My Portfolio: Up 16% In 2014

02 January 2015
By Maynard Paton

Today I’m going to follow-up my Year In Review 2014 by evaluating my portfolio’s 2014 performance in a bit more detail.

This evaluation is another useful exercise I like to perform at the start of every year. It’s just that I always want to know where all my gains (and losses!) occurred during the previous twelve months, and to see whether my portfolio decisions were consistently good, bad or indifferent!

Let me start by laying down my performance ground rules

Here they are:

  • My year-end portfolio weightings and returns are calculated using bid prices;
  • All dealing costs, broker-management charges and paid dividends are included;
  • Cash injected into the portfolio during the year is deemed to have a 1 January start date for performance calculations;
  • My benchmark is the FTSE 100 Total Return Index (that is, the FTSE 100 index with dividends reinvested, as published by the Financial Times).

Now here’s a summary of my portfolio’s performance for 2012, 2013 and 2014:

YearMy PortfolioFTSE 100 TRI
Compound return119.2%31.5%

I must admit, I was very surprised when I worked out these figures.

I knew I had done quite well since the start of 2012— helped in part by a small-cap bull run during 2013 — but effectively doubling my money during three years is something way beyond I ever expect from my portfolio!

Trust me, a bit of luck has been involved and I do not predict anything like that level of performance to continue!

(And before you ask, I have measured only 2012, 2013 and 2014 because between 2007 and 2011 my portfolio was almost all in cash to fund a house purchase. One day I will calculate my pre-2007 returns, but that is not a priority for me right now.)

Here’s the big table containing all the stats

Next up is a long table listing every share I owned during 2014. Alongside each holding, I’ve disclosed the portfolio weighting at the end of 2013 and the portfolio weighting at the end of 2014.

I’ve also shown the total return (that is, the capital gain/loss plus dividends received) each holding produced for me during the year, as well as the holding’s contribution towards my overall 16% gain.

31 Dec 2013 (%)
31 Dec 2014 (%)
Return (%)
Return (%)
3Legs Resources1.7-10.70.2
Abbey Protection4.2-2.70.1
Andrews Sykes3.
Burford Capital8.
City of London Inv10.612.647.45.0
Electronic Data Proc3.
French Connection8.58.869.15.9
Mountview Estates7.69.954.84.2
Pennant International5.24.810.00.5
Soco International7.5-(10.5)(0.8)
FW Thorpe6.
M Winkworth1.90.7(14.1)(0.3)

I hope the above table makes sense.

Just to remind you, during 2014…

  • I sold three holdings entirely (3Legs Resources, Abbey Protection and Soco International);
  • I trimmed five holdings (Burford Capital, French Connection, Record, Tristel and M Winkworth);
  • I topped up four holdings (Getech, SeaEnergy, Tasty and Tristel), and;
  • I left six holdings untouched (Andrews Sykes, City of London Investment, Electronic Data Processing, Mountview Estates, Pennant International and FW Thorpe).

Anyway, here are a few thoughts from compiling that long table:

  • 12 of the 17 shares I held during the year recorded positive returns (at least for me). Although only four produced substantial gains, I am satisfied with the overall consistency given the wider market’s flat performance.
  • My largest holdings at the start of 2013 were among my best performers. Of particular note are winners City of London Investment, French Connection and Mountview Estates — my first-, third- and fifth-largest positions twelve months ago.
  • The larger holdings doing well means I am currently running a more concentrated portfolio. During 2014, the proportion invested in my top five holdings increased from 44% to 52%.
  • By far my largest top-up of the year — Tristel — did well.
  • Only two shares fell heavily — Getech and SeaEnergy. But I did compound my losses by topping up both positions during the year. Holding and adding to this pair cut my overall portfolio return by a significant 7.5 percentage points.
  • Six holdings recorded total returns within 3% either way of zero. Not exactly thrilling I grant you, but I will gladly take these obscure ‘flat-liners’ given all the high-profile losers we saw last year.

