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 Update August, 2019

As of August 2019, our combined portfolios are back to where they were in August of last year. This is mostly in line with VTI (Vanguard US market ETF) which was up about 3% and VEU (non US market ETF which was up about 1%).

Below are stocks to consider selling prior to the new purchases:

Portfolio One:

  • Nnvidia (NVDA) – the once high flying chipmaker stock is hit with slowing growth
  • Equinor (EQNR) – former Statoil is a Norwegian oil company hit by falling price of their currency and anti-oil sentiment in their own country

Portfolio Three:

  • Baidu (BIDU) – Chinese search engine less relevant in mobile era and new investments not yet paying off
  • Nnvidia (NVDA) – the once high flying chipmaker stock is hit with slowing growth
  • ConocoPhillips (COP) – US oil company hit by lower energy prices and relatively smaller footprint

Portfolio Four:

  • Equinor (EQNR) – former Statoil is a Norwegian oil company hit by falling price of their currency and anti-oil sentiment in their own country
  • Nnvidia (NVDA) – the once high flying chipmaker stock is hit with slowing growth
  • Box (BOX) – US SAAS provider not yet acquired by larger company and hit by recent earnings miss
  • Oracle (ORCL) – very well run and doing huge stock by back but trends running against this on premise software stock
  • Westpac (WBK) – Australian bank hit with tough regulatory, business, and real estate impacts

Portfolio Five:

  • Baidu (BIDU) – Chinese search engine less relevant in mobile era and new investments not yet paying off
  • Juniper (JNPR) – US networking company not yet taken over.  Reasonably well run with dividend but in a difficult space
  • ConocoPhillips (COP) – US oil company hit by lower energy prices and relatively smaller footprint
  • Westpac (WBK) – Australian bank hit with tough regulatory, business, and real estate impacts

Portfolio Six:

  • Baidu (BIDU) – Chinese search engine less relevant in mobile era and new investments not yet paying off
  • Nnvidia (NVDA) – the once high flying chipmaker stock is hit with slowing growth
  • ConocoPhillips (COP) – US oil company hit by lower energy prices and relatively smaller footprint

Portfolio Eight:

  • Nnvidia (NVDA) – the once high flying chipmaker stock is hit with slowing growth

Portfolio Eight Updated July 2019

Portfolio Eight is almost 4 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $2000 and the trustee $4000 for a total of $6000.  Current value is $7278 for a gain of $1278 or 21%, which is about 7.8% / year across the life of the fund.  See here for details or go to the link on the right.  We will look into selling General Motors (GM), Baozun (BZUN) and Nvidia (NVDA) this summer before buying additional stocks.

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 Three Updated May 2019

Portfolio Three is almost 12 years old.  The beneficiary contributed $6000 and the trusted $12,000 for a total of $18,000.  The current value is $22,338 for a gain of $4,338 or 24%, which is 3.3% / year when adjusted for the timing of cash flows.  See the details here or go to the links on the left.

We will look at selling Smart Global Holdings (SGH), Nvidia (NVDA) and Baidu (BIDU) prior to making our summer 2019 purchases.

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 Eight Updated December 2018

Portfolio Eight is three years old.  The beneficiary contributed $2000 and the trustee $4000 for a total of $6000.  Current value is $6359 for a gain of $359 or 6%, which is about 2.3% / year across the life of the fund.  See here for details or go to the link on the right.

Some stocks are 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
  • 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 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 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 2017

Below are our stock selections for 2017:

US Stocks

  1. Appian (APPN) – $24, 52 week range $17-$27, $1B market cap, no dividend, almost no debt.  Appian is an internet software company that provides automation software for corporate customers.  Well run and growing fast, went public recently and has done well since the IPO

2. Nvidia Corporation (NVDA) – $179, 52 week range $63-$191, $107B market cap, almost no dividend, $4B debt.  Nvidia makes chips for games and graphics cards and these chips are also being used for AI and machine learning use cases.

3. General Motors (GM) – $42, 52 week range $30-$42, $61B market cap, 3.8% yield, $55B debt.  GM is an iconic, global auto manufacturer with strong worldwide presence including China and has invested heavily in electric car technology.  Non US sales total 58% of volume (but a smaller percentage of profits).

4. Snapchat (SNAP) – $15, 52 week range $11-$29, $18B market cap, no dividend, no debt.  Snapchat went public and recently has lost almost half its value.  The company has over $2B in cash but is running a large loss due to operational expenses and acquisitions.  However, it is still strong in market and mind share and could also be an acquisition candidate for the right price

International Stocks

5. Baozun (BZUN) – $36, 52 week range $11-$41, $2B market cap, no dividend, little debt.  Baozun is a Chinese e-commerce provider for many major companies.

6. ABB (ABB) – $25, 52 week range $20-$25, $54B market cap, 3% yield, $7B debt.  ABB is a Swiss company and European conglomerate with strong interests in power and electricity generation.

Other

7. Gold ETF (IAU) – $12, 52 week range $11-$13, no dividend.  This ETF tracks the price of gold.  In case of a market correction (prices go down), gold often holds its value on a comparative basis.  On the other hand, gold pays no dividends and does not generate profits

We looked at bitcoin but there currently isn’t a direct bitcoin ETF and if someone wanted to trade bitcoin or ether they would be better off trading it directly.  These sorts of crypto currencies can cause taxation and other related issues and are too complex for this portfolio at the current time.