ThumbTack Fund – New No.1 General

Broadcom (AVGO) has been occupying the top general spot since inception, sitting pretty at the top for the past 14 months.

During my last update, the 5 “generals” list is:

TTI’s 5 Generals

  1. Broadcom (AVGO)
  2. Alibaba Group (BABA, 9988)
  3. Rocket Companies (RKT)
  4. Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH)
  5. Still interviewing applicants

Over the past 3 weeks or so, I’ve been steadily taking profit on AVGO, and have cut my exposure by approximately 50%.

With an average entry price of around USD 220, and having sold at USD 460-470, AVGO has returned approximately 110% in the past 15 months, including dividends (less 30% WHT) and option premiums.

Broadcom (AVGO) – Blue line

S&P index – Red line

When compared against S&P, AVGO has done extremely well during this time frame, outperforming S&P even whilst excluding dividends. AVGO is also known to be generous in its dividend payout.

Bear in mind that S&P itself has been on a wild tear upwards all this while.

AVGO continues to be an electric mix of both growth and profitability, whilst generating FCF every quarter, which they deploy (partially) into maintaining their lead, particularly in the semiconductor solutions segment. While AVGO has constantly been in the news every couple of years due to Hock Tan’s strategy of acquisition and successful assimilation, little attention has been paid to their R&D, which itself is a lean and mean growth centre.

Coupled with an exceptional management that’s shareholder friendly, IMO, AVGO remains 1 of the best mix of both growth and diversification. A case in point is their fairly recent acquisition of Symantec in 2019. The market doesn’t talk about it right now… but I remember the share price took a hit when the acquisition was announced back then.

Analysts were scratching their head as to why AVGO would be acquiring a seemingly unrelated business, that has next to no growth prospects. Many were speculating then, that Hock did a “panic buy”, as AVGO failed to gain regulatory approval to buy Qualcomm. (That was despite Hock getting a nice photo op with Trump, just before news of AVGO getting blocked in its hostile bid for Qualcomm broke.) Now, imagine if AVGO had succeeded in acquiring Qualcomm… today, against the backdrop of a chip shortage…. This kinda shows you how Hock sees things a few years ahead of the industry. I don’t believe that he’s just “lucky”. You can’t just get lucky with acquisitions after acquisitions, repeatedly.

Now, a mere 2 years after the Symantec acquisition, AVGO has launched new, innovative products, particularly in the cybersecurity space. Hock Tan is notoriously laser focused when it comes to R&D, as he should be, and as I would want him to be as a shareholder. I think many companies fail to optimize their R&D, that is, make sure there’s an end goal. That end goal surely has to involve monetization for the shareholders.

Let me side track a bit. There’s a local construction company, BBR Holdings, that I wrote about several years back. They branched out into doing all sorts of stuff, with a “Green arm”, exploring the commercial application of solar panels. They had some co-op with the gov and were experimenting with floating solar panels in the reservoirs. After a ton of precious cashflow being diverted to all this, after so many years… the company had a grand total of something like 2 clients, and both are on ridiculously onerous terms that makes it near impossible for the company to turn a profit. (The clients pay nothing for solar panel installations, and they pay for any electricity generated at the normal market rates. It was estimated that the company would “breakeven” after like 10 years of selling electricity at the then market raters!)

This is surely the prime example of diworsification!

So why did I pare down my AVGO stake despite singing praises about the company?

The short answer is: Valuation.

Markets have priced in a very successful AVGO future ahead. I’m very reluctant to sell out completely though, as past experience tells me it’s a mistake to bet against certain businesses that are dominant in their industries and will continue to be in the foreseeable future. Also, it’s really all just about opportunity costs and whether there are safer, more productive avenues to park capital in.

With that, here’s TTI’s new top 5 generals list:

TTI’s 5 Generals

  1. Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (9101), Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd (9104), Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd (9107)
  2. Alibaba Group (BABA, 9988)
  3. Broadcom (AVGO)
  4. Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH)
  5. Rocket Companies (RKT)

Nippon YKK, Mitsui and KKK are the 3 largest shipping firms in Japan. They collectively own One Ocean Network (ONE), in approximately 3 equal parts. Pretty sure most people would recognize ONE’s bright pink containers.

Since I can’t really differentiate and choose between the 3, for my top spot, I’ve decided to buy all 3 over the past 3 weeks or so. I hold long positions in all 3 in the form of both direct equity as well as a structured option position. Amongst the 3, I’ve the greatest exposure to KKK (9107), which incidentally, is the smallest too.

Alright, that’s all I have for this short post.

Stay tuned for more exciting investing adventures in the next episode of TTI!



