“Don’t tell me what you think, tell me what you have in your portfolio.”
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
I remember hearing Taleb use this quote in an interview when promoting Skin in the Game. The quote is so simple, yet profound...I absolutely love it. Although I try to be transparent in showing my Investment Holdings, I admit I'm slow to update these holdings, and my Transaction Journal. Furthermore, I don't feel comfortable posting exactly how many shares I own in companies, which limits my transparency.
After writing over the summer about the top five Canadian and U.S. companies I'd be comfortable holding for 10 years, I decided to post the below two lists to check if I'm "eating my own cooking". As a reminder, these were the five Canadian and U.S. companies I said that I'd be comfortable holding for 10 years:
My top five Canadian and U.S. holdings by value on November 20, 2020 were as follows:
Top 5 Canadian Holdings
1. Brookfield Infrastructure Partners L.P. (BIP.UN)
2. Granite REIT (GRT.UN)
3. Telus Corp (T)
4. A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund (AW.UN)
5. Fortis Inc. (FTS)
Top 5 U.S. Holdings:
1. McDonald's Corporation (MCD)
2. Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)
3. National Storage Affiliates Trust (NSA)
4. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)
5. Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (DLR)
I'm pretty consistent on the Canadian side, with the only difference being my fourth largest holding, A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund replacing Royal Bank. There's two big reasons for this discrepancy. First reason is that since I own seven Canadian banks, I've been reluctant to invest a large amount in any one. This is partly due to my job, but also speaks to my trying to avoid being overconfident in any given Canadian bank. Secondly, with the hindsight afforded to me with the current pandemic, I am definitely overweight in A&W, despite really liking the strategic decisions management had made for this restaurant chain. I'm in no rush to make any big changes currently to my A&W holding, but will likely look to decrease it after the pandemic is behind us.
I'm less consistent in the U.S., having large positions in National Storage Affiliates and Digital Realty Trust in my portfolio, instead of Realty Income and Amazon. After first sampling National Storage late last year, I've added twice more in 2020 during which the company has produced some very solid results that have lead to a higher share price. Frankly, I'm fine with this position having grown steadily as the company boosted their dividend twice by ~6% combined over the past year. Digital Realty has also been a steady performer during the pandemic, the share price has risen, and I haven't actually added to my position since September 2018. Realty Income is my eighth largest U.S. position, but I will likely add to it before year end boosting it up to closer to total value of Digital Realty. Although I like the company's proven business model, I am a little fearful of their theatre, gym and retail exposure during the pandemic. Lastly, I haven't yet bitten the bullet and invested in Amazon. Reasons for this is my current quest to avoid making stupid mistakes during the pandemic
by buying companies beyond my circle of competence that don't pay dividends, the recent European Union investigation
into Amazon's use of third-party sellers' data, and Bezos' admission to congress
that he couldn't guarantee Amazon employees didn't use proprietary data in order to compete with third-party sellers.
Overall, I feel what I say and what I do are pretty consistent, with some obvious gaps, especially related to Amazon. There's always room for improvement and being consistent will definitely be an area of focus for this blog going forward.