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Right, now we’ve had a peek at TGISVP Q1 performance, let’s also look at performance for stocks I actually own & have recommended. First, a few notes:

This is the performance that really matters! As I browse the web daily, I’m slightly disappointed to read about so many shares where the writer doesn’t own/disclose a holding. I’m far more interested in, and put a far greater weighting on, somebody writing about a share they actually own! Well, unless they’re a ‘PI‘ writing absolute bollocks on a message board..! And if they disclose their % portfolio stake, in many cases I think that tells you a lot about their conviction & risk perception regarding the stock. All too few writers share this, and I’m perplexed as to why? Yes, I’d like to see their pretty panties, but I don’t need (or want!) to see inside them... This info. gives no clue as to the absolute value of a writer’s position or portfolio (in my case, I might make a rare exception for a v thinly traded stock).

So, I do write about other interesting stocks, peer companies and terminal shorts (for fun!), but my primary focus will always be on recommendations of stocks I own. This is the best value I can offer readers, and I believe you can rely on my position size as a consistent indicator of my conviction and/or risk opinion with each stock.

Incidentally, I slipped at the end of the year and posted a brief performance review on some non-owned stocks/situations. I might give a specific view on some stocks, but unless I formally recommend it, AND confirm my ownership, it’s NOT a stock recommendation (but it might be something you want to research further). I won’t track these kind of stocks any longer, which will hopefully reinforce my point.

In terms of tracking performance, I haven’t really progressed from year-end. Some holdings were only recommended later in Q1. I haven’t written about or confirmed ownership in some portfolio holdings, the size of my stakes evolves over time (or can change abruptly), and I add/withdraw funds from my portfolio on a regular basis. I also consider a multi-currency portfolio is a benefit, not a risk, and I have broad currency allocation targets in my portfolio. Looking at it from a reader perspective: Readers may agree with/buy/hold stocks I recommend, but their opinion on stake size etc. might prove to be very different. They may also operate in a different base currency.

Considering all of the above, as usual the simplest solution is probably the best… I will measure performance for my portfolio of stock recommendations based on quarter-end prices vs. year-end prices (or for 2012 recommendations, prices at the time of first publication). I’ll ignore portfolio weightings - that is, assume an equal investment in each stock. I’ll also ignore currency impact. For a benchmark, I’ll just take a simple average of the three major indices. Right, how did we do?

All Stock Recommendations Ccy Yr-End ’11/ Rec. Price End-Mar ’12 Price % Gain
Sirius Real Estate (SRE:LN) EUR 0.21 0.23 9.5%
Cresud (CRESY:US) USD 11.39 12.32 8.2%
Total Produce (TOT:ID) EUR 0.37 0.45 21.6%
EIIB (EIIB:LN) GBP 0.036 0.0315 (12.5)%
Trinity Biotech (TRIB:US) USD 10.18 10.67 4.8%
Dhir India (DHIR:LN)** GBP 0.375 0.42 12.0%
Colony Financial (CLNY:US) USD 15.71 16.38 4.3%
Argo Group (ARGO:LN) GBP 0.145 0.1525 5.2%
Asta Funding (ASFI:US) USD 7.98 8.17 2.4%
FBD Holdings (FBD:ID) EUR 6.50 9.10 40.0%
Vina. Vietnam Opp Fd (VOF:LN) USD 1.27 1.55 22.0%
Livermore Investments (LIV:LN) GBP 0.14 0.15875 13.4%
Avangardco (AVGR:LN) USD 6.64 11.55 73.9%
Petroneft Resources (PTR:LN) GBP 0.18125 0.09125 (49.7)%
Richland Resources (RLD:LN) GBP 0.09625 0.1125 16.9%
JPMorgan Russian Secs. (JRS:LN) GBP 5.975 5.78 (3.3)%
Ren. Russia Infrastructure (RIEL:LN) USD 0.54 0.55 1.9%
Portfolio Average 10.0%

My 2012 Baker’s Dozen (really a subset of the above portfolio) actually performed a little better:

2012 Baker’s Dozen Ccy Yr-End ’11/ Rec. Price End-Mar ’12 Price % Gain
Sirius Real Estate (SRE:LN) EUR 0.21 0.23 9.5%
Cresud (CRESY:US) USD 11.39 12.32 8.2%
Total Produce (TOT:ID) EUR 0.37 0.45 21.6%
EIIB (EIIB:LN) GBP 0.036 0.0315 (12.5)%
Trinity Biotech (TRIB:US) USD 10.18 10.67 4.8%
Colony Financial (CLNY:US) USD 15.71 16.38 4.3%
Argo Group (ARGO:LN) GBP 0.145 0.1525 5.2%
Asta Funding (ASFI:US) USD 7.98 8.17 2.4%
FBD Holdings (FBD:ID) EUR 6.50 9.10 40.0%
Vina. Vietnam Opp Fd (VOF:LN) USD 1.27 1.55 22.0%
Livermore Investments (LIV:LN) GBP 0.14 0.15875 13.4%
Avangardco (AVGR:LN) USD 6.64 11.55 73.9%
Petroneft Resources (PTR:LN) GBP 0.18125 0.09125 (49.7)%
Portfolio Average 11.0%

And how did the indices turn out?

ISEQ EUR 2,902 3,255 12.2%
FTSE 100 GBP 5,572 5,768 3.5%
S&P 500 USD 1,258 1,408 11.9%
Average 9.2%

We’ve a long road to go, but I’m pleased to see this out-performance vs. the indices…

In fact, underlying performance’s a little better as my actual portfolio risk control/weightings appear to have added value. For example, Petroneft Resources (PTR:LN) is a big hit on the portfolio average – but in reality, it’s been less painful for me as just a small toe-hold position as I’m v aware of the funding risks the company faces (vs. the underlying reserves value).

I’ve also created a rather tough benchmark, as a majority of the recommended stocks are listed in London. Compared to the FTSE 100, out-performance has been spectacular! Actually, there’s a puzzling aspect to this – clearly most of the listed London stocks I’ve recommended are not particularly exposed to the UK?! Correct, I’ve actually touted that fact. My apologies, I’m not sure I highlighted one caveat here – you will find that foreign companies & investment funds listed in London (or another non-domestic market) can be vulnerable to their listing market’s performance & sentiment. Strange, I know. But look it up – this foreign listing anomaly is less commented on, but it’s a well-known phenomenon for oil & gas and gold stocks, for example.

As I know, to my mental pain, I hate the gold price but I really want to take advantage of the under-performance of gold equities - so I sit & stare at these charts, and ponder the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX:US). But its chart’s looking a little sick now (in contrast to the gold chart itself), and is threatening to break through this $46-47 zone of support. I wonder what that tells us about the prospective gold price..? But then again, GDX wouldn’t have been much help in that regard over the past few years!

However, these anomalies don’t really concern me. I firmly believe listing market impact’s a short-term phenomenon, especially for foreign stocks/funds. Over time, I’m confident these funds shake off any FTSE 100 influence and strongly reflect their underlying exposure(s). Or we have a London bull market, and foreign stock P/Es expand and fund go to NAV premiums..? Hey, I’ve seen it before, and I can live with that too..!

OK, so stock recommendation performance is looking good, but let’s see what the coming quarters bring…