7 Years of Value & Opportunity – THANK YOU !!
Exactly 7 years ago now, the first (German) blog post appeared on this site.
As I have done in the past years, this is a good time to reflect about happened over the year. Again a huge THANK YOU to all readers and especially those who actively contributed by commenting (critically) or sending Emails. And those who are suffering my sloppy spelling and grammar….
I am still surprised that I manage to keep this level of activity in the 7th year, but knowing that a lot of really smart people read my post is a fantastic motivation to keep going and try to become better.
Thank you again !!
The 10 most popular posts written in 2017
- The Naga Group / Nagacoin ICO: “Double Pumping” the Cryptocraze
- Actelion (CH0010532478) – Merger Arbitrage with a potential Spin-off “Gold Nugget” ?
- HP Enterprise (HPE) – Spinning-off its way to Happiness ?
- Spin-off/IPO updates: Metro/Ceconomy, Brighthouse Financial, ALD SA
- Special Situation: STADA Arzneimittel AG – Swimming with Sharks (again)
- Spin-offs: Uniper – Goal for Einhorn – Metro AG/Ceconomy – Complicated but maybe interesting ?
- Spin-Off Watch: SCA / ESSITY
- Oatree Capital Group (OAK) – Strong as an Oak ?
- Sapec SA – follow up
- Special Situation: Liquidation of KANAM Grundinvest Fund (ISIN DE0006791809)
Blogging observations 2017
I find it very interesting that my rather “thin” post on Naga Group & the Naga Coin generated the highest traffic of all posts by a wide margin. Cryptocurrencies were and are clearly “the thing” in 2017. It’s also interesting that “special situations” posts are more popular than most regular company analysis. I guess this has to do with the fact that there is in general less research available for special situations.
Personally, I enjoyed my “Travel Series” quite a lot but none of the posts made it into the top 10.
For me, looking into a series of different stocks of a sector is really very interesting. Although neither the “Watch Series” in 2015 nor the 2016 Travel Series yielded an actual investment, I found the experience very rewarding as one can build up much more knowledge about such a sector compared to just looking at one company and doing some background checking. I have not made up my mind yet, but I guess I might look at another industry next year.
Mistakes made in 2017:
In general, 2017 for me was a year of missed opportunities especially with regard to Italian stocks. One of my 10 crazy predictions for 2017 had been that Italy turns around (and yes, most of my predictions were nonsense but that was intended).
I had been looking at Italian stocks before and even updated 3 of the case in June 2016 but I did not have the guts to pull the trigger on them last year. Most of those stocks were up 100% or more in 2017 so I guess I could have added 5-10% to overall performance by investing in 2-3 Italian stocks.
Another mistake was not to bvuy GoCompare after the “Ogden Rate” issue hit UK insurers. I should have known that this is good news for Insurance price comparison.
Lessons learned in 2017
In spin-off investing, clearly “the uglier the better” seems to be the best strategy. I still could kick myself for not investing in Uniper. Also in the Metro/Ceconomy situation, Ceconomy would have been the better choice. Also, currency is important for special situations. Although I got the Actelion case right, I didn’t make a lot of money as in the investment period, the dollar depreciated significantly.
Overall I managed to look at 31 companies/stocks which is slightly more than I planned for. Not all analysis were “super deep”, but still I think it is worth writing down the one that I cancel at a certain stage.
Those were the single investment covered in year 7 of the blog:
- Sapec SA
- Oaktree Capital
- Unicredit Rights Issue
- Hastings Plc
- Sanofi/Genzyme CVR
- Stada AG
- Kanam Grundinvest
- HP Enterprise
- Whole Foods
- ALD SA
- GDS (Sabre, Amadeus; Travleport)
- Record Plc
- Universal Insurance
- Northgate Plc
- Home Capital Group
- General Electric
- Synchrony Financial
I posted reviews of 12 books. My book of the year was clearly Ed Thorpe’s “A man for all Markets”. Ed Thorpe is clearly one of the most underrated investment (and general) geniuses of all time.
- The Undoing Project
- Trump – The Art of the Deal
- A Man for all Markets – Ed Thorpe
- A Blueprint to better Banking
- Family, Village, Tribe
- Great by Choice
- So you want to start a Hedge Fund
- Attack of the 50 foot Blockchain
- The Hard Thing about Hard Thins
- 100 Baggers
- Angel: How to invest in Technology Startups
I did a couple of posts on general investment topics, but they clearly seem to be less relevant for my readers. Although for myself they are important in order to sort my thoughts.
The top 3 general posts were:
- Bitcoin for (Value Investing) Dummies like myself
- On Buffett’s 100 bn “War chest”
- The South Sea Bubble, the History of Corporations and the Cryptocraze
Blogging goals for 2018:
Last year I wanted to work more on a book but for several reasons I did not progress very far. Due to some changes in my professional life, I will most likely not have more time next year.
So my biggest goal for 2018 is trying to keep up the activity at a current level and look to a new interesting sector (recommendations welcome !!!).