Portfolio Four Updated December, 2010

Portfolio Four began last year and this is the start of the second year of investing, with a total contribution to date of $3000. The performance has been roughly flat, and with four stocks in the portfolio it is subject to changes based on the price change of a single stock.

These newer portfolios benefit from free commissions and no costs; a slight offset is that the interest rate that they receive on cash is minuscule due to today’s rock-bottom low interest rates.

A couple of stocks on watch in this portfolio – NUCOR (NUE) is a non-union US steelmaker that has traditionally been well run. While I thought stimulus spending would raise demand, NUE missed guidance in Q3 and is trending down, although this is partially offset by an excellent dividend. Will monitor this stock and recommend a sale if it doesn’t turn around. Also on watch is Exelon, the utility stock with large nuclear holdings that would have benefited significantly from cap and trade (because they own low emission nuclear plants and this would cause the price of coal to rise, earning them windfall profits). Down the road at some point EXC should be worth a lot as generation in the US starts to keel over, allowing the remaining base load assets to earn monopoly profits (since we aren’t building any more and wasting our time on marginal alternative technologies). We will continue to monitor EXC as well.

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