Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax Message Board

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: John Hjorth on December 31, 2018, 02:55:47 PM

Title: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on December 31, 2018, 02:55:47 PM
Meh [<- sorry, typo!] Me: Minus 3.1 percent, measured in my local obscure currency DKK, pegged to EUR. [My worst year so far.]
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: shalab on December 31, 2018, 03:11:19 PM
Here are the bench mark returns for the year from WSJ:

For the year, the Dow industrials were down 5.6%, the S&P 500 off 6.2% and the Nasdaq down 3.9%.

Stock markets elsewhere around the world fared even worse. The Stoxx Europe 600 shed 13% in 2018, while the U.K.ís FTSE 100 declined 13% and Japanís Nikkei Stock Average fell 12%.

Meh [<- sorry, typo!] Me: Minus 3.1 percent, measured in my local obscure currency DKK, pegged to EUR. [My worst year so far.]
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Fat Pitch on December 31, 2018, 03:14:24 PM
~700% for the year. 20% allocation in applications building on blockchain infrastructure knocked it out of the park. Not much alpha from stocks this year (3%).
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: TBW on December 31, 2018, 03:17:19 PM
-5% for me
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: JRM on December 31, 2018, 03:22:22 PM
Here are the bench mark returns for the year from WSJ:

For the year, the Dow industrials were down 5.6%, the S&P 500 off 6.2% and the Nasdaq down 3.9%.

Stock markets elsewhere around the world fared even worse. The Stoxx Europe 600 shed 13% in 2018, while the U.K.ís FTSE 100 declined 13% and Japanís Nikkei Stock Average fell 12%.

Meh [<- sorry, typo!] Me: Minus 3.1 percent, measured in my local obscure currency DKK, pegged to EUR. [My worst year so far.]


Most people report their total return, so its only fair to compare to the total return of an index (if that's how one chooses to measure performance).

2016: 9.3%
2017: 32.06%
2018: -3.12%

Its surprising to me how closely I tracked the S&P given how much of my portfolio was in special situations this year.  Oh well.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on December 31, 2018, 03:54:55 PM
Later today, my local time, I'll add a poll to this topic, so that we can see how the CoBF people have fared during 2018, at least for those who'll take the poll.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: sarganaga on December 31, 2018, 04:44:45 PM
-3.5 percent. Emerging markets & royalty trusts hurt.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: KJP on December 31, 2018, 06:05:12 PM
+11% USD, pre-tax

Last three years (USD, pre-tax):
2018: 11%
2017: 10%
2016: 22%

Last year I had alot of small to medium size winners and two big losers.  This year was the reverse.  Two big winners (Cambium Learning Group and Xpel) and almost everything else was down, several substantially so (Fortress Paper, Innovative Food Holdings, Keck Seng, Flybe, EZ Corp). 
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: nkp007 on December 31, 2018, 10:49:26 PM
~700% for the year. 20% allocation in applications building on blockchain infrastructure knocked it out of the park. Not much alpha from stocks this year (3%).

LOL. Get me some of this.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: EricSchleien on December 31, 2018, 11:46:42 PM
-8.94%
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: LC on January 01, 2019, 01:09:47 AM
Mine are a bit sloppy to calculate as I liquidated to buy a house in Jan. Will try to calculate and post for completeness' sake

Looks like I'm up somewhere between 5-7%.

Pretty much sold everything late Jan and started reinvesting in Dec, so not really useful.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: kab60 on January 01, 2019, 02:19:09 AM
-6,5%

Compares with

2017: 18,5
2016: 45
2015: 12,5
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: writser on January 01, 2019, 04:07:14 AM
Up ~15.3% for the year according to my brokerage statements (in EUR. ~10% in USD terms). That number is probably a bit too conservative because I like to collect tax credits, tax deductibles, CVR's, liquidation trusts, escrow payments and other non-traded assets that my brokers assign no value to. That stuff should add additional ~1.2% or something (based on last traded price) but I'll include those results when realized. Past few years:

2017: 22.7%
2016: 36.6%
2015: 11.9%
2014: 17.5%
2013: 24.1%
2012: 22.0%

I'm reasonably happy with how things worked out this year. My portfolio tends to be diversified (I guess I have ~50 positions now) with relatively high turnover so evidence is mounting up that I'm adding a bit of alpha. I think my portfolio is on the conservative side: diversified, an average ~15% cash balance and my core holdings tend to be boring asset plays. I like that composition: the market pays me to hold boring stuff and I play around with special situations to add (hopefully) a bit of alpha and to avoid getting bored myself. Compounding at 30% p.a. would be nice but I'm doing this full-time with my own money and would be perfectly happy with 10% p.a. and low volatility rather than aiming for the stars. My hope is that my portfolio is relatively market neutral and the past few months seem to indicate that that is the case: my portfolio only dropped ~3% or something and I managed to deploy a bit more cash. Pleased with that. No stress. Would be happy to see the market drop another 20%.

In terms of special situations LIME Energy (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181003005877/en/Willdan-Signs-Agreement-Acquire-Lime-Energy) was the coolest thing that happened this year. Obscure OTC merger where you had to figure out the exact merger consideration by going through a bunch of filings and making some educated guesses. I looked at it with a few other forum members (was an illiquid idea) and managed to buy a big position at $4.80 average. The deal closed a few weeks later at $6.36, very close to our estimates. Easiest money of the year. That was awesome. SIGM (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/sigm-sigma-designs/), CKTM (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/cktm-commerce-bank-of-temecula-valley-merger-arbitrage/), RENN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/renn-renren-inc/20/), RSYS (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/radisys/20/) and RMGN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rmg-networks-(nasdaqrmgn)/) were another few situation that worked out great. Although a few situation didn't (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rosg-rosetta-genomics-ltd-(merger-arb-)/) work out (https://seekingalpha.com/article/4205344-digirad-drad-acquire-atrm-holdings-atrm-slideshow) I managed to avoid big losses. Overall I'm content with my position selection and -sizing this year. No big blowups like last year (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/dest-destination-maternity/). For 2019 I expect the UWN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/uwn-nevada-gold/30/) and BDMS mergers to close soon and it will be interesting to see what will happen with Mitek (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/mitk-mitek-systems/) and Northstar Realty Europe (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/nre-northstar-realty-europe-corp/) and how the Vulcan (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/vulc-vulcan-international/) and Western One (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/weq-western-one-inc/) liquidations will work out, amongst others.

In terms of core positions not much happened. PD-RX (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/pdrx-pd-rx-pharmaceuticals/) is finally paying out all the excess cash and has been a great stock to own during the year. My largest single holding, Conduril (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/conduril/), finally managed to clean up its balance sheet but the situation in Angola has been deteriorating. Remains to be seen how that works out. Deswell (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/deswell-industries-(dswl)/10/) ran up nicely during the year and I sold my position (might be getting interesting again). Retail holdings (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rhdgf-retail-holdings/) still busy with its liquidation. Remains to be seen how they dispose their Bangladesh assets. Boring companies in Hong Kong are still cheap (https://alphavulture.com/2014/07/25/ming-fai-international-holdings-200-upside/) and stocks (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/5965-jp-fujimak-corp/) in Japan (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/7235-jp-tokyo-radiator-manufacturing/) are still cheap too. Italian real estate funds (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/qfdi-fondo-delta-(italian-real-estate)/) are still liquidating. Asta funding (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/asfi-asta-funding/10/) is still dirt cheap but management is still questionable. I was a bit disappointed by Conrad Industries (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/cnrd-conrad-industries/) and Pardee Resources (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/pder-pardee-resources/) this year. There's not a single position I'm super excited about but all of the above are boring, cheap and well-capitalized.

