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COBF 2020 Returns (pre-tax, after fees, etc)


Broeb22
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What were your 2020 investment returns  

454 members have voted

  1. 1. What were your 2020 investment returns

    • -50%+
    • -50% to -45%
    • -45% to -40%
    • -40% to -35%
    • -35% to -30%
    • -30% to -25%
    • -25% to -20%
    • -20% to -15%
    • -15% to -10%
    • -10% to -5%
    • -5% to 0%
    • 0% to 5%
    • 5% to 10%
    • 10% to 15%
    • 15% to 20%
    • 20% to 25%
    • 25% to 30%
    • 30% to 35%
    • 35% to 40%
    • 40% to 45%
    • 45 to 50%
    • 50%+


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Whoa setting up that poll like John Hjorth did was tedious on the iPad.

 

Anyways, what were everyone’s 2020 returns? No judgment given to those who would rather turn the page on 2020 without looking back.

 

If you also want to share some big winners and losers in the comments that might be interesting...

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i had a good  year with Xpel, Shop and CZO (ceapro) RH and TSLA which i just most sold out around $600. 

i bought a bunch facebook msft appl during the dip and they did well too.  CSU also helped

 

i’m thinking of exiting the market and buy real estate in vancouver.  is that the same as selling tesla to buy air bnb ?? lol

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My Account for 2020

 

+56.68% TWR

+66.12% MWR

 

Biggest Winners:

 

Trupanion

Liberated Syndication

Game Account Network

Bragg Gaming

Facebook

Amazon

Conic Metals

AerCap

SandRidge Mississippian Trust I

Manning & Napier

Support.com

Affymax

Myrexis

TSR

Yowie

Wilson Learning Worldwide

Clean Seas Tuna

Brookfield Property

CDR

NTT System SA

Alaska Communications

Think Childcare

Link Administration Holdings

St. Joe Corp

Griffin Industrial

Hingham Institution for Savings

 

 

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i’m thinking of exiting the market and buy real estate in vancouver.  is that the same as selling tesla to buy air bnb ?? lol

 

That comment made my day :-) I am actually thinking of doing the opposite. Gotta love how smart people can look at the exact same situation and see two completely different solutions / ways forward.

 

No right or wrong. The key is fit. Finding a solution that works for you. Best of luck! 

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My return for the year came in at 15.6% (a shade better than my long term average).

 

VERY happy. I started the year heavy Fairfax so it could have easily been a tough year. At the time the pandemic hit capital preservation was my key objective: so mission accomplished. I was also heavy cash for large chunks of the year.

 

I did more trading in 2021 than ever before. My gains were made in mostly two time periods each time with a basket of stocks: late March/April (tech, dis, nike, sbuck etc - which I sold way too early) and then Nov (more cyclical stuff). Shifting most of my portfolio back to CAN$ during the year also helped (CAN$ strengthened by a couple of % vs the US$).

 

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i’m thinking of exiting the market and buy real estate in vancouver.  is that the same as selling tesla to buy air bnb ?? lol

 

That comment made my day :-) I am actually thinking of doing the opposite. Gotta love how smart people can look at the exact same situation and see two completely different solutions / ways forward.

 

No right or wrong. The key is fit. Finding a solution that works for you. Best of luck!

 

you are thinking of exiting real estate (in Vancouver?) and entering the stock market?

 

i’m definitely not smart financially.  thx to this board (all the contributors and educators and the administrator Sanjeev of course) — i have had some fun while keeping my capital and some :))

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Whoa setting up that poll like John Hjorth did was tedious on the iPad.

 

Anyways, what were everyone’s 2020 returns? No judgment given to those who would rather turn the page on 2020 without looking back.

 

If you also want to share some big winners and losers in the comments that might be interesting...

 

Any chance you can post your returns? Just curious.

 

Would post mine but since I'm young, I was able to take the concentration risk. Also, my investment track record is only 6 years - so I don't think it matters. However, it is above 50% - still have a long way to go. Hopefully it will provide cushion for the losses to come.

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i’m thinking of exiting the market and buy real estate in vancouver.  is that the same as selling tesla to buy air bnb ?? lol

 

That comment made my day :-) I am actually thinking of doing the opposite. Gotta love how smart people can look at the exact same situation and see two completely different solutions / ways forward.

