Author Topic: CoBF members 2018 returns  (Read 12498 times)

John Hjorth

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #70 on: January 07, 2019, 11:01:08 AM »
Graham,

Thank you for your latest edit of your last post. Please remember that there is no right of withdrawal of your original post, as it ends up in many CoBF members' inboxes via notifications.

Hi John, that's fine.  I often edit my posts several times after I write them and I'm sure people end up seeing multiple versions.  I try not to offend anyone more than is necessary, although I do admit my sarcasm runneth over from time to time.

Graham,

I see you read my reply to you exactly the way it was meant. [ : - ) ] Please just ditch and disregard mentally the posts in this topic, that you personally consider dishonest - A tiny test by supplementary questions does not hurt, and it's it: No reply is also a reply. [ : - ) ] - Simply waste of mental energy for your part. [I've been there, done that, got that shirt for prior years ... [i.e.: outstanding return relatively to CoBF average in an up year, combined with reported > 50% percent average cash position during the year, and no visible activity during the year here on CoBF on what that particular CoBF member has been up to during the year, - and no reply to my question.]

-Let it go!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2019, 11:03:12 AM by John Hjorth »
In the race of excellence there is no finish line.
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bathtime

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #71 on: January 07, 2019, 08:58:34 PM »
I feel happy when my returns are good but Im not claiming to be a good investor. Although I do think I could add value to an investment enterprise because I like to think I am a very good explorer of ideas. Its also helpful to know that life is not about money.

Ive taken calculated risk, usually concentrated positions, watched them closely, and sometimes it has worked out and sometimes it hasnt.

I wasnt sure that posting good returns publicly here was a good idea as it invites hubris. But I did work my ass off, and struggled to get them, so it was a way to give myself a pat on the back since I dont really have other people in my life I can talk to about this stuff.

I probably wont post anything more about these returns as all things being equal I probably just got lucky in one form or another.








Dynamic

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2019, 12:23:11 AM »
Despite all the reservations regarding asset-types, leverage (and the reverse of leverage - excess cash and equivalents), currencies, calculations etc, I think the anonymous poll itself has probably been answered with surprisingly high honesty as internet polls go in the last 3 years and any miscalculation by one person has probably largely cancelled out opposite miscalculation by someone else.

My own 2016 result should have been 1 bin higher than the bin I voted for, but it also receive a ludicrous 30% currency boost by virtue of the USD:GBP swing after the Brexit vote, a 11% penalty in 2017 and a 8% boost in 2018.

The range is reasonably closely centered pretty close to the S&P500TR returns for each year, which is quite a tough competitor, with a modest but substantial spread and group of outliers in each direction.

2018 CoBF results - SP500TR returned -4.38%. Currently (after 203 votes) the distribution is centered around a peak (mode) in the -5% to -10% bin, with the -5% to 0% bin a close second, and a very slight skew to the positive side of the distribution, which seems pretty close to what we'd expect.

2017 CoBF results - SP500TR returned 21.83%. Peak (mode) of distribution is in 10-20% bin, but with a slight skew towards higher returns in the tails of the distribution, possibly with mean average close to S&P return. Value Investors might expect to slightly lag bull markets and outperform bear markets, perhaps explaining why the mode was just below the 20-30% bin.

2016 CoBF results - SP500TR returned 11.96%. Peak (mode) of distribution is in 10-15% bin, but with a slight skew towards higher returns in the tails of the distribution so it looks like we slightly beat the index on average as a group. I think Berkshire's 2015 closing price probably helped quite a few of us. For a few of us currency effects were enormous (+30.0% benefit for my USD:GBP conversion, compared to -10.7% in 2017 and +7.8% in 2018).


I certainly agree about calculations and about reporting bias. We should be careful not to be envious and dispondent, nor smug and overconfident in comparison to other people reporting their returns on the internet (even if it is in a great place of self-reflection and honesty like CoBF, where biases are much more in check than most forums) nor to assign too much weight to the distribution that a poll like this provides, which does look like it is reasonably well centered around the S&P500 Total Return over the last 3 years, but with a fairly broad spread and a few outliers at the extremes.

