Monthly Archives: January 2017

Some thoughts on averaging down & averaging up

John Hempton has a very interesting post on when to average down into a stock.

As a summary, one should not average down into a stock if

  • a company has a lot of financial leverage
  • a company has significant operating leverage
  • the company is in danger of becoming obsolete

I think this is already a pretty good advice, as a counter example he gives Coca Cola where one can average down “without much risk”. As this is a very interesting topic, I wanted to contribute my 5 cents to this:

Behavioural biases at work

In my experience, averaging down is often motivated by a couple of behavioural biases.

The major bias which “helps” investors and especially professional ones to average down in the wrong cases is in my experience the “over confidence” bias.

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Some links (01/2017)

Guy Spier discusses his failed Horsehead investment

Michael Mauboussin on active vs. passive

John Hempton on when to average down 

The Fundoo Professor and Charlie Munger on the diffêrences between buying and holding a stock

Eddy Elfenbein had a tough 2016, but his 2017 buy list is still a must read

Some interesting thoughts on Amazon’s “Operating System”

Nice story on Oscar, the US Health Insurance start-up

Performance review 2016 – Comment “Active vs. Passive: The Story of Mr. Cool and Mr. Crap”

Performance 2016:

In 2016, the blog portfolio gained +12,42% (including dividends, no taxes) against 4,55% for the Benchmark (Eurostoxx50 (Perf.Ind) (25%), Eurostoxx small 200 (25%), DAX (30%), MDAX (20%)).

Some other funds that I follow have performed as follows in 2016:

Partners Fund TGV: +15,95%
Profitlich/Schmidlin: +3,13%
Squad European Convictions +18,51%
Ennismore European Smaller Cos -1,49% (in EUR)
Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen +6,2%%
Evermore Global Value +21,5%
Greiff Special Situation +5,88%

Since inception (01.01.2011), this translates into +135,6% or +16,9% p.a. vs. 69,5% or 10,1% p.a. for the benchmark. Graphically this looks like this:

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Oaktree Capital Group (OAK) – Strong as an Oak ?


Oaktree Capital is an US-based listed asset manager specializing in alternative assets and more specifically in “distressed” securities. Co-founder Howard Marks became quite famous and is one of the most intelligent people in the investment industry. I had reviewed his book 5 years ago and read everything he writes with great interest.


Oaktree is clearly one of the “Highest quality” names in Alternative Asset Management with a very good long-term track record. A reader mentioned Oaktree in the “ideal company post” and as I had them on my list anyway I decided to make this my first analysis for 2017.

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