Another return of the Travel Series part 11 – HomeToGo SE: The German AirBnB or the next Trivago ?

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice but my personal (and often unqualified) opinion. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH !!!

Background & Intro

Long term readers of my blog might remember a certain obsession with travel companies over the past few years. Among other posts, the main analysis were these ones:

Part 1 – Lastminute.com
Part 2 – Expedia
Part 3 – Trivago
Part 4 – Flight Centre – book review
Part 5 – Flight Centre
Part 6 – Tripadvisor
Part 7 – Tripadvisor (cont)
Part 8 – GDS (Sabre, Amadeus etc.)
Part 9 – Expedia (cont)
Part 10 – AirBnB

With the exception of a short, mildly successful (and very lucky) speculation in Expedia, I found the sector as “too hard” for me to invest as too many things were moving at the same time:

The more I look into those companies, the more difficult the sector seems to become. There is a lot of fundamental change going on, Which on the one side is good for agile players but on the other hand makes it very difficult to predict anything and extrapolate trends from the past.

As a Value  Investor, unpredictable fast-moving industry changes are difficult. In order to invest in such a sector, there should either be a significant moat and/or fantastic management or a very cheap valuation.

So why now looking again at a travel company ? To be honest, I was motivated by a comment from “Celebrity investor” Philipp “Pip” Kloeckner in my Twitter feed as I introduced HomeToGo as a part of my “Bumsbuden Wikifolio” where I collect German shares that I think are staying away from makes a lot of sense.

Pip commented that he has a very different opinion, which is not surprising, as he is sitting on the Supervisory board and seem to hold around 100k shares that he received for consulting  in the early days of the company.

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Some links

TGV Truffle had a great year, annual letter to be found here (Zooplus, Aareal, Talgo)

TGV Rubicon annual letter 2021 (Aumann, Hostelworld, Ceconomy)

Good write-up on French “Hidden Champion” Pharmagest Interactive

Interestingly, Norway has become the forerunner for heat pumps

An in-depth look into the Activision-Blizzard acquisition by Microsoft

Some deep thoughts about long term implications of company capital allocation for investors

Scott Galloway with an interesting perspective on the Elisabeth Holmes/Theranos trial

BioNTech Update: What to do now ?

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. PLEASE DO YOU OWN RESEARCH !!!

What a difference a year can make. Less than a year ago, I tried to enlarge my circle of incompetence by looking at BioNTech. This was my summary back then:

I have to admit that some “fear of regret” plays a role here. i would deeply regret not to have invested if this becomes an even bigger success. Therefore I decided to invest “only” 2% of the portfolio into BioNTech within my “Long term growth bucket” at around 98 EUR/share, reflecting the inherent risk at this stage.

My game plan would be to hold this at least 2-3 years and only consider to sell if the stock drops for no reason by more than -50% or goes up by more than +100%.

I expect very positive results both, for 2021 and 2022, however after than, vaccine sales will clearly go down and then it needs to be seen how the cancer pipeline works out or if they can come up with more vaccines.

If initial pipeline would become more concrete and the valuation still makes sense, I might increase the position in 2 or 3 years from now. In between, the position will motivate me to learn more about mRNA and Biotech in general, which is a nice side effect.

In between the stock did hit a peak of ~390 EUR in August 2021, I.e. almost quadrupling from the level that I bought before falling back sharply to a level EUR 150 at the time of writing

I did actually sell 30% of my position at prices between 270-300 at the end of July, getting back my invested money (before taxes).

The big question is: What to do now ? 

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Some links

MSA Capital 2021 annual letter (Sytem1, ABF)

Interesting 2021 Letter from a fund I didn’t know: Curreen Capital

2021 Shareholder letter from newly founded REQ Capital (Constellation Software)

Fundsmith 2021 letter to shareholders (Unilever)

Lou Simpson, the legendary CIO of GEICO passed away last week

A great in-depth look into the Beanie Baby Bubble in the late 90s

Joachim Klement with interesting stats on National differences in productivity

Some Links

Interesting long read about Matt Mullenweg who wants to create the “Berkshire of the Internet”.

