Spoiler: This rather long post contains no actionable investment ideas.
Hannover Re is a stock that for some reason I have ignored for some time although I consider Insurance stocks as part of my circle of competence. Why did I ignore them ? I was always put off from the ownership structure. Hannover Re is majority owned by Talanx, which itself is also listed. Talanx again is owned ~80% bei HDI, which is owned by …I don’t know.
Looking at the chart, I should have considered them earlier: Over the past 15 years, Hannover outperformed the larger and better known peers like Munich Re and Swiss Re by a wide margin and ties with Berkshire (before FX):
This is very interesting, considering that Hannover Re is only the No. 3 global Reinsurer and Berkshire only number 5. Absolute size doesn’t seem the drivig factor for shareholder returns in the Reinsurance industry.
Deep dive Comparison: Hannover Re vs. Munich Re
Following an annual tradition, I’ll try to review my current portfolio at least once a year by writing short summaries for each individual position. 14 of the 28 positions from last year are still in the portfolio and I have added 9 new positions. That tunover has been mainly driven by the events in 2022, which have changed fundamentals for quite a few of the old positions, but also opened up opportunities for new ones. A more comprehensive Performance review will follow in early January 2023.
A short user guide:
My style of investing mostly concentrates on 20-30 small/midcap stocks that in my opinion have a good return/risk profile over the next 3-5 years. Many of this stocks are not household names and are unlikely to make spectacular gains in a single year. Many of them look interesting only after the second or third glance. So if you are looking for a “Hot stock for 2023”, this post won’t help you much.
And always remember: THIS IS NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH.
The summaries of the previous years can be found here:
My 28 Investments for 2022
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 (Portfolio weight 8,1%, Holding period 12,0 years)
Back in the good old days (2018) when Venture and Growth investing were still sexy, I looked into the world of “listed Venture Capital”:
Part 1: HOW TO INVEST INTO VENTURE CAPITAL – LISTED VEHICLES (PART 1)
Part 2: HOW TO INVEST INTO VENTURE CAPITAL PART 2: AUGMENTUM, VOSTOK & OTHERS
Inititally I bought into Kinnevik, Vostok New Ventures (renamed to VNV) and Vostok Emerging Finance (now VEF), however, I sold both Kinnevik and later VNV (at smallish profits) and only held onto VEF. This is how the Group has performed since then (november 2018) (Prices in local currency only, no dividends/Spin-offs):
Unfortunately I could not find continuous comparison charts for VNV and VEF, but almost all of the stocks at first struggled in 2019, only to go bonkers in late 2021 and then crumble in 2022.
Initially I cursed myself for selling too early , but now it looks super smart to only keep one that is a “winner”.
The tale of the two “Vostoks”: Why so different ?
Every year on December 15th, the blog celebrates another anniversary, because on that day in December 2010, the blog went live for the first time. (Edit: and again this should have gone out yesterday….).
As always there will be a separate performance portfolio review in the beginning of January. In human years, 12 is still early teenage years, in “Whisky years”, 12 years is already a decent age. However, in Blogging time, 12 years rather feels like being the Grandfather of stock blogging. A lot of the fellow stock bloggers from back then have vanished or moved to social media. Interestingly there is now a new wave of bloggers mostly on Substack.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. PLEASE DO YOUR ON RESEARCH !!
As this post has become quite long, here is the Elevator pitch:
DCC Ltd, a 4,3 bn market cap UK listed, Ireland based company at a first look like a very boring, unremarkable collection of very boring distribution businesses. A second (or third) glance however, reveals a very stable , well managed distribution company that has been compounding EPS at double digit growth rates for the last 28 years and can be bought for a very modest valuation of ~10x earnings. The company clearly faces some challenges but this might be more than outweighed by very good capital allocation, company culture and growth opportunities.
DCC has a very interesting history. It was founded actually as some kind of Venture Capital company in 1976 in Ireland and was led for 32 ears by founder Jim Flavin. After turning into an operating company, DCC went public in 1994. Over the years they acquired a lot of businesses, many of those where distribution businesses from oil majors but also in other areas such as health care and technology components.
What I find extremely impressive is their track record since they listed in 1994 and is available in each annual report:
It’s time after exactly 3 months for some new ramblings on Energy, Europe and of course the weather and other stuff.
Bad news everywhere:
The last few weeks felt like a new catastrophe is happening every week or so. Italian elections, the British Pound trading like a Shitcoin, Putin threatening the West with Nuclear Weapons, Energy prices for retail customers skyrocketing, potential Blackouts being a real issue in Europe this winter, steel and fertilizer companies shutting down in Europe, creating supply chain issues down the chain and in addition, rumors about regime change in China and/or preparations for an attack on Taiwan are surfacing every day.
I have been listening to some US podcasts and there seems to be consensus on that Europe is Toast. Even a comparison to the “Arab Spring” was made with the dire prediction that Governments will topple like Domino tiles. I don’t want to sound arrogant but one word of advice to my American readers: European countries are actually all Democracies and if people don’t like their leaders they will elect new ones.
The FT was just running an article about the coming Deindustrialization of Germany with the example of BASF threatening to “leave” Germany and Billionaire Ray Dalio thinks that Europeans are not working hard enough.
Good bye Denmark, hello Norway !!
As with previous series (Germany, Switzerland & Denmark) I will tackle the Norwegian shares in random order. The main reason for this is that I find this funnier compared to working down the list in Alphabetic order. The first batch of 15 stocks has resulted in two watch list candidates. Let’s go !
Kahoot! is 1,1 bn EUR market cap former “growth darling” that was part of many “naive Tech investor” portfolios. Kahoot! is an online learning platform that addresses both, private customers as well as the corporate learning market. As many other Tech companies the financial report is a gibberish of Non-GAAP adjusted numbers. On a GAAP level, the company is loss making and cash seems to be shrinking. At 7x P/S this still looks much to expensive. “Pass”.
2. AF Gruppen
Interesting FT article on UK listed Venture Capital vehicles (Venture Capital Trusts)
A good “red flags” list for Venture investments that might work well for listed tech stocks, too
A very nice deep dive into LVMH and the luxury business
Interesting Podcast with UK investing legend Nick Train
Swen Lorenz with a very interesting introduction & Deep Dive into the Lloyds Insurance market
A nice pitch for Europe and Germany despite the current energy crisis from Noahopinion
If you haven’t tried out ChatGPT yet, do it. I wonder how schools and universities will cope with pupils and students doing their homework using this tool.