It’s tough getting selected for State of Origin. You’ve got to be in form and be the perfect fit for a specific role in the team the coach needs to fill. But the good news is, you probably only need to string together a couple of big performances at the right time of year to get the nod.

In comparison, getting picked by the Elston team is much tougher.

Almost every stock that has made it into one of our portfolios has been sitting on the sidelines for a period of time. They’ve been watched and analysed again and again. It’s only when they’ve proven that they’ve really got what it takes that they get in the starting lineup.

To understand why it’s so difficult for a stock to be selected, it’s important to look at the process involved. It all starts with idea generation. Everyone in the Elston Asset Management team is constantly reviewing companies on the ASX. When a strong candidate is identified, the idea is brought to the table for discussion.

If there is agreement in the group, the suggested company is then subjected to rigorous research. This could take months. Even if it gets through this phase of the process, there’s another vital step – valuation.

Valuation is often the big barrier to selection. This is because, even if a stock looks solid, if the price just doesn’t make sense, no action will be taken. At least not for now. Many stocks have been stopped at this point and gone back to the beginning year after year.

An example of this is carsales (ASX:CAR).

It was first brought to the table in 2018. It was tabled again in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022. It was only added to the portfolio in January 2023.

Five years. That’s the football equivalent of watching a player from the age of 15. Going to every match. Poring over every stat. Talking to the coach and the medics again and again.

But it’s worth it in the end. Only quality stocks with the ability to perform strongly over the long term get selected.

If you’d like to know more about the Elston investment process, speak to your adviser and they’ll be more than happy to walk you through it.