Monday, July 31, 2017

On success as an investor

According to Peter Lynch (the legendary fund manager of Fidelity Magellan) the qualities related to success as an investor are:
  • patience
  • self-reliance
  • common sense
  • a tolerance for pain
  • open-mindedness
  • detachment
  • persistence
  • humility
  • flexibility
  • willingness to do independent research
  • willingness to admit mistakes
  • ability to ignore general panic

Out of the above list I think willingness to admit mistakes is the hardest. Acting on a mistake is actually even harder as this typically involves selling a stock at significant loss.

Over the 20+ years of investing I have gradually got better at avoiding mistakes. It is extremely rare to find a bargain selling at open market. Low P/E and P/B are typically there for a reason (look for them!). Same with very high yeild.

Out of the all "great ideas" I have had over the years very few have been actually great. I think roughly equal amount (if not more) have been in the exact opposite category. So I tend to be sceptical with regards to any "great idea" that I come up with.

Mistakes do happen when inveting directly into individual stocks as opposed to picking a safe ETF tracking sensible idex.

That's why adequate diversification is paramount.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Allocation update mid 2017

Time for mid-year portfolio update.

Currently our portfolio is allocated as follows:

  Stocks 98,5%
  Gold 1,4%
  Cash 0,1%

No bonds. We simply substitute bonds with quality dividend payers in our portfolio.

Geographical Allocation (stocks):

  Europe 63,3%
  North America 26,6%
  Emerging markets 10,1%

Actually, place of incorporation is pretty meaningless for most corporations we have invested in.
Most operate and sell globally.

Sector Allocation (stocks) - in order of weight in portfolio:

  Technology – Other
  Technology – Semiconductor
  Clean Energy
  Basic Materials & related services
  Broad Emerging Market ETFs
  Industrial Goods

Top 5 positions - in order of weight in portfolio:

  Siili Solutions (Finland)
  Nokia (Finland)
  Fortum (Finland)
  UPM (Finland)
  Berkshire Hathaway (USA)

18,8% of all stock positions are done via ETFs.
None of those positions made it to top 5 though.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Which stocks famous money managers hold?

Dataroma tracks famous value oriented money managers that they call "superinvestors". Among them are legendary investors like Warren Buffett.

I regularly take a look what they hold, what they have bought and what let go.

Here is "Top 20" by ownership count compared to situation I had on file from September 2016 (please click to enlarge):

I included all stocks that had up to 10 owners among the famous investors tracked by Dataroma.
The notable changes since September 2016:

  • Apple ownership increased significantly (+5)
  • Wells Fargo made to pole position by continuing to rise in the list (again +3 since last time I checked)
  • Allergan, Comcast and Amazon made it to the list (I have not tracked these before)
  • JPMorgan made again to the list (have been in top 20 before)
  • United Health Group, Liberty Global and Wal-Mart Stores dropped from the list (less than 10 owners this time)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Helsinki Top 10 Over Billion Euro Companies

There are currently 32 companies listed in NASDAQ OMX Helsinki that exceed market cap of 1 billion euros. I ran my personalized screen to get top 10 list out of those companies.

I use a service provided by via Pörssisäätiö to screen stocks listed in NASDAQ OMX Helsinki. I was not able to rank the following companies due to missing data: Nordea, Sampo, SSAB, Amer Sports and DNA.

Top 10
  1. Citycon - score 2,2 - market cap 2,0 billion euros
  2. Sponda - score 2,2 - market cap 1,4 billion euros
  3. Orion - score 1,9 - market cap 7,3 billion euros
  4. Telia - score 1,8 - market cap 16,8 billion euros
  5. Nokian Renkaat -  score 1,8 - market cap 5,3 billion euros
  6. Sanoma -  score 1,8 - market cap 1,3 billion euros
  7. Elisa -  score 1,7 - market cap 5,6 billion euros
  8. Kone -  score 1,4 - market cap 21,2 billion euros
  9. Fortum  -  score 1,4 - market cap 12,8 billion euros
  10. Neste  -  score 1,4 - market cap 8,9 billion euros
Average Score of all 122 companies in the research database: 1,3
Median Score 1,3

Parameters used in screen (weight):
 P/B estimate current year (13%)
 P/E estimate current year; next year (8%; 10%)
 Dividend yield estimate current year; next year (8%, 8%)
 ROA estimate current year (10%)
 ROI estimated 3 year average ending current year (8%)
 ROE estimated 3 year average ending next year (8%)
 Turnover estimated increase in 3 years ending next year (8%)
 Net Profit estimated increase in 3 years ending next year (8%)
 Gross Margin estimate current year (8%)
 Profit Margin estimate current year (8%)

The used parameters emphasize attractive valuation (31%), profitability in broad sense (26% weight), growth (16%) and dividend yield (16%).

