Summary 2023 & changes on the horizon

After two years with around zero returns (but a lot of volatility), like many others the GSP portfolio sprinted towards year end managed to eke out a return of +13% for 2023. This compares poorly to MSCI World at 25%, in-line with MSCI World ex USA and quite favorably versus Hang Seng at -14% (what an insane spread). I’m still quite far off my ATH which was set back in May 2021.

2023 Returns

Returns since blog start:

Thoughts about the past year

The start of 2023 was the middle/end of the massive Hong Kong stock rebound due to China reversing it’s Zero Covid policy and literally overnight removing all Covid restrictions. The bulls were out and it the big re-opening revenge spending was anticipated. I was fully loaded on HK stocks, having further increased my positioning in the 2022 autumn crash, using mainly my Swedish Match buyout proceeds. I knew I took some risk increasing my position so heavily to HK stocks, but the sell-off was just too brutal and quick, there had to be a bounce. Luckily for me it came and when it had run it’s course I reduced my HK positions again and have continuously over the year had as a rule for every increase in HK stocks I had to make an equivalent decrease in other HK stocks. This basically saved my year as Hong Kong continued it’s brutal slide after a bounce which only lasted until end of January.

Portfolio composition beginning and end of the year

The main reason Hong Kong is still such a significant weight is spelled Modern Dental Group (3600.HK), which is up an amazing 78% in 2023 in a market where the Hong Kong small cap index was -23%, just incredible. Due to the meteoric rise of ZimVie at the year end snap, it was only my second largest position but after some profit taking the last week in ZimVie, Modern Dental is back on top and remains my highest conviction idea.

2023 the year of bad portfolio calls

So if selling Hong Kong stocks (but keeping the MDG that bucked the trend) into the January rally was a master stroke a lot of other portfolio changes was rather the opposite. I prided myself in the past with how my portfolio changes added to my returns and so far almost every year my portfolio changes have been accreditive (something I evaluated quite thoroughly). If we disregard from the “HK moves”, 2023 was the first year I failed miserably at this, basically selling huge winners and adding to losers. Let’s have a look:

Synektik – I had done a full write-up on Synektik the Polish healthcare company in the past (company installing Da Vinci robots, servicing and production of other contrast fluids). My case was built on that the upside would come from the cardiotracer and as that did not materialize as I had hoped, I disregarded how well the rest of the company was doing and sold my shares at 35 PLN per share. Synektik today trades at 91 PLN per share.

GreatView – I could not take more pain in GreatView Aseptic, I company I held and covered closely for years when the majority shareholder sold their shares to Yili. Their major customer Mengniu got upset with the competitor having influence over the company. I almost bottom ticked my final sell at 1.65 HKD, there would have been plenty of opportunity to get out above 2 HKD if I just kept my cool. What Jardine Group did here I will never forget and I will never touch anything which is under their influence ever again. As a small side note, the Yili/Mengniu conflict seems to have been resolved with a share issuance to Mengniu.

RaySearch – I had spent considerable time researching this company (full write-up done). But the question was if there was trouble on the accounting side, I felt decently comfortable, until the new CFO (again) was fired from the company. I could not believe it and decided I lost my trust in the CEO, I sold all my shares (I had built this up to one of my largest holdings at the time). Again I more or less bottom ticked the stock for the whole year, selling at 57 SEK. The share trades today at 90 SEK. This one was the most bitter of all, due to the high conviction I had in the companies products (but not enough conviction on management). The market later choose to focus on the results, which was really good the rest of the year (after I sold) and stock marched steadily up from where I sold it.

Other noteworthy stocks

CNOOC – The exception from my “rule” of no increase of HK holdings, was CNOOC. This was a short term play on picking up two dividend payments in less than 4-5 months time. CNOOC paid out 0.75+0.59 HKD per share over the summer period. So I picked up shares end of April in anticipation of this for 12.3 HKD per share. With some luck the oil price went up, so not only did I get my dividend but also managed to sell my shares (in two tranches) at 12.8 HKD per share. Even in a shitty HK stock market sentiment you can find good trades. If one want’s oil exposure as a high dividend play, this is still one of the best ways globally to get that.

PAX Global – This has been one of my top holdings, a high conviction position that I fairly “suddenly” changed my mind about. First I reduced my position during the January bounce and still sold some shares into Feb and March. End of August I exited my position fully, I just felt that I had given the management the chance to further improve dividend payout ratio, but they didn’t really, at a time when it was really needed. On top of that I had this fear that due to trade wars, USA would go out and ban payment machines made in China. This is wild speculation on my side and rather a black swan event but I believe it could happen, in this market PAX would be down 50-60-70% on such a day. I couldn’t live with that tail risk as there were other safer ideas that I really liked. In a better environment for HK stocks with less geopolitical overhang, even if PAX management is not the best in terms of capital allocation I still think this is a very interesting company, go anywhere in the developed world and you bump into PAX payment machines, its pretty amazing.

