Portfolio Performance As of May 2020 and Replacement Stock Selections

The stock market has recovered almost all of the losses incurred with the pandemic.  From peak to trough (Feb 2020 to March 2020) we lost about 23% of our value.  Today, we are down about 7% from peak.  Our percentages do not completely align with the market because some portfolios hold up to 20% cash and some bond investments (BND ETF from Vanguard) and Gold (IAU ETF ticker).  This performance generally aligns with riding the market down and then back up again.Portfolio Performance May 10 2020

Whether by luck or design, our portfolios did not hold most of the industries that bore the brunt of the Covid impact, like airlines, hotels, and commodities. We did have some stocks that we recently sold in some of these hard hit areas.

I reviewed the rest of the portfolio and we are continually “pruning down” the list of stocks that we hold. There are about 30 stocks held across the portfolio right now, down from about 40 or so in the relatively recent past. This does not include ETF’s.

The stocks that have driven the most value in the portfolio that are not bought across all the portfolio (because every beneficiary selects individually) are:

  • Electronic Arts (EA) – videogames
  • Mastercard (MA) – electronic payments & credit cards
  • CME Group (CME) – financial services
  • Alibaba (BABA) – Chinese e-commerce giant
  • Nvida (NVDA) – semiconductors
  • OKTA (OKTA) – SAAS provider of security services
  • Paypal (PYPL) – electronic payments
  • Procter & Gamble (PG) – iconic brand company
  • Taiwan Semi-conductor (TSM) – semiconductors
  • Union Pacific (UNP) – Railways
  • Gold ETF (IAU) – tracks price of gold

If the portfolios that are selecting new stocks don’t currently own one of the stocks listed above, they may want to consider buying them.

New stocks for May 2020:

  • Carrier (CARR) – manufacture and sale of Heating and cooling systems (HVAC).  Recently spun out from a conglomerate
  • Facebook (FB) – owner of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp seems to have recovered from past controversies
  • Cloudflare (NET) – security and edge networking has been growing with the crisis

Stocks To Pick:

Portfolio Four – select three stocks

Portfolio Five – select two stocks

Portfolio Six – select one stock

Portfolio Seven Updated December 2019

Portfolio seven is more than 4 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $2500 and the trustee $5000 for a total of $7500.  The current value is $10,526 for a gain of $3,026 or 40%, which is 11.5% / year when adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  See details here or at the link on the right.

Portfolio seven’s gains to date have mainly come from Mastercard the credit card company and Alibaba the Chinese e-commerce giant.

Portfolio Seven Updated May 2019

Portfolio Seven is almost 4 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $2000 and the trustee $4000 for a total of $6000.  Current value is $7846 for a gain of $1846 or 30%, which is about 11% / year over the life of the fund.  See here for details or at the link on the right.  We will look at whether or not to sell General Motors (GM) and Baozun (BZUN) before buying new stocks in the summer.

Portfolio Five Updated May 2019

Portfolio Five is almost 10 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $5000 and the trustee $10,000 for a total of $15,000.  The current value is $18,510 for a gain of $3,510 or 23% which is 23.8% adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  You can see details here or on the link on the right.

Prior to making purchases in the summer of 2019 we will look at selling Baozun (BZUN), General Motors (GM), Gilead Sciences (GILD), Juniper Networks (JNPR), and Baidu (BIDU).

Portfolio Seven Updated December 2018

Portfolio Seven is three years old.  The beneficiary contributed $2000 and the trustee $4000 for a total of $6000.  Current value is $7000 for a gain of $1000 or 17%, which is about 6.2% / year over the life of the fund.  See here for details or at the link on the right.

We have some stocks on watch:

  • Baozun (BZUN) – a Chinese e-commerce enablement fun has gone down recently tied to a slow down in growth for China overall.   On watch
  • General Motors (GM) – has fallen about 20% recently and taken hard steps including layoffs to get ahead of slowing car demand
  • Alibaba (BABA) – at about 70% of its 52 week peak, has been hit by slow down in China and also a possible previous over-valuation in software stocks

Portfolio Five Updated December 2018

Portfolio Five is 9 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $5000 and the trustee $10,000 for a total of $15,000.  The current value is $17,439 for a gain of $2,439 or 16% which is 2.7% adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  You can see details here or on the link on the right.

