Our tough stance on out-of-favour share tips paid off last week when our slimmed-down portfolios put on a resilient performance in the face of another stock market downturn.

True, the total gain was only a derisory £10 with small gains for the 2014 and 2015 lists cancelling out losses elsewhere.

But it would have been much, much worse if we had held on to the half dozen recommendations sold under the stop loss system a week earlier.

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Five of these shares suffered further sharp falls with technology giant Micro Focus down a thumping 15 per cent after lack-lustre trading news and Pennon, Sainsbury, CVS and Whitbread shedding up to 5 per cent each.

Only fragrances and flavourings group Treatt bucked the trend with a small recovery after an earlier bout of profit taking.

Combined losses of the six amounted to £308 over the week and would have seen all four portfolios move heavily into the red when we carried out our review of progress on Wednesday morning.

On the debit side, recent disposals under the stop-loss system have left the portfolios with disproportionally large cash reserves and would lead to us under performing if the stock market should perk up in coming weeks..

With this in mind, we decided to re-invest some of the money in our 2017 portfolio on Wednesday morning when we plumped for a notional safety first purchases of shares in the Anglo-Dutch Reckitt Benckiser group and in Rentokil International.

Both companies specialise in must-have products which should provide some protection in times of economic uncertainty with Reckitt’s goods ranging from Strepsils to Dettol and Rentokil offering a range of services from rat catching to industrial clothing and office plants.

Even so, we have set out usual stop loss target, some 10 per cent below the current price at which we advise followers to consider selling.

Most of our remaining share tips trade well above these levels although Alton Towers and Madame Tussauds theme park owner Merlin is only a few pence from triggering a sell signal.

And Dundee-registered specialised textiles group Low & Bonar is in similar danger following a sharp fall in the wake of disappointing trading news.