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There was a gratifyingly large surge of page views yesterday checking in on my 2012 Portfolio Performance! I’m suitably humbled by the attention – gulp, makes me wonder what challenges 2013 will throw up?! Hopefully the blog’s sparked a few decent ideas & stock picks for you in the last year or so, and you’re pleased with the progress of your own portfolio in 2012. It’s certainly been rewarding for me – most obviously in terms of improving my investment focus & analysis, but also in terms of the constant stream of questions, challenges, feedback, gossip, ideas, etc. from blog readers.

As a result, I now feel somewhat honour-bound to cough up some kind of 2013 Portfolio. I should immediately flag that some of you may find this a bit of a cop-out… 😦 But, in my defence, let me say:

– The start of a new year really means little to me, I don’t suddenly discover I have whole new batches of stocks to buy & sell!

– I rarely write about stocks I don’t own. This is pretty deliberate – my intention was never to simply fill up blank space with an idea each day/each week. I think people can really only judge your level of analysis & conviction against whether you actually own a stock – and, of course, by how much stock you own!

– I also don’t write about stocks I track, or discard, very much. First, mostly because they’re far too numerous! Second, I’m not sure I’d always manage a proper (in-depth) write-up about such stock(s). And third, I’ve sometimes tracked stocks every single day for literally years on end before buying – how often do you want to hear about them?!

– As regards discards, I agree there’s perhaps some valuable insight to offer by elucidating the reasons for rejection.  But in reality, the vast majority of stocks are fairly unobjectionable – they’re just not cheap or interesting enough for me to buy. I suspect writing about reams of these stocks would quickly become pretty repetitive for readers.

– Of course, then there’s a whole other category of stock duds & discards… Occasionally, they can be highly entertaining to write about, but as regards investing – well, I think we’re all smart enough to just leave ’em to the numpty-chumps! Overall, I think I’m very specific about what I’m looking for, and what I like & dislike, in the stocks I buy – hopefully, in the process, this also tells you what I’m seeking to avoid.

– I guess I mostly like to focus on the ingredients (investment themes, interesting sectors, economic perspectives), and the sausage itself (stock write-ups). I prefer to skip the worst parts of the messy sausage-making here… 😉

– At the end of the day, the blog’s mostly designed to be a live record of a portfolio, which keeps me a lot more honest with myself & with you. This means the blog may become more or less interesting to you, at times, depending on your perspective. Because real life investing is somewhat paradoxical – it’s a slow, but often unpredictable, business! Sometimes the best investing consists of doing nothing, sometimes it makes perfect sense to just keep buying more old ideas, and then occasionally new stock ideas/buys will actually make the most sense.

– Finally, activism is an intriguing alternative! It really encourages one to focus/speculate more on the possibilities of existing stock ideas, rather than the possibilities of new stock ideas.

So, I’m sure you know what’s coming:

Yes, my favourite stock ideas for 2013 are, of course, all of the favourite/high conviction stocks I still own from 2012! Which makes perfect sense… Don’t worry, I’m sure there will be a few new ideas coming along also! 😉 Meanwhile, today, I thought it would be useful to revisit a complete list of all stocks I’ve written-up/disclosed my ownership. I’ll include a link to each company’s website, (hopefully) my first & most recent posts (and the Search box may throw up more posts, of course), and my current portfolio stake (as of yr-end).

[btw Obviously there’s some level of correlation between my stake size, my conviction level & my upside potential for a stock. But this is definitely not a hard & fast rule, a stake may simply be small because I’m still building it, or it’s more speculative, and/or it’s highly correlated with other pre-existing holdings, etc. Equally, a large stake size may (to some extent) simply reflect the fact that it’s low risk (cash rich/debt light), or it has a low correlation with the market/other holdings, or it’s enjoyed significant appreciation, and/or it has a near/medium term catalyst, etc. These days, I’d happily accept much more limited upside potential, in return for greater financial stability and/or lower correlation(s).]

I hope this offers you a fresh introduction, or a reminder, of some good ideas to investigate further/again, whether you’re a new or long-standing reader.

Alternative Asset Opportunities (TLI:LN)

First/last post,   13.1%

EIIB (EIIB:LN)

First posts,   last post,   8.0%

Total Produce (TOT:ID)

First post,   last post,   7.6%

KWG Kommunale Wohnen (BIW:GR)

First/last post,   6.1%

Trinity Biotech (TRIB:US)

First post,   last post,   5.7%

FBD Holdings (FBD:ID)

First post,   last post,   5.6%

Argo Group (ARGO:LN)

First posts,   last post,   5.3%

Fortress Investment Group (FIG:US)

First post,   last post,   5.0%

Asta Funding (ASFI:US)

First post,   last post,   3.7%

JPMorgan Russian Secs. (JRS:LN)

First/last posts,   3.6%

Avangardco (AVGR:LN)

First post,   last post,   3.2%

Vina. Vietnam Opp Fd (VOF:LN)

First/last post,   2.9%

Sirius Real Estate (SRE:LN)

First post,   last post,   2.9%

Universe Group (UNG:LN)

First post,   last post,   2.3%

Livermore Investments (LIV:LN)

First post,   last posts,   2.3%

Richland Resources (RLD:LN)

First posts,   last post,   0.8%

Petroneft Resources (PTR:LN)

First post,   last post,   0.6%

Good luck in 2013!