Friday, April 02, 2021

March 2021 Report

This month we took some big steps towards fully setting up our self-managed super fund. Trading didn't go well, but I persisted, following the rules exactly. We also reached a big round net worth number in  Australian Dollar terms. 

The Australian Dollar fell from USD 0.7737 to USD 0.7612. The MSCI World Index rose 2.72%, the S&P 500 by 4.38%, and the ASX 200 rose 2.74%. All these are total returns including dividends. We gained 1.46% in Australian Dollar terms but lost 0.17% in US Dollar terms. The target portfolio is expected to have gained 2.00% in Australian Dollar terms and the HFRI hedge fund index is expected to gain 1.30% in US Dollar terms. So, we strongly underperformed all our benchmarks. Here is a report on the performance of investments by asset class (currency neutral terms): 

Hedge funds added the most to performance and gold detracted the most. Things that worked well this month:
  • Three hedge funds: Cadence Capital (AUD 20k), Regal Funds, and Platinum had the largest gains this month in absolute terms. Cadence benefited from its investment in Deepgreen metals. Domacom gained 21% or AUD 7.5k.
What really didn't work:
  • Gold lost the most in dollar terms (AUD 11k) with Hearts and Minds (HM1.AX) and the China Fund (CHN) following up. Trading the ASX200 lost the fourth largest amount AUD 6k.

I thought it'd be interesting to look at the twelve month performance since the end of March 2020 when the stock market bottomed:

Portfolio shares are as at the end of March and gains are the dollar gain since March divided by the value at the end of March. Hedge funds are again the star performer, but Aussie small caps did surprisingly well.

The investment performance statistics for the last five years are: 

The first two rows are our unadjusted performance numbers in US and Australian Dollar terms. The following four lines compare performance against each of the three indices. We show the desired asymmetric capture and positive alpha against the ASX200 index.

We moved sharply away from our desired long-run asset allocation. Rolling over my retail superannuation funds to the SMSF resulted in a big rise in cash. Cash is the asset class that is furthest from its target allocation (12% of total assets too much) followed by real assets (7% too little):


On a regular basis, we invest AUD 2k monthly in a set of managed funds, and there are also retirement contributions. Other moves this month:

  • Our SMSF received all approvals, and I rolled over my Colonial First State super funds to the SMSF, made an AUD 15k contribution to the fund, and applied for a brokerage account.
  • Ready Capital called their baby bonds early, reducing our bond exposure by another USD 25k.
  • I continued systematically daytrading ASX200 CFDs and futures.... Daytrading experienced a strong drawdown. I lost as much (including slippage) as the algorithm did (not including slippage) despite using a smaller position size, mainly because of one bad trade where Plus500 got me into the opposite direction trade than I should have been in. The trade in the wrong direction triggered near the open, when in the futures market you would have got into a trade in the right direction later in the day.
  • I started a calendar spread in soybeans futures. Soybeans are very strongly backwardated when usually they should be in contango. I am betting that the November and May prices will converge. They went the wrong way in March but on 1st April moved very sharply in my favor.
  • I invested USD 10k in another painting at Masterworks. I now have USD 70k invested in 7 paintings.
  • I bought 15,000 Cadence Capital shares (CDM.AX) @ $1.045 per share when they announced that their pre-IPO investment in DeepGreen Metals was being acquired by a SPAC and would list on the NYSE. The current share price of Cadence gives you this investment for free.
  • I sold 10,000 shares of Hearts and Minds (HM1.AX) @ $4.78 a share. The shares are trading at a large premium to the NAV and I felt that some of their recent picks of growth and tech stocks perhaps peaked. I still hold 25k shares.
  • I sold half our Treasury Wine (TWE.AX) position @ $11.15 a share. Now it is down to 1% of the portfolio again, which is the default allocation for an investment in a single company.
  • I bought 2000 shares of Perth Mint Gold (PMGOLD.AX) @ $22.44 and 22.56 per share. Our allocation to gold fell below the long-term weight. It is now almost exactly at 10% of gross assets.

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