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edited September 2012 in Fund Discussions
scott, i value your opinion and davids opinion more than i do morningstars analysts opinions. i purchased wbmix after your discussion about it. would you share your entire portfolio with the rest of us. THANK YOU


  • edited September 2012
    Thank you so much for your comments, they're greatly appreciated. I don't really want to share the entire portfolio and haven't, because I think one:) It's really a very eccentric portfolio and has risks that I think are beyond or much beyond what I want to recommend those who are in/near retirement age. 2:) A good deal of it is individual stocks, which I really don't recommend because of risk and some of them are not terribly liquid. The stocks are also more reflecting my themes and interests (some of which aren't themes covered by funds/etfs), which understandably may not be someone else's.

    I will, however, share some highlights and lowlights on both sides (stocks and funds.) There are more on both sides - this is just a sample.


    * Jardine Matheson. This hasn't done a whole lot this year, but it remains a very long-term holding, as I think it remains a compelling, blue-chip play on Asia. A very large conglomerate, this owns everything from the Mandarin Oriental to 7-11s to real estate to IKEAs to car dealerships to...on and on. The company has been around since the 1800's. I really like the Asian conglomerates, although Jardine is - I think - the most consistent. Hutchsion Whampoa (which is much more global, owning everything from a Canadian oil company to infrastructure to ports to a massive health and beauty chain in Europe and Asia) has some really compelling assets, but I dumped it after it didn't fare that well.

    * Glencore (D'oh.) This has been a real disappointment, but I'm not selling - Glencore is like the Goldman Sachs of the commodities world - they have a massive trading operation, combined with a massive amount of assets around the world, including buying Viterra earlier this year and being in the midst of taking over Xstrata, which has been one of the most bizarre M & A situations I've ever seen, even requiring Tony Blair to step in and mediate between Glencore and a Sovereign Wealth Fund who was one of Xstrata's largest shareholders. Thankfully I didn't buy at the IPO last year (whose prospectus was a whopping 600 pages), but still a real downer. I still like the company and particularly like the real assets they own, including - In Australia, Paraguay, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Glencore farms 270,000 hectares of owned or leased land. If the merger/takeover/whatever it is today of the rest of Xstrata goes through, that will result in, as a Bloomberg article put it well, "The combined company would be a vertically- integrated commodities giant, with an interest in the production, transportation and trading of everything from the food on consumers’ plates to the metal used for their utensils."

    * Brookfield Infrastructure. A highly unique spin-off from parent Brookfield Infrastructure, this owns literal infrastructure - everything from toll roads in Chile to ports in Europe to rail in Australia. This is sort of public version of a private infrastructure fund, and it is opportunistic; what it owns in five years may look very different than what it owns today. This is an MLP though, so it does produce a k-1 at tax time. It does yield around 4.3%. I also like the parent company, but not as much as BIP.

    * Singtel (Singapore Telecom) I particularly like Singtel for what it offers - not only does it offer a play on mobile in the region and a nice dividend, but the company owns stakes in several other telcos in the region, giving it exposure to Thailand, Indonesia, India, Australia, Bangladesh and elsewhere. The company also has a new division that is actively seeking start-ups in areas related to mobile/mobile technology, the main one so far being Amobee, a large global mobile advertising firm, which I think is a pretty fascinating little company ( and could develop into something really sizable down the road as mobile continues to be such an enormous theme.

    As for Amobee, I think this article is a particularly interesting read - "Why Mobile Operators Are Becoming Mad Men": (really good discussion on the future of mobile advertising, which has been such a big thing lately, with Facebook's mobile problems and elsewhere.)

    I think my interest in the mobile space is not Apple (although Apple will continue to do well), but to think about and find ideas that benefit from the soaring amount and use of smartphones. What do all these phones in the world lead to in terms of new experiences - mobile advertising, mobile payments, etc. etc. etc. In other words, what develops over the next decade in terms of new experiences from having all these mobile phones in existence. In terms of mobile payments, you're seeing Visa and all the other card companies pushing for it and looking to serve the "unbanked" (their term: "financial inclusion" - see below) , especially in developing markets. Telecom companies are realizing that they have to move beyond just offering plans and look for further ways to engage with and deliver information and experiences to customers.