 

No right or wrong. The key is fit. Finding a solution that works for you. Best of luck!

 

you are thinking of exiting real estate (in Vancouver?) and entering the stock market?

 

i’m definitely not smart financially.  thx to this board (all the contributors and educators and the administrator Sanjeev of course) — i have had some fun while keeping my capital and some :))

 

Gary, I posted my reply to the real estate thread (Garth Turner :-)

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2015: ~(20)

2016: 24.7

2017: 25.9

2018: (-14.1)

2019: 25.5

2020: (4.80)

 

Excluding holdings in BTC, my return was -4.8% for the year (what I voted). Dunno what it was including BTC as I account for that making TWR calculation difficult. Probably would've improved it to +1 or 2% for the year.

 

My cash return was positive ~4%, but because most of the dollars were made in Q4 with a portfolio that was much larger due to consistent inflows, it didn't improve the prior losses on a TWR basis by enough to end positive.

 

Went into 2020 roughly 50/50. Worked out well into March, but had shorted the market via SPY/QQQ puts and maintained them through May/June. Didn't think that the sell off would be so "shallow" or end so soon. Still not entirely convinced the fragility is gone :/ stubbornness isn't my best trait.

 

Bad Moves:

1) Being heavy into EM and cyclicals going into the crisis.

 

2) Being heavily into mortgage REITS thinking they'd be relatively safe in a sell-off as they proved in 2008

 

3) Continuing to remain short the market after the bottom passed and doubling down on the way up (responsible for roughly -6% of performance)

 

4) remaining 50/50 on the way back up due to my skepticism

 

Good Moves:

1) Bitcoin

 

2) Adding Gold/Silver call spreads in response to stimulus

 

3) Adding to Fairfax and Exor at ridiculous prices even AFTER the recovery was apparent

 

4) Substantially increasing by many fold my holdings in Rolls Royce after rights offering announced

 

5) sticking with, and adding to, mortgage REITS at significant discounts to NAV

 

6) refinancing my mortgage and converting an IRA balance to a Roth IRA. Probably more beneficial than all the positive investment decisions combined

 

Ultimately, disappointed with the performance. I thought that the bear market was certain to be more protracted by the economic damage that was/is still obvious. Got whipsawed on some of my more volatile retail names and sold other performing names too soon.

 

Also, while most of my stocks underperformed in the downturn, most also proved to underperform in the upturn as well - so far at least. It's only been in the last 60 days or so that they've begun to pop (up like 15-20% in the last 2 months!), but too little too late to save my year-end results.

 

I had a plan. I stuck to it. It didn't work out as well as hoped. I know what I could've done better, but I don't know why I would've done it because I still don't really understand why what's happened... happened. Still skeptical of valuations. Still see the economy as being fragile. Still don't think the Fed is the one floating this. And still see better value in international stocks and real asset producers. Maybe one day this broken clock will be right.

 

***Edited to include my prior years of returns for better reference in the future

 

 

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I haven't run the exact numbers but I'm somewhere just shy of 50%. Overall a really good year. But there wasn't anything too bright on my end to achieve that. In fact I consider 2020 the year without too many ideas. Luck played more of a role. Here are the highlights that helped:

 

1. I had a very heavy AAPL position. This was from back in 2018 when they were giving it away.

2. I have a longstanding large position in MSFT that continued to perform well

3. I built a heavy position in EQR basically at bottom tick shortly before it shot up. Hat tip to the pupil for all the help around that name.

4. I bottom ticked hard REI.UN. That one was easier to do.

5. I took a MASSIVE short position against the USD when it was the obvious thing to do. I also did other trading around FX that added a few points of performance. FX trading is really not what i do. But in recent opportunistic trades helped with performance quite a bit.

6. I bought a fair amount of BRK around 160-170 range. Gotta think what to do now with the position size.

7. Bought some financials pretty cheap

 

Those lucky evens did they best to offset the negatives:

 

1. I was quite heavy financials WFC was a large position that got hit hard.

2. The Rolls-Royce position got obliterated.

3. I guess I didn't buy TSLA ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

 

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Rb, I agree with your overall conclusion. I had no real good ideas, rather all I did this year was triple-down back in March April and use that early sell off to upgrade positions into better companies, buying a GreatCo at 70c versus a GoodCo at 50c. Then got lucky end of year with big moves upward in live nation and cloud flare among others. Frankly I hope every year I can be lucky rather than good.

