It’s 5 years since I started this blog and what a journey it has been so far! When I set out on a mission, of becoming a better investor through this blog, I realized it would be hard to consistently keep posting. With life having it’s ups and down it has from time to time been a challenge to do so but I’m proud to have been able to keep up the pace. I have at least posted once every month since I started, and on averaged slightly above 2 posts a month. This sometimes cathartic exercise of publicly sharing all my investment decision has really been helpful in honestly reviewing what works and what does not work. Some of you readers have been part of most this journey and some might have scrolled back through my posts. But most of you are likely readers that found my blog in the last 3 years. So let me take the opportunity to introduce how I view my journey and also highlight some older posts that might still be worthwhile for you to read.
Everyone have their story of how they started investing and how they became better investors. My early days of investing is very colored by the 2003-2007 bull market. I had fantastic returns, about 200% return in 4 year time period. I really thought I had investing figured out back then, the 2008-2009 period taught me I did not. I like explain my feelings around how skilled of an investor I am with the hype cycle:
For me I was at the clueless stage in the early 2000’s, I got naively confident around 2006-2007 and discouragingly realistic around 2008-2010. I understood around 2011-2012 that the path to “Mastery Achieved” is extremely long. I needed to find a venue to set a long term plan to become a better investor. I considered just writing a personal diary, but realized it would be hard to keep it up. At the same time, I had been doing deep research into Electric Vehicle investments, trying to understand the whole supply-chain. This theme I spent some 6 months to research and that was how it started. I wanted to write down everything I had learned about this emerging sector and share it online. I realized I could use a blog format to share such information and at the same time structure the thoughts in my head around investments. I really wanted to get on the journey towards “mastery” in investing and a blog seemed like a good way to structure it.
First year of the blog
So my first big investment theme was that Electric Vehicles would totally change the car industry, below is the post where I truly kicked off my blog. Back in 2015 people did not talk about EVs like today, most people were still great skeptics that EVs would take over the car industry, I believed after all my research that they would. I think I have been proven right by now (sentiment actually turned already around late 2016). In the same post I formed my early thoughts around what kind of edges you can have in the market. I identified that investing with a longer term horizon was one such way.
As you know by now, my blog mixes discussions about my current portfolio, sometimes dropping a shorter note on a holding and writing lengthier write-ups of stocks. One of my first lengthier write-ups was of NetEase, which has been a very strong performer in the stock market since:
One of my more important posts which shows that I started this blog to go on a journey to become a better investor, was the following post:
I particularly like this point I made in the post. I will come back to this later:
“but for me personally I want to spend a few more years understanding both stock markets around the world, different sectors, as well as different investing styles. Because if it’s one thing I learnt from meeting all these great managers out there, with great track-records of alpha generation – there is not one style that is superior to others, all different styles of investing can work, if you do it right. And maybe as important, different investing styles will outperform during different times.”
I started the second year with the best analysis I probably produced on this blog. At least if you evaluate it in terms of stock price returns (I don’t count stocks I just mention, like the DNA discussion I start of the post with – CRISPR there would have been a fantastic buy). The post was followed up with an equally good commenting from many of you readers.
I was very early on the sneakers trend in China and invested long before Anta and Li Ning moved up multiple-fold. I did get a good return with XTEP in the end, but it also shows that buying value is not always the best case. A lot of the value sits in a brand and here Li Ning for example was a much stronger candidate. I understood that during my due diligence, but instead went with what looked cheap on fundamentals. As often is the case, cheap is cheap for a reason. I have gotten better at being skeptical against cheap companies, although I still do mistakes.
Another analysis I spent a lot of time on was YY, which recently changed name to JOYY and which I re-bought into the portfolio. I was way too quick to sell the company as it doubled after I sold (and later came back down again).
Since I started the portfolio I always had a fairly high weight towards companies with exposure in the Chinese market and often listed on the HK exchange. The reason for that has been valuation and the nice growth prospects. At the same time I’m always fully aware of the Macro backdrop, which always scared me. I’m pretty sure at some point we will see a major economical collapse in China (before they really take over the world), maybe it will come now triggered by Corona. Anyway, the first time I got cold feet was in 2017 and I wrote this post.
