We decided to refresh our investment portfolios with three new share recommendations on Wednesday morning after a highly successful week for the majority of our existing tips.

Packaging group DS Smith, cash-and-carry specialist Booker and alternative energy supplier Infinis have languished in recent weeks but look set for an early rebound after producing encouraging trading news.

We believe that all the shares have solid underpinning in the form of generous dividends, although we have set our usual stop-loss levels. This target figure is set around 10% below the nominal purchase price of individual shares and is adjusted weekly on an upwards-only basis.

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Smith and Booker have been added to our 2011 portfolio, which has been sitting on a notional pile of cash after recent disposals. Infinis joins the 2012 list.

Encouragingly, virtually all of our existing loss-making tips managed useful recoveries last week, with the notable exception of Marks & Spencer, which did little more than tread water in the face of further management changes.

Other recommendations were boosted by a recovery in global stock markets after good economic news from China . The 2011 portfolio was the main beneficiary, with its overall valuation up 2.4%, helped by a surge in support for distribution group DCC after its recent healthcare acquisition and fresh buying of Compass ahead of a planned return of cash to shareholders.

The 2012 and 2013 selections also pushed towards new peak valuations with gains of around 1.5%. But our latest 2014 list lagged behind, rising just 0.3% after overall gains were pegged back by a 5% drop in shares of TSB as profit-takers moved in after the initial post-flotation enthusiasm.