2019 was another remarkable year for the stock market. The 30% market increase was the highest return of any of the years I have been running my fund. Once more the FAANG stocks were at the forefront of this growth with Apple ending the year with a market value above $1trillion. (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google)
My fund just about managed to keep up, thanks to what Im calling my "Triple A" portfolio. Fantastic returns from Analog Devices, Amadeus Fire and ASM International kept me in touch with the overall market.
The 177% return on ASM International (ASMI) meant that it was the star performer of my fund. ASMI has dramatically increased its share of the semiconductor production equipment market through its leadership position in a technology known as ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition). I am hopeful that ASMI will continue to grow market share in what is likely to be a rapidly growing market. I did however sell some of my holding, taking some profit, because I'm a believer in having a diversified portfolio that isn't just reliant on technology stocks.
ASMI has been in the portfolio since 2009. I wrote about it in Opinion piece 43 and ironically in the conclusion of that piece I said that by 2020 I should know whether buying it was a good idea. Here we are in 2020 and I can say categorically that buying ASMI was one of the best investment decisions I have ever made.
I added one small new holding to the portfolio. It is a Japanese company by the name of Kato Sangyo. It is primarily a distribution company that has been a consistently good long term performer with a management team that has been rewarding shareholders with a growing dividend. I hope that consistency will continue into the future and that their overseas expansion will allow them to grow their dividends even more.
|Directors:|| Kenneth Power (Managing) B.Comm, MBS, ASIP, Regular Member of the CFA Institute.