Investment Returns and Performance-July 2017

Investment Performance in terms of returns

Below is a graphical representation of my investing performance upto July 2017. Further below is a table of returns.

Investment Returns
My investing performance relative to other benchmarks

First, some housekeeping. You will notice that this graph is different from earlier ones, where I had also mentioned my trading performance. The reason for this change is simple.  The trading performance in July was simply crazy. So if this line is also added to the above graph, then the range on the axis changes in such a manner that there is no possibility of distinguishing between the various investment benchmarks. In addition, there is difficulty in understanding what the exact trading capital is. As a result, it is best to look at trading and investing performance separately, and maybe, once a year or so, revisit a comparison. In any case, below, I also present a table which details the returns on trading along with investing benchmarks.

As can be seen from the graph above, and the table below, the trend established earlier still continues. The mutual funds outperform my investment performance, which outperforms the PMS schemes from Motilal Oswal and Centrum. All of them outperform index benchmarks, except the Bank Nifty Index.

My investment performance continues to be marred by underperformance of my biggest holdings-IDFC, IDFC Bank and Oberoi Realty. On the other hand, Bajaj Finserv continues to outperform, as to other stocks like Indiabulls Housing Finance.

In July, I also converted about 4% of my portfolio to cash. I also made a concerted effort to pare down the number of stocks in my portfolio (from around 100 to around 75). I will continue this exercise of bringing down the portfolio size to around 30-40 stocks over the next one year. Among my larger holdings, I have completely exited Muthoot Capital Services (and have partially switched to Muthoot Finance), Munjal Auto (and partially added to Munjal Showa), Alkyl Amines and Bayer Cropsciences (and have partially switched to PI Industries and also added Tata Chemicals). I have further exited IL & FS Investment Managers. I have also exited Tata Steel (and switched to Vedanta and Tata Investment Corportation). I have exited Sobha Developers and added to NESCO. I have exited Vardhman Acrylics and added to Vardhman Textiles. I have also exited JP infratech and JP Power and added to Jain Irrigation. I have further added to IRB infra and Pokarna. I continue to slowly accumulate Pharma Stocks (Sun and Dr Reddy’s). I have completely exited my small positions in Hindalco, EIH, IL&FS Transportation Networks, Federal Bank, Laxmi Vilas Bank. Finally, I have finally exited MPS ( a large holding) and added to EClerx.

All of these switches have been done more to reduce the number of stocks I want to track, than any fundamental reasons. In some instances (like MPS), I did not like the business prospects.  In some cases (Bayer or Munjal Auto), I just felt that the price had run ahead of the business.

Here is a table of my investment returns compared with various other benchmarks.

Portfolio Returns
Table of Returns for different time periods

Portfolio Composition as on March 31, 2017

Portfolio Holdings, March 31, 2017

The following stocks constitute at least 1% of my portfolio as on March 31, 2017. These 39 stocks amount to 81% of my total investment portfolio.


Porfolio Composition, March 2017
Holdings which constitute at least 1% of Investment Portfolio

Some discussion is warranted. The average age of my holdings is around 2 years, and as can be seen, there are very few stocks in the red. These include United Spirits (McDowell), ILFS Investment Managers (Which has given great dividends though), IDFC and IDFC Bank Combo (Which on the other hand is a looong term bet). NMDC has barely broken even. Even with NMDC, the dividends have been great.

Where have the best gains come from: Clearly Can Fin Homes, KRBL and Oriental Carbon have given the best percentage gains. I bought all of these when the markets were at a trough in September 2013. The largest absolute gain has come from Bajaj Finserv, which was again bought in the same period.

I am reasonably happy with the overall portfolio mix. It consists of realty (Oberoi and NESCO), MNC (Cummins, United Spirits, Akzo, Grindwell Norton), Pharma (Shilpa and Ajanta), NBFC (Bajaj Finserv, Canfin Homes, IndiaBulls Housing Finance), Banking (IDFC and IDFC Bank), Great Indian Mid to Small Cap Companies with an export focus (Balkrishna Tyres, Bharat Forge, PI, Aarti Industries, Polymedicure, Mayur, OCCL), and IT (Eclerx, MPS). There is considerable diversification. However, I am comfortable with the diversification.