The one thing I'm least happy with for 2018 is that I think I'm sometimes too focused on the balance sheet and that I have a hard time valuing GARP stocks or names that are cheap on a EV/EBITDA basis. Hemacare (https://alphavulture.com/2017/05/02/hemacare-deep-value-turning-into-growth-story/), Xpel (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/xpel-technologie-dap-u/), Cambium learning (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/abcd-cambium-learning-group/10/), Aimia preferreds (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/tsxaim-aimia/), Viemed (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/vmd-to-viemed-healthcare-inc/) and Rumbleon (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rmbl-rumbleon/) were among names that I thought looked very interesting at some point this year but at no point could I get comfortable enough with my own valuations. So either I didn't buy them at all or I bought them and sold a few months later for a small gain, missing the big picture. I feel like my returns can be improved if I have a better grasp of how to value names such as the above and if I have the patience to hold them for a few years. These GARP-y things also tend to be more volatile so I think there's potential in this space even if your valuation work isn't top notch. Something to work on in 2019.

And the best part of the year (at least with regards to investing): I hope that this year I'll outperform my investing hero AlphaVulture (https://www.alphavulture.com/) for the first time ever!

Also the crypto collapse and the year-end stock market meltdown were very entertaining to follow during the year. Crashes make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Free outperformance :P .
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: frommi on January 01, 2019, 04:28:25 AM
+22% after fees/costs, before taxes, in Ä. Was up by 30% at the end of November but fucked up my trading in the last two weeks, while i must admit that the volatility really helped my future trading. But I still have a lot to learn und stay more disciplined.

Over the past 5 years my portfolio outperformed the MSCI World by 5% per year with only half the drawdowns (-10%) and no loss years, while still testing a lot of stuff and wasting a lot of money on unnecessary speculations. Dividends now cover all my basic living expenses, so i am inclined to think that i am financially free now.

---------------------
Longs: (-4.6%)
-2.5% NCAV              (sold nearly all ncav stocks in H1, -16% if i didn`t make the switch)
-5.3% Dividend stocks   (increased the size from 20% to 97% of networth at the end of Q2, market performance -8.8% in that timeframe)
+3.2% Options (Bullish) (selling put options on single stocks, on margin, never more than +15% leverage)

Shorts: (+17.7%)
-3.0% Options (Bearish) (Short Stocks Experiment, 15 stocks from a portfolio123-system, bear call spread+put options) -> too expensive!
+3.7% Options (Bearish) (DAX Puts+TSLA bear call spreads)
+17% Trading futures    (short only, trend following approach using Dow Theory and Elliott wave analysis, max. 50%-100% short exposure, NQ+RTY,
                         ~320 Trades, 60% win rate (excl. break-even trades), profit factor 2.5, 50% of trades stopped out @ break-even)

+8.8% Currencies        (EUR/USD, MXN futures in H1)
--------------------
Numbers included in performance above:
Commissions, fees, interest: 2.7% (1% expensive trading accounts,1.2% Options,0.5% futures). OTC and british stocks most expensive. This was mainly because i liquidated the NCAV portfolio and tested shorting stocks with options, should be way lower next year.
--------------------
Achievements:
DAX forecaster of the year: https://www.informunity.de/dax_ranking.p?ST=Y
Best DAX forecaster over 5 years: https://www.informunity.de/dax_ranking.p?PO=0&ST=T
--------------------

Learnings:

NCAV:
- Don`t buy low quality NCAV stocks anymore. Check past earnings record. Only buy when price/(past earnings)<10 or ideally when current p/e<10. Maybe returns are lower, but the win rate is higher.
- Don`t sell quality netnets below NCAV, have more patience! (Sold PBSV @ ~0.65, it ran up to 1.2$.)
- Focus on developed markets like USA, Japan, Singapur and avoid debt. (EV<Mktcap)

Dividends:
- Reduce holdings to 15-20. (done already)
- Future growth rate is the most important input into valuation, so use all sources to get a good estimate. (analyst projections, guidance, own estimates)

Future trading:
- NEVER RISK MORE THAN 0.5% per trade! Had to encapsulate this, because my fuckups usually are a violation of this rule. One can always increase the number of contracts when the stop on the trade is on break-even.

Options:
- 30-40 days out, buy back at 50%. Don`t buy back because of gut feeling.
- Only buy options with >1 year to expiration. One exception: DAX put options in summer

So it looks like market timing is my niche, but i am still trying to get better at the other stuff. No experiments planned for 2019, so my R&D expenses should go down. Only speculation in 2019 will be the short on Tesla, because i think that the constant flow of information via Twitter gives me an edge here and i already made money on it in 2018 with good timing.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: petec on January 01, 2019, 05:03:35 AM
Up ~15.3% for the year according to my brokerage statements (in EUR. ~10% in USD terms). That number is probably a bit too conservative because I like to collect tax credits, tax deductibles, CVR's, liquidation trusts, escrow payments and other non-traded assets that my brokers assign no value to. That stuff should add additional ~1.2% or something (based on last traded price) but I'll include those results when realized. Past few years:

2017: 22.7%
2016: 36.6%
2015: 11.9%
2014: 17.5%
2013: 24.1%
2012: 22.0%

I'm reasonably happy with how things worked out this year. My portfolio tends to be diversified (I guess I have ~50 positions now) with relatively high turnover so evidence is mounting up that I'm adding a bit of alpha. I think my portfolio is on the conservative side: diversified, an average ~15% cash balance and my core holdings tend to be boring asset plays. I like that composition: the market pays me to hold boring stuff and I play around with special situations to add (hopefully) a bit of alpha and to avoid getting bored myself. Compounding at 30% p.a. would be nice but I'm doing this full-time with my own money and would be perfectly happy with 10% p.a. and low volatility rather than aiming for the stars. My hope is that my portfolio is relatively market neutral and the past few months seem to indicate that that is the case: my portfolio only dropped ~3% or something and I managed to deploy a bit more cash. Pleased with that. No stress. Would be happy to see the market drop another 20%.

In terms of special situations LIME Energy (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181003005877/en/Willdan-Signs-Agreement-Acquire-Lime-Energy) was the coolest thing that happened this year. Obscure OTC merger where you had to figure out the exact merger consideration by going through a bunch of filings and making some educated guesses. I looked at it with a few other forum members (was an illiquid idea) and managed to buy a big position at $4.80 average. The deal closed a few weeks later at $6.36, very close to our estimates. Easiest money of the year. That was awesome. SIGM (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/sigm-sigma-designs/), CKTM (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/cktm-commerce-bank-of-temecula-valley-merger-arbitrage/), RENN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/renn-renren-inc/20/), RSYS (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/radisys/20/) and RMGN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rmg-networks-(nasdaqrmgn)/) were another few situation that worked out great. Although a few situation didn't (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rosg-rosetta-genomics-ltd-(merger-arb-)/) work out (https://seekingalpha.com/article/4205344-digirad-drad-acquire-atrm-holdings-atrm-slideshow) I managed to avoid big losses. Overall I'm content with my position selection and -sizing this year. No big blowups like last year (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/dest-destination-maternity/). For 2019 I expect the UWN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/uwn-nevada-gold/30/) and BDMS mergers to close soon and it will be interesting to see what will happen with Mitek (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/mitk-mitek-systems/) and Northstar Realty Europe (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/nre-northstar-realty-europe-corp/) and how the Vulcan (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/vulc-vulcan-international/) and Western One (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/weq-western-one-inc/) liquidations will work out, amongst others.

