04

Mark to Market

 

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, its holdings and performance, 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. I used to have a table with my actual holdings across different retail platforms. I might bring it back, but in its current form, it is too tedious to update. I am still updating the performance, though, which can be found in the chart below. 2018 was a sobering year, so far. My stock picks were awful, and the only thing that has saved me is a 40-to-45% cash position—reasonable for a retail investor peddling his/her own savings I think—plus a large position in bonds and gold. 2019 have been decent so far, especially thanks to a big position in short-term U.S. debt. In terms of the equity allocation, a number of single names are now showing obvious signs of being value traps, and probably need to be cut.

* The chart below is accurate as of March 29th.

 
Portfolio end Q1 2019.jpg