As 2017 winds down to a close, it’s easy to judge Tailwinds’ performance on the stock picking side. For the year, we have a gain in the portfolio of around 40%, which beats all the indexes out there, particularly the micro-cap ones.
Our stocks’ performances ranged from huge winners, with CYRX, FSNN, PTOTF, and MARK all up over 100%, to dramatic flameouts like AQMS and MEEC. I’ve often said that investing in micro-cap is like public venture capital. The returns we generated certainly reflect that with major winners more than covering for losers.
Judging the performance of the newsletters is not so readily apparent as their topics are varied and the results are not being followed and published on a daily or weekly basis. So, to try to evaluate them, I’ve gone over all 52 newsletters of 2017 and picked out the best and worst calls made. Some of them were pure genius…others not so much.
The Best and Worst Calls of 2017
February 21st…”Bitcoin Emerging as a Golden Investment” Probably the best call of the year as bitcoin rallied from $950 at the time of the recommendation to a high of $19,500 in December.
March 20th…”On Our Way to the (Fr)Exit” Well, turns out the election in France didn’t upset any cheese platters and the EU seems to have gotten its act back together. So, my concerns here were well overdone and this was a big nothing.
May 1st…”Loonie for the Canadian Dollar” A really well timed call here that bottom-ticked a long decline in the Canadian dollar and preceded a +10% rally.
May 15th…”Clarke vs. Shorty…Three Months Until This Fight’s Over” Well, you knew at some point that AQMS would have to crop up, since it turned out to be such an epic failure on my part, right? Here it is. In my defense, I did lay out the bear case here but…well, let’s be honest, I was dead wrong on this one. OUCH!
May 22nd…”Time to Book Your European Vacation” Another currency call, and spot on again, this time picking the right time to get long the Euro. Frankly, it feels to me that the Euro’s strength has run its course now and I’d be looking to get out. The long term Euro trend is downwards and, while we’re not there yet, we are approaching major resistance…see below.
August 28th…”Is the US Dollar Going to Enter Bear Market Territory?” Well, after two good currency calls, I think I pressed my luck too much on this one as I bottom-ticked the dollar, which went straight up in my face…at least for a while. It has lately rolled over again and I do think it will hit lower lows soon enough. But, this timing stunk.
October 1st…”The FAANGS Look Long in the Tooth, Rotation to Small Cap Underway?” A tale of two cities here. My FAANG call was right…for about a week, then they plowed higher into year end. But, the rotation to small cap does appear to be happening when you look beneath the surface of the market and I think this thesis will play itself out over time and be correct.
November 19th…”What is AI??? And, Four Ways to Invest in It” Perhaps my most compelling newsletter as the AI theme is just getting underway. At the same time, the lead company featured in this article, MARK, has been a stellar performer. So, two thumbs up on this one so far.
December 24th…”Three Things You Should Know About Bitcoin” So far this appears to be a great call, predicting the impossible to predict…the top of a manic bubble. However, Bitcoin has indeed fallen from around $18,000 at the time of writing, to below $14,000 in most recent trading. Even more worrisome, the bounces are looking weaker. I think this will end up being a tremendous call long term as I don’t think Bitcoin will ever break $20,000…if it does, it likely goes much higher and I’ll look rather foolish, but I’ll take the victory lap for now.
And, that’s the wrap on 2017. If you’d have played my macro-ideas you’d have done well. I’m guessing anyone who suggested you buy Bitcoin can say the same thing. By Sunday night at midnight, Bitcoin will have been the best performing asset class two years in a row. Anyone think it can make it three?
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