Drawdown – Part II

Drawdown – Part II

In March we didn’t protect the downside as well as we did in February. Most of our losses in the month came from our European long book. A lot of our high conviction names declined significantly amidst the volatility and the absence of news post earnings season. Our work during the month indicates the thesis is very much on track with substantially all our high conviction positions. Therefore, we remain very confident for the performance of our portfolio going forward.

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Drawdown – February 2018

Drawdown

The past few weeks have brought with them volatility that has not been seen for 2 years. With that, you may be wondering how your portfolio fared during this period. While the S&P 500 saw a drawdown of -10.44% between January 29th through February 8th and the Eurostoxx50 went down 7.43%, Somar’s performance was -3.07%. At no point was Somar’s performance negative for the year, unlike the S&P 500 which reverted back to November levels (please see the table below for more information.)

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Value Creation – January 2018

Value Creation

At Somar we believe the next few years will come to be known as the Golden Age of Investing (see June 2017 letter). Around the world, the current breadth of innovation compounded by accelerated consumer adoption is creating abundant opportunities for entrepreneurs to offer their customers a step-change improvement in value proposition. Entrepreneurs can then capture part of this value created. Somar investors will share in this too when we partner with the winning entrepreneurs at a sensible valuation.

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What to expect in 2018 – December 2017

What to expect in 2018

It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future” Yogi Berra

I follow the Noah rule: predicting rain doesn’t count; building arks does” Warren Buffett

At Somar we are excited for 2018. Not because we can accurately predict how the year will unfold. But because throughout 2017 we have focused on what we can control.  In 2017, we set out to build an extremely high-quality portfolio for 2018 and beyond. We like our chances under a wide range of scenarios. In 2018, we will continue to relentlessly search for opportunities to upgrade our portfolio. We see a lot of innovation delivering step improvements in customer value propositions.

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Year in Review – November 2017

Year in Review

The end of a year marks a period of reflection for what has been accomplished, and preparation for what is to come. As we look back at 2017, we feel very good about the progress we have made. We have upgraded our portfolio, developed our team, launched new Data Science projects, reduced fund costs, and built strong constructive relationships with the management teams of our portfolio companies.

Some of the highlights of the year include:
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Creative Destruction – October 2017

Creative Destruction

Capitalism […] never can be stationary. […] The fundamental impulse that sets and keeps the capitalist engine in motion comes from the new consumers’ goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization that capitalist enterprise creates. […] The opening up of new markets, foreign or domestic, and the organizational development from the craft shop and factory to such concerns as U.S. Steel illustrate the process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. This process of Creative Destruction is the essential fact about capitalism – Joseph Schumpeter
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Upgrading Our Portfolio – September 2017

Upgrading Our Portfolio

Somar’s mission is to support the financial success of our investors by investing their capital in businesses
with both a leading customer-value proposition and a large market opportunity ahead.
We find attractive opportunities in underfollowed companies that have outgrown Venture Capital’s sweet
spot but that are not yet big enough to be ETF-owned.
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Fact-based vs. Opinion-based Investing – August 2017

Fact-based vs. opinion-based investing

“When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?” – John Maynard Keynes

One of the hardest and most profitable skills to develop as an investor is the ability to be open to new information and to change one’s mind when new information alters one’s previous conclusions. At Somar we have improved our returns by leveraging new information to change long positions into shorts and short positions into longs. To develop this skill, we had to overcome 3 barriers:

  • Confirmation bias
  • Commitment and consistency bias
  • Ego
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Mistakes… I’ve Had a Few – July 2017

Mistakes… I’ve had a few

At Somar we strive daily for continuous improvement to make sure the portfolio at market close is more compelling and has more upside than the portfolio at the start of the day. We use several tools for this: talking with management, direct observation, data science, reading, observing other people’s mistakes and analyzing our own mistakes.
This month we will share what we learned from some of the mistakes we’ve made since inception. After reading this letter you may be surprised how we have been able to deliver returns despite so many mistakes. That speaks to the quality and upside of the opportunities we are finding. We have found more attractive opportunities in the last 3 months that at any time in the life of the fund. That is a topic for another letter…
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Golden Age of Investing – June 2017

Golden Age of Investing

Over the first half of 2017 we added several new secular winners to our portfolio. The pace at which we
have been doing that has been accelerating which speaks to the quality of the opportunity set ahead of us.
Our estimation of the portfolio’s risk-reward now stands at an all-time high [please read our April 2017
letter for a description of this internal metric].
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