L’Occitane – Someone on Twitter made me aware of how L’Occitane’s latest purchase Sol de Janeiro was performing really well. Since I followed this stock for years it was quite easy for me to pick up the threads and just read about on the SdJ brand, which was new to me. To more I read and listened to influencers etc, I realized they had striked gold with SdJ. I bought a medium size position just before the market started to reprice the stock on a rumour of a buy out from the majority shareholder. Long story short, a really strange turn of events happened – again! Kind of a theme in stocks I’m in unfortunately, so the deal was on the table and then the majority owner turned around and changed his mind. I thought the buyout made ton of sense, apparently he didn’t. I would have liked to book a win in a tough market, instead I get a chance to own a company with a really fast growing product. I tried to benchmark how popular SdJ is on social media etc, to me it looks like it’s hitting very high basically among top 10-15 cosmetics brands worldwide. I expect monster sales from SdJ in the next report and I hope the majority owner regrets not buying out the company on the cheap.

Marimekko – In my rotation away from HK I have tried to find new good ideas. The one that worked out so far and I still believe in long term is Finnish designer brand Marimekko. I think this is a typical example where someone like me, with a Nordic background living in Asia can spot something before most people do. I believe Marimekko as a niche brand has a very strong market position among the small group of people that are drawn to their type of design. The brand is extremely popular in Japan and trying to replicate this in the rest of Asia. They are doing clever cooperation and cross-overs with larger brands, most recently Uniqlo. It’s always hard to guess fashion trends and Marimekko is not a super cheap stock here but I do think they will succeed decently well at minimum with their Asia expansion. So far I’m up some 30% on my position so market also seems to agree. What I like with these smaller fashion stocks is that you have kind of an imbedded call option if the brand really hits a craze. For example Swedish company Fenix Outdoor did such a journey 10-15 years ago with their Fjällräven backpacks. This was a brand we Swedes knew since we grew up, but they took that heritage and managed to push the brand worldwide and again especially in Asia. Marimekko has a similar strong brand for Finnish people but the brand is almost unknown outside Finland. If Marimekko manages half of what Fjällräven did I will do really well.

Thought’s about this blog and it’s future

For the long time reader, one would have noticed how the pace of writing has decreased the past few years. This has partly been due to not fully finding the same motivation to write but also some health problems, which now are finally fixed! In 2023 I only did 5 posts, a record low! On the other hand the last two stock pitches has turned out really really well (so far). I have spent quite a lot of time thinking about how and in what way I should continue this journey.

The blog has been a bit unusual in the sense that I have given very high transparency on my positioning and trades done. For a few years you could even search and see each trade done in my portfolio through a small database on a specific tab. The purpose of me starting this blog, was to evaluate if I could beat index investing, have fun and hopefully learn a lot along the way. The blog kept me honest and accountable for what I did. I also had to do the work properly as I could not post a semi finished thought or stock idea, I needed to cover all bases. This has been incredibly rewarding for myself. I look back at my posts from my first few years and feel I developed a lot. I had good intentions back then and I think I put good structures in place. I also got a few big things right, the call on EVs 2016 was great but I did not really have the experience to capitalize fully on it. Avoiding traps and really doing the work on a company was not there back in 2016. That’s something I’m confident I can do now, if I just have the time. Buying into ZimVie late 2022 around 8-9 USD getting a small quick gain and then getting hit with a -40% day, that’s not something I would have had the confidence to handle well 2016. Today I can keep my cool, it’s not my first rodeo losing 40% on a day in a stock. I can think it through rationally and decide. As in this case I decided I’m right and the market is wrong and I will double down at 6 USD per share. I recently took my first profit at 18 USD per share in ZimVie, this decision alone saved my year up 13% instead of another year close to flat returns.

Basically I have fulfilled the purposes I set out back in 2016, now close to 8 years later I’m a significantly better investor and although I invested close to half of my money on the Hong Kong exchange, I have beat the MSCI World (although barely). I have crushed the Hang Seng Index, or just World stocks ex USA for that matter. Ok enough of bragging, I’m still quite unsatisfied with my returns, as I know it could have been so much better with less focus on Hong Kong. So with this in mind it’s time for something new and different. I’m not sure if it will sadden you or not but I will not do anymore portfolio reviews. No more posting of all my holdings. The focus will shift to just discussing ideas, like thematic stuff I posted in the past and specific stock pitches of course. In what format I would do that I have not fully decided, but it will most likely not be in the shape of only as GlobalStockPicking anymore. This blog has been here to document my investment journey and my full portfolio, a fresh start will probably be better for a new format. I will take 2024 to set out a new path and let’s see what I come up with in the future. Stay tuned 🙂

