2013 Portfolio Review: Cumulative Two Year Gain of 98.13%!

“Investing is where you find a few great companies and then sit on your ass.” Charlie Munger

Last year I did an entire write-up on my 2012 portfolio review going over how well or poorly all the companies I wrote articles on did after I wrote those articles.  I wrote 15 total articles last year and the companies I bought led the portfolios I manage to a gain of 26.20% last year. I thought it was a pretty good first year after truly dedicating myself to value investing but I knew I could do better after eliminating some of the many mistakes I made in that year and purging the few remaining companies I still owned in those portfolios from when I bought into them when I didn’t know what I was doing.

With the help of the rising market, eliminating some of my mistakes, doing a lot of other stuff instead of investing, and getting some tips from other value investors on companies to buy, the portfolios that I manage have gained 71.93% this year as of today.

% Gain YTD
Core Molding Technologies (CMT) 88.67%
Vivendi (VIVHY) 12.39%
Paradise Inc (PARF) 42.86%
Calloway Nursery (CLWY) 100%
Brazil Fast Food Company (BOBS) 112.63%
Strattec Security (STRT) 75%
Average Gain 71.93%

 

Core Molding Technologies – I bought into this company too early last year when I gave into my impatience after months of not being able to find a company to buy into.  At the end of last year I as sitting on an 8% point loss on my investment.  With the rising market and good continued developments at the company this year it gained 88.67%  I still own CMT.

Vivendi – At year’s end last year I was sitting on a 27% gain.  This year with all the spin offs/sales at the company YTD it has gained another 12.39%.  I still plan to hold onto this company while it continues its transition to a purely media driven company.

Paradise Inc – I bought this company in March (one of only two companies I bought this year) and in that time it has had almost no news either positive or negative so I guess this companies gains of 42.86% are chalked up to the overall rise in the market.  I still own Paradise Inc.

Calloway Nursery – The other company I bought in the calendar year of 2013.  Originally I saw other value investors like OTC Adventures writing about the company and paid no mind to it.  Luckily after talking with Jeff from the Ragnar is a Pirate blog, DTEJD1997,  them sharing some information about how much the companies properties were worth, and doing my own research into the company, I decided to buy into them and I am glad that I finally paid attention to these other investors.  I have sold out of most of my position in this company at an exact double of 100%.  So far it has taken me four months to sell out of that position and it will likely take another two to sell out of the rest of it.  I still like this company and if the price goes back down substantially, all else remaining the same, I may buy back into it again.

Brazil Fast Food Company – I bought into this company last December after Red from the Red Corner Blog recommend that I take a look into them.  Again, I am thankful that Red mentioned them to me.  After a year where the company was gaining a lot after continued good results, the companies owners wanted to take it private at a ridiculous offer, which was then voted down, and the company has continued to rise after that.  The company YTD has gained 112.63%, I still own them, and plan to hold them for the long-term.

Strattec Security Corp – Another company I bought into last December.  This company had very good continued results, had some new positive developments, the stock went up very quickly and I sold out of the entire position up 75% in May.  Since then the company’s stock price has hovered around where I sold it.  Like Calloway, if STRT drops substantially, all else remaining the same, I will buy back into them because I think they are an excellent company.

Last years 26.20% gain + this years 71.93% gain means that the portfolios that I manage have cumulatively gained 98.13% (49.06% on an annual basisin two years since I started to take this seriously.  The portfolios I manage were in 40%-55% cash the entire year and are at the higher end of that range now.  Frankly I was shocked when I saw this years gain and the two-year cumulative gain since I only do an entire portfolio review once a year.

What Does The Above Mean To Me?

Not much honestly.  A two-year track record doesn’t mean much to me since I am a long-term investor.  I was also helped a lot by two recommended companies from other value investors and the overall rise in the market.  Am I glad and excited about this great start yes, but I still have a lot of work to do and at this point I think that I am only an average to above average stock picker as I have a lot of room to improve and was helped a lot by short term luck of the stock market rising a lot.