And we should certainly be the masters of our own internal scorecard where we have our own goals and objectives and our own risk profiles which may differ wildly from others.

Indeed, for concentrated investors years might pass between one very high conviction idea and the next, but by allocating significant capital to them when they arrive, substantial out-performance may arise in the long term, despite regular under-performance from year to year.

Some may aim for safety above all else, some may risk a lot of their current capital in highly concentrated high conviction positions knowing they have many years of future savings to make up for any losses or simply being accepting of wild volatility in the style of Charlie Munger's early superinvestor career, some may insist on enough margin of safety to reduce risk of loss and simultaneously increase their prospects of outsized gains but on the flip-side they spend long periods in cash waiting for enough margin of safety. Some may have been exceptionally unlucky or lucky in the last year despite decent decision making considering in respect of long-term intrinsic value (in my alternative scenario I could have held AAPL and IBM as they went down over 20% and held onto WFC into the bear market, and didn't have the cash available to take advantage of the dip, so I feel I benefited from a lot of luck).
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 05:28:00 AM by Dynamic »

Liberty

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #73 on: January 09, 2019, 11:43:02 AM »
Thanks for doing the math, Dynamic.
"Most haystacks don't even have a needle." |  I'm on Twitter  | The importance of saying 'oops'

John Hjorth

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #74 on: January 09, 2019, 12:28:26 PM »
I just added the poll. -Please take it! [ : - ) ]

- - - o 0 o - - -

Maximum votes per user: 1,
Run the poll for : 90 days,
Allow users to change vote: Yes,
Result visibility : Show the poll's results to anyone.

- - - o 0 o - - -

I hope I haven't screwed up anything here.

Bumping this up for informational purpose here - here, especially for Dynamic : You should be able to fine tune your vote - with an "Edit vote" button, if you feel inclined to do so. Also, I suppose - by logic - that option disappears within 90 days.
In the race of excellence there is no finish line.
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Dynamic

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #75 on: January 09, 2019, 12:47:37 PM »
Yes, unfortunately, John my only minor error was in 2016 and its bite to late to change it to 50%+ (or for that matter to 20%+if I switched to USD currency)

John Hjorth

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #76 on: January 09, 2019, 12:58:49 PM »
Dynamic,

lol. Well, the chess watch on that has perhaps not only run out - Perhaps the metal parts of it are now already recycled into a SUV right front fender.

On a serious note, I'm happy I in this topic opted for voters to edit.

Errare humanum est.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2019, 01:04:28 PM by John Hjorth »
In the race of excellence there is no finish line.
-HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai

Foreign Tuffett

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Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
« Reply #77 on: January 17, 2019, 11:03:58 AM »
+7.24%

Things I did well:

- Used volatility to my advantage. In other words, I did a fairly good job of buying low and selling high. The vast majority of companies/stocks aren't long term compounders, so I think being sensitive to valuation is very important
- Used special situations (tender offers, merger arb, etc) and ex-US investments to diversify 
- My larger positions did materially better than my smaller positions
- I ran a diversified portfolio all year, which increases the odds that I actually did some things right, and wasn't just lucky
- While there were some unfortunate exceptions, I generally maintained price discipline when buying and selling instead of "chasing the tape" up and down
- To paraphrase Lord Keynes: when the facts changed, I did a fairly good job of changing my mind.

Things I need to improve:

- At times I bought before doing sufficient due diligence. This isn't mere hindsight, I knew at the time that my research was insufficient, but bought anyway out of fear of missing out and/or impatience
- I invested in low quality (tangible asset heavy, cyclical, industry in secular decline, etc) businesses without demanding a sufficient margin of safety. This year I plan to focus on higher quality businesses   
- I need to swing the bat a little harder when I see a fat pitch. I'm naturally risk adverse, so this is difficult for me to do
- I generally find nano/micro/small cap companies much easier to understand and analyze than large and mega cap companies. This year I plan on doing a better job of "staying in my lane"
- While my sample size is small, buy decisions based primarily or exclusively on quantitative criteria haven't worked very well for me. I need to focus on qualitative criteria too.
- Focus on the underlying business and ignore the noise. Focus on the underlying business and ignore the noise. Focus on the underlying business and ignore the noise.