In terms of core positions not much happened. PD-RX (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/pdrx-pd-rx-pharmaceuticals/) is finally paying out all the excess cash and has been a great stock to own during the year. My largest single holding, Conduril (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/conduril/), finally managed to clean up its balance sheet but the situation in Angola has been deteriorating. Remains to be seen how that works out. Deswell (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/deswell-industries-(dswl)/10/) ran up nicely during the year and I sold my position (might be getting interesting again). Retail holdings (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rhdgf-retail-holdings/) still busy with its liquidation. Remains to be seen how they dispose their Bangladesh assets. Boring companies in Hong Kong are still cheap (https://alphavulture.com/2014/07/25/ming-fai-international-holdings-200-upside/) and stocks (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/5965-jp-fujimak-corp/) in Japan (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/7235-jp-tokyo-radiator-manufacturing/) are still cheap too. Italian real estate funds (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/qfdi-fondo-delta-(italian-real-estate)/) are still liquidating. Asta funding (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/asfi-asta-funding/10/) is still dirt cheap but management is still questionable. I was a bit disappointed by Conrad Industries (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/cnrd-conrad-industries/) and Pardee Resources (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/pder-pardee-resources/) this year. There's not a single position I'm super excited about but all of the above are boring, cheap and well-capitalized.

The one thing I'm least happy with for 2018 is that I think I'm sometimes too focused on the balance sheet and that I have a hard time valuing GARP stocks or names that are cheap on a EV/EBITDA basis. Hemacare (https://alphavulture.com/2017/05/02/hemacare-deep-value-turning-into-growth-story/), Xpel (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/xpel-technologie-dap-u/), Cambium learning (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/abcd-cambium-learning-group/10/), Aimia preferreds (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/tsxaim-aimia/), Viemed (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/vmd-to-viemed-healthcare-inc/) and Rumbleon (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rmbl-rumbleon/) were among names that I thought looked very interesting at some point this year but at no point could I get comfortable enough with my own valuations. So either I didn't buy them at all or I bought them and sold a few months later for a small gain, missing the big picture. I feel like my returns can be improved if I have a better grasp of how to value names such as the above and if I have the patience to hold them for a few years. These GARP-y things also tend to be more volatile so I think there's potential in this space even if your valuation work isn't top notch. Something to work on in 2019.

And the best part of the year (at least with regards to investing): I hope that this year I'll outperform my investing hero AlphaVulture (https://www.alphavulture.com/) for the first time ever!

Also the crypto collapse and the year-end stock market meltdown were very entertaining to follow during the year. Crashes make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Free outperformance :P .

Great record and great post.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: sleepydragon on January 01, 2019, 07:07:54 AM
-2.88%
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: KJP on January 01, 2019, 07:35:14 AM
Up ~15.3% for the year according to my brokerage statements (in EUR. ~10% in USD terms). That number is probably a bit too conservative because I like to collect tax credits, tax deductibles, CVR's, liquidation trusts, escrow payments and other non-traded assets that my brokers assign no value to. That stuff should add additional ~1.2% or something (based on last traded price) but I'll include those results when realized. Past few years:

2017: 22.7%
2016: 36.6%
2015: 11.9%
2014: 17.5%
2013: 24.1%
2012: 22.0%

I'm reasonably happy with how things worked out this year. My portfolio tends to be diversified (I guess I have ~50 positions now) with relatively high turnover so evidence is mounting up that I'm adding a bit of alpha. I think my portfolio is on the conservative side: diversified, an average ~15% cash balance and my core holdings tend to be boring asset plays. I like that composition: the market pays me to hold boring stuff and I play around with special situations to add (hopefully) a bit of alpha and to avoid getting bored myself. Compounding at 30% p.a. would be nice but I'm doing this full-time with my own money and would be perfectly happy with 10% p.a. and low volatility rather than aiming for the stars. My hope is that my portfolio is relatively market neutral and the past few months seem to indicate that that is the case: my portfolio only dropped ~3% or something and I managed to deploy a bit more cash. Pleased with that. No stress. Would be happy to see the market drop another 20%.

In terms of special situations LIME Energy (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20181003005877/en/Willdan-Signs-Agreement-Acquire-Lime-Energy) was the coolest thing that happened this year. Obscure OTC merger where you had to figure out the exact merger consideration by going through a bunch of filings and making some educated guesses. I looked at it with a few other forum members (was an illiquid idea) and managed to buy a big position at $4.80 average. The deal closed a few weeks later at $6.36, very close to our estimates. Easiest money of the year. That was awesome. SIGM (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/sigm-sigma-designs/), CKTM (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/cktm-commerce-bank-of-temecula-valley-merger-arbitrage/), RENN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/renn-renren-inc/20/), RSYS (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/radisys/20/) and RMGN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rmg-networks-(nasdaqrmgn)/) were another few situation that worked out great. Although a few situation didn't (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rosg-rosetta-genomics-ltd-(merger-arb-)/) work out (https://seekingalpha.com/article/4205344-digirad-drad-acquire-atrm-holdings-atrm-slideshow) I managed to avoid big losses. Overall I'm content with my position selection and -sizing this year. No big blowups like last year (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/dest-destination-maternity/). For 2019 I expect the UWN (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/uwn-nevada-gold/30/) and BDMS mergers to close soon and it will be interesting to see what will happen with Mitek (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/mitk-mitek-systems/) and Northstar Realty Europe (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/nre-northstar-realty-europe-corp/) and how the Vulcan (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/vulc-vulcan-international/) and Western One (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/weq-western-one-inc/) liquidations will work out, amongst others.

In terms of core positions not much happened. PD-RX (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/pdrx-pd-rx-pharmaceuticals/) is finally paying out all the excess cash and has been a great stock to own during the year. My largest single holding, Conduril (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/conduril/), finally managed to clean up its balance sheet but the situation in Angola has been deteriorating. Remains to be seen how that works out. Deswell (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/deswell-industries-(dswl)/10/) ran up nicely during the year and I sold my position (might be getting interesting again). Retail holdings (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rhdgf-retail-holdings/) still busy with its liquidation. Remains to be seen how they dispose their Bangladesh assets. Boring companies in Hong Kong are still cheap (https://alphavulture.com/2014/07/25/ming-fai-international-holdings-200-upside/) and stocks (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/5965-jp-fujimak-corp/) in Japan (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/7235-jp-tokyo-radiator-manufacturing/) are still cheap too. Italian real estate funds (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/qfdi-fondo-delta-(italian-real-estate)/) are still liquidating. Asta funding (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/asfi-asta-funding/10/) is still dirt cheap but management is still questionable. I was a bit disappointed by Conrad Industries (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/cnrd-conrad-industries/) and Pardee Resources (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/pder-pardee-resources/) this year. There's not a single position I'm super excited about but all of the above are boring, cheap and well-capitalized.

The one thing I'm least happy with for 2018 is that I think I'm sometimes too focused on the balance sheet and that I have a hard time valuing GARP stocks or names that are cheap on a EV/EBITDA basis. Hemacare (https://alphavulture.com/2017/05/02/hemacare-deep-value-turning-into-growth-story/), Xpel (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/xpel-technologie-dap-u/), Cambium learning (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/abcd-cambium-learning-group/10/), Aimia preferreds (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/tsxaim-aimia/), Viemed (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/vmd-to-viemed-healthcare-inc/) and Rumbleon (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/investment-ideas/rmbl-rumbleon/) were among names that I thought looked very interesting at some point this year but at no point could I get comfortable enough with my own valuations. So either I didn't buy them at all or I bought them and sold a few months later for a small gain, missing the big picture. I feel like my returns can be improved if I have a better grasp of how to value names such as the above and if I have the patience to hold them for a few years. These GARP-y things also tend to be more volatile so I think there's potential in this space even if your valuation work isn't top notch. Something to work on in 2019.

