Monthly update: Mar 2014

Following is the cash report for the month of March. Around 6,000 more was invested during the month. Altius, Lamprell, and Kinder Morgan were the stocks I bought.

Mar 2014

I finished writing my thesis. I am looking to graduate by July end. The job search is on. This is one of the reasons why I don’t get much time to either blog or find new ideas.

Monthly update: Feb 2014

It is increasingly difficult for me to take time off from work as I continue to write my PhD thesis at a feverish pace. The thesis is almost fully written but I will need to look for a job next.

The following is the cash report for the month.

Cash Report: Feb 2014

I made the following transactions this month.

Emeco Holdings 15000@AU$0.22
Altius 100@C$14.64
Fortress 200@C$3.4
Lancashire 200@£7.2
Tesco 300@£3.14
Nam Tai 200@$5.69
Sears Holdings 50@$32.92
WTW 100@22.7
SLD 100 WTW 17Jan15P strike $30 for $7.2

Following is my current portfolio.

Portfolio Mar 1, 2014

Monthly update: Jan 2014

A new year brings new promises. I will finish my PhD and start looking for a job. It will also mean that I will not have much time to research stocks or write pitches on SeekingAlpha.

Cash Report (Jan 2014)

Cash Report (Jan 2014)

I started new starter positions in Emeco Holdings (ASX:EHL), Sears Canada (TSX:SCC), Sears Holding (SHLD), Fairfax (TSX:FFH) and Sears Home Stores (SHOS). In a few words, Emeco is cheap, Sears stub is a bet on Eddie Lampert and the value of the real estate and Fairfax is the new addition to my “owner operator” businesses.

I continued to add Altius, and Lamprell.

The situation with Weight Watchers (WTW) is very interesting. On the one hand, there are significant problems with the business e.g., does their product work, are apps going to kill it and so on … on the other is their fantastic track record and a sane management. I sold the company again at $32.91 at a very small profit. Since then the stock has fallen further and I am fighting myself on starting a position.

Three of the puts I sold (two on ArcelorMittal and one on Intel) expired, earning me sfr 899. Additionally, I received sfr 242 in dividends. I paid sfr 22 in commissions and sfr 5.33 on interests. This adds up to sfr 1,113 in profits for the month.

StockMarketEye has topped itself and the new update has a nifty tool to look at your portfolio historically. I have hence decided to include the current snapshot of my portfolio.

Open Positions (Dec 31, 2013)

Open Positions (Dec 31, 2013)

Open Positions (Jan 31, 2014)

Open Positions (Jan 31, 2014)

Monthly update: Dec 2013

Cash Report Dec 2013

This was a month of heavy trading. As discussed before, I sold BAC, PostNL, E.On, Orange, and Banco Santander.

I continued to add Altius and Lamprell.

The realized profits from the transactions was Sfr 5,397. I received sfr 65 in dividends, paid sfr 15.2 as interest, sfr 51 in commissions and sfr 10 in other fees.

2013: Year in review

This post will be updated again later.

This was a transformational year for the way I think about investing. This had some drastic effects on my portfolio. In particular, I sold almost everything I did not have a good grasp on.

This year I started with 50% cash in my portfolio and it has built up through the year. I now have 70% of my portfolio in cash.

Meanwhile, the portfolio value has gone from 75,000 at the beginning of the year to 115,000 at the end. Taking out the 20,000 cash which I put inside the portfolio, the performance has been close to 20%. Interestingly, given that I was only 50% in stock, the performance has been more like 40%. But this probably is cheating.

Mental dissonance

I had ended up owning stocks which I did not necessarily believe in but stayed invested because of several reasons — which can be likely be grouped under the term “bullshit”. I was coat-tailing in some (BAC, SAN) and hoping for a turnaround in others (FTE, EOAN).

I was reading this excellent blog by Prof. Sanjay Bakshi and came across the case of “three legged stool” [read it here]. I have suffered from this fallacy for a while now.

Today I decided to sell every company in my portfolio that I did not understand or had done insufficient research on to justify an investment. Bank of America, Banco Santander, Orange and E.On for example are too big and convoluted to get a clear picture of. In case of E.On and Orange — the management does not seem focussed on creating shareholder value.

I now own the following companies: Fortress, Tesco, Altius, Weight Watchers, Nam Tai, ArcelorMittal, Intel, Bouygues, CAF and PostNL.

I have decided to add an item on my investment checklist. Draw a line, which if crossed will qualify the position to be sold.

I also sold PostNL, mainly because they have decided to sell their TNT stake to shore up their balance sheet. This destroys the margin of safety for which I invested.