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 Six Updated May, 2019

Portfolio Six is almost 7 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $3500 and the trustee $7000 for a total of $10,500.  The current value is $11,358 for a gain of $858 or 8%, which is about 2% / year over the life of the fund.  For more details go here or to the link on the right.  This summer we will consider selling Electronic Arts (EA), Baozun (BZUN), Nvidia (NVDA) and Baidu (BIDU) before we make more purchases.

Portfolio Four Updated May 2019

Portfolio Four is almost 10 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $5000 and the trustee $10,000 for a total of $15,000.  The current value is $18,567 for a gain of $3,567 or 24%, which is about 3.8% / year over the life of the account.  Go here or to the link on the right for details.  We may look at selling Electronic Arts (EA), Nvidia (NVDA) and Gilead (GILD) this summer.

Portfolio One Updated May, 2019

Portfolio One is 17 years old.  The current balance is $45,725 (of which $11,087 is cash).  The beneficiary contributed $2500 (net of withdrawals) and the trustee $17,000 for a total of $19,500.  Thus gains are $26,048 or 134% on original investment, which is about 6.7% / year when adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  Go here for details or at the link.

One item to note (it applies to all portfolios, but particularly to this one, because of its age) is the impact of dividends on long term performance.  Most “simple” stock return calculations do not include dividends (they just show the rise or decrease in price over the period selected) which significantly understates the gains from stocks which pay significant dividends (especially when the dividends grow over time).

Electronic Arts (EA) and Nvidia (NVDA) are on watch for this portfolio.

Stocks on Watch, Summer 2019

As part of our investing round for the summer of 2019, we are looking at stocks to consider selling. The following stocks are on that list:

  • Baidu (BIDU) – they recently had their first loss and are way down
  • Baozun (BZUN) – stock performance far down, likely impacted by China / US trade disputes
  • Electronic Arts (EA) – far down with recent low performing franchise entries and hit by rise of Fortnite and mobile gaming
  • Gilead (GILD) – has not moved in years
  • General Motors (GM) – at risk with China / US trade disputes, automotive is a cyclical industry
  • Juniper (JNPR) – just kind of there, not growing, haven’t been taken over yet
  • Nvidia (NVDA) – went from huge growth to little / no growth
  • Smart Global Holdings (SGH) – missed earnings and hit hard
  • Equinor (EQNR) – formerly Statoil. Not moving much in years

In general will look to consolidate down the total # of stocks in the portfolio and will want to re-buy from the 2019 purchase list (to come) which will also include some stocks already in the one of the 8 existing portfolios.

Portfolio Six Updated December, 2018

Portfolio Six is six years old.  The beneficiary contributed $3500 and the trustee $7000 for a total of $10,500.  The current value is $10,860 for a gain of $360 or 3%, which is about 1% / year over the life of the fund.  For more details go here or to the link on the right.

We have several stocks on watch:

  • 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
  • Baozun (BZUN) – a Chinese e-commerce enablement fun has gone down recently tied to a slow down in growth for China overall.   On watch
  • 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

Portfolio Four Updated December 2018

Portfolio Four is 9 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $5000 and the trustee $10,000 for a total of $15,000.  The current value is $16,984 for a gain of $1,984 or 13%, which is about 2.3% / year over the life of the account.  Go here or to the link on the right for details.

Given the current market, we have some stocks that we are monitoring:

  • 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
  • ABB (ABB) – European industrial conglomerate which has fallen about 20% since we’ve bought it
  • 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
  • Box (BOX) – this is a well-run tech company that is a possible take over target.  They have gone down 25%+ with the overall tech market.  Will watch

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.