“TTI summons a gigantic repulsor cannon and mounts it on his shoulder. He then proceeds to fire off an enormous beam directly in front of him.”
SINCE INCEPTION (FEB 2020), ANNUALIZED:
Note: Returns are MWRs, all figures in USD
TTF’s NAV: USD 2,861,047.86
Deposits/Withdrawals: USD 1,718,313.36
Nett capital gains since inception: USD 1,142,734.50
For reference, the last fund report:
Since TTF was incorporated in Feb 2020, this means that TTF has enjoyed a nett gain of USD 1,142,734.50 over a period of 36 months of investment activity, which works out to be USD 31,742.63 every month, or approximately SGD 42.8k per month from Feb 2020 to date.
Cumulative ROI (Feb 2020 to Feb 2023):
TTF has generated double digit money weighted returns every year since inception:
2020: +89.83% (https://thumbtackinvestor.wordpress.com/2021/01/02/thumbtack-fund-report-6-rose-of-jericho-2020/)
2021: +24.91% (https://thumbtackinvestor.wordpress.com/2022/01/07/thumbtack-fund-report-10-hello-2022/)
2022: +11.94% (https://thumbtackinvestor.wordpress.com/2023/01/02/thumbtack-fund-report-13-hello-2023/)
2 months into 2023 and TTF has really started pulling away from SPX in a big way, literally right off the bat. The markets started the year off pretty green, even barely touching the +10% mark sometime in late Jan, but has since pulled back into the low single digit returns as markets are roiled by the prospect of more devastating rate hikes.
TTF has not only managed to capture strong alpha in green markets, but has continued to pull away and add to it’s lead during market weakness, proving to be an all weather fund.
Doing so requires a copious amount of contrarism, an intelligent use of leverage, coupled with actively managed risk and appropriate sizing into opportunities, hitting hard when there are high conviction ideas.
Amazingly, the stellar results are achieved currently despite holding a sizable amount of cash. In fact, cash is the single largest position in TTF currently. If I had deployed all the cash and held no cash positions, it’s likely that the roi could even have been doubled. But doing so would mean that I’m exposed when markets turn red, and the relatively high cash positions reflect my reservations about the current market exuberance. Or should I say “relief”.
P.S. Some of the above top 25 positions are short positions.
Leverage ratio is calculated to be approximately 24.3% currently, which is fairly comfortable in my view.
In my previous report (https://thumbtackinvestor.wordpress.com/2023/01/02/thumbtack-fund-report-13-hello-2023/), I wrote that I have 2 objectives for 2023:
- Generate an annualized return above the current annualized 3yr average of +19.27%. That’d further increase my long term CAGR.
- Increase AUM for TTF to USD 3mil.
TTF’s CAGR since inception now stands at +35.35%, far exceeding the target set in 1.
As for 2., AUM is now at around USD 2.8mil, which means I’m a mere +7% or so away from meeting this goal for 2023. Very much do-able if I continue to play my cards right. May even hit it before the end of Q1.
A high interest rate environment has also brought about some unexpected surprises of the pleasant variety:
IB must’ve started paying interest on cash holdings, or some degen out there must’ve been borrowing my shares like crazy, or some staff in IB must’ve fallen in love with TTI and secretly sent me goodies in my account every month. Whatever it is, this time last year, I was paying about 5k USD per month in borrowing fees, together with other fees. Suddenly, 1 yr on, I’m getting paid every month. In Jan 2023, IB gave me $2.9k USD in interest. This month, it’s now $3.9k USD. Which works out to be a cool and very truly passive 5.3k SGD every month.
While it’s not exactly life changing money, it’s totally unexpected, and that’s super cool. I don’t even think my total household expenses reached 5.3k SGD in Feb.
While I don’t profess to be a property expert, I do have a separate property portfolio. It’s been flooded with cash for 2.5 years and counting now, as I sold my last property in 2H of 2020, awaiting a crash of sorts to materialize.
Obviously that has not happened, and the crash continues to elude me as I wait and wait and wait until 花兒也謝了. I’m ambivalent about the property markets though, as I don’t mind if prices remain elevated, yet I’m also a bit pissed at selling out way too early previously, and losing out on a lot of gains, not to mention all the cash slacking away for 2.5yrs. And counting.
IMO though, anyone buying a SG property RIGHT NOW….. You gotta have something against money man. Every major developed country in the world has a tanking property market currently, and that makes sense as borrowing cost has shot up very significantly… and is projected to rise a lot more. It’d rise a lot more than what markets are expecting IMO.