Some of the Lessons Learned This Year

  1. My extreme patience and discipline gained from dealing with my health issues helps greatly as a long-term, very strict value investor.  I did a lot of stuff not directly related to investing this year because I could only find two companies that I could buy into all year.
  2. You need to keep a record of what you do.  This was such a long year filled with great and not so great things for me that I have recently been telling everyone I only bought one company this year.  I completely forgot about the PARF and BABB articles I wrote at the beginning of this year and that I actually bought into PARF back in March along with CLWY.  Memories are not always what they seem to be.
  3. Sometimes it pays to “steal” investing ideas from others, but you still must do your own research into the company.
  4. Turn over as many rocks as possible.  While I only invested in two companies this year I have researched hundreds if not thousands of other companies and have built up a watch list of around 20 companies.  When those companies stock prices go down I will be ready to potentially buy some of them with the cash I have built up and the knowledge I have gained of those companies.
  5. Starting a business is very hard.  This is my biggest failure of the year by far and one that I hope to rectify at some point in the future.  The business my brother and I started was a complete failure from the point of gaining customers and revenue.  At this point we are not doing anything at all with the company as we overestimated the demand in our area for our product.  We learned a lot of lessons from this and we hope to start a successful business in the future.
  6. Writing a book is very hard.  Most of my year (the better part of 10 months) was spent writing, editing, researching, etc for the book.  It was well worth it as it has provided some for my family, for two needy families Christmas presents, I learned an enormous amount, and it has hopefully helped newer investors learn this craft faster.
  7. It obviously pays to buy into a few great companies and then sit on your ass and be patient.

Goals For This Year

  1. Continue to learn something every day.
  2. Improve in some way every day.
  3. Turn over more rocks.
  4. Read more.
  5. Write more.

I hope you all had a great year, thank you all so much for all the conversations, reading this blog, buying my book, and I look forward to talking with you all more and getting back to writing more articles for the blog in this coming new year.

 

Excellent Links From When I Was Writing How To Value Invest Part 1

Excellent Links From When I Was Writing How To Value Invest Part 1

While I was writing How To Value Invest I did not do very much learning about value investing.  I did however save every link that I thought might contain some excellent information from those emails dating back to February, and plan to share what I think the very best links were from that time frame over the coming weeks while I am researching companies again.

Hedge Fund Letters – Shareholder letters from a bunch of different funds including Baupost, Fairholme, Berkshire, Fairfax, and many others.

Contrarian Investing In Quality Franchises – From Beyond Proxy and author Oliver Mihaljevic.

Walking Away From A Few Million Dollars Part 5 – This is from Ragnar is a Pirate and is the conclusion piece on a potential real estate investment and the potential pitfalls of investing in real estate.

How Morningstar Values Berkshire – Goes through multiple different valuation techniques and values Berkshire Hathaway.

How To Get Into The Value Investors Club by Whopper Investments who recently got accepted into VIC, something I have failed twice at thus far.  Hopefully I picked up some pointers from Whopper for my next attempt.

Punchcard Investing Blog – An excellent new blog which concentrates on companies with moats and competitive advantages.  I highly recommend going back and reading the entire blog.

What Was The Biggest Turning Point In Your Life?  Excellent article from BenPhilabaum.com about making small incremental changes every day instead of waiting for that one big break.

Quickly Master Any Skill The Tim Ferriss Way By Learning Out Of Order by Lifehacker.  This is a 24 minute video that is well worth your time if you want to learn things more efficiently.

Why Berkshire’s McLane Has A Moat and are There Similar Companies in Asia from Beyond Proxy.  Excellent piece on one of Berkshire’s subsidiaries, how to spot moats, what builds a moat, etc.

The Greatest Investment Book Ever Written from The Brooklyn Investor.  Not your typical investment book recommendation.

Thank You To Everyone Who Has Read This Blog

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone around the world who reads this blog for everything including the conversations I have had with some of you, the help, encouragement, and understanding since starting this value investing journey.  Without you reading and helping me, the book that launches tomorrow would not have been possible and I would not be nearly the value investor that I am today.  Thank you all so much, I appreciate you all immensely, I hope you have learned as much as I have from this site, and I plan to continue to bring you the best valuation and analysis articles and value investing related content possible.

Thank-You-word-cloud-1024x791

I also wanted to share below the Dedication and Acknowledgements pages from How To Value Invest where I thank specific people for all that they have done in helping get the book together.

