2009 Stock Selections – Performance Review

Every year I select six stocks and each portfolio selects two of those stocks to invest in. This post looks back on how my 2009 stock selections performed.

The short answer is, not too well. The average of the six stocks had a dividend yield of 2.4%, and an overall performance (after factoring in dividends) of -2.4%. For the market as a whole (I used the Vanguard Total Stock market ETF as a proxy, and the SPY S&P 500 ETF gave virtually the same result) there was a yield of 2.2%, and an overall return of 9.6% including dividends. Thus my picks under-performed the market by 12%. Gulp.

Here is the data. I used the yahoo closing prices on that day with their historical data and also by selecting “dividends” only you can quickly determine the dividends paid out during this period.

This year wasn’t a great year, and I hope to do better in 2010. Some (slightly) mitigating factors are that no one picked Adobe for their portfolio, which became embroiled in a big battle with Apple over the iPad. That one was the biggest stinker of my picks.

We will keep monitoring the trend; if I keep under-performing perhaps I will move to ETF’s, although there are other down sides to this which is that they are really a black-box and you don’t learn much about particular stocks and businesses nor the types of drivers that move a stock price. Overall my track record on the longer portfolios is good, but once again I am open to changes in the longer term. For each of the trust funds the return on THEIR invested capital (since they put in $500 and I put in $1000 if they get the full match) is far higher in all circumstances, so the kids are doing fine relative to what they invested.


  1. SNP is a gigantic stock and subject to all kinds of forces. The Chinese government limits what they can charge at the pump; so they are not always able to pass on higher oil costs to their customers. They are basically a giant bet on China’s need for energy resources.


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