Trading and Investing Performance on 31/3/2017

Portfolio performance in the last 4 months
Trading and Investing Performance
Chart showing my investment and trading performance against the indices and good mutual funds


I don’t want to comment too much on this chart, since it is only a 4 month performance.

It is obvious though, that good mutual funds like HDFC Top 200 have outperformed both my equity portfolio as well as my trading.

As is obvious with a system based on leverage, my trading performance fluctuates wildly, while the others are more or less with similar trajectories.

There is usually mean reversion in markets, and so over a period, my investment portfolio’s performance should improve.

The methodology of calculating the NAV’s have been mentioned in an earlier post on measuring investment performance.

Investment performance has been slightly understated, because I have not taken dividends into account.


Portfolio Composition as on 31/3/2017

Porfolio Composition
This is the portfolio composition at the end of the financial year 2016-17

Please refer to my earlier post on my portfolio composition goals.

Again, I would like to emphasize that over a period of time, I expect to see the allocation to real estate decreasing, and the exposure to trading equity increase. I would also like to steadily add to the stock of bullion and low yield instantaneously redeemable debt in the portfolio to increase, to add to the stability of my trading business.

My goal is simple: To derive a 15-20% return on investment over the long run. I shall be quite satisfied if over several years, I am able to achieve this goal. Portfolio composition is very critical to achieving this goal. Too much exposure to “safe” low yield debt, and I would not be able to achieve the goal. On the other hand, too little exposure to instantaneously redeemable low yield debt would mean that I would not have the opportunity to invest in the market when it is down and out.

Portfolio Composition on February 17, 2017

While much of the discussion here is on financial markets, my personal investments are more diversified. More than 50% of my investments are in real estate (including my self occupied house and office*). My equity investments (including PMS, Equity Mutual Funds and Direct Equity) amount to less than 25% of my total investment. Trading Equity(**) amounts to less than 7% of my entire set of investments.

Over time, I expect to see movement in this portfolio composition, with the relative allocation to equity increasing, the allocation to  indian real estate investments decreasing, the role of overseas real estate investment increasing (from zero presently), the allocation to  angel investments increasing and the role of bullion rising to around 2% of porfolio.


P.S. * I debated whether to include my self occupied house and office in my total investments. The reason for the debate is that you are unlikely to sell your house or office, so why include them in the mix. I eventually included them, because both are really too large for my long term needs. They are fungible, because I could also move to smaller spaces at a much lower cost.

P.P.S. ** While the amount of trading equity is only 6.7%, in reality, it is larger, if I include the cash I hold in reserve for drawdowns, and the stocks that I can give as margin for trading.

Links to Great Articles on Creating Wealth

Articles on wealth creation

Here is a nice post on the habits of people who have created wealth, and the rules you can follow to get there.

What is the difference between Getting Rich and Staying Rich.  The link has a great article on staying humble to stay Rich. I would also add that remaining teachable is also a good way to staying rich. It is hubris that can make the difference between Getting Rich and Staying Rich.

The wealth creation journey is not a slow and steady one. If one wishes high returns, one must be prepared for high drawdowns as well. The drawdowns are both in terms of money and in terms of emotions. Here is a great article which talks about the importance of stoicism in the wake of large drawdowns, and why reacting with equanimity to a large drawdown is critical if one wants monster returns.

Here is another one along the same lines where the author talks about how short-term loss is the price of admission into long term gains. 


Links to Great Articles on Investing

Links to great articles on investing

Here is a nice post by Nooresh Merani on not to get impressed by short terms returns in markets.

Here is an Investopedia Article which very sensibly talks about why a long term view is important to be a successful investor.

Long term investors are often in a dilemna if a stock they own runs up a lot. If they would not buy fresh stock at that price, should they sell? Here is a post by Sanjay Bakshi on the notion that for long-term investors in high-quality businesses, the rules for buying a stock and those for holding a stock are not the same.

Here is an extraordinary article on how to rationally evaluate the different returns that different asset classes obtain, and how to diversify away risk and volatility by constructing a portfolio. The conclusions are not great for someone seeking Alpha, as the author suggests that because diversification is extremely easy these days, and because there is a long history of markets, stock market valuations would rise to a point where the differential in return between stocks as an asset class and other asset classes like government bonds will narrow or disappear.