Summary 2022

This has been one of the most eventful years since I started investing, I would say only 2008 tops it for me. War in Ukraine, crazy inflation, huge rate hikes, collapsing currencies and China who locked in their population to keep dynamic zero. And with all these events happening, my return for the year is anything else than spectacular – a meager -3.5% (but great vs MSCI World at -18.3%). Last year I dodged being down with a slim margin, but this year, unfortunately, became my first down-year since the blog started. I’m actually surprised I fared as well as I did given I was down 20% in October but with the strong Hang Seng rebound I was back in the game by December. One can try to be a stock picker like me, but in the end Beta matters a lot for your performance. Being allocated mostly to European and Chinese stocks I’m proud how much I out-performed these markets both this year and previous years (since the blog started MSCI World Excluding USA is up 17% and I’m up 123%). At the same time it has been such a big mistake to be so underweight USA previously. 2022 was the first year in a long time where Hang Seng did actually not perform worse than MSCI World, so finally I did not fight a headwind and as such I was back to printing alpha!

So without further ado here are the 2022 results (as always results in USD)

The share with holding period less than 1 year where bought during 2022 (best purchase Vitasoy, worst purchase Anicom).

Best stocks in 2022 – PAX Global and Vinda

Worst stocks in 2022 – Modern Dental & Greatview Aseptic

Instead of making a massive comment about these stocks here I will do a separate write-up of these four holdings, this also ties into my topic below about exposure to Chinese stocks – to be continued!

A number of holdings were sold during the year:

Overall the holdings I sold gave a positive contribution to my 2022 performance of about 3.5%. (press to read more)

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Portfolio updates, new holding and other thoughts

After a fairly long period of lower activity both on the blog and holding wise, in these past weeks I have sprung to action to make some changes. Others like Swedish Match were force upon me, now to be fully bought out by Philip Morris. This is a quite a dramatic change to the portfolio and Swedish Match leaves both very big shoes to fill and a lot of cash to deploy. I also have a new holding to reveal, so let’s go through the changes. But first let’s start with some brief thoughts about the market and all craziness that happened during this year.

Press to read more..

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Mid-year portfolio review 2022

It’s been difficult six months to try to find somewhere to hide, I have taken some hits but managed to navigate the downturn decently well.

My portfolio detracted -11% in the first half of 2022 vs -20% for my main benchmark MSCI World Total Return, both denominated in USD. Never fun to be down, but after a very weak 2021 I’m of course pleased to finally stay ahead of the index. I have talked a lot about the US market and the USD in the past. Being underweight the US market has for a very long time been a big mistake. This is probably the first half year in a long time when its been positive. The USD itself feels like one of the main macro factors to mention for this period as many compare their returns in their local currencies, which of course comes out favorably if one compares returns in a currency that lost a lot to the dollar. The USD is just insanely strong right now, this has been a big detractor for some of my investments denominated in Swedish Krona, Polish Zloty and Euro.

Returns for first half 2022

Below is the returns for my holdings during 2022 and the ending weights (not including dividends). For example Swedish Match has been a larger position but has been sold down over the past months and Modern Dental has been increased after it already fell. My position sizing and buying/selling has had a major positive contribution to the outcome.

Returns since inception

Quick comment on each holding

There is a lot to say about this half year in terms of Macro etc, but I will try to keep it as brief as possible with some thoughts on all my holdings. I hate to be so non-humble but my “everything is a bubble post” from January this year was timed almost perfectly for the start of the downturn. Ok bragging over, press more and read all thoughts on my holdings:

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My watch outperformed my portfolio in 2021

Happy New Year!

There is no beating around the bush on this one, 2021 unfortunately was a lost year for the GSP portfolio. I bought a watch in mid 2021, it has already appreciated with roughly 10%, easily beating my 2021 performance of 3% return. That a watch can out-perform my portfolio is a pretty humbling experience but also nicely summarizes how upside down the world has been in later parts of 2020 and 2021. I have very mixed feelings about my 3% return for the year. I’m proud of how I covered stocks nobody else looked at, for example Modern Dental which is up +286% this year and I took profits when it was up 600% on the year. It’s pretty head-scratching then to have achieved such home runs and only be up 3% overall. The explanation is of course that broad parts of my (China/Hong Kong related) portfolio has just been hammered. So I will spend at least a bit of time harping about how incredible the spread is between Hong Kong and USA listed stocks in 2021. As you can see in the graph below, MSCI World excluding USA is on a total different trajectory. Since I barely invest in US listed companies I look like a terrible investor not because of stock picking, but because I have not been allocating to US stocks – rough! I do have exposure to other countries like Sweden/Finland/Poland, but even they failed me this year except one bright spot – Irisity. There I can’t blame having bad Beta exposure, I just didn’t pick the right stocks.


