The back half of 2014 was a wild ride for my personal account, I was up almost 30% at the half way mark of the year and at one point in the fall I had lost all my paper gains for the year. I sold most of my mistakes in energy (Civeo, Paragon Offshore and to lesser extent Ultra Petroleum) and with a little luck the market perked back up salvaging much of what I gained in the first half. But onto the results, there were no deposits or withdrawals into the blog portfolio during the period:
Below is breakdown of the attribution of each holding during the year to my performance, which is interesting at least to me, the grayed out holdings were closed out during 2014:
New Media vs News Corp
Missed the opportunity in New Media (NEWM), Fortress has executed nicely on their plan to rollup small local newspapers and basically doubled this year. I might have to change my strict rule against third party management agreements to just a higher hurdle to overcome. I picked the wrong horse in the newspaper spinoff crowd (at least in the short term) with News Corp (NWSA), it's my lowest conviction holding currently, while incredibly cheap on a sum of the parts basis, shareholder returns don't seem to be their top priority. If you listen to CEO Robert Thompson on any of their quarterly calls, its more about story telling, empire building and self promotion than actual business results. I like their assets, but may find a better use for this cash soon.
Obviously was a disastrous investment for me, I got a little too excited with REIT conversions and then add the spinoff dynamics with a couple respected hedge funds backing it... turned out to be peak everything in one. Luckily I trimmed some of my position in July at $26.50, but still took a big hit with the downgrade in guidance and rejection of the REIT conversion, and sold everything in October at $12.00, was lucky to avoid the next leg down this week. There's some good discussion in the comments section of my two posts on Civeo, could be an interesting addition to a basket trade of washed out energy names in 2015. Not that I'll likely be participating, need to recalibrate my ability to take the market temperature in commodity industries, have some work do before I'd feel like its in my circle of competence again.
I like the NOL theme right now, most of these companies seem below the radar (or restricted) of larger hedge funds/other investors, and a less crowded theme than spinoffs. I've highlighted a few this year in Green Brick Partners (GRBK), MMA Capital Management (MMAC), Par Petroleum (PARR), Tropicana Entertainment (TPCA), and Cadus Corporation (KDUS). Others that I'm looking at and might blog about in upcoming posts include Signature Group Holdings (SGGH), WMI Holdings (WMIH), and Special Diversified Opportunities (SDOI); Signature has made it's operating company purchase and WMIH and SDOI are still looking at potential acquisitions.
Thank you to everyone for reading and happy new year.
Disclosure: Table above is my blog/hobby portfolio, its a taxable account, and a relatively small slice of my overall asset allocation which follows a more diversified low-cost index approach. The use of margin debt/options/concentration doesn't represent my true risk tolerance.