Mark to Market


I believe in 100% transparency, so for better or worse this is how I am currently placed with my hard-earned pension pot. The biggest challenge for a retail investor isn't only to pick the right securities to be long or short, but also to avoid messing around too much, which results in fees/costs eating up your capital. Someone once told me that patience is the greatest source of investment "alpha." This is obviously a terrible cliche, but also kind of true I think. I try hard to live by that mantra, but it isn't always easy. On occasion, I will be discussing the portfolio on the main blog. Any massive bloopers are my fault alone, and can't be blamed by a junior with a fat finger or an algo. 

As for performance. 2016 ended with a solid 12.8%, which was much welcome after a poor 2015. Performance tailed off in Q4, but I am hoping to keep up the momentum. As always, use my ideas liberally, but make you own decisions too, at least once in a while. If you want to debate markets you know where to find me

Best five closed trades in past 12 months

  • U.S. natural gas via LNGA US equity.
  • Gold miners via AUCO ln equity; I still own a small portion.
  • F5 Networks; looking to buy it back in Q1. 
  • Soft commodities via AGAP ln equity. I am still long. 
  • Sabadell; will buy back.  

Worst five closed trades in past 12 months

  • Short FTSE; weak GBP, FTSE up. Will that ever end? 
  • Aberdeen Asset Management; EM weakness and low-cost competitors too high a bar for them. 
  • Short Home Depot; very sticky and not going anywhere. Cost of borrowing too high.   
  • Japan equities via IJPH; I was more lucky second time around. 
  • Restaurant Group; poor location on trade and generally just bleeding out

Market files

Binomial function for the conflict between North Korea and the U.S - excel file


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The portfolio

*Portfolio returns are cash diluted. All returns are in USD, but currency loss/gains are not marked to market. Total return in 2016 was 12.8%. Aug 2017 is as of open 30th.