Follow up on 2012 Stock Picks

Every year we select six stocks for each portfolio to choose from, and they generally each buy two stocks (sometimes three if cash has piled up from previous sales or dividends). We picked six stocks and then we added one more as a mid-year replacement for stocks that were sold. The selections were:

1. PCS Wireless (no ticker, sold) – had a good run up when it was bought up by T Mobile. This is what we were hoping for
2. Facebook (FB) – recommended at its nadir, now nearly back up to its IPO price (almost a 100% gain)
3. Procter & Gamble (PG) – had a 20%+ run up, plus pays a good dividend
4. Sasol (SSL) – went up over 10% with a good dividend, was also hurt by the relative strength of the US currency vs. the South African Rand
5. Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) – a small gain and good dividend
6. Royal Dutch Shell B Shares (RDS.B) – a small loss, decent dividend, also hurt by UK currency vs. strong dollar

Our replacement stocks (mid year) to add to portfolios after sales were:

7. SPLUNK (SPLK), a technology stock, that went up over 50%, in about half a year
8. Garmin (GRMN), the GPS company, that went up over 10% in half a year (with a good dividend)
9. Wipro (WIT), an Indian outsourcing company, that went up a couple percent and has an OK dividend – it was hurt earlier by currency changes and a general hit to Indian outsourcing firms caused by a perceived decline in Western business contracts.

The Dow and S&P 500 both went up about 20% plus dividends over the same time frame. The non-US benchmark VEU (a Vanguard ETF) was up about 10% plus dividends over the same time frame (usually about half of our stock picks are non US companies, buying through ADR’s).

Thus those picks did well for 2012, probably a bit higher than the benchmarks when adjusted for the time value of money (half a year of SPLUNK helps). We hope to do as well as this with our 2013 picks.

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