And the best part of the year (at least with regards to investing): I hope that this year I'll outperform my investing hero AlphaVulture (https://www.alphavulture.com/) for the first time ever!

Also the crypto collapse and the year-end stock market meltdown were very entertaining to follow during the year. Crashes make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Free outperformance :P .

Great record and great post.

+1. 

Writser:  Really great work.  How many hours/week do you spend on your investments?
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: bizaro86 on January 01, 2019, 07:36:50 AM
9.77%

Winners included and RSYS, IKM.TO/PEA.TO, LIF.TO, and FOX.

Biggest loser was IVFH. NYRT wasn't great either.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: rolling on January 01, 2019, 08:06:00 AM
Returns are hard to quantify: had two big withdrawals that luckily happened when the portfolio was doing well. If I assume those withdrawals weren't there at the beggining of the year (and forget the leverage it offered), return was about 6,4% (it was actually 11% because someone manipulated the year end quote of my biggest holding). So:

2ndhalf 2011 and 2012:  20%
2013: 30%
2014: 50%
2015: less 5%
2016: 50%
2017: 160-170%
2018: 6% (adjusted downwards for the leverage and for the quote manipulation... Must do the opposite adjustment next year, otherwise I'll have to take the dishonest 11%)

Results before taxes but after all other costs.

Since my core holdings are now much cheaper than they were before, i actually feel much richer than I was, since I now have more upside and less downside on those holdings.

Edit: returns in euro
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: SafetyinNumbers on January 01, 2019, 08:19:59 AM
~700% for the year. 20% allocation in applications building on blockchain infrastructure knocked it out of the park. Not much alpha from stocks this year (3%).

LOL. Get me some of this.

Thatís also after 12000% last year so is this year humbling after a year like that? The portfolio must be well over a $100m now. Is that making it harder to find opportunity?
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Rod on January 01, 2019, 08:41:33 AM
Well, I did worse than any of you: -9.1%. Being almost entirely in small cap Canadian stocks didn't help this year!
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: thepupil on January 01, 2019, 08:51:36 AM
2017:

Quote
Taxable 1:    12.5%, (11.2% annualized since 5/2013), this account runs hedged to a max 20% drawdown (via lots of puts), used to short, and owns puts that hedge taxable 2 so it's a little skewed downward but no excuses lol)

Taxable 2:    Whatever unhedged Berkshire did, more or less, no long term performance data, recently opened Fido account

IRA:             18.5%  (22.5% annualized since 10/2013), concentrated long only

IRA 2            ~16%, Fido account rolled over last year so no long term performance was a 401k in stable value previously

Roth IRA:     16.8%  (17.8% annualized since 10/2013), concentrated long only


Spent a lot on hedges and margin interest in my taxable (which is fine because that's the plan, I invest 100% of my paycheck in my taxable and borrow from it to fund living expenditures, basically I buy 100% of my takehome in hedged Berkshire. The IRA's underperformed but they are very lumpy and I'm okay with that.

Worst decision was getting rid of ~200 bps of BTC in 2016 "cleaning up portfolio".

2018:

All Interactive Brokers accounts (this is Taxable 1, IRA 1, and Roth consolidated into one performance because I'm lazy now):

1 yr: -2.41% with S&P and ACWI at -4.3% and -9.4%
3 yr: +14.9% / annum with S&P and ACWI at +9.3% and +6.6%
5 yr: +10.2% / annum with S&P and ACWI at +8.5% and +4.3%

Outperformance to S&P for consolidated IBKR accounts. I am US based and heavily biased to the US and real estate/financials.
1 yr: +1.9%
3 yr: +5.6%
5 yr: +1.7%

Oddly, this year (a down year) my best performing account was the taxable account that is levered long (on a cash basis) and pays a fair bit of margin interest but is hedged with puts to a max drawdown. That account was up 4.4%. The 100% long and unhedged accounts were down between 6 and 8%.

Thus far in my investing career, I don't know if I've added much value against the indices in terms of risk adjusted returns. 1/2 of my assets are in non-taxable accounts which makes me less concerned about adding value after taxes. I think my portfolio is less fundamentally risky than the indices but we will only know over time. I know that from 2011-2013 (before opening IBKR accounts) I outperformed by about 20% cumulatively, so this would improve the since inceptions a bit, maybe to like 3-4% outperformance / year.

My Fidelity accounts don't seem to have a readily available performance calculator. I'll have to look into this. IBKR is over 2/3 of assets.

My work 401K (~8% of asset) was all in stable value then all in REIT index as of February/March (which was a profitable trade) then all in EM Index (which has given a little bit of performance back). The sum of that was a +5% return from index/market timing.









Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on January 01, 2019, 09:26:24 AM
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.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Fat Pitch on January 01, 2019, 10:38:50 AM
Well the starting portfolio in 2017 was roughly 75k USD then factor in the taxes and you'll be at ~1/3rd of that number.

As for finding opportunities there's 2 ways to look at it. If I continue to fish around the same holes I've been doing then yes the capital becomes a drag. On the other hand now I have capital to fund a developer team to grab the market opportunity that many aren't seeing at the moment so now I become the market in a way. Blockchain infrastructure is unlocking new ways to do business and provide a better experience for the user, but you gotta find your spots.

There's always the traditional capital markets, but putting in the effort to get +7% alpha over the S&P500 index is horrible ROI on time invested when you consider the greenfield opportunity.

~700% for the year. 20% allocation in applications building on blockchain infrastructure knocked it out of the park. Not much alpha from stocks this year (3%).

LOL. Get me some of this.

Thatís also after 12000% last year so is this year humbling after a year like that? The portfolio must be well over a $100m now. Is that making it harder to find opportunity?
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: flesh on January 01, 2019, 10:40:07 AM
Sad year for me. First year of under performance -10%. Peak for year was plus 16%.

I've had times mid year where I was under performing as poorly and that was
when it would have been a great time to buy my portfolio.

Either I'm more wrong than usual or I should have a great 2019.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Viking on January 01, 2019, 11:03:05 AM
Finished the year at -3.7%; first negative year in last 15. Not a great year to be way overweight US banks. Could have been much worse. The silver lining is there are many well run and profitable companies trading at what look to be very readonable valuations (which bodes well for 2019 returns).

My big learning is to pay a little more attention to where we are in the economic cycle and modify my portfolio accordingly. My guess is the volatility we saw in 2018 will continue into 2019. The big changes are:
1.) on strength (when market gets optomistic) build cash
2.) on weakness (when market gets pessimistic) buy best in class large caps
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on January 01, 2019, 11:05:51 AM
... Since my core holdings are now much cheaper than they were before, i actually feel much richer than I was, since I now have more upside and less downside on those holdings.
... Either I'm more wrong than usual or I should have a great 2019.

rolling & flesh,

You are mentally faithful to yourselves [never forget that!] - I certainly hope it stays that way! -I feel confident, that you'll do great going forward!
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: DanielGMask on January 01, 2019, 11:32:45 AM
+0.20% before dividends.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Gamecock-YT on January 01, 2019, 11:46:36 AM
-15.5% took a hit with commodity/energy stocks turning over in 2H18. Only positions liquidated were ASFI after the special dividend and some short term bond ETFs which I used to add to my commodity positions during the declines. Current equity allocation is 37% cable, 37% commodities (non energy), 23% energy, 3% financials. Still sitting on ~55% cash and short term treasuries.


