In late December 2016, I co-wrote an article on Forbes.com that introduced the "Uber Cannibals," a 5-stock investing strategy that invests in businesses aggressively buying back their own stock. This is a "set it and forget it for one year" strategy that rebalances every April when 5 companies are selected for the portfolio for the upcoming year. The Uber Cannibals is also part of the broader 15-stock Free Lunch Portfolio, which also invests in Shamelessly Cloned ideas and Spawners that are updated annually in December.
We are now ready for the April 2023 Uber Cannibals picks.
Recap of 2022 Uber Cannibals:
As a recap, in my 3/31/17 blog post 6 years ago, we met Ms. Sonia Patel, who had embarked on her Uber Cannibals compounding journey with $100,000 from her IRA account at Interactive Brokers. Sonia invested in the first 5 Uber Cannibals on 1/3/17, and then rebalanced her portfolio every year in April. The 2022 Uber Cannibals were:
As of 3/31/23, Sonia's $100k was worth $170,766, up 8.9% annualized since inception. If Sonia had instead invested in the S&P 500 over that period, she would be up 12.2% annualized and her portfolio would be worth $205,465. The Uber Cannibals portfolio was down 3.7% in the last 12 months, vs. the S&P 500 which was down 7.7%. Over the last three years, Uber Cannibals was up 24.2% annualized vs. 18.6% for the S&P 500. The Uber Cannibals 5-stock portfolio is far more concentrated than the indices and will be more volatile. The strategy makes sense if you intend to follow it for at least a decade or two (or longer). Sonia’s in it for the long run.
All five Uber Cannibals paid dividends. As per our rules, Sonia reinvested those dividends back into the same businesses.
Please note, the Uber Cannibals performance assumes that stocks are bought at the high price of the day and sold at low price of the day, whereas the S&P 500 and Small Dogs of the Dow performance assumes that stocks are bought at last close.
Below is the 12-month return of the 2022 Uber Cannibals:
The New 2023 Uber Cannibals:
The Uber Cannibals portfolio has not been touched since March 2021, when we implemented a heavy bias towards inaction. We now make a trade only if it is a no-brainer to add significant firepower to our buyback arsenal. We have two tweaks that meet that threshold this year: Sell Discover Financial Services and Navient, and invest the proceeds equally into eBay and Toll Brothers.
Here is the resulting 2023 Uber Cannibals portfolio:
Navient and Discover have been in our portfolio since March 2020. They’ve served us well. Over the last three years, Discover and Navient had an annualized return of 43.7% and 34.3% respectively, vs. the S&P 500 which was up 18.6% annualized.
Ebay and Toll Brothers may be better buyback vehicles from here, however. Ebay has bought back 48% of its shares in the last 5 years and 9% in the last year alone. Toll Brothers has plowed back earnings into share repurchases and bought back 9% of its shares last year.
If you are a new investor to the Uber Cannibals, you can just equal weight the five stocks (i.e., invest the same amount of money in each of these five) and keep that portfolio until April 2024, when I'll provide the 2024 portfolio on www.ChaiWithPabrai.com. Happy Cannibal Investing!
Note, anyone who invests in any strategy needs to do their own research/due diligence and are themselves fully responsible for the outcome.