    See Visa's "Currency of Progress" channel on Youtube (, and incredibly slick mini-documentaries, such as this one focusing on Rwanda -

    and this one for Visa's "Vision for the Future":

    Finally, "Making Mobile Payments a Reality around the World":

    Additionally, Visa (which I don't own, but using it as an example of something that's benefiting from the change in payment tech - discussed here is pushing for change in the US to EMV chip payment cards instead of the familiar strip. This has been done already in other parts of the world, but Visa and it's TIP (Technology Innovation Program) is going to force change - "Second, Visa is requiring that all U.S. merchant acquirers and sub-processors must be able to support chip transactions no later than April 1, 2013. Third, Visa is implementing a liability shift for domestic and cross-border counterfeit POS transactions effective Oct. 15, 2015. This means that the liability for fraudulent transactions made in retail establishments that have not installed chip card terminals will fall to merchant acquirers and merchants." (There are many articles above this, but here's one -

    It's kind of stunning to me that there is not an ETF dealing with all of the various aspects of mobile - smartphones, mobile payments, etc. There's an ETF for everything else.

    * Graincorp - Stategic/real assets. Graincorp is an Aussie company that owns silos, owns the railroad that takes the grain to the ports and owns the port terminal operations to take the grain elsewhere in the world. The also own malting and edible oils operations. From a Bloomberg aricle: "With GrainCorp owning the silos where farmers dump their harvests, railroad cars that carry loads to east coast ports, and the elevators used to load ships, the deregulation gave the company a “virtual, natural monopoly” on the eastern seaboard, according to Justin Crosby, a policy director at the Sydney- based NSW Farmers’ Association, which represents 10,000 members, half of them grain growers." Volatile, but has a very nice dividend policy of returning between 40 and 60 per cent of net profit after tax to shareholders across the business cycle. That's a very nice dividend currently, and hopefully the dividend can improve/be more consistent as the company diversifies the business further, with the edible oils business being an entirely new addition as of a couple of weeks ago.


    Alpine Global Infrastructure - Yes, it's expensive. No, Alpine is not a great fund house. This is, however, a solid fund in the category with a very nice dividend. I continue to have a lot of investments in various infrastructure plays.

    Marketfield. Really fits in with my desire for funds that are highly flexible, which I think will continue to be of importance over the next decade. I've found some of the new "long-biased" long-short funds quite interesting - Whitebox being another.

    RIT Capital Partners. This is a UK investment trust chaired by Jacob Rothschild (RIT = Rothschild Investment Trust) This has not had a particularly good year, either, although I have no questions about continuing to hold, given the fund's mixture of internally managed stocks, external funds, private equity (it recently purchased a considerable stake in the Rockefeller Financial Group - and real assets. It does have an excellent long-term track record. Short-term, not so much, but it is a long-term holding.

    EM - MSMLX, MACSX and AZENX. I had Pimco's Multi-Asset EM fund, but boy did it disappoint. I've owned DEM off and on, but a fair amount of EM fund assets went to Jardine.

    Ivy Asset - Again, much discussed already.

    In the holy (bleep) department - Janus Overseas. Thankfully, only a small position. Added a little bit recently because really, I'm not sure it could get much worse and I'd rather add to an EM/foreign-heavy fund that's done terribly than something that's been doing tremendously well.

    Lastly, I had some mild hedges in ultrashort index positions, but have taken those off as of a few days ago.
  • We have some points of intersection. And is it one or both of my Matthews funds which hold Jardine Matheson? It's in my mix, somewhere....These days, after waiting for my ship to come in, I'm able now to add some basics to my portfolio which have been missing--- things such as a domestic, less risky (at least "according to Hoyle") bond fund, as compared to my EM bond fund. The new addition is DLFNX. Yes, uncle Jeff Gundlach. The EM bond piece is represented by PREMX. I hold only 6% in US equity funds. I'm heavy into bonds for preservation these days. Sixty years of age is not far away for me. It would seem that my choice to throw a bit less than 3% of portfolio into TRAMX just before the recent Fed decision to "juice" the economy was fortuitous in terms of timing, though I wasn't trying to time the market. MACSX has pleased me greatly, as well as MSCFX. And PREMX.

    My others are: MAPOX, MAPIX and MAINX.
  • Reply to @scott: Thanks for sharing your portfolio and your comments. One question about the international stock holdings (Glencorp, Jardine Matheson etc). Is it better to buy them on the foreign stock exchanges or to buy the 'pink sheet' listings?

    Thanks in advance,

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