2017: 35.0%
2016: 17.3%
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: SHDL on January 01, 2019, 11:49:10 AM
For the last 5 years (USD, pre-tax, including both stocks and bonds and derivatives):

2018:  -15%
2017:  +75%
2016:  +43%
2015:  -7%
2014:  +19%

This was actually the first time I bothered aggregating across investment accounts.  Statistically speaking, I guess this is what a finance professor would deride as a ďno alpha, crazy high beta portfolio.Ē   

Anyway, 2018 went like this.  I entered the year with a few big positions I bought in previous years that had done very well and no longer seemed undervalued.  I didnít sell, and watched them go down 20-50%.  In the meantime my quantitative value trades did pretty well and softened the blow.  But it looks like I still underperformed most of you guys (especially Fat Pitch)!
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: clutch on January 01, 2019, 12:08:43 PM
My returns (first) are in Canadian and time-weighted. The benchmark returns (second) are for VFV.TO, which is an S&P500 index ETF in Canadian. They are also time-weighted, assuming I buy/sell VFV.TO every time I make a contribution or withdrawal. I think this method of comparison is the most accurate for me, a casual investor who is trying to see if I can beat simple indexing.

2018: -10.8% vs. -2.8%
2017: +6.5% vs. +10.7%
2016: +19.0% vs. +7.7%

cumulative: +13.0% vs. +15.9%

So, I'm basically underperforming. I have been trying active stock picking for about three years now. I'm giving myself two more years to outperform the index on the cumulative basis or else I will switch back to indexing!  8)
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: hillfronter83 on January 01, 2019, 12:39:36 PM
About 3.5% for the year. Lost money on many of my long positions. At the end of the day, special situation and a couple of acquired stocks saved me from overall loss.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on January 01, 2019, 12:41:52 PM
My returns (first) are in Canadian and time-weighted. The benchmark returns (second) are for VFV.TO, which is an S&P500 index ETF in Canadian. They are also time-weighted, assuming I buy/sell VFV.TO every time I make a contribution or withdrawal. I think this method of comparison is the most accurate for me, a casual investor who is trying to see if I can beat simple indexing.

2018: -10.8% vs. -2.8%
2017: +6.5% vs. +10.7%
2016: +19.0% vs. +7.7%

cumulative: +13.0% vs. +15.9%

So, I'm basically underperforming. I have been trying active stock picking for about three years now. I'm giving myself two more years to outperform the index on the cumulative basis or else I will switch back to indexing!  8)

clutch,

There is so much to it. I've had the same thoughts about 1 - 2 years ago. I ended up leaving that line of thinking, - for good. In short, you'll have a better existence & life as an - perhaps - underperforming & stockpicking investor, than being an index investor. Where there sure is material positions in the index of your choice, that you do not like. [Which can actually be much more stressing for you [as a CoBF member] than the average investor.].
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Hielko on January 01, 2019, 12:47:15 PM
Managed 13.1% in euro (probably a few percentage points lower in USD). Pretty happy with it, although I do think there were some things that I could have done better.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: investor-man on January 01, 2019, 01:46:16 PM
3.4% I'm shocked frankly. Thought I'd be negative. I was up about 33% in June
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: aceskc on January 01, 2019, 03:20:30 PM
2014:20%   
2015:-4%   
2016: 39%   
2017: 11%   
2018: 68%
5 year CAGR: 24.3%

Concentration worked out very well for us in 2018, as I felt safer in our best idea in a richly priced market. Bought heavily into CMG when the stock fell around the $250 mark and took those proceeds and pilled them into BRK in the mid 180s to low 190s.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: orthopa on January 01, 2019, 05:20:31 PM
23.5% 2018
-7.7%. 2019

Being long tobacco this year hurt overall returns big time but will be able to reinvest dividends and much lower prices now. Still have 14% of portfolio in GSE preferred which will hopefully really juice returns this year (fingers crossed). Otherwise has been a drag or essentially like holding cash as price hasnt moved much in years.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Gregmal on January 01, 2019, 05:45:50 PM
All combined probably somewhere mid-high teens. Don't care enough to tally everything up, never really have. To me the idea of talking about your returns on the internet is useless. It's like talking about your dick size in high school. Everyone likes to, but it only matters once you take the leap and can prove it with action.

Anyhow, I  typically run very concentrated and MSG, HTL had solid years. Went into year, and exited year with FRP Holdings as top 5 position, but spent 80% of the year not in the top 5, which kind of highlights the type of year it was. Trading was were one needed to be this year to really get alpha.

GM and CTO continue to be perpetual disappointments.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: DocSnowball on January 02, 2019, 08:09:13 AM
2018: -19%
2017: 7%
2016: 192%


Antibiotic companies lost more than bitcoin in 2018, down >90% from 2016 highs despite FDA approvals in 2018 - a painful learning experience although the story is not over. Happy to be learning everyday and grateful for the CoBF learning community.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Dynamic on January 02, 2019, 10:02:33 AM
I was lucky enough to enjoy a positive year from equities alone in both GBP (a 7.65% tailwind as GBP weakened) and USD, and also to do even better with an alternative investment opportunity for which I withdrew some funds, albeit producing taxable gains that my spouse and I will each need to pay a very modest tax rate on by 31 Jan 2020, unless I end up realising a lot of losses by April 5th 2019 when the UK tax year ends. I think I was very very lucky with timing on more than one occasion and benefited from a little skill in assessing the upside versus downside potential of what to sell and what to buy to increase the quality and the Intrinsic Value of my portfolio, probably by about 10-12% more than the market value increased, while reducing the downside risks in time and being lucky enough to obtain a good cash exposure in time for the 4th quarter bear market.

The only tax paid so far was 30% US withholding tax on WFC, IBM and AAPL dividends within our tax-free ISA accounts in the first part of the year, as the provider doesn't support W-8BEN filing and their fees made were so much cheaper than alternative brokers that do support W-8BEN that it was a wash over the 2 years or so I held those three positions.

Sold WFC@$55.70 and IBM@$151.50 in early Feb 2018, realising tax-free gains but having underperformed the S&P500 Total Return (SP500TR) with both positions, luckily modest in size and bought with a bit of margin of safety. Bought BRK.B at $192.69 with new money plus the proceeds of these sales.

Topped up my BRK.B position slightly with more new cash in late March and early April around $195-$196, yet cheaper than the $198 paid in Dec 2017 as the pound had strengthened and dollar weakened at that stage.

Sold my entire AAPL position on 24th May @$188.42, realising large tax-free capital gains of about 90%. If it weren't for needing the cash to withdraw and put into the alternative opportunity, I probably would have held a bit longer before I felt the price/intrinsic value ratio for BRK.B (fairly tight IV distribution) and for AAPL (slightly fuzzier IV distribution) was clear and wide enough to convince me to overcome my 'hysteresis' and make a Value Trade from one to the other, especially with what I felt was superior downside protection but still compound growth in BRK.B, but I had been thinking about where I should make such a trade for some months, which could probably occurred either with BRK.B in the $186-$188 region in July, while AAPL was near $200, or perhaps in September with BRK.B in the high $190s and AAPL around the $220 region, which would roughly have accorded with me feeling that I was getting more IV than I was giving up by a sufficient margin to be worth making the Value Trade.

