Performance statistics for February 2015
(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 +5.2%
Net position 2% net short, gross book c. 66% utilised (at month end)
A strong performance month driven by some good performances near the top of the portfolio with Voya, AIA and Syngenta all enjoying strong quarterly updates and consequently good share price advances. Combine this with a strong re-rating of Smith & Wesson shares plus good advances in names such as NN Group, Google, Agco and Deere.
Some shorter-term trading was also profitable with positions after share price falls established in companies such as Sky, Coca-Cola Hellenic and Michelin all contributing profitably by month end.
Of course the short book (both individual stocks and broader indices) negatively contributed but the magnitude of the alpha generated by the long book (despite an overall mildly net short positioning being apparent for most of the month). FX positions were mildly positive in February.
Towards the end of the month a long volatility position was also reintroduced reflecting my fears that markets were generally highly extended.
I still see value in the portfolio holdings and general positioning although from a top-down perspective I am currently debating whether to go more net short to reflect my caution about market levels.
Top 5 long positions at month end: Smith & Wesson, Voya, Apache, AIA, Syngenta
Top 5 short positions at month end: FTSE-100, German DAX, Yen (vs US$), Australian index, HK index
Pension fund portfolio +2.2%
Cash position c. 3% (3% a month ago)
A solid month following the epic performance of January with gains in stocks like Smith & Wesson, Syngenta, Tesco and Agco were countered by both Apache and Randgold shares continuing to roll over a little and general volatility in most of the UK financial names in the top ten positions.
Lower down the portfolio holdings there were good gains in names such as Telecity, NN Group, Google and AP Moeller-Maersk.
Given the generally high global market levels I will be looking to raise a little net cash in early March to allow for the creation of some 'dry powder' to put to work in general market volatility.
Top 10 positions at month end: Apache, Randgold, Smith & Wesson, Syngenta, Tesco, Agco, Standard Chartered, Aviva, Royal & Sun Alliance, Barclays