Marc Hasenfuss Editor-at-large

This is our last edition for 2016, and not a moment too soon. The past year has been a trying one for anyone in the markets. If it hadn’t been for the mini-recovery in resource stocks I may have been a broken man.

I suppose if there is a lesson I’ve learnt in this horrible year, it is about keeping a longer-term perspective. Here, I am thinking back to the 2015 AGM of RECM & Calibre (RACP). After the proceedings a number of us pundits were trying to convince my wife to sell her RACP shares — mainly because most of us believed there were much more exciting investment opportunities than that investment company’s dull, deep-value pitch. Fortunately, my wife did not relent, and RACP has been the standout performer in her portfolio as the overlooked attributes of the company’s portfolio slowly came to the fore (thanks mainly to corporate action).

Anyway, I am looking forward to 2017 with a good deal of trepidation. There are so many political outcomes that could unravel between now and the next time I write this note that trying to forecast what might transpire in the markets is a pointless exercise.

What I have noted in the closing months of this year is that we are seeing a number of new listings coming and about to come to market. Health-care retailer Dis-Chem obviously caught the market’s attention, but Premier Fishing and Pembury Schools Group have also signalled intentions to list.

One does, of course, forget that the JSE is back on its 10-year listing boom cycle — having had rushes to the market in 1987, 1997 and 2007.

As most readers know, most listings booms tend not to bring the most enduring counters to the market — though the few that press on stoically (1987: Spur, Mediclinic, CMH, Bowler Metcalf and Transpaco) go on to great heights.

Maybe this time it will be different. Goodness knows it won’t be easy for companies to approach investment institutions with share offers at this jaundiced juncture. Only the most compelling growth stories will do.

It is traditional at the end of the year to pick stocks for the new year. IM won’t go that route as the Financial Mail already does a comprehensive Hot Stocks cover story at the start of the new year.

But let me kill two birds with one stone as I have been persistently pestered by certain readers as to the constituents of my personal portfolio. I will be cowering my way into 2017 with the following personal portfolio in tow: Reinet Investments, Stor-Age Reit, Coreshare PrefTrax, Trematon Capital, Tower Property, Stenprop, Wescoal, Deneb Investments, Vunani, AdvTech, GPI and Blue Label Telecoms.

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