Also trimmed my BRK.B position to raise the remaining funds for the alternative opportunity in July/August. Realised substantial cash proceeds surprisingly quickly in time for the latest market dive, and got fully invested in the December bear market partly via some AAPL, BAC and WFC put contracts. Ended up realising modest losses on the AAPL and WFC (one was actually a tiny gain in GBP thanks to the exchange rate change in the meantime) to take advantage of particularly good prices on BRK.B lately, which saw gains to year end, and avoided the worst of the further AAPL decline. Now very slightly on margin, and exiting gradually by writing covered Calls at a range of strike prices and expiry dates, some already exercised and some due mid-January, which will either provide a good annualised return in premiums or will let me sell my excess BAC shares around the price I entered at. I might even roll the calls as they near expiry to obtain further option premium income and a higher eventual exit price, if the market moves suitably. Hat tip to boilermaker75 for the put/call writing methods of entering and trimming positions, which I feel I'm getting to grips with and benefiting from.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Liberty on January 02, 2019, 10:18:03 AM
+7.53% without dividends (haven't bothered to look at those yet).

Feels worse than the end-point because was up around 33% a few months ago, but that's how the market works... It goes up and down Į\_(ツ)_/Į
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: clutch on January 02, 2019, 12:38:37 PM
Interestingly, this year the return statistics for CoBF pretty much resembles the S&P index return, a normal distribution with the mean around -5%. I don't recall such a close resemblance in earlier years. Usually, the reported CoBF members outperformed, if I remember correctly.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Jurgis on January 02, 2019, 12:50:53 PM
For fun:

http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/2016-results-thread/ - 2017 CoBF results (ignore the title, these are 2017 results)
http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/your-returns-in-2016/ - 2016 CoBF results
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on January 02, 2019, 12:53:28 PM
Good one, Jurgis! [ : - ) ]
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Liberty on January 02, 2019, 01:05:25 PM
Interestingly, this year the return statistics for CoBF pretty much resembles the S&P index return, a normal distribution with the mean around -5%. I don't recall such a close resemblance in earlier years. Usually, the reported CoBF members outperformed, if I remember correctly.

Maybe people are just more honest now and sample bias has been reduced?
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: gary17 on January 02, 2019, 01:22:15 PM
I believe I did about 10% - 15%
will hve to look at the math when I have time as I moved money out to pay for a few private investment ideas, moved money into wifeís rrsp and kids resp,  and then had some other funds come in so itís quite confusing even to myself lol

the big winner is Xpel and Soda stream earlier in the year.  SODA is complete luck- I had been thinking about it after learning about it , and just started to build a position when they announced the buyout .   I still lost quite a bit of money from the peak because of my leveraged position in BAC.

As I noted to my family... itís nice to have first world problems to worry about (% return).  happy new year everyone.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: WneverLOSE on January 02, 2019, 02:32:12 PM
-7.3% Time Weighted Return (USD), I bought a lot of things just before the indices started to go down by 20%. I am going to add around 10% of cash I was holding to a new position, hopefully my holdings bought back a lot of stock and helped me dollar cost average along the way down (about -30% down from inter-year highs).

I am actually happy with the year, it is the first down year for me (started investing only a few years ago) and I was impressed by my psychology, I still like the companies I hold, I know I will make money in the long term and I am not frozen in panic like lots of people I know when facing stocks that are getting more and more attractive by the day. unlike many other players in the market I actually hope it will keep going down, I am a net buyer with 60+ years (hopefully  ;D) to go, low prices are a blessing for someone like me.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Spekulatius on January 02, 2019, 03:07:42 PM
Looks like I am down 5-6% overall. It did feel much worse than that.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: perulv on January 03, 2019, 03:42:18 AM
I ended the year down 30% in 2018. Perhaps a concentrated portfolio can take some of the blame (I was up 49% in 2017), but I also made som really stupid mistakes the first half of 2018. In an effort to hedge against currency-changes (my local currency vs Dollar), I bought an highly leveraged ETF, which was not even USD <--> NOK (my local currency), but USD <--> SEK. Half way trough 2018 USD <--> NOK was the same as the start of the year, but I'd lost around 5% of my portfolios value on this. This was a mistake I could have avoided, had I thought it trough, and actually did some math.

Most of the loss however, is simply stock prices going down. When I evaluate the companies that I own, I still see quality companies at cheap(er) prices. I will hold these positions, and hopefully add to them at some point.

Perhaps the only "right" thing I did in 2018, was to be skeptical of the high valuations of the market. I did to some extent act on it, by converting a small part of my pension savings (similar to a 401k I guess?) to interest-rate funds/instruments, and stop buying stocks in september (So the actual loss is a bit better than the -30% suggests) .  I guess my new year's resolution should be to not get paralyzed, not try to "time the bottom", but take my time to think before acting (reminds me of this great list (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/cognitive-biases-how-to-avoid-them/msg352585/#msg352585)).
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: james22 on January 03, 2019, 05:51:32 AM
~3%

Held lots of Stable Value and preferreds (BAC/WFC-L) until recently when bought into fallen SV and EM and added to BRK and BAM.

Like rolling, I feel richer now for having made the swap, but still waiting for a real opportunity.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: gfp on January 03, 2019, 06:21:13 AM
My returns ranged from -5% in the worst portfolio to +5.5% in the best performing one.  Most were right at +2.3%.  Personal returns were +2%.

Negative contributors were Fairfax Financial, Banks, SPB and THO towards the end of the year.

Positive contributors were Berkshire, Berkshire derivatives several times, MMAC, and things that were sold during the year.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: alwaysdrawing on January 03, 2019, 09:36:38 AM
2018 was +31.4% pretax, although at one stage in Q3 I was up over 100% on the year and unfortunately Q4 had my largest position decline by over 50% as well as significant declines on most of the portfolio names.

Biggest winners were far out of the money SVXY puts during the February VIX spike, and TTD.  Biggest losers were small cap tech stocks and Tesla puts.

My current portfolio is very tail oriented, with heavy weights to fast growing tech businesses and also shorts/hedges/puts on bubble/fraud names and China (Tesla, MDXG, FXI, BABA, JD, others).
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Paarslaars on January 04, 2019, 01:17:05 PM
2013: +8%
2014: +25%
2015: -20%
2016: +40%
2017: -26%
2018: -17%

To be honest I thought it was going to be worse... my portfolio is quite concentrated in oil since 2017 and I basically did not trade at all this year.

My 1y old was diagnosed with a severe case of epilepsy early in the year, we've been in and out of the hospital so many times that I just can't find the time for due dilligence.
I still believe in a come back of the oil market so I'm going to keep those shares but any new money added will go straight to BRK, seems like the safest bet to me.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on January 04, 2019, 01:22:13 PM
Parslaars,

That's really bad to read. My best wishes for the health & future of your child!
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: JRH on January 04, 2019, 01:24:18 PM
My 1y old was diagnosed with a severe case of epilepsy early in the year, we've been in and out of the hospital so many times that I just can't find the time for due dilligence.
I still believe in a come back of the oil market so I'm going to keep those shares but any new money added will go straight to BRK, seems like the safest bet to me.


My worst year relative to the benchmark was the year after my kid was born. I was stupid enough not to realize EITHER: 1) how much less time I was giving to important decisions, and 2) how poor my mental state and focus were when making decisions. I was like a drunk who doesn't know he can't drive. That one year negated several years of outperformance and just about capitulated me onto the indexing path.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: TwoCitiesCapital on January 04, 2019, 02:38:31 PM
2015: ~(20)%
2016: 24.7%
2017: 25.9%

The driving factor behind the performance over the last 3-years has largely been my large allocations to EM and commodity producing companies.


