Mark to Market

Barring a disaster in the final trading sessions of the year, the portfolio will return about 5%—excluding fees and dividends—in 2017. This is a far cry from the nearly 20% of the MSCI World, but better than a hole in the head. The good news was concentrated in the first half of the year. Profit-taking trades in Wells Fargo, Sabadell and Japanese equities added to the strong performance. From spring onwards, however, performance hit the skids, and only recently have returns started to improve. Slumps in General Electric, Xper have been the primary drags, but the dumpster fire has been more broad-based than that. A 15% allocation to gold and commodities—industrial and soft—for example, haven’t done me any favours either. Neither have exposure to producers of generic medicines and other small-cap pharma firms. Finally, various attempts to hedge out impending, but ultimately non-existing, sell-offs in the market as a whole also have hurt. Syntel and Urban Outfitters have been rising from the ashes in recent months, and I am hoping that further mean reversion will reach the rest of the portfolio next year. Given where we are in the cycle, the risk of a balanced equity portfolio losing money is rising. But let’s see whether I can’t come up with some ideas. 

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This will be the last market related post in 2017. I am working a list of some of the good stuff that I have read, which I hope to get up. In any case, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.