Deep dive into soon to be listed PE stalwart TPG from Marc Rubinstein

Some insights into what you actually get when you buy an NFT (hint: It’s not even the pixels…)

Great Morgan Housel post on the power of stories and irrational actors

A good reminder from Morningstar, how awful SPAC deals are for “non-promoters”…

After a few decades of deflation, Japan looks cheap from a currency perspective

The Alpha Vulture blogs celebrates 10 years and an incredible track record of 30% p.a.

2021 Performance review – 2022 Outlook

2021 overview

2021 was a (for me) surprisingly strong year for equity markets with double digit growth across many equity markets.

In 2021, the Value & Opportunity portfolio gained  +22,5% (including dividends, no taxes) against +18,5% for the Benchmark (Eurostoxx50(25%), Eurostoxx small 200 (25%), DAX (30%), MDAX (20%), all performance indices including Dividends).

Links to previous Performance reviews can be found on the Performance Page of the blog. Some other funds that I follow have performed as follows in 2020:

Partners Fund TGV: +38,2% (30.12.) 
Profitlich/Schmidlin: +20,0% (30.12.)
Squad European Convictions (30.12.) +25,0%
Ennismore European Smaller Cos (30.12.) +23,1% (in EUR)
Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen (30.12.) +17,3%
Greiff Special Situation (30.12.) +5,5,%
Squad Aguja Special Situation (30.12.) +5,4%
Paladin One (30.12.) +14,6%

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My 28 Stocks for 2022

Following an annual tradition once a year I’ll try to review my current portfolio by writing short summaries/update for each individual position. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to do this before year end in 2021, but better late than never.

This year, 17 of the 27 companies from last year are still in the portfolio and I have 11 new positions which again looks like quite high turnover. Again, part of that high turnover is driven by “killing” the travel basket and creating a new “Energy Transition /Electrification” basket.

Overall, the number of positions is on the upper end of my preferred range of 20-30 titles. So any new investments will need to be financed through a sale of existing positions.

The summaries of the previous years can be found here:

My 21 (+6) Investments for 2021
My 20 investments for 2020
My 22(+1) Investments for 2019
My 21 investments for 2018
My 27 investments for 2017
My 27 investments for 2016
My 28 investments for 2015
My 24 investments for 2014
My 22 investments for 2013

1. TFF Group (6,0%)

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Some links

Always worth a read: Saxobank’s ten outrageous 2022 predictions

Eddy Elfebein’s 2022 buy list is out

Interesting Tweetstorm from Vitalik Buterin on many aspects of Crypto

Highly recommended: An interesting and comprehensive 2021 review from Searching4value

A collection of 21 things that got better in 2021

Maynard Peyton’s 2021 review is worth reading (UK small cap focus)

Clark Street Value had an impressive 2021

V&O goes Crypto (again) – Part 1: Intro & Major Coins

Introduction: Why looking at Crypto at all ?

I had written first about Bitcoin in September 2016, when 1 Bitcoin was around 1000 USD.  I always had an academic interest because the original idea and the execution of a decentralized decision making system has been a great achievement in itself. You’ll find an attempt to describe Bitcoin and Blockchain here from September 2017.

In November 2017 I made the following observation:

In my opinion, the current Cryptocraze is much more like the South Sea bubble than the Tulip mania.

Underlying the current Crypto currency mania in my opinion is a fundamental new way how to raise capital for and create a new type of decentralized organization.

Clearly the then prominent ICOs were mostly complete garbage or outright theft, such as Wysker or the Naga Coin.

However, four years later, Crypto is booming again and the big currencies are more “valuable” than ever before and there is a “Cambrian explosion” of activity all over the Crypto space.

So I decided to have another look at the Crpyto mainly to educate myself on new Crypto currencies but also on “second generation” activities such as Staking, DAOs, DeFi and NFTs.

Maybe it is of interest to some readers, maybe not, but I do think it makes sense to understand a little bit the evolution in this space. Just to be clear: I don’t think that the space is “investable” as such, however part of the infrastructure that is created now might have impacts on other parts of the economy and society.

So let’s kick it off with looking at the main 20+ Crypto currencies according to “market cap” according to coinmarketcap.com.

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