2018: -14.1%

Driving factors continue to be the same. Still majorly overweight EM and International companies. Reduced some commodity producers through the year as oil rallied, but still have large positions there.

I was fortunate enough to take some gains in January, but not enough. Further, I rolled most of those profits back in by June so the subsequent investments still lost money by year-end. Relative value trades eased some pain some - evidenced by being down only 14% with 40+% of the portfolio in EM which was down ~20%.

Outside of being overweight non-dolllar assets, the other big killer for was FCAU which was held in options. These were a BIG winner for me in 2017. I trimmed the position when Fiat passed $20, but only by a little, and then the price collapsed. I re-added around $16-17, but the damage was done for the year with the price ending ~$15. This took 3-4% off of my annual return for the entire portfolio.

The smartest decision I made in 2018 was to not invest more. I moved across the country in November 2017 and purchased a car/condo/furniture to accomplish that. I had way more debt upfront than I was comfortable with so I spent 2018 reducing that number by about ~30k. Also, the condo is up in value judging by comparable sales so my overall networth did significantly better than the portfolio.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: muscleman on January 05, 2019, 09:46:55 AM
My 1y old was diagnosed with a severe case of epilepsy early in the year, we've been in and out of the hospital so many times that I just can't find the time for due dilligence.
I still believe in a come back of the oil market so I'm going to keep those shares but any new money added will go straight to BRK, seems like the safest bet to me.


My worst year relative to the benchmark was the year after my kid was born. I was stupid enough not to realize EITHER: 1) how much less time I was giving to important decisions, and 2) how poor my mental state and focus were when making decisions. I was like a drunk who doesn't know he can't drive. That one year negated several years of outperformance and just about capitulated me onto the indexing path.

I had the same feeling in 2017 when my baby was born. I was sleeping 4 hours a night for many months and felt like a drunk. I have now switched to a technical heavy approach because in general it takes less time. I was lucky to make this decision around May, and was actively learning and liquidating all of my value positions, so I was not affected by the recent down turn. I ended up +10% this year mainly because of BXC and SMLR (4x and 3x).
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: rolling on January 05, 2019, 10:05:27 AM
My 1y old was diagnosed with a severe case of epilepsy early in the year, we've been in and out of the hospital so many times that I just can't find the time for due dilligence.
I still believe in a come back of the oil market so I'm going to keep those shares but any new money added will go straight to BRK, seems like the safest bet to me.


My worst year relative to the benchmark was the year after my kid was born. I was stupid enough not to realize EITHER: 1) how much less time I was giving to important decisions, and 2) how poor my mental state and focus were when making decisions. I was like a drunk who doesn't know he can't drive. That one year negated several years of outperformance and just about capitulated me onto the indexing path.
1) Paarslaars: hope things go well with your kid
2) while this has been the 1st year as a dad (and in the last months the addition of a second pregnancy over here significatively increased my share of the "burden", for bad but also for good ;D ;D ) and results have been quite a lot under previous years, I wouldn't feel ok with such attribution.
3) HOWEVER, I added very few totally new positions, and most of these were held for short periods. As such, I don't think this is long term sustainable: I have been mostly capitalizing previous efforts and only value trading previously researched stocks (while trying to remain up to date with them). That feels safe to me and I believe will end up giving me more than acceptable returns, but I am certainly fishing on a much smaller pound as a result.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Graham Osborn on January 06, 2019, 12:03:17 PM
Well the starting portfolio in 2017 was roughly 75k USD then factor in the taxes and you'll be at ~1/3rd of that number.

As for finding opportunities there's 2 ways to look at it. If I continue to fish around the same holes I've been doing then yes the capital becomes a drag. On the other hand now I have capital to fund a developer team to grab the market opportunity that many aren't seeing at the moment so now I become the market in a way. Blockchain infrastructure is unlocking new ways to do business and provide a better experience for the user, but you gotta find your spots.

There's always the traditional capital markets, but putting in the effort to get +7% alpha over the S&P500 index is horrible ROI on time invested when you consider the greenfield opportunity.

~700% for the year. 20% allocation in applications building on blockchain infrastructure knocked it out of the park. Not much alpha from stocks this year (3%).

LOL. Get me some of this.

Thatís also after 12000% last year so is this year humbling after a year like that? The portfolio must be well over a $100m now. Is that making it harder to find opportunity?

Fat Pitch, I read all your posts.  It would seem that you started out as a garden variety value investor.  You were heavily long FNMA/ FMCC preferreds until sometime in 2017 at which you suddenly abandoned the faith and jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.  Your first post on the crypto threads appears to be in November 2017.  Assuming you had gone 100% XRP with your 75K on Jan 1, 2017 and sold at the peak you would have booked a 3.40/ 0.006 = 556X gain.  But your posts on crypto suggest you believed cryptocurrency adoption to represent a secular shift, which implies to me that you would have held on rather than selling near the peak.  It seems like less than a year later you did a 360 a denounced the speculators - even though you yourself were one of them.

And now you are posting 700% for 2018 on "applications building on blockchain infrastructure." You also say you've hired your own developer team to build some sort of blockchain-related product.  Unless you had an exit in less than 12 months (either from your own startup or another startup you invested in), it seems a bit hard to see how you managed 8X in 2018.  And even if you did, cramming 30M of cash (which would imply a 300M+ pre) would imply the exit was for 2.4B.  Care to mention the name of the unicorn?  And since you must be worth about 250M by now, congrats on that too.

In summary, I call BS.  Show me the brokerage statements and I'll believe.  There's no shortage of traders on these threads who claim impeccable timing, but I've found most of them just don't have the data to back up their claims.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: SharperDingaan on January 06, 2019, 02:02:57 PM
-33% TWR, all unrealized.

We are very concentrated, the portfolio is materially 'house money' funded, and we reduced cash in favour of additional equity over Q4. Large YoY change is inherent to our style, why we focus on 'outlay' versus return, and why we systematically take $ off the table when we 'win'. The majority of the portfolio is in o/g and commodities, and we will not need the money for many years yet.

'House money' means a position funded from cummulative position-to-date profit in the position; we have recovered our capital 'outlay', put it back into T-Bills/Canada's, and left our profit in shares at their average cost of purchase. We are not OPM, and hold all the professional designations that you might expect of an institutional portfolio manager.

We suck at trading, but suck less than -33% per round-trip. Going forward we will trade the opportunities presented.
Q4 additions are all up significantly since purchase.

SD







Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: bathtime on January 06, 2019, 02:20:33 PM
2018: 53%
2017: -32%
2016: 362%

Feel good about these last three years of returns. I use a value/growth/special situations strategy. Styles aside my biggest strength is being a good researcher and synthesizing investment ideas from value investors in the field

This is my IRA so taxes are not a factor. Should have stayed in high cash levels once the market started to crack this year, but obviously Iím grateful overall.

Between 1998 and 2010 I averaged 20% returns a year in my non-retirement accounts. And then screwed that account up by making macro bets against the market. Hopefully Iíve learned some lessons over the years.

Biggest winner was Aimia. Biggest mistake was riding energy down in the last quarter.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: longinvestor on January 06, 2019, 08:53:38 PM
2018: 53%
2017: -32%
2016: 362%

Feel good about these last three years of returns. I use a value/growth/special situations strategy. Styles aside my biggest strength is being a good researcher and synthesizing investment ideas from value investors in the field

This is my IRA so taxes are not a factor. Should have stayed in high cash levels once the market started to crack this year, but obviously Iím grateful overall.

