See the end of the post for the current make up of my portfolio and the last four weeks of trades.
In a previous post about Walker & Dunlop I described the consequence of being on vacation while the company announced poor results, which was that I was not able to take advantage of a clear selling situation. The same was the case for Dex Media.
In the past I used the term “good enough investing” to describe what I’m trying to do with my portfolio. I work a full time job, have a life and need a break now and then, and all that means I just can’t be on top of everything. I try my best but I have found it necessary to employ techniques to mitigate this. In particular, I sell stocks when things aren’t working out.
While I’ve had my share of winners over the past month and a half (AIQ, NVS, NCT, NRF, IQNT to name a few), I’ve also had my share of losers (NKO, EXE, VTNC, and the above mentioned duo) with the result being that my portfolio has done not much of anything. While I remain hopeful that both Niko Resources and Extendicare eventually pan out, the fact is that thus far they haven’t. Read more
It’s a huge structural advantage not to have a lot of money. I think I could make you 50% a year on $1 million. No, I know I could. I guarantee that – Warren Buffett
I’m adding a simple year by year and quarterly performance table to the start of every portfolio update. I’ve had the on-line portfolio going for over 2 years now, and I find that the chart is less informative the longer the time horizon gets. The quote, which I have mentioned before, is more of a goal than a statement. Buffett says it’s possible, let’s try to prove him right.
I’ve already written about most of the new stocks that I added in the last month (Ainsworth Lumber, Tronox, Novus Energy,smaller positions in Lightstream Resources and Penn West, and lastly Niko Resources. In this post I will focus on some of the stocks I sold (including most of my large position in YRC Worldwide), and add some thoughts on oil and Canadian oil juniors.
I’m getting this update out a day late so all of the numbers are are of Friday July 19th.
The last four weeks of trades are available here.
To see the last four weeks of trades, click here.
Last month was an excellent month for my portfolio. I wrote about some of the significant moves that occurred over the first few weeks of May in this post, and I won’t repeat that discussion here. Apart from what was discussed there, I made only a few changes to my portfolio. I added Ambac (AMBC), which I wrote about here. I removed a number of the natural gas stocks, and I added a couple of new positions in the Health Care sector. I also subtracted and then added back some gold stock names, with the net sum of the moves being close to zero. Read more
This last week has been jam packed full of news, earnings and outsized moves. I don’t think I have ever had as many 10%+ days for stocks that I own (or have recently owned but unfortunately sold) as I did in the last week. While some of these moves do not seem attributable to any specific news (such as First Mariner and Atlantic Coast Financial) most of them do. And while I have not had time to fully digest all of the news (I haven’t had time to review what announced spin-off for IDT and so therefore won’t be touching on that) I did want to discuss the stocks that I have reviewed and can comment on in the paragraphs below:
I sold out of MBIA in all but one account about two weeks ago, which is unfortunate timing given what has transpired. Nevertheless I had my reasons, they remain valid, and you gain little by looking back at bad luck. When the stock dipped into the $13’s on the day of the announcement I was really surprised, I mean the Bank of America deal was what we had all been waiting for, but I took advantage of the opportunity and loaded up the truck with stock. Therefore MBIA is a large position for me right now – it seemed very close to a sure bet in the mid-13’s and so I bought 11% position, going on some margin to do so.
At some point shortly I am going to have to reduce that position (I’m uncomfortable with it being this large) but I am waiting for at least the conference call tomorrow to do that. And what I do with my shares will really depend on what is said – in particular what management says about structured unit on call. They may come out and say that they have commuted the worst exposure, the unit isn’t going to regulator, and they expect to realize ABV of $10 from it. In that case maybe MBIA is worth quite a bit more than National alone. We shall see. Read more
Early last year I warmed up to the idea that housing was in the early stages of recovery and this single idea generated a number of successful investments for me (NCT, NSM, IMH, MTG, RDN, HOV…). With many of these housing investments having now played out I have been trying to think of what big idea might drive my strategy in the next 9-12 months.
What occurred to me rather suddenly this week was that perhaps I had already figured that out, had even been acting on the idea, though I had not articulated it consciously.
Companies with excessive leverage have been shunned for the past 5 years. Many have lagged as questions about their ability to continue as a going-concern have superseded any potential out-performance to the upside if things take off.
I think that this might be the year that changes. Read more
I finished a post over the weekend giving some thoughts about the macro-environment and how it pertains to my portfolio. As a consequence of the conclusions drawn, my portfolio has been growing and my cash level decreasing, to the point where I have now been on margin for the last month and a half. Right now I have about 11% margin. While I am typically wary of using margin, when I look at what I own there are no stocks that I feel compelled to reduce. We’ll see if this turns out to be folly. This is, however, about as much risk as I’m comfortable with, so any stocks added hereon will have to be balanced by equivalent removals. And as per the strategy I profess, I will sell without remorse if the market turns abruptly.
On to some of the moves I made over the past 3 weeks. Read more
I was a little surprised by the reaction to the release of YRC Worldwide’s 4th quarter earnings. While the stock moved about 6% higher, I thought it would have moved more. In the first 15 minutes of trading when the stock ran up to $7.40, that seemed about right to me. But it did not stay there, quickly falling back below $7 and settling at $6.81.
I was impressed by how good the results were. I didn’t expect as much improvement as the company showed, especially what occurred at YRC Freight (the company owns 3 regional trucking businesses which they consolidate as their “regional” segment, and a nationwide LTL business called YRC Freight). Read more