Author Topic: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)  (Read 36348 times)


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #40 on: January 02, 2021, 11:54:37 AM »


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".


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.


Consolidated IBKR account: 22.6%. Got rid of my Fido taxable and rolled that back into IBKR, have another IRA that's all in TGONF (12% or so return) and a work 401K that's completely in Vanguard Emerging Markets, which returned about 18%, so my overall investments did slightly worse than IBKR accounts.

I'd regard this to be a pretty terrible relative result that will more or less wipe away a few years of S&P 500 outperformance. Reasons for underperformance are easy to spot; my biggest positions lagged the market in a big way.

My largest positions (on a notional basis) are hedged Berkshire, hedged VNO, Tetragon Financial, none of which did all that great, all of which I'm excited about continuing to hold. 

Over the past 6.5 years, consolidated IBKR accounts is about 13.3% / year (literally right on top of the S&P 500), which includes a taxable account at 11.5%/year, an IRA at about 14.8% / year and a another IRA at 17.1% / year.

The IRA's have always been super concentrated. The taxable started out long/short and ended up with me just using hedges and call options to limit drawdown rather than shorting.


My IBKR consolidated accounts show a return of -4%. These comprise about 60% of assets.

My ~35% in fidelity accounts performed better, as did the 5% in my wife's Roth IRA which was in VTSAX (ha!). It's difficult to tell their actual performance because of inflows due to rollovers. If I add up all the dollar profits from non IB accounts its about 4% of my ending NW and 2x the IBKR $ losses, so I think overall return is bout 2%

My NW grew about 30% from savings, mortgage amortization, and home price appreciation, which is a consolation prize in a humbling year. Here's to being very levered long SFH and having a good year professionally! (though 10% HPA is not sustainable and will reverse at some point)

I endured a ~40%+ drawdown in the beginning of the year as I went into this very poorly positioned with heavy financials and office exposure. Several of my holdings have not recovered though in my opinion value grew (Berkshire/Tetragon); while others have endured permanent impairment (office). While I recovered, I think that initial drawdown did impact my overall ability to recover more strongly. I'm a bit more timid these days.

My biggest mistakes were in portfolio management. I manage my parents/sister's money and they each outperformed their net exposure (albeit slightly) w/ far lower weighting to tech stocks than the broader market. My own portfolio suffered from undue concentration and premature doubling down in the initial February / March timeline and theirs did not as I run theirs with a greater diversity of idea types and w/ a greater tilt toward business quality.

I can handle missing out on the triple digit gains of the most growthy/tech-y crowd (I know how I'm wired and why I'll never be good at that), but there's no way around it: I completely failed to take advantage of what was one of the better opportunity sets of my short investing career.

May write more detailed analysis of what went wrong at another time.

John, I'm terribly sorry about your brother.

« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 11:59:50 AM by thepupil »


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #41 on: January 02, 2021, 11:59:44 AM »
+19% in my TFSA.

Big winners: AMZN, MLHR, U, WORK, RL
Big loser: KEG.UN

Pretty happy with the results. This year I really focused on investing in businesses that (I think) I understand. It really narrowed down to tech and brand names. Also, excluding gains from BTC.

Having said that I have sold all my positions at the end of the year and withdrew the money as we are planning to use the cash to buy a bigger place. Probably won't get back to active stock-picking for a couple of years.

My RRSP has been 80-90% VOO and 10-20% cash. So not much to report from there.


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2021, 12:33:38 PM »
@John Hjorth so sorry for your and your family's loss. May your brother's soul RIP.


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #43 on: January 02, 2021, 12:35:32 PM »
2020: ~11% pre-tax

Happy with the overall result given the tumultuous year we have had, although being in the field of healthcare could have done much better handling Coronavirus related market movements.

Gradually moved from low six figures to low seven figures from 2016 to 2020. Big positive for me this year has been crystallizing my investment philosophy - moving to asset allocation based for 80% of portfolio (mostly Vanguard and iShares index funds VOO, VEA, VWO, INDA, FXI), and security selection (special situations, healthcare, biotech, educational tech, emerging tech) for 20% of portfolio. IRR returns were reasonably good, but still ended up with 40% cash. High risk aversion and thus inability to remain fully invested, along with Fannie preferreds position, were major drags for 2020 returns.

2019: 21%
2018: -19%
2017: 7%
2016: 192%


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #44 on: January 02, 2021, 01:26:15 PM »
Not totally precise calculations yet, but around minus 3 percent for 2020 pre-tax & after fees etc. [, & took the poll accordingly].

I'm tempted to quote Greg and SharperDingaan from the "Happy New Year"-topic here :

Happy New Year to everyone. 2020 wasnt a bad year, it was just a life experience. What doesnt kill you, makes you stronger and wiser. Hopefully 2021 is the start of the Roaring 20s. Cheers

Happy New Year  ..... and fortune and glory to all!
And the end to a rubbish 2020!!


I "managed to produce" minus 32.9 percent in about a month [the period February 19th - March 23rd] while being actually mentally incapacitated, not fit & proper and ill, & doing nothing, mostly staying away from the keyboard and my monitors.

