Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Performance statistics for January 2015

Performance statistics for January 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 +0.8%
Net position 3% net long, gross book c. 55% utilised (at month end)

A relatively dull start for 2015 for the hedge fund portfolio?  Well...at least it was positive.  The proper characterisation of January was that it was a month of protective overlays pulling back returns...but I am comfortable with that.

QE in Europe helped induce a number of gains and I covered a good chunk of my Euro short towards the end of the month as the currency was moving to quite silly levels against the US dollar.  Similarly I top-sliced a holding in Lafarge after excellent strength and exited (and took excellent profits) in Pernod Ricard.

Randgold was a star and was top-sliced and now sits outside the top five positions but its profit contribution during the month was nothing compared to Smith & Wesson which sharply re-rated following a profit profile upgrade: most pleasing.

Apache also started to re-rate (a process which continued into February) and there were additionally some trading profits from the Tesco position.

The index short book was uniformly loss-making and overall monthly returns were compressed by the (in hindsight) too quick application of a German DAX short above the 10,000 index point level.

Top 5 long positions at month end: Apache, Smith & Wesson, Voya, AIA, Syngenta
Top 5 short positions at month end: FTSE-100, German DAX, Yen (vs US$), Australian index, HK index

Pension fund portfolio +5.7%
Cash position c. 3% (2% a month ago)

What a month for the pension fund which - as I have noted in previous months - I felt there was considerable hidden value in the portfolio and during January strong performances from much of the top ten positions including Apache, Randgold, Smith & Wesson, Tesco and Aviva made a significant contribution.  A very pleasing start to the year.

This strong performance has pleasingly continued into April with well-received updates from Randgold, Syngenta and Agco amongst others.

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

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