Portfolio Composition at the end of October 2014

Here is a new edition of my portfolio composition. The last two months have not been particularly kind to my portfolio performance, as can be seen in the next post. In fact, partly due to the fact that I was travelling, and partly due to procrastination due to my relative poor performance in September, I missed putting up my portfolio at the end of September.

But here I am, with my portfolio at the end of October 2014. As usual, this is not a complete disclosure of my portfolio. This list is only of those scripts which constitute more than 1% of my portfolio. Nevertheless, I am also disclosing in the text below if there were major changes in the rest of the portfolio.

Stock Latest Price Inv. Price Overall Gain % Portfolio %
IDFC (97) 148.25 133.3108609 11.21 10.55%
Oberoi Realty (64) 242.15 238.5116518 1.53 8.96%
eClerx Services (18) 1,347.80 1029.558952 30.91 2.82%
ILandFS (36) 20.2 15.32131761 31.84 2.39%
Larsen (22) 1,597.70 1096.596358 45.7 2.13%
Cummins (4) 720.05 411.2417355 75.09 2.12%
MPS (14) 712.4 128.6641026 453.69 2.12%
Indian Hotels (20) 104.8 73.70118644 42.2 1.88%
Selan Explore (28) 487.9 317.7249493 53.56 1.83%
IRB Infra (18) 254.5 90.26702128 181.94 1.82%
NMDC (28) 168.3 133.9162406 25.68 1.71%
Mayur Uniquoter (11) 430 111.0322327 287.27 1.67%
Balkrishna Ind (11) 756.3 232.4213927 225.4 1.61%
Kaveri Seed (13) 915.45 296.6391304 208.61 1.60%
HPCL (13) 522.15 470.71725 10.93 1.59%
Bharat Forge (9) 801.4 272.25 194.36 1.59%
Shilpa (11) 539.65 370.2180563 45.77 1.49%
Munjal Auto Ind (11) 117.45 33.99787765 245.46 1.43%
PTC India Fin (6) 50.1 14.68682894 241.12 1.36%
Oriental Carbon (9) 382.6 113.2114733 237.95 1.34%
Muthoot Cap (11) 253.2 97.38 160.01 1.33%
Ajanta Pharma (14) 1,887.60 1007.725543 87.31 1.32%
Sesa Sterlite (3) 253.05 150.9941003 67.59 1.31%
Sun Pharma Adv (19) 196.5 123.5597701 59.03 1.30%
EID Parry (13) 218.85 141.47 54.7 1.30%
Poly Medicure (7) 833.15 280.2228601 197.32 1.22%
PI Industries (11) 429.9 171.8891892 150.1 1.21%
Hind Zinc (18) 168.95 121.9935484 38.49 1.20%
RS Software (11) 630.9 204.2701613 208.86 1.19%
Grindwell Norto (7) 526.05 256.5177241 105.07 1.16%
TCS (9) 2,558.20 1953.9 30.93 1.13%
Reliance (7) 979.25 810.3029891 20.85 1.10%
Sobha Developer (14) 430.9 314.4363636 37.04 1.08%
Akzo Nobel (5) 1,299.05 1027.196154 26.47 1.03%
Tata Inv Corp (13) 556.5 404.9865 37.41 1.02%
ICICI Bank (9) 1,614.05 948.6365854 70.14 1.01%

The movement towards consolidation continues. However, this is also tempered by the fact that I have bought new scripts in the last two months. Nevertheless, the number of scripts which have at least a 1% contribution to my portfolio is 37 (compared with 33 at the beginning of September 2014), and together they constiture 71% of my portfolio. As before 32% of the portfolio was invested in the top 8 scripts.

What have I been buying in the last two months? And what did I sell?

Well, I continued to purchase IDFC, Oberoi Realty and IL&FS Investment Managers, averaging down as the stocks fell all of September, and most of October. It requires great guts or folly to keep buying in the face of negative outcomes from a stock price point of view, and sometime in November, I hope to have a post which will talk about these dilemnas.

I also purchased a significant quantity of L&T and TCS, again as they fell. In addition, I added a small quantity of Jaypee Infra, Sobha Developers and DLF, when they fell rather sharply because of a weak real estate environment and negative news flow.

In general, I have also resolved to improve the quality of my portfolio, from a cap goods, finance and realty bias to more quality names with better moats. To this end, I made significant purchases of Indian Hotels (Convertible Debentures) Akzo Nobel (which now is in the list of 1% stocks), United Spirits (which is almost there), and Dr Reddy’s Labs.

