September was a brutal month for returns, but I did manage to fix the asset allocation a little by going long some CBO.TO in my TFSA. Reviewing the results, using traditional methods my returns are down -2.44%, however if we use the Modified Dietz method, I am actually up 2.00%. This just goes to illustrate how the timing of your trades in a given period can greatly affect your perceived returns (in this case, I gained 4.44% due to the purchase of CBO.TO, all things being equal).
The benchmark was down as well at -1.25%, and this month has put a drag on my Sharpe ratio, which dropped from .45 to .38.
As I said, I also purchased some CBO.TO (250 shares to be exact), which has improved my weights a little. Last period my fixed income was 5.6% (target range 20.0%-30.0%), and this month it is up to 8.0%. Only a 2.4% bump, but more than I had before.
These short-term fluctuations in the market don’t worry me too much — I am still making good progress overall, at 19.82% for the last twelve months.
Once again, we are up over the benchmark, clocking at at 1.65% for the month of August vs. the benchmark’s 1.30%, giving us a sharpe ratio of 0.45.
The biggest drag in this reporting period was High Liner Foods, which has a 5.78% weighting in the portfolio, and which suffered a 14.53% loss due to lower than expected earnings (see this link). The biggest gain was from Brookfield Asset Management at 6.81%, which has a weight of 7.31% in the portfolio. The gain in BAM-A.TO was likely due to improved confidence due to higher net profits in the quarter.
On to the graphs!
No change from last week with respect to weightings, but I am at the point where I can sink some cash into fixed income. The fixed income component should be up by 2.00% by next reporting period, if all things go to plan.
The year continues to be a good one, and July was no exception. Sharp Ratio was 0.44, which is better than the last reporting period. Month over Month was up 1.82%, beating the benchmark return of 0.43% by over four fold! TTM is still north of 20.00%, although it has dipped isnce last period, coming at 23.09% vs. 23.45% in June.
The biggest losers this period were Front Street Growth Fund, which last 8.36%, and the biggest gain was in Intel, up 12.04%.
On to the graphs!
Observing the above it is clear that my weightings are still an issue. I am not losing sleep over it, and I still haven’t reached my $5,000 minimum before pulling the trigger on a new investment. As I get closer to that target though, I am looking for some fixed income ETFs to round out the portfolio.
Skipped the May update, but the results are baked into here.
Overall I am still happy with the way that things are going. Sharpe ratio for this period is just south of 0.40, and I am still consistently exceeding my benchmark portfolio. May and June were up 1.49% and 1.37% respectively, vs. the benchmark of 0.76% and 0.23% for the same months. The S&P/TSX (using XIC as a proxy) was down 0.09% and up 3.32% over the same periods.
I am still concerned about my asset allocation, since I am not making any of my targets. I will be re-balancing when I have a minimum of $5M to work with though..
On to the graphs.
This is the first month of a real portfolio update since November 2012. I have effectively ignored my portfolio for the past 16 months. That said, how did we fare?
Here we have the monthly performance for the past 12 months. Reviewing the results, for the past 12 months I have beat my benchmark for 9 out of 12; so 75% of the time. Not bad. More importantly, my Sharpe Ratio has been positive, which means that, on a risk adjusted basis, I am making gains, also important!
How about the trailing twelve months?
You’ll notice that there are no results for May 2013-November 2013; this is because I haven’t entered enough historical pricing information for the portfolio, so I don’t have any results for those periods. For my May 2014 update, I should have a full TTM graph available. However, for months where I have data, I have beat the benchmark handily.
Finally, the asset allocation..
As suspected, I am heavily weighted in equities, and my fixed income exposure is definitely below the acceptable range: equity is over by 28.5% and fixed income us under by 19.0%. I am making a concerted effort to fix that in the coming months by reallocating cash towards fixed income.
Some notes on all of this..
While I have effectively ignored my portfolio, I did make some calls based on research for my courses (Value Investing saw me purchasing Logsitec (Class B) and Rock-Tenn Paper Corp. Logistec is up 39.3% since I purchased it in the fall of 2013; Rock-Tenn hasn’t been doing so well but I am patient). I’ve also taken some money off the table to pay for my wedding and unwind some debt.
I’ve also revisited my benchmarking. Before I compared myself against five benchmarks: three Couch Potatoes, XIC, and XIU. This was silly, and it was merely a numbers game. The results going forward will be based off of a new benchmark composed of 20% Canadian Equity, 20% US Equity, 20% International Equity, and 40% Canadian Fixed Income. If I were a truly passive investor, this is what I would be investing in. If I come up on new portfolios that may interest me (e.g. Fundamental Indexing) then I’ll switch things up, but I am taking a more realistic approach: what would I invest in now if I was passive? This means that, if I switched later to Fundamental Indexing I would not retroactively compare my returns. This will give me a better snapshot of how my real performance ranks against what I might have done if I was purely an ETF investor.
Finally, I have been giving some thoughts to how to measure performance vis-a-vis making actual trades. I do some funky math right now to generate returns on a monthly basis when taking trades into consideration, but I am going to see if I can rework my workbooks to use a Modified Dietz approach, and then link those together for the TTM. Hopefully I can squeeze that in for the May or June update.
My discount brokerage issued my November statement today, which means it is time to see how I stacked up against the benchmarks. Holdings for this period are BCE Inc, Calian Techologies, CCL Industries, Davis & Henderson, High Liner Foods, iShares DEX Universe Bond Index, iShares S&P/TSX Capped Composite, and Manulife. The below focuses only on my Canadian margin portfolio; since moving to a new investment model I have yet to go back and evaluate performance for the US margin or TFSA portfolios.
|Nov-12||Margin CAD||XIC||XIU||Global Couch Potato||Complete Couch Potato||Complete Couch Potato|
Since I dumped Bombardier in October, and picked up some CCL and CTY on leverage, the portfolio has been doing very well. The big winner is still High Liner Foods (HLF.TO) which is up over 85% since I first purchased it a few years back. Overall, I’m pretty happy that I am beating every index I track against (XIC, XIU, and the three Potato portfolios), even taking into account the interest I am paying on margin. Unless something disastrous happens in December, this year is shaping up to be much better than 2011.