Well in the end I have not been able to stay away from China, I still have a lot of China exposure in my portfolio, perhaps I should take a look at that once again?
Tokmanni was a company where I did the analysis correctly, but I did not have the patients to wait for the stock to reprice (which it did in the end):
One of the larger write-ups and due diligence processes I ever done on a stock was Teva. That taught me a lot about the industry which was good, but it also taught me that it’s not really worth it. A large Pharma company is just too complex to value and it takes too much of my precious time. Time better spent on smaller companies. I guess my analysis is still somewhat relevant (written in two parts) and the company is still a controversial highly leveraged investment:
Finally in December 2017 I did another large piece on a company I still hold, Dairy Farm. The company really is in a pickle right now with Corona virus, HK protests and in generally mis-managed supermarkets. The valuation also reflects it. This post gives a good overview what the company is about:
Third year and onward
Given that these are more recent I will keep a bit more brief.
I was very proud of how I combined my knowledge of China and an entity listed in Europe when I presented this idea (which turned out be perfectly timed):
I also want to highlight a stock a still own, which continues to trade on a very low multiple, Dream International:
One of the post I’m most proud of in terms of originality is my Art of Screening post. I took a fairly scientific approach of trying to find out which markets have the lowest retail stock investing participation and through that approach find the stock that are most overlooked. This concept has stayed with me since and is another important puzzle piece to what today is how I go about finding new investments and building my portfolio. I think I will have to follow-up on this post, there never was a Part 2 written..
Another major stepping stone in my approach to investing came with this post, where I introduced 3 buckets of investing, Long Term, Opportunistic and Speculative:
Just as Electric Vehicle was this big theme I researched I in the same way researched the Dental Industry in a three part series. Unfortunately most of the investment cases were in my view priced for perfection, but I learned a lot, which will be helpful to pick up these stocks in the future if the market provides a buying opportunity. The stock I choose to invest in which I still hold is Modern Dental Group:
2019 saw my first guest post from a friend of mine. Maybe given the current situation is worth revisiting some Macro thoughts?
And finally, in my view another one of my very solid write-ups, Polish listed LiveChat, which so far has had a very strong stock performance:
Readers input please!
I hope you liked what I have written over the years! What were your favorite posts? What would you like to see more of and what should I spend less time on? Please comment!
6 thoughts to “5 years and blog still going strong!”
Hi, sorry for not commenting earlier. I really like your blog and your review is one of the best blog reviews I have ever read. Maybe I can do something like this for my 10th anniversary.
I know how hard it is to keep up such a blog over a longer time, therefore congrats for 5 year of high quality content.
Unfortunately, most of your write ups have been too exotic for me, so I our overlap is relatively small. For myself I have concluded that it is better to stay closer to home as I made quite some mistakes when venturing too far abroad (Silver Chef …ouch,….).
Nevertheless I enjoy your write ups. Keep going !!!
Thanks MMI means a lot to me, your blog was my main inspiration of how to set up a high quality blog. I even choose a look and feel of the blog which resembles yours! 🙂
I really enjoy your blog! I found it because I invested in Nagacorp as well and really liked your analysis on it. Since then enjoyed a lot of articles and actually went on investing in Netease as well after my own dd. Also you were spot on with your coronavirus post, so congrats to that!
It would be cool to see an update on Nagacorp, maybe in the second half of 2020, to see how you see the future for them. It’s definitely a compounder and a long term hold for me because it tics a lot of boxes, a very strong moat for example.
So keep up the good work and let’s see how we can navigate the storm that is brewing right now.
Thanks Bart for all your comments over the years, means a lot to me!
Nice view in the rear mirror. Looking back where ones investment (Blog) journey began and how it developed over the years and market cycles is a very important mental exercise! Keep up your good work and
s4v (hoping to keep up my blog for so long as well)