Saturday, August 14, 2021

Top Baggers

Meb Faber refers to the total gain on an investment over time in terms of "baggers". If you invested $1,000 and made $9,000 then that is a 10-bagger.

I was wondering what my best investment measured this way was. I previously calculated this using internal rate of return. But it is easier to get a high IRR on an investment held for a short time than one held for the long term. Which of my investments gained the most over time?

If you invest $1,000 and now have $1,000 of profit it is easy to see that this is a 2-bagger. This is the way venture capital firms typical report the value relative to what they put in. But what if you added more to the investment over time? What if you sold out for a while and then bought back? Or traded in other ways?

I realized we could get an approximation in these cases using the following pseudo-formula in Excel:

Bags = (1+IRR)^(COUNT(X:Y)/12)

IRR is the internal rate of return I already have. The count formula counts how many cells have an entry in them. I created a column with the following formula in it:


where Z are cells with the number of shares held each month. It returns a blank if the number is zero. We then apply the previous formula to this column (i.e. the range X:Y). 

I've now applied this to all my currently held investments. The median investment is 1.42 (gold). The worst is 0.80 (PSTH) and the best is CFS Developing Companies at 9.69. I think my best ever investment is Colonial/Commonwealth Bank which scores 13.01. I bought Colonial shares at the demutualization. I haven't computed this for all past investments yet. Gold is also my current median investment by IRR (12.4%).

So here are the top ten current investments using "bags", IRR, and total AUD gain :

There is some overlap between the columns. Regal Funds and Pershing Square show up in all three. The IRR column though highlights several recent investments that have done well like WCM Global Long-Short (WLS.AX) and WAM Strategic Value (WAR.AX). The top two in the last column are our two superannuation funds that also appear in the bags column and have a lot invested in them.

2 comments: said...

Probably also needs to be adjusted for investment magnitude. After all, I could go an put $10 on black at the casino and although most days I'd lose my investment, one day (fairly soon) I would see black come up four times in a row and have made a 16-bagger 'investment' ;)

I would expect most people are less willing to put large sums into the more risky investments in their portolio, so the most 'baggy' investments people have in their portfolios would also tend to be the most risky/volatile, and probably smaller initial amount invested.

mOOm said...

So there is r.o.r, time committed and amount committed. All three together gives the dollar gain. The first two together gives the multiple or "number of bags". And then there is just the first.