In terms of my older themes, I bought significant quantities of Reliance, Bayer CropScience, India Bulls Housing Finance, Gujarat Pipapav Port, and Vardhman Testiles.

What did I sell? Only RS Software at a time when the stock really shot up. At that price of 730 or so, the stock is more expensive than say EClerx, and EClerx has a superior track record of governance, disclosure, earnings, and dividends. I still own significant RS Software, and given my purchase price, I will evaluate my position only after a quarter or two.

Portfolio Composition and changes in August 2014

Here is the list of stocks which constitute 1% or more of my portfolio:

Stock Latest Price Inv. Price Overall Gain % % of Portfolio
Oberoi Realty (52) 255.15 239.2 6.68 9.59%
IDFC (77) 142.35 130.0 9.52 8.14%
eClerx Services (17) 1,345.00 1026.5 31.02 3.23%
ILandFS (31) 20.35 15.0 35.95 2.65%
Selan Explore (28) 562 317.7 76.88 2.45%
Cummins (4) 699.3 411.2 70.05 2.39%
IRB Infra (15) 257.3 81.3 216.29 2.09%
Larsen (16) 1,581.85 1024.8 54.36 2.04%
NMDC (27) 177.85 133.0 33.75 1.99%
Bharat Forge (9) 856.75 272.3 214.69 1.97%
Mayur Uniquoter (11) 434.25 111.0 291.1 1.95%
Kaveri Seed (13) 930 296.6 213.51 1.89%
MPS (14) 545.1 128.7 323.66 1.88%
Balkrishna Ind (11) 752.6 232.3 223.92 1.86%
Shilpa (11) 517 375.1 37.84 1.74%
Sesa Sterlite (3) 279 151.0 84.78 1.67%
RS Software (14) 539.6 206.5 161.29 1.56%
EID Parry (13) 220.6 141.5 55.93 1.52%
Sun Pharma Adv (18) 197.85 121.9 62.27 1.48%
PTC India Fin (6) 44.15 15.0 194.98 1.41%
Hind Zinc (18) 165.1 122.0 35.34 1.36%
Indian Hotels (13) 96.55 59.9 61.06 1.35%
PI Industries (10) 437.6 159.0 175.23 1.35%
Ajanta Pharma (14) 1,604.10 1007.7 59.18 1.30%
Grindwell Norto (7) 490 256.5 91.02 1.25%
Munjal Auto Ind (11) 84.7 34.0 149.17 1.20%
Tata Inv Corp (13) 561.45 405.0 38.63 1.19%
Oriental Carbon (9) 290 113.2 156.17 1.17%
ITC (21) 349.95 307.0 13.99 1.11%
NTPC (6) 141.3 130.2 8.51 1.07%
ICICI Bank (9) 1,548.75 933.8 65.85 1.05%
Sobha Developer (12) 465.5 288.6 61.28 1.03%
Banco Products (2) 142.1 56.2 153.02 1.00%

The stocks representing more than 1% of my portfolio now constitute 68% of my portfolio, and the number of stocks are 33. 32% of the portfolio is represented by the top 8 stocks. I fully intend to concentrate further, so that the top 8 stocks represent 50% of the portfolio.

However, the concentration of scripts has hurt me, since my top stocks, Oberoi Realty, IDFC, Selan Exploration, and IL&FS Investment Managers have significantly underperformed the market in the last couple of months. The only one amongst the top 5 which saw outperformance was eClerx Services. Other top stocks which underperformed included Mayur Uniquoter, IRB Infra, BKT and Sterlite and Shilpa.

The three stocks which saw major outperformance was my old favorite MPS Ltd., and Kaveri Seeds. NMDC and Larsen, while not majorly outperforming in the month, gave me the benefit of buying these stocks on dips in July.Old favorite Cummins continued to do well. Another stock that did well in August was SPARC. PTC India Financial Services and RS Software did remarkably well in August.

What new stocks did I buy? I bought some Exide and some Amara Raja, since both constitute a nice duopoly, I bought HPCL, because there is tremendous value embedded in the company, with or without GOI policy issues, I bought Kitex Garments on a ValuePickr recommendation, Mazda Ltd and Linc Pens on my own reading of the balance sheets and potential. I added to Indian Hotels on a dip after the result. I bought HIL on an India Nivesh Recommendation. Finally, I continued to buy IDFC on dips.