Given the low correlation (43%) to MSCI World is it still fair to use this as my benchmark? For 2020 that correlation was 87%.

Portfolio changes

Some highlight below in terms of good & bad decisions for the portfolio in 2021

The mistakes

AK Medical

I had initially bought the stock at 4.7 HKD in 2019 and quickly sold out around the 9 HKD level as the stock surged. The company continued to post great results and with multiple expansion on top of that it peaked at 26 HKD. The stock after that started a major down move due to fears of the changes in Chinas central purchasing of medical equipment and devices. I tried to look into the topic and as I understood it it would mostly be the distributors taking the hit and not AK Medical. I still believed in the long term story of aging population with higher disposable income, there will be a huge need for knee and hip operations in the coming 10 years in China. On top of that China is getting more nationalistic, surely they want the market leading local player to have a pole position here? I started the year by taking a position again in AK Medical at 14,7 HKD and a few months later doubled my position at 9.7 HKD. How the central purchasing actually pans out is still unknown, but for now it seems the market has agreed upon that it will be brutal. The stock ended the year at 6.6 HKD, -46% from my average purchase price. I’m slightly shell shocked by this move down, the market is basically saying that nobody will make serious money on hip and knee replacements in China, although China is one of the worlds largest markets. I can’t really believe that will be the case but the market doesn’t really agree with me. In my view AK Medical has good enough products to even shift focus to selling their devices abroad, which they already do in smaller scale. I will stubbornly keep this holding for now but not add until I see some proof of where this is heading. Market has already priced in a disaster, so I will only sell on proof of disaster.


It was a pretty lucky stroke to research vaccine producers in 2019, 3 months before Covid started. Given that I did so, one might say I should have bought Moderna, which I never did. I am very happy though that I did buy Valneva and what a ride it was. I first purchased the stock at the very end of 2019 at 2.57 EUR, I then sold in Feb 2020 at 3.4 EUR (this was all still non-covid related). In May 2020 they announced their partnership with Pfizer for Lyme diseases, I also had a small hope that they could somehow get involved in Covid vaccine production. So I took a position again, unfortunately smaller than my original position at 3.98 EUR. I rode this and sold this at an average of some 14 EUR in February 2021. Given how Covid has developed, this was like the other vaccine makers something to hold on to, its now trading at 19 EUR per share (very volatile in the past days). It felt good when I sold but it would have been a good portfolio hedge to keep.


Another disaster decision was trying to buy the dip in Alibaba. I mean its not really even my style to invest in large caps, I have concluded many times I have no edge in these large cap stocks. So I feel double the fool when I dip my toe into one of these mega-caps and manage to catch the largest wealth destructor ever in a single year. I bought shares in May at 214 USD and increased my position in late September at 147 USD. Stock ended the year at 119 USD.

The right moves

Modern Dental Group

My shining star investment in 2021 which I already mentioned, was ironically on the Hong Kong exchange. In this weak market find a winner makes it so much more extreme. I sold most of my Modern Dental in the bottom of the Covid crash 2020 at 1.14 HKD. The reason was because I realized that dental clinics would be shut down and indeed they were. I kept a small position because I still believed in the company long term. As soon as the positive profit alert came showing that the business had rebounded I re-entered with all shares that I sold at 1.84 HKD. That turned out to be fantastic timing as the stock just sky-rocketed basically from that day onwards. I took some profits at 5.2 HKD as the stock grew into one of my largest positions and then cut again at 9.4 HKD as it again grew to one of my largest positions. Around these levels I felt the stock had gotten ahead of itself just momentum speculators pushing it past fair value. Today it’s trading at 5.54 HKD and business seems to continue to perform very well. I do think I found a potential gem to hold in the portfolio for the long term here. The stock is just barely up from its IPO price in 2015, revenues have doubled and profits more than tripled since then. It is still not an expensive stock and just today I actually added a little bit.

Essex Biotech

This was a serious laggard in the market early this year and I wrote a blog post in February 2021: Essex Biotech – Why I am bullish. I increased my position at 3.95 HKD. The stock then went on to almost double from there on back of good results and a strong Hong Kong stock market. For portfolio balancing reasons I took a small profit in July at 7 HKD. This turned out to be fantastic timing as the stock has been pulled down heavily by the weak Hong Kong sentiment, ending the year at 4.95 HKD. Fundamentally the company still seems to be on the right track and I’m looking forward to if the company can finally get a breakthrough with the wet-AMD (eye disease) trials they are funding through listed company Henlius.


