Portfolio One Update October 2010

Portfolio One is the longest lived of the five that are currently being tracked.  This portfolio began right after the events of September, 2001 and has grown for nine years.  Total contributions are $15,000 ($4500 for the minor, and $10,500 in gifts and matching contribution from me) and the current value of the portfolio is $18,699, for a gain of $3,699 or about 25%.  The annualized return over the nine years is a bit above 4% / year.

This year we did take some advice from Dan and dumped Mr. Softie (Microsoft) and Carl also gave up on Nokia ever using their huge market share to get into smart phones and took the lumps of a big loss there.  At some point if you aren’t selling, you’re buying, as the old saw goes.

The portfolio has 15 stocks, with an average balance of about $1,200 per stock, and I keep a bit over $1000 in cash in case we need to utilize a level of cash for some reason or another (hasn’t happened yet) then we wouldn’t have to liquidate shares for an initial withdrawal.

Just to see the total stock performance I do track against stocks that have been sold in the past.  For the most part they are wise sales in hindsight except for Amazon which is now above $155 (we sold around $90).  The Amazon money was used for other re-investments of stocks that have done OK and paid dividends which also needs to be taken into account, but it is good to watch to see if we are selling too early on gains.

A favorable trend for all of the portfolios is that my brokerage gives me a lot of free trades which I can use on these trust funds, reducing their costs to a minimal amount each year (zero, in fact).  It is amazing how much the cost of investing has decreased over the years, at least as far as direct costs are concerned.


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