  1. Hi, great blog on your journey. Similarly, i also have shares in PSTH. Any outlook on this? what will happen to my shares if i have them in Tiger brokers? Thanks mate :)


    1. I continue to hold my PSTH shares, it’s a long term play, hence the “tontine” part.

      The deal is complex, so naturally, you should expect some weakness until the deal is completed, shares of UMG are distributed and it becomes clearer. Currently, it’s way undervalued. I’d be happy with just the UMG shares alone, but we’d be getting so many more freebies besides that. I’m also expecting a pop literally on the 1st day when UMG gets listed.

      Now, this gets a bit tricky if u are using Tiger. I’m not sure if they support European markets. UMG will be listed on the Euronext (Amsterdam), and unless Tiger supports that, I think the most likely scenario is that you get the shares liquidated and the money returned to you. That’d be bad news imo, cos literally you miss out on the very thing PSTH is meant to be for: UMG listing and it’s benefits.
      Today, Bill Ackman just said that it’s likely that UMG will have ADRs though, so if so, then Tiger may give you the UMG ADRs. But again, it all depends on the timing. If upon UMG listing and the distribution of shares, there’s no ADR listing, then Tiger cannot give you that.

      So all in all, nobody really knows for sure. I don’t think you’d be shortchanged as in it won’t be a case whereby Tiger forfeits your shares… that’s impossible. But you might not benefit from the actual listing.



      1. Thanks for the fast response. Thats exactly what i thought too about the timing of the ADRs or warrants. Could there also be a possibility of shortchange if there is only 1/9 of shares left? What would u do in my shoes? Create an account in IBKR and xfer the shares out? Not sure if there is enough time to do so while reaping the benefits of this transition.


        1. Hmm…..
          If you already have another account, doesn’t need to be IBKR, as long as it’s a global brokerage that supports multiple markets….

          You can just sell your shares in Tiger and buy using that brokerage.
          I don’t like the idea of transferring, cos I’m sure there are costs to that and I don’t know how long it takes.

          If not, then I’d just hold and take let whatever comes, comes. It’s not a certainty that your UMG shares will be liquidated, it’s just my guess that that’s what Tiger would do. You gotta ask them for the specific details in this case.

          But since PSTH/UMG is meant to be a long term hold (imo), if you want to be vested, it makes sense that you choose something that gives you stability.


        2. At the 1:22 mark, Bill Ackman said he has already approached NYSE and pre-cleared a secondary listing for UMG. If the new board decides to, a secondary listing can happen “in a matter of weeks”


          1. Tyvm for the update. If its liquidation and money back then its still okie, I guess. What worries me is that since Tiger doesnt support euro at all, my UMG gets forfeited in the end. Im not really looking into tendering out as well.


            1. nah, no such thing as “forfeiting”
              That’d prob be illegal in fact.
              They’d have to find some way to distribute to shareholders, what they receive.

              Since PSTH is really meant for a long term hold and compound kinda situation, it’d not be good if you are forced to liquidate though.


                1. It’s really disappointing to me. Not sure wth is SEC thinking, these institutions’ decisions are usually collectively done by a bunch of useless academics.
                  I haven’t decided yet, but we clearly wasted 1 whole yr, and we are back where we started. Exactly back where we are in fact. The only good news being that PSH is going to reimburse PSTH for all the fees incurred thus far.
                  I’m currently still holding PSTH, but I really want UMG, so I might buy PSH too.



    1. oops, I replied to your comment but realized I mis-read and thought u were asking about SPRT instead of PSTH.

      Edited my comment.

      As of now (26/08/2021), still holding onto my PSTH stake.
      It’s trading just a tad below NAV, so imo, it’d be VERY dumb to sell now. You’d almost certainly be selling at the lows.
      IMO, Ackman has been real disappointing.
      He blames the SEC, but I think, for someone with his resources, he and his legal counsel should be hung dry.
      How can anyone proceed with such a complicated and innovative deal (talking about UMG), without getting absolute clearance in black and white?!
      It’s mind boggling to me.
      But let’s not be emo. It doesn’t mean that I’d cut and sell.
      If Ackman can get the proposed SPARC deal inked and approved, you’d almost definitely get a good return based on the current share price
      We’d get $20 back per share, plus get a free warrant.
      Since there’s no capital lock up, the warrant itself is basically a bet on what Ackman can find for PSTH.
      Even though i’m pissed with what transpired, there’s no doubt that Ackman can find very good pre-ipo deals.
      I liked his work on UMG.
      So I’m willing to bet that the warrant is worth a significant amt. The warrant is basically worth the discount he gets for the new deal, compared to the price it’d trade at when the merger is completed.

      All in all, I’m holding, and waiting to see how SPARC turns out.
      It’s trading below NAV right now to reflect the risk that SPARC does NOT get approved.
      If that happens…. ouch.

      Good luck



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