With the recent market performance we have several stocks on watch:

  • Alibaba (BABA) – at about 70% of its 52 week peak, has been hit by slow down in China and also a possible previous over-valuation in software stocks
  • Baozun (BZUN) – a Chinese e-commerce enablement fun has gone down recently tied to a slow down in growth for China overall.   On watch
  • Baidu (BIDU) – another Chinese internet company down about 30% off its peak.  Will watch like Alibaba, above
  • General Motors (GM) – has fallen about 20% recently and taken hard steps including layoffs to get ahead of slowing car demand

Portfolio Three Updated December 2018

Portfolio Three is 11 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $6000 and the trusted $12,000 for a total of $18,000.  The current value is $21,710 for a gain of $3,710 or 21%, which is 2.9% / year when adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  See the details here or go to the links on the left.

There are a few stocks we are looking at in the current market environment:

  • Nvidia (NVDA) – another former high flyer, this chip maker was buoyed by crypto mining and is down about 50% off its 52 week high, although it still has strong cash flow.  Will watch, may sell
  • Alibaba (BABA) – at about 70% of its 52 week peak, has been hit by slow down in China and also a possible previous over-valuation in software stocks
  • Facebook (FB) – it has been a bad year for Facebook and the stock is down about 30% off its highs.  Still strong financial performance, will watch
  • Baidu (BIDU) – another Chinese internet company down about 30% off its peak.  Will watch like Alibaba, above
  • ABB (ABB) – European industrial conglomerate which has fallen about 20% since we’ve bought it

Portfolio One Updated December, 2018

Portfolio One is a little more than 17 years old.  The current balance is $42,691 (of which $10,775 is cash).  The beneficiary contributed $2500 (net of withdrawals) and the trustee $17,000 for a total of $19,500.  Thus gains are $23,191 or 118% on original investment, which is about 6.2% / year when adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  Go here for details or at the link.

Although the market has not performed well lately, most of the stocks are in decent shape and the cash holdings (over 20% of portfolio, now yielding over 2%) limit downside risk (and upside opportunities later, assuming that the market goes back up at some point).

Some stocks on watch:

  • Alibaba (BABA) – at about 70% of its 52 week peak, has been hit by slow down in China and also a possible previous over-valuation in software stocks
  • Electronic Arts (EA) – this stock is at about 53% of its 52 week high, as the whole games market has been hit hard lately even though the fundamentals (revenue) aren’t that much different, possibly due to Fortnight and the potential impact of streaming.  Will watch, may sell
  • Nvidia (NVDA) – another former high flyer, this chip maker was buoyed by crypto mining and is down about 50% off its 52 week high, although it still has strong cash flow.  Will watch, may sell

Stock Selections for 2018

Stocks to choose from for 2018:

US Stocks

  • CME Group (CME) – a financial firm that trades and clears futures products and has a high dividend (they have an annual dividend plus a special year end dividend of 3.5%+ in total).  They make money from trade volume which tends to increase in times of volatility or disruption in the markets, and are thus kind of a “hedge”
  • PayPal (PYPL) – PayPal spun off from eBay and makes more money as the world moves to digital payment methods from cash.  They also own Venmo which they have yet to monetize (existing stock owned by Portfolio One)
  • Union Pacific (UNP) – Union Pacific is a large and well-run railroad company (existing stock owned by Portfolios Five and Six)
  • Electronic Arts (EA) – An American video game developer that has been hit lately but could be a bet on the potential of this sector and streaming

Foreign Stocks

  • Inditex (IDEXY) – this Spanish company is known in the USA as “Zara” and is a leader in “fast fashion” and integrating e-commerce with direct retail
  • Alibaba (BABA) – the Chinese e-commerce giant has been growing and expanding into different domains (existing stock owned by Portfolios Three and Seven)
  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM) – this manufacturer of semiconductors counts Apple as a large customer and has been doing very well for many years (existing stock owned by Portfolio One)
  • Infosys (INFY) – Indian outsourcer and technology company has been doing well and benefits from the weaker Indian currency (existing stock owned by Portfolios One and Three).  Note – this stock just split 2/1 effective 9/12 so the price history will look strange if you see it online

