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Performance Q3 2016 – Random observations


In Q3 2016, the portfolio gained by +7,5% vs. +7,7% for the benchmark (25% Eurostoxx 50, 25% Eurostoxx small 200, 30% Dax, 20% MDAX).

YTD the score is +5,9% vs. -2,5%, since inception (01.01.2011) +121,8% vs.63,5%. As always Quarter & YTD numbers are very volatile and can easily fluctuate +/- 5% on relative basis in very short time.

The detailed month-by-month table, graph and links to all the reviews can be found on the performance page.

My subjective “Peer Group” has done like this YTD:

Partners Fund TGV: +6,9%
Profitlich/Schmidlin: +0,2%
Squad European Convictions +9,3%
Ennismore European Smaller Cos +13,3%
Frankfurter Aktienfonds für Stiftungen +3,5%

The best performing shares in the portfolio in Q3 were:

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Again some thoughts on Banks (Low interest rates, ECB and yes, Deutsche Bank again) – Part 1

First things first: Deutsche Bank

I had a post in February last year why investing in something like Deutsche bank is maybe not a good idea. But still, as I said in February this year, I don’t think Deutsche Bank will be the next Lehman Brothers.

However the internal Memo from John Cryan is clearly not a good sign. Not the text of the memo, but the fact that he had to send out one (again). Similar to Dick Fuld back then, Cryan blames “speculators” for the stock price drop. Interestingly he didn’t say “short sellers”. Maybe this has to do with the fact that Deutsche Bank itself has around 106 different disclosed short positions on stocks according to the Bloomberg function SPOS.

The big difference to Lehman in my opinion is liquidity.and the general market environment. As a universal bank they have much better access to (guaranteed) deposits and overall the market still looks relatively stable.

So one could ask: After losing -50%, is Deutsche Bank now a good (Value) investment ? I honestly don’t know. For me, a value investment is an investment I can actually value with a “Margin of safety”.

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Book review: “Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money”


Knowing more about Bitcoin was one of the points on my personal “to do list” for this year. By chance I found this book on Amazon which looked like it would be a good starting point.

This book is written by a “real” journalist, so the style of writing and the pace of the narrative is very good.

It covers the story of Bitcoin from the very beginning, when a guy calling himself Sathoshi Nakamoto uploaded the original white paper on Bitcoin in 2008 and was met initially with very little feedback.

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“Luxury update” – 4 years later (Prada, Boss)

Almost exactly 4 years ago I pondered shorting luxury stocks in 2 posts.

Part 1 – Idea Generation

Part 2- follow up

The only stock I actually shorted was Prada and I gave up 1 year later as the stock strongly went against me.

Back then, I divided (totally arbitrary) a “peer group” of luxury stocks into 2 sub groups, “tier 1” and “tier 2” brands. Let’s look how those stocks performed over the past 4 years:

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Greenlight Re & E.On/Uniper update

Greenlight Re update:

As some readers might remember, I bought shares of Greenlight Re, the Bermuda Reinsurer with investment advise from David Einhorn back in December 2015, but then sold them one month later, triggered by the insight that I don’t really understand his investment criteria. Looking back, the decision to sell doesn’t look very smart, as the stock priced since then increased by around 18% in USD (or 14% in EUR). YTD the stock is up 14,8% in USD.

In early August, Greenlight Re filed their 6M report. Interestingly the NAV per share declined by -4% from 22.20 USD to 21,32 USD per share.

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Some links

Forget accelerators. Slowing down makes you more creative (TED talk)

Emerging Market bonds are back again and a profile of EM bond guru Michael Hasenstab

Interesting observations on Coach and its brand strategy

Some interesting facts about the Swedish stock market

A few weeks old but still interesting: Bronte Capital on UK banking (and RBS)

Be carefull when peer-to-peer lenders report “returns”



SportsDirect (SPD) – Bad PR but maybe good Capital Allocation ?

Already some days ago, I linked to an interesting write up from Wertart on UK retailer SportsDirect.


In general, I liked a lot of things at SportsDirect from a share holder perspective:

+ It is kind of “Owner operated” with an experienced management
+ Aldi/Lidl like business model (Some brands, own brands, “hard discount”)
+ good growth track record since IPO
+ very good profitability
+ looks cheap based on past performance

Of course there are a couple of issues as well:

  • it is retail after all
  • Brexit / GBP issues (higher import prices, potential issues with consumer confidence)
  • Bad PR (low wages, zero hour contracts, incidents)
  • some governance issues (related party dealings etc.)

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