I am so excited to share the book with everyone tomorrow!  Some time late tonight I will send out copies of the eBook early to those of you who have preordered as a thank you for preordering.  For everyone else the book will be available for sale sometime tomorrow morning.

Dedication

For my wife, kids, and family.  Thank you for being there over the years and supporting me through everything.  I would not have been able to do this without you.

Acknowledgements

“If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Sir Isaac Newton

Thank you to John from CSInvesting, Red from The Red Corner Blog, Taylor From Valueprax, Jeff, from Ragnar Is A Pirate, John from Shadowstock, The Brooklyn Investor, The Fundoo Professor, and all other value investing and related blogs for sharing your knowledge, conversations, and encouragements over the years.  You all have had an extraordinary impact on my life and me as an investor and I would not be where I am today without all of you.  Thank you so much.

Thank you to Dr. Wes Gray and Tobias Carlisle, authors of Quantitative Value, for your opinions and encouragements.  This book is infinitely better because of the feedback from you both.

Thank you to Benjamin Graham, Warren Buffett, Seth Klarman, and Joel Greenblatt for sharing your experience and wisdom with the world.

Thank you to Tim Ferriss for sharing how to hack the world and sharing your adventures.  Without the Four Hour Work Week and the sharing of your amazing life adventures I would have never had the motivation to finish writing this book.

Thank you to Dean and Eda Nelson, Chen Vincent, Kevin McKenna, and Amir Yizhaki for believing in the book enough to preorder it.

Reminder to Vote In The Cover Design Contest, Finished Fourth Entire Edit/Revision, Schedule For Upcoming Book Related Information, Evaluating a Spin-Off

This is a reminder to vote in the cover design contest for How To Value Invest.  It will only take about one minute of your time and will be greatly appreciated. So far the vote for the top design is very close between the top two and remember that whoever is the top rated vote receiver will win the contest and their design will be the cover for my upcoming book.  The poll will run until this coming Friday when a winner will be announced.  The top two designs so far are below.

Book cover by Lilam Book cover by dalim

Thanks to Jeff over at the Ragnar is a Pirate blog who gave me some excellent feedback I have just finished up the fourth entire edit/revision of the book and am even more excited to share it with you.  Thanks a lot Jeff you have helped make the book a lot better after your recommendation I really appreciate it.  If you have not checked out his value investing blog linked above I highly recommend it as it is one of my favorites.  I am eagerly looking forward to feedback from some other value bloggers as well.

Now that we are less than a month away from release I am going to start announcing and sharing things about the book a lot more quickly.  Some of the things that will be announced or put on the blog about the book in the coming weeks are going to be: The table of contents, announcement of how to get yourself an advance copy, release of preview chapters, how everyone could get the book 50% off.

I have also done some research on another company and plan to do a mini write-up of it as well.  The company is a bit of a departure from what I have done lately, concentrating on sub $100 million companies, but since I am having trouble finding undervalued companies in that area I decided to look at a spin-off opportunity at a much bigger company and may have found a company to invest in if they become more undervalued.

Catching Up On Some More Links

Farnam Street-The World Is Much More Interesting Than Any One Discipline.

Wexboy-Tetragon Ready To Be A Star.

Sahara Investing-The Luxury Goods Market.

Oddball Stocks-Thoughts On Quantative Value Investing.

Valueinvestingblog.net-Investing In Japan: Late To The Party.

Valuewalk-Insurance Companies, Where Buybacks Are Key: Travelers.

Farnam Street-Mastery.

OTC Adventures-Value Investing Strategy And Unlisted Securities Part 1.

Whopper Investments-The Best Values Are Over The Counter Stocks So Is $OTCM A Great Value Too?

Ragnar Is A Pirate-Changing 13D’s At Trinity Place Holdings.

The Aleph Blog-On Insurance Investing Part 2.

Quotations Page-Persistence Quotes, my favorite is the Calvin Coolidge One:

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

Absoutely love that quote.

Mises.org-Cartman Shrugged: The Invisible Gnomes and The Invisible Hand In South Park.

CSInvesting-The Secret To Investing Success (Munger Tip).

Valueconferences.com-Adib Motiwala: Your Instructor At Small Cap Investing Summit 2013, hour long interview.