Other

  • Gold ETF (IAU) – this ETF tracks the price of gold.  Gold does not provide a dividend but could be a hedge against inflation or disruption

Between the eight portfolios, there are almost 40 different stocks to follow.  Generally, we select “new” stocks rather than re-recommend existing stocks.  However, for this round, we will have some “new” stocks but also continue to recommend some existing stocks that the portfolios can choose from.  This will slow the overall growth of stocks across all the portfolios which will make it simpler to track.

We will continue to recommend a mix of US and foreign stocks to choose from, although each portfolio can select whatever they’d like (they don’t have to split their investments equally between both).  Recently the US dollar has gone up, resulting in (relatively) poorer performance for foreign stocks.  However, this can change and these are long-term portfolios so we recommend US and foreign stocks rather than taking an effective “position” on the future direction of US currency (i.e. if you thought the dollar was going up indefinitely you would buy US based assets exclusively).  Folks often fail to remember the past, when the US dollar fell for years against many different currencies.

Portfolio Seven Updated August 2017

Portfolio Seven is 2 years old.  The trustee invested $2000 and the beneficiary $1000 for a total of $3000.  The current value is $4209 for a gain of $1209 or 40%, which is 24% / year adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  You can see the detail here or in the link to the right.

When you have a portfolio with only 4 stocks like this one, an increase in a single stock can impact your performance (positively or negatively).  In this case Alibaba (BABA) the Chinese e-commerce giant has done very well which has accounted for 2/3 of the total growth in portfolio value.

We have one stock “on watch” which is Spirit Airlines (SAVE).  The stock is down about 40% from its high price.  We are considering selling this or holding on as it competes with other airlines.

Portfolio Seven Updated March 2016 – Tax Time

Portfolio_7G_Mar_2016

Portfolio Seven is about half a year old.  The beneficiary invested $500 and the trustee $1000 for a total of $1500.  The current value of the portfolio is $1357, for a loss of ($143) or negative (9.5%).  Both Alibaba (BABA) and Mastercard (MA) have come down about 10% since purchased in the fall.

Due to the fact that there is only modest dividend and no sales in this portfolio we were not sent a tax return by the brokerage.

Portfolio Three Updated March 2016 – Tax Time

Portfolio Three is our third longest lived portfolio, at 8 1/2 years.  The beneficiary contributed $4500 and the trustee $9000 for a total of $13,500.  The current value is $12,814 for a loss of ($685) or (5%).  Adjusted for the timing of cash flows, this is (1%) a year.  The detail can be found in the links on the right or here.

This year we sold Yahoo after all the drama and bought ConocoPhillips, Alibaba and Facebook.

There are a few stocks on watch.  LinkedIn (LNKD) dropped almost half its value when it issued forward earnings guidance; since then the stock has stabilized and is on watch.  I still believe in the company although many others apparently do not.  ConocoPhillips (COP) was hit immediately by the collapse in oil prices (even though we were buying it on a dip) – this is also on watch to see how they do in this difficult environment for commodity companies.  Wynn (WYNN) is a casino company with properties in Macau China catering to heavy Chinese gamblers; the crackdown on corruption has severely dampened earnings.

For taxes in 2015, there is a net loss for the year due primarily to a fall in value of Weibo (WB) which was pummeled in the great Chinese stock market rout and we sold the stock (it since gained back some of its value).  

Of the other stocks we’ve sold in recent years they are still below the price we sold them at.

Portfolio Three After 2015 Purchases and Sales

Portfolio_Three_Updated_Fall_2015

Attached is a screen shot from Google Finance of Portfolio Three after stock sales and purchases for 2015.  New stocks are Alibaba (BABA), ConocoPhillips (COP), and Facebook (FB).  The returns by stock represent stock price appreciation not dividends so dividend stocks have a higher return than listed.