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55.8% in 2020, net of fees.

 

Some of it because I loaded up on some non growing but solid companies on the cheap, such as ABR, AER.

 

Most of the return was mainly good positioning in some great small growing businesses that benefited from the disruption. These were long term holdings before 2020.

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Not totally precise calculations yet, but around minus 3 percent for 2020 pre-tax & after fees etc. [, & took the poll accordingly].

 

I'm tempted to quote Greg and SharperDingaan from the "Happy New Year"-topic here :

 

Happy New Year to everyone. 2020 wasnt a bad year, it was just a life experience. What doesnt kill you, makes you stronger and wiser. Hopefully 2021 is the start of the Roaring 20s. Cheers

Happy New Year  ..... and fortune and glory to all!

And the end to a rubbish 2020!!

 

SD

 

I "managed to produce" minus 32.9 percent in about a month [the period February 19th - March 23rd] while being actually mentally incapacitated, not fit & proper and ill, & doing nothing, mostly staying away from the keyboard and my monitors.

 

On that backdrop, there's no need to complain about minus 3 percent.

 

- - - o 0 o - - -

 

Off topic :

 

Ended the year with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. R.I.P., Little Brother [Passed away December 31st early in the morning, & way too early].

 

So here, also a huge thank you to Broeb for picking up the baton on this yearly recurring topic.

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2020: 45 pct.

2019: 23 pct.

2018: -7 pct.

2017: 19 pct.

2016: 45 pct.

2015: 13 pct.

 

I feel like I'm getting better, but I also reckon most might just be luck and a small sample size. Was approx. 115 pct net long going into March, dialed up and down during the year to a max around 120 pct before the presidential election.

 

Got absolutely clobbered in March with positions in (among other things) Spirit Airlines, Alliance Data Systems and AMA Group and no tech apart from a microcap in France. Down 50 pct at one point from February high. Averaged down in all three before realizing how bad it would be for Airlines with fixed and operating leverage. Took my losses in Spirit and deployed into better risk/reward situations. Did a ton of buying and selling, never seen so many good spots to pick from, but ended up with a portfolio looking a lot like it did going into the year with a lot of Berkshire, Linamar, Altria, Ulta Beauty, Clipper Logistics and Cambria Automobiles among the biggest. Made some costly mistakes like averaging down in Spirit, and not swinging at some stuff right in my wheelhouse, but overall satisfied. Returns are in euro, and the dollar was obviously a large headwind.

 

Sorry for your loss, John. Best wishes for the new year my fellow Dane.

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Whoa setting up that poll like John Hjorth did was tedious on the iPad.

 

Anyways, what were everyone’s 2020 returns? No judgment given to those who would rather turn the page on 2020 without looking back.

 

If you also want to share some big winners and losers in the comments that might be interesting...

 

Any chance you can post your returns? Just curious.

 

Would post mine but since I'm young, I was able to take the concentration risk. Also, my investment track record is only 6 years - so I don't think it matters. However, it is above 50% - still have a long way to go. Hopefully it will provide cushion for the losses to come.

 

I had nearly 29% returns, so very happy with that but also looking at my portfolio and not seeing a lot of value.

 

Large detractor was CVET which I sold close to the bottom due to leverage concerns which CD&R made irrelevant weeks later.

 

Large contributors:

TRRSF

PINS

STNE

FB

JD

GDYN

FSV

EPAM

CARR

 

 

 

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Sorry to hear that John. I wish you peace.

 

Not totally precise calculations yet, but around minus 3 percent for 2020 pre-tax & after fees etc. [, & took the poll accordingly].

 

I'm tempted to quote Greg and SharperDingaan from the "Happy New Year"-topic here :

 

Happy New Year to everyone. 2020 wasnt a bad year, it was just a life experience. What doesnt kill you, makes you stronger and wiser. Hopefully 2021 is the start of the Roaring 20s. Cheers

Happy New Year  ..... and fortune and glory to all!

And the end to a rubbish 2020!!

 

SD

 

I "managed to produce" minus 32.9 percent in about a month [the period February 19th - March 23rd] while being actually mentally incapacitated, not fit & proper and ill, & doing nothing, mostly staying away from the keyboard and my monitors.

