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The FM’s small-cap picks for 2021 returned more than 40% capital gain for the year — excluding the payment of some really sumptuous dividends, which would have brought the gains to closer to 45%.The portfolio was also underweight commodity counters, which makes its performance all the more commendable. In addition, none of the companies we selected benefited from the buyout/delisting trend, which continued to rage on the JSE.That said, the FM’s portfolio underperformed its benchmark. The scoreboard will show that the JSE’s small-cap index returned well over 50% over the year — a spectacular performance from an asset class that, not too long ago, was neglected and derided when a handful of large international companies were consistently driving the JSE higher and higher.By comparison, the JSE’s all share and mid-cap indices were up about 25% for 2021, while the top 40 was up just shy of 24%.There were some great small-cap rebounds during the year, with some of the standouts being el...

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