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Taking Stock

March 30th, 2010 at 06:55 pm

Today I decided to analyze my stock portfolio, something I haven't done in over a year. Here is the lowdown:

1. The portfolio has now surpassed the high of October 2007;

2. It's gained 95% since the low of February 2009;

3. Overall gain since inception has averaged ~7% a year;

4. I have not bought or sold any stocks or mutual funds in years;

5. My portfolio consists of 90% individual stocks and 10% mutual funds;

6. My best performing stocks in terms of gain over purchase price are: AAPL, SBUX, PG, WMT, ABT, HPQ, AMZN;

7. I buy stocks based on liking/using a company's product, not on a high-level analysis. (Note: I DO NOT recommend this approach!) For example, I bought AAPL at $6 a share in 1996, because I'd used Mac computers since they first came out in 1985. I was lucky... AAPL has split twice and has had outstanding gain;

8. Most (but not all) stocks I bought outperformed mutual funds I bought (VFINX, SNXFX, SWPPX);

9. When I decide to buy a stock, I will buy between 100-500 shares;

10. As much as I'm interested in personal finance, I just haven't gotten into educating myself about the stock market, but maybe this is an area to explore. I still feel like a rookie.

I've always thought of my stocks as an asset I'd probably leave to my children or a charity and had not counted on these funds for retirement, but it's a good backup option. On the other hand, my retirement accounts (403b, IRAs, 457), some of which are invested in mutual funds, are entrusted to a professional financial manager.

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In other news, dh and I have been in ID for the last two weeks, enjoying some special time with my daughters and SILs. The weather's been colder than CA, but nothing unbearable. Dh has a new interest: photographing birds and wildlife, so we've spent hours at local parks and wildlife preserves. Idaho has abundant wildlife and beautiful landscapes, so there are endless photo ops. Dh just spent a small fortune upgrading to a better camera (Canon EOS 7D) but saved money on taxes (ID is 6% vs. CA @ 9.25%).

At the end of the week, we'll drive back to CA (with TC the cat) to spend Easter with family and friends. I'm looking forward to seeing my sister, niece, grandniece, and grandnephew. I love how the kids get excited about their Easter egg hunt and we'll all have a wonderful brunch with close friends and family.

Then in mid-April, dh and I are off to Mexico for a few weeks to explore some major archeological ruins in the states of Tabasco and Yucatan. From our base in Villahermosa, we will go to La Venta and Palenque. Then we'll fly to Merida, and will go to Uxmal and Chichen-Itza from there.


6 Responses to “Taking Stock”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hey, that's really great news!

    Uh, I'm kind of worried that most of your nest egg is in individual stocks, even if they are large, blue chips.

    I'm glad that they have out-performed your mutual funds, but that's also because they are just as capable of under-performing. Even blue chips are often times more volatile than many mutual funds.

    What worries me even more is that, forgive me, this is an area that you are not experienced in? So, I'm just worried for your sake to make sure that your nest egg, and therefore, your financial future is indeed protected.

  2. MonkeyMama Says:

    BA - she said this is just extra money. Her nest egg is professionaly managed.

    My dad also dabbles in stocks for a small portion of his portfolio (less than 5%?). He's made a lot of money over the years. It's not my thing - but maybe some day when I have a little extra to play with, I will change my tune. "Investing in what you know," makes sense.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    OH! If that's the case, then nevermind.... Although I don't see that explicitly stated in the entry? Still probably something I missed reading. Big Grin

  4. Analise Says:

    BA - Monkeymama is right... my stock portfolio is less than 10% of my total net worth, and not an asset I planned to use for retirement income. The retirement accounts are managed by a fellow I've used for more than 20 years and I will begin drawing on these at age 70 1/2. For now, I am getting along fine with my state teacher's pension. But thank you for your concern and observations. It definitely would be risky if this were my nest egg.

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    10%? Beautiful. Big Grin

  6. Jerry Says:

    I forget about sales tax sometimes... I grew up in Oregon (no sales tax) and then lived in New Hampshire (no sales tax), and now we are living overseas for a few years (no sales tax). And it wasn't on purpose, either! It's nice to have some insurance of paying what the sales tag says, though, and it leads to no miscalculations at the register...
    Jerry

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