It has been a little over a year since I really started investing in the market. I thought now would be a good time to go back and review some of the choices that I have made over the past 14 months or so and whether I have been keeping up with my goals when I set out and began buying individual stocks. If you’ve read my other few posts on investing, you know how I started, primarily buying stock of companies that I used. However, as I continued over the year, I decided to diversify a bit away from this while still purchasing stock with a long-term outlook. While I have purchased some stocks completely to speculate (Blockbuster pre-bankruptcy comes to mind), most of the others I have purchased I plan to hold for to long-term, which I define as hopefully over a year.
Currently my portfolio consists of seven stocks: Under Armour, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Invesco Mortgage Capital, Take-Two Interactive Software, Sirius XM Radio, Lions Gate Entertainment, and The Boston Beer Company. The only holding that has been there truly since the beginning is Boston Beer Company. Four of these holdings are currently positive for me, while the other three are losers. However, since I am holding these for a while, I am hoping that they recover, but at the same time I am young enough to stomach some short-term losses in the meantime. I haven’t made a whole lot of money on anything yet; currently my entire portfolio over the past year is only up a little over $50, or 1.2%.
My best purchase has probably been Boston Beer Company. While I only own three shares of the company, since I began purchasing them in April 2010, they have returned 27.79%. This amount is slightly down from the high from earlier this year, as the market as a whole has been hampered a bit in recent months. I still think that they will get pretty close to $90 a share again, but it would be pretty good if they get that high and split, at which point I would love to purchase more shares and increase my holding in a company that produces some of my favorite beers.
Another strong purchase that was a gamble at first and has since become a strong performer for me was Sirius XM Radio. I took a flier on the market leader in satellite radio, which, for the meantime, should be the only true provider of their technology. I purchased 100 shares at $1.74 a share in February 2011 and another 25 shares at $1.81 in March 2011. Recently, they have been trading around $2.20 a share, which has resulted in a gain of nearly 15% on my initial investment. I have been pretty pleased with this purchase, but if it gets up to around $2.50 a share, I may pull out my gains because I really feel that internet radio and podcasts are going to really start competing against satellite radio. If Sirius XM can figure out a way to deliver internet radio and compete, however, they may actually do pretty good in the long run.
As for some losers over the past years, not counting what I am currently holding, include such good companies as Southwest Airlines, Intuit, Paychex, and General Electric. If I had a bit more money, I would probably repurchase shares in GE since they are such a large and diverse company, and even though the airline stocks are not doing that well, I do like the corporate culture of Southwest. Intuit and Paychex were holdings for a while because they are a large part of the accounting industry, with Intuit providing many solutions for businesses large and small, and Paychex allowing companies to do their own payroll. I have had some other losers as well, but it was primarily because I got impatient with losses.
Now, however, I do plan on holding my current three losers, and I would like to increase my holdings in some other companies I currently own, as well as investing in other companies as well. I’d like to get up to 10-12 different companies, especially once I figure out a good way of looking at companies while doing the Writer’s Development Program at The Motley Fool later this year. I don’t think my overall strategy will change, but I do hope to be able to expand into some other industries and get away from a “portfolio” full of consumer-based stocks.
I hope that you got some insight from this post. I hope in the near future to write a bit more about investing since it may be my job within the next year.
Until next time…