I am 98.6% invested in shares going into 2015

So here we go into 2015. I’ve now ring-fenced some cash within my portfolio — just in case this  full-time investment lark goes completely wrong! — so my investments heading into the year are confirmed below.

01 Jan 2015 (%)
Andrews Sykes3.1
Burford Capital4.7
City of London Inv13.8
Electronic Data Proc3.4
French Connection9.7
Mountview Estates10.9
Pennant International5.2
FW Thorpe6.4
M Winkworth0.8

As usual, I have no idea what the market will do in the next twelve months. All I can say is that the FTSE 100 index and FTSE 100 Total Return index start 2015 at 6,566 and 4,956 respectively.

However, something I have realised from writing this post is to consider re-balancing my portfolio. I also need to find some new share ideas. More on those 2015 resolutions — and others — in my next Blog post.

Until next time, I wish you happy and profitable investing!

Maynard Paton

Disclosure: Maynard owns shares in Andrews Sykes, Burford Capital, City of London Investment, Electronic Data Processing, French Connection, Getech, Mountview Estates, Pennant International, Record, SeaEnergy, Tasty, FW Thorpe, Tristel and M Winkworth.

13 thoughts on “My Portfolio: Up 16% In 2014”

  1. Mayn

    Thanks for sharing, very interesting. I note most of the companies are small cap and therefore arguably have a higher risk profile and hopefully a greater chance for growth.

    Are dividends something you pay much attention to in your Portfollio?

    You mentioned the need for new share ideas, do you run a watch list?

    Your returns over the last 3 years have been great, as a comparison I did similarly well in 2012 and 2013 but lost 16% in 2014 due mainly to 3D printing companies, Rolls Royce and Monitise!

    Good luck for 2015


    • Hello David

      Thanks for the reply. Yes, most are smaller companies, but risk does not come from business size as such, but how the business performs. Tesco is an example here I guess. Dividends are something I pay increasing attention to, as they are the only source of additional cash I will be investing! I will start a watch list soon-ish — and write about the shares I follow. I have found in the past that operating a watch list — and having rough buy prices in mind — is an excellent way of mixing previous research preparation with market opportunities to produce respectable returns. Hopefully I can repeat that way of investing again.

  2. Mayn,

    Good to see the positive run in Tasty in the last 3 weeks. I guess the results will be out shortly.


    • Yes, Mountview was tipped by Simon Thompson of the Investors Chronicle within his ‘Bargain Shares 2015’ portfolio today. Record in there, too.

      Last year, Record shares jumped 40% when it was included in ST’s Bargain Shares of 2014. No such luck this year, even at the same price.

      The Bargain Shares of 2014 also contained a few Chinese disasters, which I guess has made the punters more circumspect with ST this year.

  3. Mayn

    Are you holding a watch list at the moment? I don’t want to depress you but some of your oil related share are looking good value. That said the concensus seems to be Oil will stay depressed for the rest of 2015 at least. Only ExxonMobil have the balls to carrying on with investing, partly because they have the cash but they also have the long game in sight.



    • Thanks David. My oil-related shares are Getech and SeaEnergy. GTC looks great value assuming profits are sustained, but the firm’s history and directorspeak suggests it does well when oil is greater than $70. SEA is a funny one. It has issued upbeat statements this year, with its R2S division seemingly defying the downturn. But this R2S division needs to grow substantially to offset the wider group’s large central costs to produce a material profit and create potential share-price upside for investors.

  4. Mayn

    I see Mincon has fallen quite some way since you had discussed this at TMF. Is this a worthy one for your watch list?



  5. Tristel results looked strong today, are these in line with your expectations Mayn?



  6. Hi. Is there somewhere I can find historic data for the FTSE total return index? I agree with you that this is the best benchmark, but cannot find decent data. I know it is on Bloomberg (which I used to have at work), but isn’t on the FTSE site, Google etc. Thanks.

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