Portfolio Composition and Changes in July, 2014

Portfolio Composition, July 2014


Here is the list of stocks which comprise more than 1% of my portfolio at the end of July 2014.

Stock Latest Price Overall Gain % Percentage of Portfolio
Oberoi Realty (49) 251.9 5.34 10.23%
IDFC (71) 149 15.87 8.57%
eClerx Services (17) 1,284.95 25.17 3.40%
ILandFS (25) 24.85 75.91 3.16%
Selan Explore (28) 585 84.12 2.80%
IRB Infra (15) 249.1 206.21 2.23%
Mayur Uniquoter (11) 430 287.27 2.13%
Balkrishna Ind (11) 769.9 231.37 2.10%
NMDC (26) 169.8 28.28 2.06%
Larsen (14) 1,469.15 45.25 2.03%
Cummins (4) 606.9 49.22 1.93%
Shilpa (11) 514 37.04 1.91%
Sesa Sterlite (3) 282.5 87.09 1.86%
Bharat Forge (9) 722.25 165.29 1.83%
Kaveri Seed (13) 700.15 136.03 1.57%
Ajanta Pharma (14) 1,664.60 65.18 1.49%
EID Parry (13) 190.65 34.76 1.45%
Hind Zinc (17) 162 33.88 1.43%
Sun Pharma Adv (18) 168.2 37.95 1.39%
MPS (14) 348.05 170.51 1.32%
PI Industries (10) 383 140.88 1.30%
RS Software (14) 407 97.08 1.30%
Tata Inv Corp (13) 539.4 33.19 1.26%
Grindwell Norto (7) 420 63.73 1.18%
Indian Hotels (8) 94 75.65 1.18%
Munjal Auto Ind (11) 75.75 122.84 1.18%
NTPC (6) 140.45 7.86 1.17%
Oriental Carbon (9) 264 133.2 1.17%
PTC India Fin (6) 33.15 121.49 1.17%
ILandFS Trans (15) 228.7 70.18 1.17%
ITC (20) 349.6 14.84 1.16%
ICICI Bank (9) 1,474.00 57.85 1.10%
Muthoot Cap (10) 170 80.81 1.07%
Tata Steel (4) 549.9 100.66 1.07%
Sobha Developer (12) 438.8 52.03 1.07%
TCS (7) 2,515.10 42 1.03%
Banco Products (2) 129.5 130.58 1.01%
Reliance (6) 975.4 29 1.01%

What has changed? For one, I have spent all of July 2014, increasing my stake in Oberoi Realty and IDFC. This was as per my earlier stated intention. Now, both stocks comprise around 10% of my portfolio. This is essentially in keeping with my objective to concentrate my portfolio. Sometime this month, I will write about my investment rationale for both stocks.

I sold all of my Clariant Chemicals, simply because it had risen out of sync with possible valuations, and invested the proceeds in eClerx services. Increasing my exposure to eClerx was also my stated intention in earlier posts.

I also increased my exposure to NMDC and Tata Global Beverages, on a dip in prices of both. I increased my holding in Shilpa Medicare and PI Industries (PI following nice results). Finally, poor Larsen and Toubro results for the quarter resulted in sharp dip in prices, which I bought into.

I sold out of Morganite Crucible, more for the sake of not investing in stories without any technological or brand edge. Instead, I dipped my toes into Bayer CropScience, and on the MNC theme, increased my exposure to Grindwell Norton. Finally, there was some buying of PTC Indian Financial Services and IL&FS Investment Managers, both on a relative dip in market prices.

Concentration continues apace. The stocks which comprise at least 1% of my portfolio are now down to 38, and the total percentage of these in my portfolio is now more than 75%.

My eventual aim is to increase the concentration even further, with 25 scrips comprising around 90% of my portfolio.

What stocks gave the best performance in July, 2014 within my portfolio?

IDFC for sure, following the RBI announcement on CRR and SLR requirements on infrastructure loans. IRB Infra, following a decent result, and positive government announcements for the roads sector. IL&FS investment managers, despite becoming ex-dividend.

From the ValuePickr basket, Ajanta, PI, Mayur and Shilpa, all gave great returns in July.

Another great stock last month was Bharat Forge.