2012 portfolio review and lessons learnt

Wednesday, Jan 02 2013 by

Another good month for markets and the JIC portfolio. It seems a long time since Friday 25th May, when the portfolio was valued at £145,700, down 3.6% on the 1st January valuation. During December the JIC portfolio rose 4.2% to record a total return for 2012 of 21.2% compared to a monthly rise for the FTSE All Share Index (TR) of 0.8% and 12.1% for the year.

The main contributors during December were Findel +21%, Gable +17%, Agriterra +16%, Ashtead +12% and Synergy Health +11%. Gulf Keystone -9% and Telecity -8% were the only real drags on performance. Whilst I shouldn't really grumble about the total return for JIC of 21.2% for the year I feel I should have done a little better! To some extent JIC is diversified away from the UK with about 25% held in various investment trusts. Never the less, against the background of the FTSE Mid 250 Index and the FTSE Small Cap Index (ex Inv. Trusts) rising 23% and 32% respectively , two areas which I consider fertile hunting grounds, I should have been able to pick some better stocks.

The best returns so far: Quindell +148%, Halfords +69%, easyJet +54%, Igas 46% and Taylor Wimpey +38%. Main lessons from 2013. I am perfectly able to pick undervalued growth situations without having to resort to speculative oil exploration companies. Chariot Oil & Gas cost the portfolio £3,514 or just over 2% of my JIC starting capital. True, you can make extraordinary returns if these companies do strike oil, but if they don't....!

In 2010/11 I made good money out of three E&P stocks; Encore, Nautical and Cove but in all three cases I bought after they had made their initial discoveries and the risk was greatly reduced. I need to be more disciplined in implementing stop losses. In some cases, having cut a holding, the shares promptly bounce but that should be seen as water under the bridge. The real damage comes from watching a stock drop when it is clearly in a down trend. The best , (or worst), example was Cape where I had cut my losses for a very small loss ,(£-46) but then for some inexplicable reason tried to catch a falling knife, bought back in and eventually sold out a few profits warnings later for an overall loss of £3490 or 2% of JIC starting capital. I cut a further 13 holdings for losses of on average £250, less than 0.2% of starting capital.

Run your winners: I sold Sports Direct purely because I thought it looked a little expensive. During the next month it went up a further 20% in a straight line. And finally..... There is nothing like a bit of luck! On May 15th I sold my holding in Lamprell for a small profit as I didn't like the way the share price was acting: it seemed a little suspicious. On May 16th it issued a profits warning and the shares promptly dropped 70%. The luck bit was that I sold on the 15th May and didn't decide to sleep on it and leave it to the next day!

Favourite stat of the year: Athens Stock Exchange Index +33.4%, Dax + 31.4%

Happy New Year and Happy Investing

Filed Under: Stock Picks,

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I run a subscription website  www.JohnsInvestmentChroncile.com in which I show my JIC Portfolio and all transactions. I blog within an hour of trading, with an explanation, and send an alert email to all may subscribers. I do not pretend to have all the answers but I hope my Portfolio, and… ...read more or visit website »


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Findel plc (Findel) is engaged in the business of home shopping and education supplies in the United Kingdom. The Company operates through four segments: Express Gifts, Findel Education, Kitbag and Overseas Sourcing. Its Express Gifts includes direct mail order businesses in the United Kingdom, offering online and via catalogue a range of home and leisure items, clothing, toys and gifts supported by credit offer. Its Findel Education supplies resources and equipment to schools and educational establishments in the United Kingdom. Its Kitbag is a retailer of sports leisurewear and official football kits both through its own online operation, kitbag.com, as well as various partnership relationships with football clubs and other sports organizations whereby Kitbag manages a range of retail, online or mail order channels. Its Overseas Sourcing includes sourcing office based in Hong Kong supplying importing services to various group companies and a small number of external customers. more »

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Gable Holdings Inc. is a United Kingdom-based investment holding company. The Company's subsidiary, Gable Insurance AG, is a non-life insurance company. The Company, through its subsidiary, is engaged in underwriting a range of specialist policies for the commercial sectors in the United Kingdom, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Spain. The Company operates through two segments: Insurance activities, which consists of the operations of the Company's insurance subsidiary, Gable Insurance AG, and Administration activities, which consists of various other activities of the Company. The Company operates in nine European countries and offers approximately 19 products, such as construction liability, liability, latent defects, workmanship guarantee, tenant deposit scheme, after the event (ATE) legal expenses, property liability, commercial combined, ATE financial litigation, commercial bonds, deposit guarantee and motor fleet. more »

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Agriterra Limited is engaged in the business of the investment in, development of and operation of agricultural and associated civil engineering projects in Africa. The Company is focused on grain and beef in Mozambique, and cocoa and palm in Sierra Leone. The Company has three operational agricultural divisions, which include Beef, Maize and Cocoa. The Beef division is engaged in conducting cattle ranching, feedlot, abattoir operations and retail units through Mozbife Limitada (Mozbife). The Maize division operates maize purchasing and processing businesses through Desenvolvimento E Comercializacao Agricola Limitada (DECA) and Compagri Limitada (Compagri). The Cocoa division manages the Company’s cocoa farming activities and also manages cocoa trading through the Tropical Farms group of companies (TFL). The Company is focused on agricultural investment and sustainable development in Africa. more »

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  Is Findel fundamentally strong or weak? Find out More »

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About johnrosier


I manage my subscription website  www.JohnsInvestmentChronicle.com in which I show my portfolio and all transactions. I blog within an hour of trading, with an explanation, and send an alert email to all my subscribers. I do not pretend to have all the answers but I hope my portfolio, and the trades, provides food for thought as well as helping those who are new to managing their own portfolios.I think what I do is unique. There are plenty of tipsters out there who will remind you of the good ones and quietly forget the duffers; I do not have that luxury as the portfolio is there for all to see. I have to confront my mistakes and deal with them. A tipster also does not show how a tip fits into the context of an overall portfolio. My portfolio of up to 30 holdings has different holding sizes based on my conviction behind the stock and its risk. I set up www.JohnsInvestmentChronicle.com in January 2012. Prior to that :In September 1984, I left university with a degree in Zoology and started work in the City of London. Over the next twenty five years most of my time was spent managing UK equity portfolios with Fleming Investment Management and Henderson Global Investors, for company and local authority pension schemes as well as the reserve fund for a well known charity. During 2009 I left full time employment and decided to take time out to consider the next stage of my career. In the meantime I have been putting my years of experience to good use investing the family savings. I have thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of investing from home and despite some tricky periods during 2011 it has been a rewarding experience.  more »


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