Investor Event

Portfolio Review 2022 – Mark Bentley

This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc. Introduction Following on from my reviews in 2020 and 2021, I have now conducted a similar exercise for 2022. See my 2020 review for an explanation of my investment objectives, strategy, “asset types” and investment accounts. My 2021 review can be […]

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  1. Cliff Weight says:

    A very interesting review, with some very detailed analysis. Many thanks for sharing.

    I am interested to know why Wood Group is liable for its subsidiary Foster Wheeler’s litigation claims, whereas Link Group is refusing to accept any responsibility for its UK subsidiaries alleged failures in respect of Woodford WEIF; and Alverium is trying to sell off its business responsible for managing Home REIT, to obviate any potential claim on the parent company?

    “Foster Wheeler, which brought a bunch of nasty liabilities that its acquirers have been suffering from ever since. Firstly, it is having to deal with ongoing asbestos-related claims from former employees”

    • Mark Bentley says:

      Good question, Cliff. I think the difference is that Wood and Amec acquired the subsidiaries with liabilities whereas the companies you mention are divesting the subsidiaries before being acquired themselves. If Amec had reversed its acquisition of Foster Wheeler then I guess neither it nor Wood would have been liable for FW’s liabilities.

  2. Chris Hardstaff says:

    Wow, Mark, that must have taken you ages to put together. I hope the effort helped you focus your mind and maybe make some decisions. Of interest as we have quite a few of the same shares. Which of your holdings are you most optimistic for, for 2023?

    • Mark Bentley says:

      Hi Chris,

      You are right that doing such an analysis and write up is helpful for focusing thoughts – and I would encourage others to do likewise.

      I find that picking one or a small number of holdings as most optimistic is perilous, as events invariably conspire to confound expectations. So far in 2023, my “mean reversion” thesis about the real-estate sector is looking promising. TRY, which is now my largest holding has started recovering nicely. Continued recovery, however, will depend on interest rates not climbing beyond current market expectations, IMO. HVPE also has the potential to do very well, if it continues to report reasonable NAV results and the market regains confidence in private equity in general and HVPE in particular. At the individual company level, Somero looks undervalued but results will depend on whether the US enters recession and the depth of any such recession. I’m a little nervous that it’s quite a popular stock amongst retail investors, which is often not a good sign! Similarly, I believe UPGS has great potential and is well managed but is subject to the risk of a sharp slowdown in consumer spending.

      HBR also looks extremely cheap and could re-rate, if the market acknowledges the value of its tax losses.


      • Chris Hardstaff says:

        Thanks Mark. I hold TRY too. I suspect property will be quite volatile this year as interest rates and inflation do battle. Somero’s update yesterday was an interesting mix – with their euphotic words I expected beating expectations not meeting the lower end; but they seem genuinely optimistic about the coming year, and it is good to see their international business beginning to contribute a bit more. The share that has pleasantly surprised me this year is Moneysupermarket. I bought immediately after Christmas thinking this year should see people being more careful with their money and moving utility supplier more; but I didn’t expect quite such a change of fortune. Up nearly 25% in the month. Good luck!

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