What a mess this stock has been, its almost painful to write about. Baidu wanted to buy JOYYs Mainland business, a short report was released that targeted the mainland business. Left was a fairly attractive international Videochat business called Bigo Live. Baidu seemed happy to go through the with the deal, shooting down the short case for the stock. I believed them and added to my position since the cash from Baidu + other cash was as much as the market cap of the company. This was at 119 USD per share, my previous shares were bought at 64 USD. I capitulated when the deal finally seemed to be falling through when stock was at 55 USD, its now trading at 45 USD. So short term it was the right decision to sell but to be honest it still feels bad to have sold at these levels. Finally why I actually did sell was because I did track the Bigo Live app a lot myself (meaning I used it) and I could see that the popularity with the app was dying, basically negative momentum when they should have had positive momentum. Since I sold and it continued down I put this in good decisions (for now).

Other worthy mentions

Pax Global

This didn’t really feel like a mistake on my side, but a very very freaky event. In the middle of the Hong Kong stock market weakness, when PAX was one of few holdings to still trade close to all time highs, the nightmare news were released. FBI was raiding PAX warehouse in the USA on alleged security concerns with their payment terminals. The customer which alerted FBI had also decided to stop using PAX devices, stock was down some -45% in one day and this was before the drop my largest position – what a nightmare. Now the dust hasn’t fully settled on this but some of PAXs largest purchasers have come out and defended PAX saying they don’t see anything wrong with the devices. One could argue that is in their interest since they probably don’t want to recall millions of payment devices. Adding to this PAX still operates in USA, FBI or any other agency has not banned them from the US market, so it does not seem they so far has found anything. Lastly PAX has hired a large famous US security firm to independently check their devices (Unit 42 by Palo Alto Networks). The results from this was: “Unit 42 reported that the network traffic reviewed was consistent with the intended features of the associated services of PAX terminals. Unit 42 also concluded that there were no unexplained network traffic in the course of its comprehensive and thorough inspection.“. I don’t think PAX actually can do much more, some confidence in the company has been lost for sure both from investors but more importantly the distributors and purchasers of their devices. How much will these large buyers in Brazil/India and elsewhere shift to other brands to avoid PAX due to this? Well that’s basically what the market has taken a view on here. The market is basically pricing zero to very low growth, meaning that a major shift to competitors will happen over the coming years, I think that is exaggerated and there must be good reasons why they choose PAX in the first place (pricing vs competition, Android capabilities, PAX app store etc). I’m betting that this will slightly affect growth but PAX will still be growing at +10% or more per year. I slightly added to my position today.


Another big loser for 2021, but here it’s in my view actually warranted. Given how China continues to be closed down and the funding risk of completing the Naga3 construction it’s pretty fair Nagacorp has traded down as it has. Given this view, this is where I found some of my funds (except the small cash buffer I had) to fund my purchases in Modern Dental and PAX. I haven’t sold all of my Nagacorp, but I reduced this to a smaller position today. I think the company could bounce back majorly in 2023 but Asia is still far behind on moving on from Covid.


That’s a wrap for my 2021 review. In my next post I will dive a little bit deeper into why my watch outperformed my stock portfolio in 2021. Because it has really been a year where all assets went up (except my stock portfolio and a few poor other bag holders who invested in Hong Kong) 🙂


When things go wrong

Back in May-June after my last blog post my life and portfolio was in bloom, I had my best outperformance since the blog started and I was back good physical shape. That did unfortunately not last and things went quite wrong from there on. I had struggled with my health for the past year and early this summer it got worse than ever when a injured myself quite badly. I’m much better now but going through something like this really drain you. Currently going through the slow process of trying to build up strength again. Due to these unfortunate health issues I haven’t had the mental capacity to post anything or research as much as I used to. But now after exactly 4 months of inactivity I’m back blogging. I got a bit of a writers block starting off this post, I try to just come as you are. Nevermind my health issues, let’s put focus back on what happened this summer and especially China.

Having a strongly China tilted portfolio has really been bad beta exposure these past months, the spread between developed markets and Hong Kong is really remarkable. Just like health issues which sooner or later emerge, I knew the day would come when China would have to clean up its imbalances and go through a readjustment/bust. I read plenty of books on the topic and spent considerable time trying to understand the dynamics of for example the Chinese housing market. Being somewhat mentally prepared and thinking through the downside helps, but it still hurts when it happens. My portfolio has taken it on the chin lately, but perhaps not as bad as one would expect. I had such a tremendous run in some of my holdings previously, that gave me plenty of cushion. Also I have had minimal exposure to all the sectors that have been worst hit. As of last Friday my portfolio is now in-line with MSCI World (20% vs 18%) and massively ahead of Hang Seng (-8%) YTD.

