I know, I know.. I have been a bad blog writer and haven’t published in a while, probably leaving you wondering whether this blog is even still alive. Give me a chance to redeem myself here though! I would like to give you a brief summary on what has been up with me and what kept me so busy from publishing. More importantly, I want to delineate the direction of this blog and what you can expect from it.
What was I doing this whole time
Number 1: Studies
I am finishing my master’s degree at the University of Zurich soon; I just need to write my thesis. The studies are quite demanding though, thus I was concentrating on those first and foremost. Moreover, because I just don’t know my limits, I absolved 13 ECTS credits extra than I needed to, as the classes were simply too exciting not to take them. In addition to that, I took part in the Portfolio Management Program at our University, which is a 2-year program designed to train new generation of portfolio and asset managers by (among other things) letting them manage a real 6-figure portfolio. It was one of the most rewarding endeavours I have absolved in my life, but as you can imagine, again quite demanding.
Number 2: CFA Level 1
If you’re not familiar with the CFA® Charter, it stand for “Chartered Financial Analyst®” and is the most recognised certification for finance and investment professionals worldwide (you can think of it as MBA for financial/investment professionals). It is so well recognised because:
- you learn a great deal about finance, valuations, markets etc.
- you have to work really, really hard in a short amount of time to pass the exams
Unsurprisingly, the program is designed such that it is doable, but quite difficult to say the least. Despite that, I have managed to pass Level 1 (out of total 3) in February! Hooray! That has a serious implication for the blog as well: together with absolving the CFA Investment Challenge (described below), I acquired new skills and point of view to value companies in a more proper a robust way, hopefully making better stock picks in the future.
Number 3: Jobs
I had worked at a large Swiss bank for a year before switching to a new position, which I can truly call my dream job; I have become Junior Quantitative Asset Manager at an asset management boutique Finreon. I was able to turn my newly found affinity for quantitative finance into a living and I couldn’t be more excited about it. What about value investing and researching companies then?! I will get to that shortly, just keep on reading.
If the first part is irrelevant for you, here’s a TL;DR: I was very busy. As said, now comes the more important part: what you can expect from this blog from know on.
As I wrote, I found a new passion for quantitative finance, statistics, programming and developing strategies in that fashion, which I turned into a job. Despite it is not mutually exclusive with value investing (about which this blog is about), it certainly isn’t so close.
What happened? I had the opportunity to try out what a job of an equity analyst and fields related to that is like during the CFA® Investment Challenge and I realised: as much as I love researching companies as a hobby (like when I write this blog), I would hate it as a job. I won’t get into details why, but the conclusion is following: value investing is still valid, I still am and will be picking stocks for my portfolio which are undervalued and I will still be writing articles about it. I will just treat it as what it is to me: hobby, not a job.
That also means the analysis you’re used to will be probably simplified. Researching the company is often actually much easier (and more fun) than producing the presentation, which is quite time-consuming and I am already a working man after all!
I was not doing absolutely nothing for the blog; for example, I automated and developed a portfolio tracking and reporting tool to produce reports like this. This is still a beta version, but you can see the most important summary statistics compared to the benchmark, such as:
- annualised average return
- annualised volatility of returns
- maximum drawdown of portfolio
- Sharpe ratio
- information ratio
And then some nice looking plots on the next slides analysing weights and risk of my portfolio. If you have any suggestions what you would like to see in such reports, definitely let me know!Be sure to check out the report, as I was happy to outperform the benchmark S&P500 by several measures, which truly is exciting given my time constraints and the general market conditions. Also note that the returns do not include dividends yet, which means the reported returns are yet still somewhat underestimated!
Given the time constraints, I will not be able to write too often; my goal is once every two months to keep to content attractive and high-quality. Regarding the portfolio reporting, I will report quarterly at minimum, but maybe even monthly, depending on interest of my dear readers.
And that is all from me now! I hope you’ll forgive me for leaving not posting for so long and that the new format will be rewarding and interesting for you enough.