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2011 results


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+8,45% against benchmark that is down over 20%.


€/$ helped a lot but I was also fully invested since the +- mid august and I made a lot of changes in my portfolio in the last few months. Overall, I can't complain. Still fully invested and a big chunck in financials.

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I was up about 1% this year. Key learning: stay away from statistically cheap stocks and stick with the best of class. Overall, I am not disappointed as I was very cautious (for a second year) sitting on very large cash balances for most of the year (currently cash = 75%). Lots of good lessons...

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Up 7.5% net of hypothetical 1%/20% fees with a 6% hurdle. Averaged 60% net exposure for the year with top 80% of holdings averaging $40B in market cap (average market cap cited in order to make "adjusting for size" easier for those who care). Net exposure on a "beta basis" much lower than 60%. Benchmark is the Dow Jones Total Return index, DWCFT, which was up 1.03% for the year. 

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down 3 % - sold half of SD in April bought back in gradually and the late surge was a nice christmas present - down primarily because of MFC  and other financials - have bought MFC all year now averaged in at 13 in for the long haul collecting dividends - can't say that overly satisified since I was up 20 % in April however down 3 % much better than 6 weeks ago - FFH was a nice counter to falling markets and I sold ove rtime to buy what I hope were decent purchases of cheaper stocks -

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Do any of you guys calculate your networth? Hope I'm not the only one.  :P


I have a spreadsheet that calculates assets-liabilities daily. I also have it keep track of the change of the value (derivative) per year to see how my slope is doing.


Dude, that is impressive! I only calculate mine monthly.


Down about 4%

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Up 8.5% this year.  Last few weeks pulled me into positive territory.  Fully invested all year.  How do you calculate IRR versus total return?




I use the xirr function, which uses cash inflows and outflows with dates to give you a time weighted return--it is the rate that would be applied to all the money while it was present to achieve the provided results.

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IRR of 37.07% and an underlying gain of 14.24%.  IRR is heavily skewed due to large portfolio influxes mid-year, which turned out to be good timing for such events.


Smartest moves:

- Took a large position in USG at $7.99 in August.

- Took a medium position in PBN at $10.63 in late August.


Dumbest moves:

- Bought a very small speculative position in TSE:PLS, which is down 78%.

- Added lots of SSW at $17.58 after it moved down from $20 in May.


Luckiest events:

- SSW announced a tender offer for shares that brought my largest holding up by 30% in the last month of the year.

- I ended up investing in RAIL, watching it drop, investing more, watching it rise, and trading out at 20% over 9 months.  The way this whole thing developed is interesting and I will post on it in detail shortly.


Best lesson:

PLS is the obvious flub.  I look at the end of year performance and focus mostly on what the heck I was thinking with that play.  What I came up with is:

- I was greedy because I saw a company that used to be worth a lot and was now worth very little.

- I thought they could outrun their financial problems with an asset sale (that never materialized).

- I did very little analysis.  The business model seemed good (I still believe this), but I completely ignored the financial state of the company.

- My big bet was on the housing recovery, which would trickle down to PLS being a profitable business again.  I made the same bet with USG.  The difference is that I used much more rigour with USG, ensuring they would have years to ride out a housing recovery, whereas PLS's time horizon is really only 6-9 months (which is coming to an end).

- I justified my speculation with "it's not a lot of money" which is a ridiculous and stupid way to rationalize an investment.


I was looking for an easy win and I was punished accordingly.  Good lesson and I hope never to repeat this mistake.


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My 2011 rate of return was a strong 14%.  It was primary driven by my core concentrated positions: Philip Morris International, CN Rail, Kraft and my timely purchase of Inter Pipeline when the US lost their tripple A credit score which has performed exceedingly well.  (Those 4 positions are slightly above 40% of my portfolio)


My losers so far have been ATPG (I sold out at a loss), Hanfeng Evergreen Inc (I solt out at a loss), Frontier Communications, Chou Asia, Chou Associates, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. 


Being extremely concentrated has helped me this year and thank god my positions have held up extremely well!  :) 



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