Portfolio changes/comments

Modern Dental Group

Although I haven’t posted I have stayed somewhat active in the market. I had to, for example Modern Dental continued to double yet again from where I started to reduce my position. I was very happy to unload another portion of shares at 9.4 HKD, keeping half of my initial position for the long term. This stock alone saved a lot of my bacon in terms of performance this year.

Greatview Aseptic / Vinda

I have been gradually increasing my position size in Greatview Aseptic, which I think is underappreciated and undervalued here. Yes the semi-annual was a bit weak in terms of revenue falling down to the bottom line, but revenue grew nicely YoY. Given the increased raw materials prices and the extremely stretched transportation market it was no surprise to me that profit wise it would be a somewhat softer half year. This is still a growth company (growing revenue some 9% YoY in the past 4 years) with a 8-9% dividend yield, priced as a zero growth company. Doesn’t make any sense, so I will continue to back up the truck and load up more. I added shares at 3.74 and 3.45 HKD, which apparently was too early as its now trading below 3 HKD.

In the same manner Vinda has come down in valuation, I added some shares at 23 HKD, again not the best timing but quite happy to add shares at this level. Both of these companies have similar characteristics: totally unsexy business, factories producing daily necessities, founder led and both taking market share in a market with a tailwind. This means the can post high single digit growth rates, which is nothing to scoff at in the long run.

Pax Global / Essex Biotech

Did some profit taking in both to fund the additions in above mentioned stocks, here I sold at good levels, 9.76 and 7 HKD per share. The selling has not really anything to do with not believing in these companies (they are even after selling my largest positions), just that I want to balance the portfolio and re-allocate to for example Greatview which I see as having better return potential from this point.

Dream International

When I added this company to my portfolio I wrote this post, with the question mark a dream Investment? I wouldn’t say it turned into a nightmare, but not far from it. I bought at 4.11 HKD and sold out 3 years later at 2.88 HKD, throw in a couple of dividends of some total 40 cents or so and its still a handsome loss, during a period my portfolio almost doubled. Incredibly enough most of the loss comes from the EV/EBITDA multiple contracting from 5 to 4, cheap got even cheaper. It’s ridiculous to sell but also ridiculous to allocate capital to something where shareholder value never seems to unlock. It would be painful to see the company announcing a special div or something like that now and the stock doubles, which would be reasonable. Such is life in value investing land, some stocks are just to deep value traps and this one I throw in the towel on. I could write tons more about this company, but choose to cut it short since its no longer in the portfolio.


I have been flip flopping a bit in Irisity. I reduced my position in July thinking the odds for a continued rally seemed weak. Then they announced a merger with an Israeli company in the same sector, basically removing a one of the largest competitors (not that any of these players are large) and maybe more importantly gained a decent sales force. I think building some scale into this company is really needed and I saw this move as worthwhile to put on a position again, which I did a few SEK higher than where I sold 58 vs 61 SEK per share.


Oh boy this has become a tricky one. The share price has taken a proper tumble dropping more than 50% from ATH. The market seems to focus more on the short term pain of Covid and Casino closure than the possible long term gains. Here you can see the sentiment difference between for example the US cruise liners like Royal Caribbean which has fully recovered from its Covid drop, although cruise sales worldwide has not fully returned. In this cases the market was quick to take the long term view but in Nagacorp’s case the market is either short sighted or changed its view significantly on future income potential. My interpretation of what the market thinks, its a bit of both. Short term scared that it could still take years for Cambodia and Asian markets to resume travel, combined with what has been happening in China with new rules for Casino Junkets, which makes it likely VIP business will not come back as before. This double uncertainty has just killed the stock. On top of that there is also some overhang fears of how the funding of Naga3.

I decided to add to Nagacorp (again too early) in July at 6.98 HKD per share. My reasoning being that Cambodia is a friend of China, which can be seen by high vaccination rates they got compared to the rest of south east Asia. My guess is that Cambodia will be one of the first countries which will open some type of travel towards China. But say I’m wrong and travel does not resume say in another 2 years, then the situation is tricky. Naga3 will be delayed and probably cost more to finalize, the down period will then be so long that I think share dilution etc will be a fact. Nagacorp will turn into a disaster investment with permanent loss vs current limbo situation. In my view all of South East Asia can not afford to be closed for another 2 years, yes it would crush Naga as an investment case but it would crush the economies of these countries more. Still I’m humble to the possibility of being wrong and I don’t want to size my bet too big, I’m not going to add further (7% position) until I see signs of actual improvement. In regards to VIP business, yet to see where this lands, I have a small hope that junkets will be more controlled in Macau but will find ways to continue to operate in Cambodia, but my base case is that VIP does only come back to 60-70% of previous levels, which is still good. In other words in my view risk reward looks good, but outcomes could be extreme both on up and downside.

