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John Phelps's portfolio

Our share tips recovered from a slow start to ring up yet another set of record returns last week as stock markets responded to encouraging news on budget talks across the Atlantic and an easing in tensions over the euro.

Three of the four portfolios stretched to new 2012 peak valuations and the 2010 and 2011 selections passed milestones with gains of more than 80% and 50% respectively.

The 2012 portfolio also hit a fresh marker with a further 1.7% rise taking total profits past the £2000 mark for the first time.

Only the longstanding 2009 portfolio disappointed when we conducted our review of progress on Wednesday morning with its overall value virtually unchanged as a slippage in building supplier Travis Perkins cancelled out gains in Marks & Spencer and Diageo.

We accept it will now take a Christmas miracle for the portfolio to meet its target of 100% appreciation by the time it is wound up at the end of the year although it has easily outstripped a 34.6% rise in the FTSE 100 share index over its four-year life span.

The overall performance was again boosted by solid investment support for Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management, which have enjoyed a stock market re-rating in recent months.

We have no reason to believe they will not continue to rise but we have set fresh stop/loss levels some 10% below current prices to ensure we can lock in the bulk of the gains.

AG Barr also received a new stop/loss target as its price responded to an encouraging trading update and the prospects for rationalisation gains after its tie-up with Britvic.

Moodiesburn sausage-skin group Devro came within a whisker of triggering its own sell signal early on before staging a useful recovery to end the week marginally ahead.

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