It’s that time of year again, and hard to believe it’s been 2 years since I started this blog. Time sure does fly. The second half of 2014 in the markets has been very interesting, unfortunately for my portfolio that wasn’t a good thing. Overall my portfolio was down 10% in H2 2014 compared to -0.7%% for the FTSE All share tracker and +5% for the S&P 500 tracker. My portfolio is 75% in the UK so the FTSE is the closest benchmark, but given how easy it is to invest in the S&P and hedge currency I aim to beat both benchmarks.
An update on my portfolio: I have bought a new position in a GDR listed in London, as well as anticipating an exit in a couple of positions, share prices permitting. I’ve also been reflecting on some of my investment decisions and where I am getting into bad habits.
I like to think of myself as open-minded, I try to not to let my pre-existing biases get in the way of learning new things and new ideas. But I also like to think of myself as a skeptic – unless someone can show evidence or proof that an idea is correct, I’ll have a hard time accepting it.
So when it comes to Technical Analysis you can see why I am of two conflicting minds. Like most value investors, I have a tendency to dismiss TA and just focus on valuation, but after attending some friendly get togethers with other investors in London I discovered there are people out there that have been using TA to make money for decades – maybe there is something to this TA after all?
Had a couple of changes to my portfolio so now is a good time to give an update. Here is my portfolio as it currently stands, with % allocations.
An update on some recent changes to the portfolio. Novus Energy (TSX:NVS) has been taken over, I have initiated a position in Clear Leisure (AIM:CLP), and have a good old rant about foreign currencies!
The Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a great place for investors to find bargains and mispriced securities. A lot of the companies have market caps too small for brokers or institutions to care about, which means small investors like us are left to competed with only each other. But it doesn’t come without its risks: stocks are illiquid with large bid/ask spreads, regulation is more relaxed than the main market and the stock prices are very volatile.
In the second half the portfolio returned 29.8% beating both the S&P 500 at 15.4% and FTSE All share at 11% (both including dividends). I am pleased with the performance this year, which has totalled 49.4%. I wouldnt have expected to beat the market by such a margin in what has been quite a frothy year, with a lot of companies selling at full or over-valuations. I am also reluctant to give myself a pat on the back as there are many companies I didn’t pick that also did well, it was a good year to be a small cap investor.
I read a really interesting piece on oil prices, it was contained within a fund report, but I recommend people…
There have been some changes to my portfolio in the last couple of weeks, one position is now 30% of portfolio and others have been or are being sold.
My portfolio performance for the first 6 months of 2013 and what it looks like as at the end of June.