Friday, 2 January 2015

Performance statistics for December 2014

Performance statistics for December 2014 

(For historic performance information and descriptions of what I am trying to achieve with each portfolio please see the 'performance' tab. As with everything on this site, these are my views only.  Please read the disclaimer to your right and always do your own research. A final disclosure, these portfolio are real and are reported to the best of my accounting ability how they actually performed) 

Hedge fund portfolio +4.0%
Net position 7% net long, gross book c. 60% utilised (at month end)

In one of those statistical oddities the second successive 4.0% performance months...not that I am complaining of course!

Well, what a volatile month. Take the FTSE-100 for example.  It started the month in the 6,700s, briefly dipped to around 6,200 and ended the year back deep in the 6,500s. Whilst the FTSE-100 index position is still my largest short it was trimmed a couple of times near the monthly low which helped to add net portfolio value as the market rebounded

Otherwise it was a month for trying to add value via trading.  Trading positions added included Google, BP and Gilead Sciences where share price declines - for various reasons - created opportunities: currently all three positions are nicely profitable.  Positions in RBS, Lafarge, Tesco and Barclays were also added to during the middle of the month market malaise.  The newly listed spin-out Indivior was also introduced to the portfolio.  CAT was partially covered during the month as the construction/industrial behemoth hit (to the downside) my first target price.

On the other side, a few profits were taken in Randgold (which once again has proved a valuable winner) although a good sized position remains.  There was also a partial cover of the yen short below 120 against the US dollar although, again, this still remains a good sized position.

Top 5 long positions at month end: Voya, Apache, Lafarge, Smith & Wesson, Randgold
Top 5 short positions at month end: FTSE-100, Yen (vs US$), Australian index, Euro (vs US$), HK index

So how did the calendar year 2014 end up then?  A gain of 27.3% generated via 11 up months and 1 down month.  I am really pleased with this as I aim for 20% annualised.  Now just to repeat this in 2015...

Pension fund portfolio -0.3%
Cash position c. 2% (4% a month ago)

A bit of general market volatility at the end of the month just pulled back the overall portfolio value into negative territory for December.

Major trades during the month included adding to the energy sector position (via BP, Apache), augmenting positions in Smith & Wesson, RBS, Barclays and introducing a position in Aviva.  All this activity pushed down the cash balance.

Top 10 positions at month end: Apache, Randgold, Syngenta, Agco, Standard Chartered, Smith & Wesson, Tesco, Royal & Sun Alliance, Aviva, Barclays

So how did the calendar year 2014 end up then?  A gain of 5.8% generated via 7 up months and 5 down months.  Given the FTSE-100 (my main benchmarks) and most European indices were down during 2014 I am pleased with this...although clearly if I had put all my money into a US tracker or long bonds... That is not my aim however with my pension money: a value angle and multi-year timeframe pushes me towards a good holding in non-US positions and away from bonds.

When I look at the top ten positions (a little under 40% of the total portfolio value) I see value for 2015 (always a good position to be in).

One last statistic: the dividend yield on the portfolio was basically 2% - not bad given I do explicitly focus on income today.


So combined portfolio observations:

1. The 'hedge fund' book outperformed - not surprising given the volatility of markets and compressed returns outside of places like the US.

2. My value bias is obvious in my 'pension fund' book.  I do need to watch this - I may necessarily have a multi-year outlook necessarily BUT I need to keep on watching for value traps.

3. Opportunities do abound...and managing your own money is far more fun than managing institutional monies (believe me) and constantly a great challenge. Onto 2015!

No comments:

Post a Comment