New holding – GPW SA

A third Polish holding enters the Portfolio, the Warsaw stock exchange itself, a separate post will come soon!


A few words on China specifically as well, given all the things that happened perhaps I should dedicate a separate post to it. Since I started this blog I always had mixed feelings about my tilt towards HK listed companies and China exposure. First time I got bearish on the blog was 2017: Rotate away from China. Already back then I spelled out my worries of China property and sold out of my holding Ping An. Ping An has lately been one of the largest indirect losers of this Evergrande mess. Trade War feels like a really old topic by now, but its very much alive and kicking. The whole de-globalisation feels like a long term new theme one could do investment after

It’s clear to my by now that China has decided to decrease the wealth gap created in the past 20 years. There has been some obvious losers, like education companies but a lot of companies have been hammered for various reasons. In my view even the Evergrande mess is part of this same theme (at least partly). What is less talked about is that there are also some winners in equalization. Just like in the US with stimulus checks which created a huge buying freenzy. If the poor in China got less poor thanks to wealth redistribution, perhaps the customer base of Vinda’s Tempo tissues grows from a few hundred million to half a billion? If a dedicate another posts to thoughts on China I would like to explore this are more. As always happy to hear you input, who do you think are the winners if China wealth gets more equally distributed?


It’s very good to be back posting, hope you got the tribute hints, man 30 years already!

Portfolio changes over the past months

With ~5 years of announcing every buy/sell transaction on the blog, I have now for a while shifted to only post changes under “Trade History”. Sacrificing some transparency but with the aim to focus blog posts on more interesting things than every trade done. I imagine this will be my new format, where I look back on the past months and comment on what I feel is most relevant to mention. This is the batch of trades I will discuss.

Let’s start from the bottom

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Summary of 2020


Much can be said about this year, I choose to focus on how extreme the dispersion been this year. A very small subset of the markets has been doing tremendously well in 2020. Bitcoin has tripled and Tesla and other ESG trendy “hot stocks” soared hundreds of percent on back of the massive stimulus we seen. 2020 has been a treacherous year for us long term more value oriented investors. With the exception of 1999, it has probably never been harder to stay true to your investment philosophy. The liquidity flywheel has been turning extremely quick in a smaller segment of the total market at the same time we all know how poorly the real economy is doing. I’m pretty active Twitter user and never have I seen such euphoria among investors that had a portfolio of loss making, high growth tech stocks with as many SaaS etc in the company description as possible. I was still very young in 1999 and history never repeat itself, but I’m pretty sure it rhymes. And the rhymes I have been hearing lately are not positive for the returns for the coming years.

2020 has also been a terrible year from the perspective of have and have nots. And I’m sitting as a clear winner here from that perspective, with a stable high paid job and and assets that just keep appreciating at a high speed. At the same time a lot of the people who don’t have the luxury of big savings even lost their jobs this year.

The crisis months

What defined most investment returns in 2020 was how one navigated the period of February to April this year. Given that I live in Asia I had a front row seat to what was happening in Wuhan. In my post from Feb 9th I wrote the following:

I would like to start of by saying, that I think we are facing an extremely serious virus spread. It’s the sneaky feature of the virus that it can spread before people feel sick, which really makes this so very dangerous. Thanks to very powerful actions taken in China and elsewhere, we might just dodge a major major global health crisis.

When I started to write on this post a few days ago I felt my fellow investors in the US and Europe had not understood what is going on in China. But just over the past few days I think investors are getting input from company management and decent news reporting on what is actually going on. I felt all worked up, how could equity markets continue up when 1.4 billion people had decided to sit at home, not work and basically tend to basic needs!?

We humans are pretty easy to scare and what influences most of all, is the behavior of the people around us. People can be calm and rational about the likelihood of catching the virus, but change mindset very quickly when put with a new group of people that act more panicked about the virus spread. It’s very quick back to basics in situations like this, Maslow’s pyramid comes to mind. Nobody is any longer thinking about which Hermes bag or new car to buy, when you are fighting at the local supermarket for the last rolls of toilet paper. Maybe it sounds like a joke, but this has been the actual situation in Singapore and Hong Kong over the last few days. 

I think I was fairly spot on in my analysis in early February and really early to voice my views/concerns as well. After that point of being correct early I got a lot of things wrong. First of all I was very bearish and thought this bull market had in general ran its course. I thought we where staring at a crisis that would trigger a more long term economical decline. This meant I did not think of upside potential and buying potential winners from the crisis. I focused all my energy on downside protection and rotating out of anything with high leverage and/or severely affected by the virus. When all the stimulus packages started to kick in, again I was more thinking downside protection, that the USD would be devalued long term, so I took some positions in gold. The right move of course, now that we now the results would have been going in heavy on what was a Covid winner. For example I wrote my analysis on Valneva late 2019 so I was well aware of Moderna, go back to my post and you will see I compare Valneva to Moderna. A company probably nobody heard about in late 2019. In general the strength of the stock market boom from the lows really surprised me and still does.

