recent dip with a 3.6% rise.