SG is of course, unique, and all that foreign inflows of capital looking for a safe haven has buoyed our markets like crazy. This may continue for a while… but it’s foolhardy to think that general prices can keep going up at this rate.
I think that if you are in the market for a luxury property… sure, that may keep going up. This trend of foreign inflows of capital will prob persist for a while longer, as the world is getting more uncertain, and many governments and people in power seek to appropriate assets. I read recently somewhere that only 45% of property transactions within the $5mil-$10mil category are by Singaporeans. For the category above $10mil, this percentage drops a lot more. This illustrates why our property market remains buoyant. Most of it is just the rich foreigners looking for a place to park some money, out of the hands of prying authorities.
The government has been loathe to rein in this upper end market though, because… why would we want to? If it’s the ultra rich throwing money at us, by all means, let’s take it. Once it’s in, we can figure out a way to siphon some of that wealth into public coffers.
For the average SG dude though, this is not the segment they’d be fishing in. They’d be fishing in the segment <$5mil range. IMO, you’d be crazy to buy anything in this current market. Yes, the elusive crash may actually not come soon enough, and yes, if it does crash, it might jolly well end up being a tiny blip. But I also know the markets are not cheap, they’re artificially buoyed currently by very unique conditions that are unlikely to remain so, there is lotsa supply coming up, and things can turn on a dime and the same foreign capital flooding in, can move out just as quickly.
Sometime ago, I read about the launch of the Tenet EC in Tampines. There were long queues on day 1 and today, it’s pretty much fully sold, at an average price of $1,380 psf, with prices STARTING from $1.1mil. I did a quick google search, and the average price of say, a 3rm unit there costs about $1.3mil. And this is an EC! There’s an household income cap of $16k to be eligible for ECs right?
It’s mind boggling to me to say the least.
Which 1 of you idiots with a mere $16k household income, is splurging on these million dollar, 99yr leasehold ECs huh? Hello, $16k household income is really not that high imo, and definitely not high enough to be buying at such prices and be comfortable with it. And I’m using the AVERAGE 3 rm unit as a reference. It goes up to $2mil++ for the premium 5br unit with study. Even if I assume the buyer is right at the top of the $16k income range, it’s still a scary stretch imo. I can only conclude that most of the buyers of these larger units are either cash rich from selling their HDB and upgrading, or they’re new buyers with generous parents.
Well, I can’t comment much about the former, cos if people got a windfall from selling out, and want to deploy it right back in… that’s their prerogative. I wouldn’t do that myself, but I get that it’s a lifelong dream for many of the masses to upgrade their property and living conditions. OK, fine, but it’s just a very… mediocre thing to do. Instinctive, caving in to your desires, but ultimately, not very wise. The end result is likely to be mediocre too.
For the latter though… I don’t know why so many parents die die deem it their responsibility to help their kids with their housing needs. I won’t. My kids better figure it all out on their own. If they wanna live better and stay better, they better be able to afford it all on their own. Otherwise, there are really cheap $400k 3rm HDBs on the resale market. I won’t care if that’s all they can afford.
Helping kids to buy property is a uniquely asian concept. Specifically, probably a Chinese concept in fact. Not sure since when this became a “thing”, but it totally runs counter to the ancient Confucianism, which I mostly subscribe to.
You people all got it completely wrong. You should be buying property for your elderly parents to enjoy, NOT your kids. Doing so for your kids only deprives them of an essential part of the journey. That’s why each generation in SG is getting weaker than the previous. That’s why people nowadays get stressed easily, cannot withstand hardship, their psyche is fragile, egos are big relative to their limited capability, and there just isn’t that sense of invincibility anymore.
There just ain’t enough Roy Keanes playing these days, and more and more folks are playing like Eric Djemba Djemba instead.
When I was a kid, mum had to work very long hours, with a lot of shift work involving night shifts. Dad had to do 2 jobs once, and was also not home most of the time. This means that I’ve had to stay with Grandma in a very VERY rough neighborhood in a rural godforsaken area of SG for weekdays, only going home on weekends. It was the true definition of a rural “village styled” kampong HDB: most people left their doors open permanently throughout the day, neighbor’s kids could stroll into your house anytime to watch tv, even the HDB cat could come into your house unfettered.
