Portfolio One Updated April 2011

It is tax time and at the same time I am updating performance for each portfolio.

Portfolio One is the longest running portfolio. It started up right after the September 11, 2001 incident and so has been growing for nine and a half years. A total of $15,000 has been invested in this portfolio ($4500 from the beneficiary, $10,500 from the custodian) and the current value is $20,377, for a gain of $5377, or 36%. Adjusted approximately for the timing of the investment the rate of return is 6% / year.

There are 15 stocks in the portfolio, 9 from the US and 6 foreign ADR’s. The portfolio is reasonably diversified.

We have sold off 12 stocks over the life of the portfolio, and most of them have been good sales “in retrospect”. Unlike your broker I track what happened to the sales so if it subsequently soars then I can look back for analysis. Of all the ones I sold we bought Amazon way back in the day at around $15 / share and now it is at $170 / share. I sold it off half at $55 / share and half at $90 / share, and of the first batch we bought P&G which subsequently went up almost 50% with dividends since our purchase. Amazon was one of the dot.com survivors; there aren’t many of them, and many of them had an end value of zero (went bust). But still it is worth thinking about what those Amazon shares would be worth today… over $8000 (on an initial investment of around $700).

For tax purposes there is a bit of a complexity with foreign dividends. For return purposes I track the cash received, which is less the withholding done (on a country by country basis) for foreign dividends. The amount of withholding on this portfolio is small ($22) but it is still kind of annoying since I track down every penny in my analysis.

The real lesson on this like all others is holding your nerve… back in 2008 this portfolio was down to about 1/2 its value but we held on and pretty much everything bounced back and then some. Glad we held on, so far at least.

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