 

On that backdrop, there's no need to complain about minus 3 percent.

 

- - - o 0 o - - -

 

Off topic :

 

Ended the year with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. R.I.P., Little Brother [Passed away December 31st early in the morning, & way too early].

 

So here, also a huge thank you to Broeb for picking up the baton on this yearly recurring topic.

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I did more trading in 2021 than ever before. My gains were made in mostly two time periods each time with a basket of stocks: late March/April (tech, dis, nike, sbuck etc - which I sold way too early) and then Nov (more cyclical stuff). Shifting most of my portfolio back to CAN$ during the year also helped (CAN$ strengthened by a couple of % vs the US$).

 

I think this is a very strong takeaway that cant be stated enough. Over the years Ive become more and more grateful for flipping my "value investor" position on the concept of "trading". For a long time I subscribed to the notion sold by people like Buffett that "short term trading is a fools game". There is a huge contingency of "value investor" who are almost willfully proud about being stupid and dismissive of the idea of trading. They're kind of like anti vaxxers or Earth is flat folks. But the truth is that managing investments with a trading angle is a massively beneficial tool in terms of managing risk and being opportunistic. Ive read in a few places that like 85% of the markets returns occur during something like 10% of its trading days. Even with respect to this year, I had many reminders of this. Selling DDS puts and buying calls a few days before the short squeeze thesis played out after Teds 13G netted over 800% and buying $100 MSGE calls while the stock languished between $65-75 just seemed too good to be true...and paid off between 170-1600%. Being flexible in philopshy and dynamic in application was a lesson that 2020 cemented in me. Trading in a sense, is really just monetizing volatility.

 

@John Hjorth. Sorry for your loss. It is easy to look at things in the simple good/bad context. Ive had a number of events in my life that most been would describe as "not good" or probably even much worse. At the time they are unpleasant. Painful even. But as you get through them I find them just as valuable and even more so than "good" events or memories. I dont think Id describe any of them, in hindsite, as "bad" experiences though. Same with 2020. Everything one experiences in life molds that person and their pool of wisdom/understanding. Like a video game, as you advance, having conquered past levels, you inevitably carry with you those lessons. Hopefully you and your family are well in the new year and may your brother rest in peace.

 

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Far too early for this, but > 100% TWR in the equity portfolios, net of a return of capital.

 

We weren't 'investing' as in 'buy and hold'. We were primarily swing trading to lower cost bases and build share count.

'Donny' was very good to us with his 1700-2000 point daily swings, as was Bitcoin, WCP, CPG, and most other oil/gas. Even PD and OBE net of consolidations, and recent run-ups!. Today we have large share counts (for retail) in very good companies, record cash sitting in FFH stock, and a healthy CAD/Pound FX hedge going the right way. Over the next 12 months, most of it will be partially reinstating dividends as well. We will be eating well for a very long time!

 

The big take-away this year, was the value of returning capital right after a run of obscene trades. Short-circuiting the corruption of fast money worked very well for us, and it benefited a lot of people. It will benefit us again this tax season.

 

Every day, something new.

 

SD

 

 

 

 

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Here we are, the day of reckoning! First of all, I'm a bit surprised that currency is neglected in the topic again. Euro returns are quite a bit worse than dollar returns in 2020 due to all the money being printed by uncle Sam. When John (my condolences) says he is down 3% I assume that that is in EUR, which means a performance in dollar of about +6%. Quite a difference.

 

Anyway. My after-tax net return is about ~5% in EUR or ~14% in USD. I don't really keep track of pre-tax / post-tax returns - I only manage my own money, I pay a flat wealth tax and my goal is to minimize after-tax returns so I include stuff like tax credits generated during the year in my portfolio performance. My ten year CAGR is now about 18.x% without a single down year.

 

My style can best be described as 'garbage sifting'. That's not really a style I expect to outperform with in a raging bull-market. And it didn't :) . I'm reasonably happy with what happened in March: even though I was about fully invested (as I almost always am) and some special situations went bust my portfolio wasn't down a crazy amount and I could still sleep very well. Mostly I kept on doing what I always do. I'm not the guy who makes big calls, macro bets or bold 'recovery plays' or whatever.

