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Read on to see an article from the archive of Clem's Diary of a Contrarian Investor blog:

Aquarius Platinum Takeover

Today we had another takeover. This time it’s Aquarius Platinum.

We’ve been taken to the cleaners by the mining shares we have bought and this is the least worst of that part of our portfolio; AQP is only down a meager 50% now.

At least the buying party is relatively transparent. It is a South African producer. The opaque shenanigans of miners has been a learning experience to me. I normally don’t pay miners much attention but when they careened into the value investment zone, I couldn’t resist.

Investing is a learning curve that never ends and going up it has a cost. We’ve paid it. However, our performance against the FTSE looks good but that’s no real solace.

Through all this we are about 3% up, which is pitiful. But the market is pitiful, falling back recently to 2012/2013 levels. It’s hard to make money in a bear market, which the following chart of our performance shows.

This is the portfolio:

Below is my master portfolio which is similar these days and gives a longer term view on the strategy:

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This is an approximate portfolio growth of 1 to 2.5, but the last year or so is forlorn. The rise is bigger here because it contains mature value stocks like RM and Trinity Mirror that went up a lot. It falls less as its significantly in cash now.

Here is an even older portfolio, that was liquidated to form the master portfolio above. Its performance is tracked from 2008.

This portfolio is now full of ex-value investments like Legal and General, IAG and BT, but you can see the shape of returns nonetheless. We are of course looking towards the next vertical, if it comes.

We will be holding onto AQP till it closes as we have a 10% gap to close and the buying company, unlike Promethean, is not a Chinese company with a spaceship as an HQ.

When it closes we will be about a third in cash, but don’t let that stop you pouring money into the account. The profits are made buying in heavily at a bottom and you need liquid funds at your finger tips when that happens.

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Read more sample articles:

Don’t Trust the Miners

RSA/Zurich Merger Collapses

Anatomy of a Contrarian Value Investment