Disclaimer: Your capital is at risk. This is not investment advice.
After a challenging yet fascinating year, ByteTree will be on holiday until Tuesday, 2 January, at which point we will face the uncertainties of 2024. It is going to be an interesting one, full of elections, which means government spending will remain out of control. That means the money will keep on flowing and markets like that, whatever the harsh realities of the real world.
2023 has been more eventful than we’d like. We had a banking crisis, where all deposits were guaranteed by the state, raising eyebrows with the old guard. We paid our respects to Queen Elizabeth II and welcomed King Charles III. There were too many wars, conflicts, earthquakes, hurricanes and eruptions, yet despite that, the price of oil and gas eased back, reducing pressure on households.
We survived the resignation of New Zealand’s Prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, which just shows how resilient we really are. Here in the UK, we got through a whole year without changing either the prime minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It doesn’t seem likely we’ll be able to say that again this time next year.
A Week at ByteTree
In The Multi-Asset Investor, I reviewed 2023, looking at our successes and failures. As I write, Whisky returned +15.1% in contrast to 7.1% for the FTSE 100 inc. dividends. Our less risky portfolio, Soda, fared worse returning -0.2%, giving back the relative gains achieved in 2022, when markets sank. The result isn’t devastating, more frustrating, but we remain well ahead in both portfolios since I began this journey back in January 2016, soon to be eight years ago. The Soda portfolio is jam-packed with value and opportunity for next year.
I also made the final 2023 recommendation in Venture. The company manages buses and trains around the world. It’s had its challenges throughout the pandemic, but they have a plan to shore up the balance sheet. It’s dirt cheap, and so once that is complete, it has every reason to move into the express lane.
Finally, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.