To say it’s a rough neighborhood would be understating it: Most of the families living there are kids from single parent families, with their grandparents looking after them. It was just a shitty place to be in.
Unfortunately for me then, the neighboring kid was a big bully. His dad was some drug addict, always sitting in jail. Whilst waiting for the school bus, said big bully would like to “play” by pinching your nipples or squeezing your private parts with his hands, and then running away to hide. His grandma would be busy chatting with my grandma, and only occasionally glancing over and shouting at her grandson to stop it, but making no effort absolutely to discipline him.
Obviously, said dude didn’t give a shit about his grandma’s nagging.
I even still remember that dude’s name and his face. And it’s been over 30years. I’m guessing he’s either in jail or maybe dead by now.
Point is, I’m still alive and kicking. I didn’t grow up deformed or perverted or psycho. And no, I don’t want to ever go back to those living conditions. But that’s the beauty of it. The need to get out of poverty is, IMO, the 3rd most powerful source of energy. The most powerful being the power of love, and the 2nd being the need for self preservation. (I mean, have you guys watched SAW?)
Why deprive your kids of the 3rd most powerful superpower that they could have?
Have you guys tried open sea fishing before? I have. Once.
Compared to fishing in a paid fishing pond… oh boy, the fishes in the sea are true Spartan warriors. You wanna reel them in, you better be prepared to fight it out. Those dudes are born in an environment where everyday is a fight for survival, literally. They’ve been fighting since they were born. It’s just not the same with the reared fishes released into fishing ponds.
After a good start to the year, S&P has started weakening recently. My view is that in the short term, we remain in a tight range, with the occasional pronounced and sharp single day rallies. This is because the markets right now are… confused. Nobody knows for sure where we are headed going into 2H.
Sharp single day rallies will occur when there is a piece of good news, or even without any good news, but in oversold conditions. The sharp and rapid rallies are a reflection of the “frightened” monies on the sidelines, suddenly feeling optimistic, and flooding back in the markets, cos nobody wants to miss out on an eventual recovery.
Longer term, I’m not that optimistic. I think rates have to rise a lot more, and stay higher for a lot longer than what most people understand. The movement of rates along a yield curve is not linear: hence the “curve”.
This means, getting the inflation rate down from say 10% to 6%, is NOT the same as getting the inflation rate down from 6% to 2%.
Both cases involve a 4% drop, but it’s much much harder in the latter. This is because the “low hanging” fruits would’ve been tapped, and the other inflationary aspects are much harder to tackle, as they become entrenched.
Things like salaries and consumer prices are usually easily entrenched. It’s not easy to cut staff salaries, and since when have we seen the local supermarket actually drop their prices?
Having said that, I don’t invest based on a macro outlook. TTF didn’t get all that alpha by trying to predict whether the markets would trend up or trend down, and positioning accordingly. I’d probably do poorly if I tried to do that.
Instead, I look for very specific, very precise situations. Situations whereby a win is often all but guaranteed, and even if it turns out otherwise, I can manage the fallout quickly and with minimal damage to overall portfolio returns. This is how TTF keeps rising even during periods of strife and redness in the markets.
Let me end this post by giving a recent example to illustrate:
Some weeks back, I wrote a private post for a fellow IN-er about what was then, my top idea. After that, a few other folks requested to be tagged in, so i did just that.
I won’t re-iterate cos you guys can read the post yourself if you are interested. But this is what I mean. The markets are just not very efficient at suss-ing out certain situations, many a times, leaving very lucrative mispricing gaps, especially in the options markets, for me to exploit.
In the instance that I’ve highlighted above, the risk is almost negligible/zero. It’d have to be 1 of those black swan, unforseeable kinda surprise before I can lose on my positions, yet the rewards were reflecting some earth shattering risk. Like if someone offered you a 25% ROI within 6 weeks, you better believe it’s a scam. Yet here, Mr Market really offered me that, with what I deem to be next to zero risk.
I didn’t understand why the markets were pricing it like there was a lot of risk, and oh trust me, I did my DD and still couldn’t figure it out. So I conclude that it’s really just mispricing that happens in these sorta little known, little followed names, especially if it involves technical stuff like drug approvals. Such “dry” topics are good for me cos many folks are just not very interested, and it’s hard to understand and boring to read.
And people like to do simple, brainless stuff. Nobody likes hard to understand shit.
OK, that’s all I have for this post.
If you read till here, have fun, good luck.