Copycat portfolio

It has been a difficult third year for the experimental copycat portfolio. It is down 33.9%, which compares very unfavourably to the S&P 500 (-11.3%), the FTSE 100 (4.5%) and my own portfolio (-16.8%). This leaves the copycat portfolio down 2.9% over three years, compared to S&P 500 (29.9%), FTSE 100 (3.1%) and my own portfolio (25.5%).

I set out the rationale for this benchmark portfolio in the initial post. Broadly speaking, the unashamed goal of this strategy is to free-ride off the best ideas of a rashly-assembled sample other investors while expending as little effort as possible.

This low effort approach is not looking too clever after this last year. It’s easy to see what went wrong. The portfolio had a very high weighting towards growth stocks which were then hammered by the regime change to higher inflation and interest rates. Unlike my actual portfolio, the copycat portfolio did not respond by raising cash nor by rotating towards better performing stocks. Instead it just sucked up the punishment. In some ways it’s reassuring to see that this didn’t work out so well.

Somewhat shockingly, not a single stock put in a positive performance over the past year. Here are the performances of the individual constituents in all their gory detail:

  1. Diageo (0%)
  2. Next Fifteen Communications (-3.7%)
  3. Kainos (-13.2%)
  4. Sabre (-20.7%)
  5. S&U (-21.1%)
  6. Games Workshop (-22.1%)
  7. Microsoft (-22.8%)
  8. Macfarlane (-23.1%)
  9. IMCD (-25.9%)
  10. Volex (-26.5%)
  11. Lonza (-30.3%)
  12. Sartorius (-31.6%)
  13. eBay (-32.4%)
  14. MaxCyte (-35.3%)
  15. Brickability (-36.7%)
  16. Western Alliance (-38.1%)
  17. Amazon (-44.5%)
  18. Nvidia (-45.5%)
  19. Tesla (-46.7%)
  20. Netflix (-48.7%)
  21. Liontrust (-50.9%)
  22. Future (-58.2%)
  23. Meta (-61.2%)
  24. Victoria (-63.0%)
  25. Jarvis (-65.5%)

The new portfolio

I’m still optimistic that this approach should do well over the long term. However, I think its performance this year suggests that a bit more diversity in the investors whose best ideas are copied might be a good idea. With that in mind I have replaced a few of the investors in the sample. In the spirit of this approach I haven’t spent much time on this but just done something rough and ready.

Here is the new portfolio.

  1. Alpha FX
  2. Amazon
  3. Aon
  4. Brickability
  5. Calix
  6. CentralNic
  7. Coupang
  8. Digi International
    Diageo
  9. EKF Diagnostics
  10. First Republic Bank
  11. Games Workshop
  12. Geo
  13. Goodwin
  14. Hilton Grand Vacations
  15. Liberty Global
  16. Macfarlane
  17. MasterCard
  18. Microsoft
  19. Moncler
  20. Prosus
  21. Quanta Services
  22. Serco
  23. S&U
  24. Telecom Plus

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