Review of 2014

End of year means time to review how I did.

Overall up c22%, given that the FTSE is slightly down for 2014 that isnt a bad result. As quite a few of my holdings are small cap AIM is down quite significantly about 20% so this makes performance even more positive. This was done with minimal leverage.

Risk has been quite well managed – max peak to trough down months have been about 6% and even this is misleading as these months were often following large rises the prior month.

I am a bit disappointed more of the things I posted on here didnt work out – my performance has largely been due to pre-existing holdings rather than things I posted here.
Things which didnt work – or havent yet.

Polo Resources – Market hates resources co’s right now – nothing that bad has happened but share price performing awfully.

Invista European Real Estate Prefs – Nav performed slightly worse than I expected – ordinaries are still not worthless but risk has increased. No Sales, might change with QE in Europe / some asset sales.

London Capital Group – still being looted by management, share price hasnt noticed. It is still too cheap to short. Rational decision to take a loss on this one – though if I had held it would have come back to my purchase price.

Silver – held all the way down from c $40 to $16 for a substantial loss. Exited – it made sense to hold as I was worried about GBP and remained bullish on precious metals – ultimately I was wrong on this.

Partnership assurance – entered this one in March – expecting a rapid rebound. It didnt happen – instead share was flat until September, I got out at a minimal loss, it fell about a third and has rebounded. Glad I exited – share wasnt performing – however there was an opportunity in October, which I completely missed.

Dragon Ukrainian Property – posted then Russia invaded so I got out at a slight profit. I still like the share, its uninvestable for me due to politics of the region. I am amazed at how slow the stock reacted to what was goign on.

EDF – sold out – Oil/ gas price fall makes this less attractive as a holding. I had held since 2011 for little return – it was time to put my capital to better use.

KPN – European Telcos are not doing well generally its a deflationary sector and the company wasnt doing well – so time to get out. Again I had tied up capital here for years – with little return.

Asian Citrus – Hit by a Typhoon, cryogenic freezing rain (WTF?), Citrus Canker – all in all a good year, down 80% on cost. Tempted to put more in – but with luck like that I am much too scared.

Winnning ideas

    Lamprell – good co, made a bit of money but sold out just before oil price fall and fall in oil servicers.

    Man Group – this has made my year. I entered in October 2013 at about 88p. I was very confident so put big size on. It has done 88% since I invested and paid a dividend. Due to the weighting in my portfolio it has made all the difference. I have sold a little to derisk my portfolio.

    FFY – initial rise following offer helped. Sold and reentered due to shenannigans – invested at reasonable size – hope this will do well in 2015/6.

    Tinci – only posted a week ago but up a few % – pretty confident this will work and get 2015 off to a good start.

    FP. – broadly worked out – tender offer was nice – disappointing broker dropped stock as it was rising most strongly – so I missed out due to no fault of my own!

    Symphony International Holdings – returned 23% over year if one includes dividends. NAV is now $1.47. Listed investments and cash $1.16 – so 28% discount. Tempted to add more to this one if we get a dip in the price.

    BTEM – done OK – wish I had bought…

    TCF – Terra Catalyst Fund 66% gain – still substantial upside c100% falling due to market boredom – this will work out – it may take 4 years but there will be upside here – I will wait and buy more when the price is lower.

    So that’s my year.

    Next year
    Goal: 30-40% gain in portfolio value.

    I need to look into more things – put more size on when I think it meets the quality bar and not do anything where it does not.


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