The screen relies on estimates about future. Those combined with volatility of stock prices means that you should not try to chase screens like these (I don't). Ultimately any investment decision should be based on much more than just looking at the current numbers and estimates of future numbers.

Disclosure: Author is shareholder in Citycon and Fortum.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Exit from "big oil"

I decided to exit from Chevron and Statoil.

I felt Chevron was ripe to be sold and Statoil was tossed out in the same decision making process.

This means that the only direct stake left in oil & gas industry is Fred Olsen Energy - a position, which has been also trimmed downwards.

Overall these moves mean it will be just matter of time that we exit from the whole sector.

Proceeds have been diverted mostly to small-to-medium publicly-listed companies in Finland in multiple sectors.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Blog update

This blog has recently reached 100,000 pageviews. Thanks for all readers!

Few changes in the blog:

I have decided to remove the list of all positions that used to appear beside the blog entries. The main reason for doing this is that I do not want to disclose positions in individual small Finnish companies.

Some of the small cap companies trade in extremely small average daily volumes so accumulating (or getting rid of) positions that are significant compared to the daily volume will take a while. Also, there is a possibility for fairly easy identification in case we would hold positions in multiple small cap companies (which may have less than thousand shareholders).

Finnish book entry law & system is such that all positions in publicly-traded shares by Finnish citizens are public. Only book-entry shares owned by foreign (non-Finnish) shareholders may be nominee registered.

To stay in alignement with policy required from Seeking Alpha contributors (and Seeking Alpha -certified blog), I continue to disclose any positions we have related to an article / post that will be published given the post is specifically about a company/ETF that we hold.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Allocations for 2017

At the start of the year 2017 our portfolio was allocated as follows:

Stocks 98,1%
Gold 1,6%
Cash 0,3%

No bonds. We simply substitute bonds with quality dividend payers in our portfolio.

Geographical Allocation (stocks):

Europe 53,3%
North America 35,6%
Emerging markets 11,0%

Actually, place of incorporation is pretty meaningless for most corporations we have invested in.
Most operate and sell globally.

Sector Allocation (stocks) - in order of weight in portfolio:

Information Technology (significantly overweight compared to even split across all chosen sectors)

Oil & Gas Production
Low Emission Power Generation
Forest Industry
Health Care
Metal Industry
Mining & Exploration (significantly underweight compared to even split across all chosen sectors)

Top 5 positions - in order of weight in portfolio:

Siili Solutions (Finland)
Berkshire Hathaway (USA)
Fortum (Finland)
UPM (Finland)
Nokia (Finland)

21,0% of all stock positions are done via ETFs.
None of those positions made it to top 5 though.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Portfolio performance 2009-2016

Let's review how our portfolio fared in the year 2016 against passive index investing.

Our "benchmark investment" is an imaginary passive ETF that closely tracks the performance of MSCI all country world (ACWI) index in euros.

First half of 2016 was absolute horror show (vs. index and in absolute terms even more so) and we were behind index most of the year - until December came along and several of our positions gained manyfold compared to index so we ended up beating our benchmark in the past year.

The result for the year 2016 was our portfolio 14,9% vs. benchmark investment 10%.

Note: "Difference" column uses exact values as input rather than figures rounded to 1 decimal that are displayed.

The "beat" is mostly due to our positions in U.S that fared very well.

Euro continued it's decline agains USD from 1,086 to 1,054, which created small headwind for us as our portfolio is significantly more titled to Europe than the ACWI index.

Cumulative gains of our portfolio (blue line) vs. benchmark investment (red line). 31.12.2008 = 100.

It's continues to be amazing how closely we overall track the benchmark given that our portfolio has very different region & sector allocations compared to ACWI index.

While I would naturally like to beat the benchmark we have set for ourselves, the performance so far isn't that bad given that over 70% of the actively managed investments funds fail keep up long term (10 years) with their benchmark index (according to Morningstar - as I wrote last year for 2015 review).

To be fair, I don't track our performance purely against the index (below), so we are trailing cumulatively the pure index to some degree. If you want to know more about our "bechmark investment" against we track and the way above comparisons are calculated, please read the latter part of portfolio performance update from 2014.

 Our benchmark index 2009-2016 (based on data from MSCI All Country World Index; Net; Euros)