Joel’s Resource Report – Reflecting on 2020
Phew – what a year!
I normally work right up until Christmas Eve as I like using the time to catch up on lower priority tasks and plan for yearly reviews, etc.
This year I’ve instead been working on a piece of work which ideally needs to be completed before the beginning of the New Year. Positively, it’s great to be trusted on what is an important piece of work – fingers crossed we get the right outcome!
Onto shares! As I’ve been busy recently, I’ve made very few adjustments over the past few weeks to my portfolio, apart from building up a decent position in Reneuron.
As we’re approaching the end of the year, I thought I’d reflect upon 2020.
Coming into 2020, I was full of optimism for both my portfolio and my job. My portfolio continued to take out all-time highs in February and with a new role in the divestitures team looming, I was walking on sunshine! RockRose Energy was circa 40% of my portfolio and with just one more deal, my finances would be transformed.
The end of the world?!
As coronavirus news started to affect us, I initially made little adjustment to my portfolio. I’m a longer term investor and I can ride out a little volatility, I told myself.
It turns out that watching five figure sums evaporate into thin air isn’t as much as fun as when they’re appearing! A temporary oil price war smashed the oil price – it even went negative at one point! I eventually took action and minimised losses although RockRose did recover on a takeover. I quite literally started dumping stocks to protect capital, perhaps later than I should, but better than never.
I suddenly became a macro-investor watching Nouriel Roubini, Mohamed A. El-Erian and Hedgeeye. I’ve since decided that I almost certainly have no edge when it comes to macro-economics. But it would certainly be interesting to know what would have happened if the Fed hadn’t basically thrown fiscal conservatism out of the window!
At work I was lucky to secure a new role although it looked a little hairy for a while as coronavirus put a hold on it and for a few days I thought I might lose my job. Luckily, influential management “unblocked” the role and I was fortunate to secure the role just as the UK went into lockdown.
With the Fed effectively backstopping much of the world’s debt, over a period of months I began to redeploy all the capital that I’d taken out of the market. In many cases, I was able to buy significantly more shares for less money, result! This, combined with new stocks that I was investing in, caused my portfolio to rocket. Notable mention go to Avacta and Pensana which are both up more than 500% since my entries.
With the country out of lockdown, I liberally took advantage of the eat out to help out scheme, figuring that I’m paying for this bloody perk so I may as well use it.
I obviously had a wonderful summer!
No rest for the wicked
With the leaves turning an autumnal copper, my manager mentioned that she and her boss had been discussing the quality of my work. They were apparently impressed and a meeting would be scheduled to discuss a potential “bubble assignment”.
A bubble assignment is work not directly related to your role. The work I was being asked to run was previously run by someone significantly senior to myself who would shortly be leaving the company.
Queue a great opportunity, long hours, ambiguity and new friendships. Thankfully (so far) things have gone well, reputation and experience enhanced.
My favourite saying of the year comes from Louai Al Roumani’s excellent book Lessons from a Warzone, “this too shall pass”. It’s a Persian adage which helps to temper spirits if, like me, you perhaps on occasion become overly emotional. I think the saying could’ve come in handy earlier in the year!
I’ll look to get an article out over the next week or so looking back at some of the shares I’ve covered during 2020.