Between 1998 and 2010 I averaged 20% returns a year in my non-retirement accounts. And then screwed that account up by making macro bets against the market. Hopefully Iíve learned some lessons over the years.

Biggest winner was Aimia. Biggest mistake was riding energy down in the last quarter.

Ok Iíll bite. Did you go to zero with your macro bet between 2011 and 2015? Barring which, You should be knighted. Hat tip!
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: NewbieD on January 07, 2019, 02:31:42 AM
+7% in SEK. High point was ~20%. CAGR now 39% since 2011. Felt like hard work all year. Had some big losses in my high conviction bets for the first time in a long while (Storytel comes to mind).

Some winners were KV77 Pref, Aimia, MIPS, Xintela, Smart Eye. Decreased exposure pretty much throughout the year, now ~50%.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Graham Osborn on January 07, 2019, 07:14:45 AM
Erm - how is AIM.TO a winner?  Looks like the stock has performed horribly over the past 10 years.

How did you achieve 350%+ in 2016?

I guess maybe I am an annoyance here, but I am always a bit skeptical when I hear someone post 100%+ returns in a year.  People who do small caps can have maybe a 10-bagger in a year if something crazy happens.  So you invested $10 at the start of the year and wind up with $2*10+$8 = $28 or 180%.  That's a very outlier scenario.  So I tend to assume people who are doing 100%+ in a year are doing one or more of the following: (1) using a nominal % of their net worth as their "trading" account (2) taking huge concentrated positions (3) putting meaningful amounts of money in high risk/ high reward asset classes like bitcoin, venture capital, etc.

To me, it's far more impressive when someone with 1M in net worth goes to 2M than when someone with 10K in net worth goes to 1M (assuming a year for both).  Buffett never did much more than 100% even in the early years, but the magic of his career was he was still doing 20-30% even with huge amounts of capital (and in a very low risk way).  As Buffett says, it only takes one zero.  If the coin is heavily weighted, it takes many flips to realize the coin doesn't always come up heads.  Outcomes are not specific to process in investing.  I don't envy those who get rich quickly and thoughtlessly in finance, because either (1) once they've made the money they will correctly realize they don't have a repeatable process to protect that capital, so they migrate to something boring like real estate and stop earning attractive returns or (2) they assume they do have a repeatable process and wind up losing most of it or churning.  Process before outcomes - think of it as having a fiduciary responsibility to yourself.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Gregmal on January 07, 2019, 07:36:28 AM
Erm - how is AIM.TO a winner?  Looks like the stock has performed horribly over the past 10 years.

How did you achieve 350%+ in 2016?

I guess maybe I am an annoyance here, but I am always a bit skeptical when I hear someone post 100%+ returns in a year.  People who do small caps can have maybe a 10-bagger in a year if something crazy happens.  So you invested $10 at the start of the year and wind up with $2*10+$8 = $28 or 180%.  That's a very outlier scenario.  So I tend to assume people who are doing 100%+ in a year are doing one or more of the following: (1) using a nominal % of their net worth as their "trading" account (2) taking huge concentrated positions (3) putting meaningful amounts of money in high risk/ high reward asset classes like bitcoin, venture capital, etc.

To me, it's far more impressive when someone with 1M in net worth goes to 2M than when someone with 10K in net worth goes to 1M (assuming a year for both).  Buffett never did much more than 100% even in the early years, but the magic of his career was he was still doing 20-30% even with huge amounts of capital (and in a very low risk way).  As Buffett says, it only takes one zero.  If the coin is heavily weighted, it takes many flips to realize the coin doesn't always come up heads.  Outcomes are not specific to process in investing.  I don't envy those who get rich quickly and thoughtlessly in finance, because either (1) once they've made the money they will correctly realize they don't have a repeatable process to protect that capital, so they migrate to something boring like real estate and stop earning attractive returns or (2) they assume they do have a repeatable process and wind up losing most of it or churning.  Process before outcomes - think of it as having a fiduciary responsibility to yourself.

First, this is people posting their returns on the internet, who cares. And two, based on what's provided I'd gander a heavy concentration in high beta energy names. Lastly, agree with you entirely on the last piece.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth on January 07, 2019, 07:47:15 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.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Graham Osborn on January 07, 2019, 07:57:27 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.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: SharperDingaan on January 07, 2019, 08:10:39 AM
We might want to keep in mind that leverage isn't mentioned (margin, option),
and the very high likelihood that NOT everybody is calculating return the same way (ie: other than TWR).

To a novice, return is just ((end of year value (ie: $200) divided by start of year value (ie: $100)) - 1) x 100
In this example: (200/100 - 1) x 100 = 100%. Looks impressive, but might not be. If the novice just contributed $90 of new funds at the end of the year, the actual return is of course a very different number.

Also keep in mind that for many, voluntary posts merely serve as a learning vehicle.
There is no intent to brag about 'size'. Obviously if you do well 'good on you', but that's about it.

SD


Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: tombgrt on January 07, 2019, 08:26:37 AM
Believe I was up 70% at some point thanks to well timed options on leveraged oil positions and a very big GXE position. Gave almost all of that back in the last few months. Did not feel good and decided to block out the noise for a few weeks before buying a little more of my core positions near the lows. Did not buy CRC calls again under $15 though, didn't have the balls this time around tbh. Luckily had some big winners to end the year too like GCM. Confident companies like GXE and ATU will thrive no matter the oil price (within reason) so not shaken in my conviction. ATU held up reasonably well and GXE did buy nice diversification with its latest acquisition when the stock price was much higher. Both haven't been as cheap in years. Will likely have to eat some losses on OTM calls that would have possibly done well without the crash. You know you can get burned when you play with fire... Certainly got a lesson out of pushing your luck and trying to get rich faster than reasonable or needed. Will try to enjoy the ride more and focus longer term again.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: BG2008 on January 07, 2019, 10:21:08 AM
The thing about large returns on small amount of capital is that "returns are returns."  As long as you understand that you were taking on the risk, I think it's fine.  I think if you are under 30, can re-coop the capital over time, and have very high conviction (companies you own have diversified assets/businesses, good management team, high upside, low downside), I think it makes sense to back up the truck and buy with conviction. 

Heck, Ericopoly did it for over a decade.  But he has an uncanny ability to spot these crazy opportunities and he's been right for so many times in a row.  Ultimately, he realized that he may want to hedge his huuuge BoA position.  My take on concentrated returns is that if you've done the work and the business is stable (I wouldn't do it with O&G assets myself, unless midstream), it's okay while you're young.  I think if you are in your 50s and you are midway through your retirement and you are working with 6 to 7 digits of capital, you are taking on a too much risk.  Diversify yourself a bit (more than 5-7 names).   
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth 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!
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: bathtime on January 07, 2019, 08:58:34 PM
I feel happy when my returns are good but Iím 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. Itís also helpful to know that life is not about money.

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

I wasnít 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 donít really have other people in my life I can talk to about this stuff.

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







Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Dynamic 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 (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/cobf-members-2018-returns/) - 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 (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/2016-results-thread/) - 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 (http://www.cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/general-discussion/your-returns-in-2016/) - 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).
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Liberty on January 09, 2019, 11:43:02 AM
Thanks for doing the math, Dynamic.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth 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.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Dynamic 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)
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: John Hjorth 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.
Title: Re: CoBF members 2018 returns
Post by: Foreign Tuffett 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.