About a year back, I recommended some stocks that I thought would make readers money. On average, an equally weighted portfolio would have lost about 8.7% compared to the almost 15% shed by the STI, and that is not including dividends. The equally weighted portfolio would have a slightly smaller loss had Transcu not been suspended.
It can be seen that 2011 was not a very good year for stock picking. My suggestion to long Biosensors, short Genting and Transcu were the only profit making ones and that would give me a hit rate of 30%, which is worse that flipping coins.
My choice of small caps took more damage than the large caps, which is not unexpected as small caps tend to suffer from higher volatility. GMG was the worst performer of the lot as it had announced a 1-for-1 rights issue. Of the large caps, Wilmar did the best and this was probably because it had faltered for quite sometime due to uncertain outlook as well as the failed listing of its China arm.
We have seen a strong start to 2012 and the optimist in me tells me to wait for the dust to settle down either in February or March before committing. The mistake is always to buy into a strong market.