Monday, 24 December 2012

Portfolio looking fair

It’s been a full month, but as 2012 comes to a close, a quick look through my portfolio seems to be in order.

Last accessed 23 Dec 2012, the portfolio’s return from Oct 2011 stands at 4.84%. Everything seems ok, with exception of BNPPL1 Opportunities USA USD, which has yet to recover from its performance in 2011 and 2010.

To illustrate how badly the fund has done, Citywire ranks François Mouté (manager for the fund) at bottom of North American ranking tables over 12 months, and 36 months


Each time my eyes glance past those numbers, my mind starts coming up with questions like:

“Has he lost his mojo?”
“Is he more interested in retirement than returns?”
“Is Moute french for Miller?”

It’s a risk all active funds face. The chance that a star manager, for whatever reason – be it personal challenges (i.e. life happens), or professional challenges (i.e. the ceaseless grind of the performance derby on one’s soul) – decides it’s time to cash in the chips and live off bank interest. I claim no expertise in judging the psychology of fund managers. I’ll take a look at the numbers, and decide what to do from there.

New additions: I picked up Amundi Gbl Luxury & Lifestyle SGD, for lack of a better global equity fund. I would love to see something better catch my eye. Funds on the radar include Aberdeen Gbl Opportunities or DWS Invest Top Dividend. 

Meanwhile, I wrote previously about agonizing over the decision to switch out of Legg Mason WA SEA Special Situations. Happily, or from sheer luck, both funds performed pretty much identically since roughly end-Sep 2012:


Both funds returned around 8% in 3 months, and short of any potential slowdown, I’ll stick with Legg Mason since historically it has done well in rising markets. 

A bet on HK via Aberdeen China has finally paid off, netting about 6% returns, and I might hold that for some time more.

The fixed income segment of the portfolio looks healthy, and thankfully so, since it’s propping up my portfolio against the returns from BNPPL1 Opportunities USA USD. I’m not about to change anything on this area of the portfolio.

Real estate, via Henderson Global Property is another strong performer, returning 10% since it appeared in the portfolio.

While I’m more or less satisfied with Threadneedle Enhanced Commodities, it is pretty volatile, and I’m keeping an eye on DB Platinum Commodity RIC-C SGD Hedged if the former continues to track the latter.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Blissfully Olam Free Funds

I haven’t read anything about fund exposure to Olam, so I figure this would be blogworthy.

19 November, Muddy Waters’ Carson Block is quoted by Jesse Westbrook for Bloomberg, saying he is betting against Olam. Requote: “We think the company will fail.” And with the recent saber rattling between Olam vs Muddy Waters, I’d thought it’d be worth a little time to dig up all the end-October factsheets of the various Singapore equity funds to see if any fund managers had a position in the neck-deep-in-Muddy-Waters Olam.

Based on end-October factsheets, none of the following funds on Fundsupermart have listed Olam in their top holdings.

Olam-free Singapore Equity funds
Olam-free Singapore Bond Funds

source: respective factsheets, as at end-Oct 2012

This doesn’t discount the possibility of being exposed to Olam; since top holdings are only updated on factsheets monthly, there’s the possibility of a fund taking a position between 1 Nov 2012 and 19 Nov 2012, which would then expose the fund to Olam’s share price movements. 
source: Yahoo!Finance, last accessed 2 Dec 2012
Looking through Olam’s 2012 Annual Report throws up a list of shareholders, with some pretty big names, as well-reported in the media.
Source: Olam 2012 Annual Report, last accessed 2 Dec 2012
As far as I’m aware, the asset management firm there with any sort of retail presence is AllianceBerstein, and parent, the AXA Group. But, as they’re not present in the Singapore equity/bond space, I’ll leave it at that for now.