Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

At the beginning of last year, the Financial Mail could gloat over an enviable 40% gain in the small cap portfolio we had picked for 2015. Unfortunately, this year we’ve had to swallow humble pie after parts of our enlarged 2016 portfolio were clubbed mercilessly. It was the twilight zone for Distribution & Warehousing Network (Dawn) — down more than 50%. If only we had been sensible enough to back the unflappable Afrimat instead.Value-laden and perennially profitable counters like African Media Entertainment, Trematon Capital and Bowler Metcalf provided unexpected drag. Fortunately, small telecoms group Huge came through strongly, along with Amalgamated Electronics Corp (bought out by Stellar Capital Partners). Overall, the total return (including dividends) was 6% — better than the all share index but well below our expectations.

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