On that backdrop, there's no need to complain about minus 3 percent.

- - - o 0 o - - -

Off topic :

Ended the year with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. R.I.P., Little Brother [Passed away December 31st early in the morning, & way too early].

So here, also a huge thank you to Broeb for picking up the baton on this yearly recurring topic.

sorry for your loss John. RIP


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #45 on: January 02, 2021, 01:29:59 PM »
@John Hjorth so sorry for your and your family's loss. May your brother's soul RIP.

I am sorry to hear this as well. A losing a close relative and particular a brother is a watershed moment.

My thanks to all those who prevent more losses in lives this year @DocSnowball @Dalal.Holding and many others.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 06:46:04 PM by Spekulatius »
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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #46 on: January 02, 2021, 05:22:33 PM »
8% in the actively managed acct according to IBKR, kind of disappointing, given the opportunity set over the year and the numbers others have posted. But I had some extenuating circumstances, got deployed twice once for a 3 month Covid humanitarian mission and then to Kuwait for 3 months during the summer this year. The early deployment really screwed me as that was when everything was on sale and I was more or less out of the game. I keep about 70% of my NW indexed though just as a hedge on my own stupidity.  Going over my moves from the year my biggest mistakes continue to be selling to soon, and sitting on to much cash (maybe lacking conviction in my ideas?).  May start allowing things to run 20-30% above what I think the IV is going forward to capture some of that and correct for overly conservative estimates. 

Couple of trades that were interesting this year and worked out

Bought KODK puts after the run on them entering the pharm ingredient business. Should have done this one at much bigger scale in retrospect.

MSN, Net-net that worked out pretty quickly for unknown reasons, have to give credit to the Value Guys for that idea, again should have done much larger scale.

XPEV and QS- not super proud of these as they are really outside the framework of what I do, basically greater fool EV plays that worked out pretty well, but again I failed to do at large enough scale.

WFC- pretty much lucky timing here, value was so compelling it was hard to ignore. Still own this.

INTC- largest position I currently have, third point getting involved is a plus. Have made this a meaningful position so if it works out will actually have some impact in 2021.


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #47 on: January 02, 2021, 06:09:06 PM »
My portfolio is denominated in Australian dollars. I was up 33.22% in 2020, which is my best return to date. I had a lot of luck. My biggest winners were Naked Wines and Haier Smart Home D shares, which I bought in December.

I wrote a more detailed review on my blog if that's the kind of thing that interests you:

And sorry to hear about your brother, John. That really sucks.

I hope everyone has a good 2021.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 06:50:42 PM by generalsandworkouts »
I write about deep value stocks, net-nets and special situations on my blog:


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #48 on: January 02, 2021, 06:41:58 PM »
@John Hjorth so sorry for your and your family's loss. May your brother's soul RIP.

I am sorry to hear this as well. A loosing a close relative and particular a brother is a watershed moment.

My thanks to all those who prevent more losses in lives this year @DocSnowball @Dalal.Holding and many others.


My condolences, John. I am very close to my younger brother so I can only imagine what you must be going through.


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Re: COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)
« Reply #49 on: January 02, 2021, 06:46:31 PM »
I was just over +30% in 2020. The vast majority of my  alpha this year was made in late March when I went from around 75% net long to around 140% net long. Mostly with in-the-money call options on quality businesses (the calls I bought on DIS when it was less than half its current price helped quite a bit). The other big winners were a good size position in TZOO (which I still like) and a special situation trade around the Just Energy restructuring. That one was the largest absolute dollar return on a single trade of my life.

My biggest loser of the year (by far!) was BRK.B. I bought some puts on various things I thought were overleveraged in Jan/Feb. That worked out well, but I closed them too soon. Around the same time, I sold some BRK.B puts (short expirations). Then when they were in the money I rolled them out, and added more to try and make it up. This process ended up with me getting put a huge BRK.B position in the 200s when it was trading considerably lower. I ended up selling most of the excess BRK at pretty low prices. I knew it was low, but wanted to put the money into higher beta names, which ended up being the right call. Still, I'm probably the only person on the board who has BRK as their largest absolute dollar losing position of all time.

IMO this slightly underestimates my true return for the year, as I have a relatively large position in the debt of a firm that went through bankruptcy. The debt no longer trades and the reorg equity I got isn't trading yet, and IB has it marked at an unreasonably low price (imo). So I should get a free boost on next years numbers.

@Writser- I'm sorry to hear this board hasn't been useful for you this year - I have huge respect for you as one of the best posters here. I can relate on the kids front - I made a number of unforced errors due to exhaustion when my kids were little. Mine are 5/6 now and it does get easier.

**lesson learned - you don't need to make it back on the same trade. If I had just closed the BRK and taken the first loss it wouldn't have been that painful. The losses on the roll were brutal. When I finally pulled the cord and reinvested in other stuff at the bottom I made it all back and then some.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2021, 07:00:16 PM by bizaro86 »