 

What was very frustrating this year though (investing-wise - overall it was actually very satisfying) was having a one year old kid. Before the kid I used to work in the living room. Well, guess how that worked out early 2020. The shit hits the fan, markets are down 5% a day, country goes in lockdown, daycare closes, and both me and my wife try to work in the living room while a one year old is eating and destroying everything in sight. Good luck trying to analyze a mortgage REIT when your kid is obsessed by the blue power button on your computer. Biggest crisis of the decade but for me it was basically impossible to get into the right frame of mind and find the time to do some serious work. We ended up making a small office upstairs where we split our time. Still, we are again in lockdown now and again it is very hard to get serious work done. I've looked into hiring some office space during the year and maybe that's something I have to reconsider this year - especially given that there's another kid on the way.

 

This whole work-from-home situation led me to being frustrated and tired too often, which led to some unforced errors and sloppy due diligence. And I find that grating. I'm perfectly content with looking in the garbage can while others are up 500% with Tesla or whatever but at least I'd like to feel that I gave it my best effort and that wasn't always the case this year. So, overall I'm a bit salty. I need to find a better investing / life balance and if that doesn't happen during the next few years I will consider renting an office, outsourcing my investment work, putting it on hold or changing my style to be a bit more passive / low turnover. I like what I do and I'm confident that my approach to investing has its merits and a risk/return profile that I am content with so probably I will just go on but I'm keeping my options open. The end goal is to maximize happiness in life, not performance on the stock exchange. So far these goals have always more or less aligned for me as I love doing this but in 2020 that wasn't always the case.

 

Also, this is probably something for another topic but I didn't find this forum a particularly compelling / value-adding place to be in 2020. I find myself spending less and less time here and moved on to some other places. Maybe that's just me being a sore loser though in 2020! Thanks to thepupil for opening thousands of interesting real estate threads this year. Also, the GRIF thread was great, polite and worthwhile. You guys got me very close to buying but I never pulled the trigger. And a big shoutout to alwaysinvert for having lots of cool original Skandi ideas. Really happy with my Treasure ASA position this year and I think it has great prospects for 2021. Also a shoutout to Gregmal. Seems like he actually got more reasonable and nuanced here during a year in which a lot of people didn't. Didn't see that coming - that's probably me being fixed in my own ways. This just from the top of my head - please don't feel offended if you helped me in some way or another or posted cool stuff and I didn't mention you.

 

And finally a shoutout to all the people working in daycare. I seriously think I would have a burn-out within a week.

 

Onwards to 2021. Looking forward to it!

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31% in my managed accounts

40+% in Employer 401k

 

Made the decision early on to put my entire 401k into cash as the markets were still slightly positive and the downside seemed tremendous if shut downs happened. 

 

Had a child on Mar 20th and the hospital at the time was the most eerie place I have ever spent time. Deserted and nothing but ominous talk of the virus on the way. No one was wearing masks at the time.

 

Based on that, I am quite proud I was able to deploy all capital shortly after near the bottom. Bought higher quality companies so I could set it, forget it, and take care of my family and other life demands.

 

What is amazing about 2020 is I could have easily had -10 to 10% returns and also could have had >70% returns.

 

I have learned a tremendous amount during 2020 with regards to investing and businesses.  We all saw an entire business cycle in 9 months. Thank you to everyone on this board for their contributions.

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I am at a hair less than 10% this year. One excuse is that I managed it with way less volatility than the SP500. I am happy with the result,  it could have been way better than that. This year was the year for the bold but I can’t afford 50% hits in my age.

 

Pluses were waiting out some declines from early to mid March and mistake was waiting too long until the end of April to do something and partly those went into the wrong sectors (not tech heavy enough, defense stocks etc).

 

I am pretty happy with my portfolio as is right now and I think everyone who made some money, stayed healthy, and has a job is a winner in my book.

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Thank you for that post writser as so much resonates with me and I don't even have a child (although I was taking care of my 2 year old niece twice a week in the Spring to relieve some pressure on her WFH parents).

 

As for myself, I was up 30% on the year. I had actually sold a bunch of holdings in January/February as the market was looking a little frothy. This ideally positioned me for the March drop but unfortunately everything just moved so fast that I never had the opportunity to fully take advantage (other than a bunch of quick in and out swing trades). Most of the year's gains came from purchases made in June/July as things settled down and as I was able to pick away at some market laggards.

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