Today marks 6 months since I opened my little investment portfolio. Although this isn’t a long period of time I’m pretty excited to review the portfolio. Equities markets have performed strongly recently so the old quote about rising tides lifting all boats comes to mind (or ducks, if you’ve read Buffett’s 1965 letter to shareholders) .
The ASX300 closed April 20th with 5407.04 and in the 6 months to October 20th, gained 93.7 points and paid 131.76 points in dividends. This is a total return of + 3.91%. The MSCI World Total Return index is up 11.25% including dividends. Clearly international stocks have delivered investors better returns than their Australian counterparts.
In comparison, the WF30 portfolio is up 16.12%. This includes a 2.32% dividend yield on cost. (Return is time weighted IRR).
Pretty stoked really! Over the long run, my aim is to create a portfolio that does well in a broadly positive market yet can outperform the ASX300 or MSCI TR index during a down market, even if that’s still an absolute negative return. Obviously this is yet to be seen.
Small-cap Australian equities make up the majority of the portfolio although there is an undisclosed large cap holding in the mix. Currently the portfolio holds positions in 6 companies and one LIC.
The top performing holding to date is BWX Ltd (+ 43.83%). BWX Ltd was also the funds maiden purchase. The other stand out performer has been Pepper Group (+27.79%), which I’ve made a few posts about (here, here and here). I voted against the recent private equity takeover offer for Pepper Group but if the scheme goes ahead I’ll elect to cash out the position (an alternative to hold unlisted stock in the acquiring company doesn’t appeal to me). Reckon (-17.16%) was the biggest detractor. Reckon has under performed lately but that’s ok, the underlying business is unremakable and reasonable. Compared to Xero and MYOB it’s the least popular listed accounting software business but I think it’s undervalued. There are also hints of it becoming a takeover target.
I have no market forecast moving forward. The more the market rises and the more fund managers, media personalities and fellow citizens of the world talk about going 100% equities and structural changes in interest rates the more I think of the word ‘manic‘. In my super fund I’m 100% equities and am still building the WF30 portfolio. Both are small in an absolute dollar sense, so even a 40% decline won’t be catastrophic. Nevertheless, if I took heed that there might be herd mentality inflating a bubble, I’m well and truly swept up in it and that just makes me think ‘more manic‘.
I’m still not sure if, how, or when I’d start going to cash but I’ve been thinking about it more and more recently. There will be a market crash eventually and I’d like to have capital ready to take advantage of that, so I may just start allocating a greater percentage of new funds into my portfolio to cash, ready and waiting. I can’t find a lot of value in solid companies on the ASX at the moment anyway. I am trying to analyse a few companies every month though, just broadening my net.
That’s it! Thanks for reading if you stuck this far! I can’t think of a better market to luck out starting a portfolio in (actually, a market in decline would have been nice) but with a bit of work and some luck on my side, I’m hoping the next 12 months continue to be profitable.