The year of Poland

2020 was also the year that the Polish stocks in a more significant way entered my portfolio. It’s always a bit scary when one starts to trade a new market, where a lot of information is not available in English. My earlier investing years was very Europe and US focused and later when I moved to Asia I focused much of my investments on mastering investing on the Hong Kong exchange. I know feel I have a good grip of the western markets + HK/China. The become a truly global stock picker, I have over the past 2-3 years tried to widen my scope to other more undiscovered markets. I firstly focused on Italy but struggled to find real gems to invest in there (the market is still clearly on my radar). I then shifted my focus to Poland, a more emerging market than what I previously invested in. The companies have very tiny market caps and one has to accept poor liquidity to buy anything except the 5-10 larger companies on the list. The one big market I have left to look at would be Japan. I know there are tons of interesting companies there and I have from time to time been close to pull the trigger, but so far not.

Exceptional return in an exceptional year

I’m both extremely pleased and somewhat surprised over my return in 2020. With twice the return of MSCI World and at a lower standard deviation (measured on weekly data), it’s my best year since the blog started from an outperformance perspective. When I say that I’m surprised it’s because how strong the US tech segment been, which has a large weight in MSCI World. I have had very little to no such exposure (perhaps you can count LiveChat and JOYY in that segment). If you look at the below table of where most of that performance was created, it’s almost all from holdings that I added during 2020 (holding period less than 1 year). Many of my 2020 losers are my long term holdings such as Nagacorp and Dairy Farm, so activity has definitely paid off this year.

Thank you all for following my blog all these years, if you do enjoy it, please subscribe go get all my posts in your mailbox.


Portfolio walkthrough – short comments

It’s high time to review my holdings and if anything changed in their investment thesis. This will be a monster post, for me it’s a great way to review all my holdings and make sure I stay up to date. For you, if you hold or are interested in one of these stocks you will get a quick “what’s the latest” with some sprinkles of why this is a great company (or not anymore). As a bonus there is a short elevator pitch of my two new holdings.

I stopped posting updates for every portfolio change (instead found under Trade History tab), so I have some changes to comment on: MIX Telematics left the portfolio and Lvji entered and exited without comment from my side. MIX Telematics was a case of having too high exposure to the oil industry in the US, I don’t see that coming back at all in the same way as in the past. This was something I did not understand when I invested, properly hidden oil exposure and a mistake on my side. Lvji was a tech play on travel guides for Chinese, but soon after taking a position some twitter friends alerted me of doubtful accounting. I looked at it myself and couldn’t really feel comfortable, better safe than sorry I then sold at almost the same price I bought.

Now on to comments on all my current holdings from top to bottom in the table below.

Press “read more” and enjoy!

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Breaking 100% Return & Trading disclosure

I can today proudly and happily announce that I reached over 100% return since I started this blog in March 2016. To be exact a 104.9% return vs MSCI World at 60.1%. This has been done with a volatility (16.2%) lower than MSCI World (17.1%) and a 0.77 correlation, all measured on weekly returns since inception.

Even more pleased am I with the return characteristics. I outperformed when it mattered the most, both the sell off end-2018 and recent Covid-19 sell off.

Further if you consider:

  1. That my portfolio has been severely underweight USA, which is the top-performing market during this period.
  2. At many times half of my portfolio has been in “value” stocks, again stocks that severely under performed the market.
  3. Mega caps and tech have been driving much of the performance and I have at most been equal weight on tech and always underweight mega caps.

So I had the chips stacked against me from several perspectives. Anyhow I delivered out-performance and especially when it mattered the most! When I set out on this journey some 5 years ago, to prove if I could deliver alpha, I had no idea if I could do it. I think you need a good 10 year track record to truly tell that you are not just lucky, but this half way point is worth some celebration! Yay to me!

Trading disclosure change

Almost all other good blogs I follow do not fully disclose their holdings and portfolio changes. That was something that always annoyed me, why not just be transparent? From the start of this blog I decided to disclose each and every portfolio change through a post to you readers. From today there will be no posts on each portfolio change, instead these disclosures will be moved to a separate page. All the portfolio changes will from now on only be available on the Trade History page. Here you can find my latest portfolio changes and below that I provide full disclosure of all my trades since inception.

The reason for this is two-fold:

  1. Too much of my blog posts goes to updating about portfolio changes. My blog posts will instead focus more on my thoughts of companies, strategies, themes and most of all stock picks.
  2. It’s going to be more time efficient for me, instead of providing a full blog post for each portfolio change.