Stock Selections for 2015

Attached are the stock selections for 2015.  We are expanding the list slightly because most of the funds not only have new cash to invest for 2015 but we also did a recent round of selling that needs to be re-invested.

US Stocks

  1. Box (BOX) – $13, 52 week range $11-$24, $1.5B market cap, no dividend, little debt.  Box provides a cloud-based document storage and governance capability and is growing rapidly among Fortune 500 corporations
  2. Mastercard (MA) – $101, 52 week range $75-$101, $114B market cap, 0.7% yield, $1.5B debt.  Mastercard is a global credit card brand that benefits from the long-term migration of cash and checks to credit.  Their biggest competitor, Visa, recently announced a merger with Visa Europe which likely will distract that company for several years and give Mastercard an opportunity to pick up market share
  3. ConocoPhillips (COP) – $55, 52 week range $41-$74, $68B market cap, 6% yield, $25B debt.  ConocoPhillips is an oil and gas exploration company that is a major bet on future price rises for natural gas and oil with technical knowhow and efficient production.  They recently made major cuts in response to the commodity price collapse
  4. Union Pacific (UNP) – $86, 52 week range $79-$124, $73B market cap, 2.6% yield, $13B debt.  Union Pacific operates a massive US rail network and has been hit recently by reductions in the industrial and commodity economies.  However, they are highly efficient and represent a solid long term bet on industrial growth and recovery

Foreign Stocks

  1. Tata Motors (TTM) – $30, 52 week range $21-$51, $19B market cap, no dividend, $11B.  Tata Motors is an Indian based company that benefits from low costs and growth in the Indian car market and also owns Jaguar and Land Rover.  The stock will be down a bit early next week because they just released earnings and showed an unexpected loss due to a one time event
  2. China Eastern Airlines (CEA) – $30, 52 week range $20-$50, $8B market cap, no dividend, $6B debt.  China Eastern Airlines can benefit from the growth in outbound Chinese tourism and investment as well as potential government mandated consolidation in the airlines sector which could result in higher profits and reduced competition
  3. Alibaba (BABA) – $83, 52 week range $57-$120, $207B market cap, no dividend, $8B debt.  Alibaba is a major web commerce / mobile player in China.  Much of Yahoo’s value was based on an ownership stake in this entity (we recently sold off Yahoo)
  4. Novartis (NVS) – $89, 52 week range $88-$106, $214B market cap, 2.7% yield, $22B debt.  Novartis is a major Swiss based drug maker

Wildcards

This is a new section.  These are some riskier stocks either because of high prices or uncertain outcomes.

  1. Tesla (TSLA) – $232, 52 week range $181-$286, $30B market cap, no dividend, $2.6B debt.  Tesla is a maker of electric cars led by the charismatic Elon Musk.  Their valuation is very high considering that they lose money, gas prices are low which reduces the savings from electricity, and they deliver a fraction of the cars that a “major” automotive giant would.  On the other hand, their fan base is passionate and their design is praised
  2. Facebook (FB) – $107, 52 week range $72-$110, $301B market cap, no dividend, little debt.  Facebook is the ubiquitous social media presence with a huge and growing global and mobile footprint and messaging.  Their market cap has almost tripled since their IPO and are led by the charismatic Mark Zuckerberg
  3. Cheniere (LNG) – $46, 52 week range $43-$82, $11B market cap, no dividend, $16B debt.  Cheniere is a long term bet on liquified natural gas, which takes (relatively) cheap US gas and ships it to offshore countries seeking clean energy and diversified energy sources.  This is a risky but possible bet because the facilities are mostly built but yet to ship gas and prices are falling, but the long term upside is also large if they can survive and prosper

Portfolio Five Updated October 2015

Portfolio five is six years old.  The beneficiary contributed $3500 and the trustee has contributed $7000 for a total of $10,500.  The current value is $11,297 for a gain of $797 or 7.6%, which is 1.8% / year.  The details can be found here or you can use the links on the right.

Portfolio five has a couple of stocks on watch.  Yahoo (YHOO) has most of its value tied to the Chinese company Alibaba (BABA).  Seaspan (SSW) has a very high dividend at 9% and is on watch to see if that is sustainable.