Hello Friends! Thanks so much for stopping by and visiting my blog, Stock Picks Bob's Advice! As always, please remember that I am an amateur investor, so please remember to consult with your professional investment advisers prior to making any investment decisions based on information on this website!
I wanted to share with all of you this beautiful photograph from In The Headlights called "Water Colors". As Riannan writes, the photo "..put me in a calm state immediately. There is a Zen beauty and serenity to them that I find very pleasing."
But what does this have to do with my portfolio?---I can almost hear all of you asking that question. My point is that my activity since my last Portfolio Update on April 6, 2008 has been nil. It is not that there haven't been opportunities for selling or trading. It is just like the comments about patience from Nonin Chowaney at the Nebraska Zen Center, who quotes from Lao Tzu:
"Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
till the right action arises by itself?
The Master doesn't seek fulfillment,
but not seeking, not expecting,
is present, and can welcome all things."
I am far from any kind of expert at things Zen, but the idea of waiting patiently for the right time to act seems apropos to me.
In other words, my actions in the market are directed by my own holdings. My sales generally have been made when prices dictate a sale, and my purchases are directed by other portfolio-initiated 'signals'. And sitting calmly, avoiding the temptation of 'trades' and activity, my portfolio is working well to direct me to action or not.
Since I have been associated with the Covestor website, you can now visit my Covestor page and monitor my performance at least since I joined Covestor (June 12, 2007). However, this website, while now including my blog entries on my Covestor Blog, does not monitor the performance of many of my purchases preceding my participation in Covestor. Thus the utility of these reviews.
As a change on this review, I would like to post some charts of each of my six holdings and show the points at which I plan on selling shares, which for me includes plans for both sales on the upside as well as downside sales.
The holdings are listed in alphabetic order of their symbols, followed by the number of shares, date of purchase, price of purchase (cost basis), latest price (5/9/08), and percentage unrealized gain or (unrealized loss).
Copart (CPRT), 210 shares, 9/27/07, $33.73, $41.50, 23.04%
I have not had any sales of Copart on the upside or downside, and thus, my downside sale would be an (8)% loss or .92 x $33.73 = $31.03, or on the upside, I plan on selling 1/7th of my holding (30 shares) should the stock reach a 30% appreciation point (my first target for a sale). This would work out to 1.3 x $33.73 = $43.85.
Covance (CVD, 102 shares, 4/9/07, $62.61, $83.08, 32.69%.
I have sold shares of Covance once on 10/25/07, thus, on the downside my sale point is moved up to 'break-even' or $62.61. On the upside, my next partial sale would be at a 60% appreciation target, which works out to 1.6 x $62.61 = $100.18. At that point, I would plan on selling 1/7th of my remaining shares or 102/7= 14 shares. Of course, on the downside, my plan is to sell all shares should the stock decline to that level.
Let's take a look at the 'point & figure' chart on Covance from StockCharts.com (recall I am just posting the purchase point, the upside sale and the downside sale points on these charts.)
IHS (IHS), 140 shares, 10/1/07, $58.53, $67.23, 14.87%.
I have not sold any shares of IHS so my loss limit would be at 92% of the purchase price or .92 x $58.53 = $53.85. On the upside, my first sale of 1/7th of my holding or 20 shares would be at the 30% appreciation level which works out to 1.3 x $58.53 = $76.09. Thus, the 'point & figure' chart on IHS from StockCharts.com showing these points on the graph:
Morningstar (MORN), 103 shares, 11/22/05, $32.57, $73.90, 126.86%
Since purchasing Morningstar shares in 2005, I have sold portions of this holding four times: at 30%, 60%, 90%, and 120% levels. On the upside, my next sale of 1/7th of my holding or 103/7= 14 shares, would be at a 180% appreciation level or 2.80 x $32.57 = $91.20. On the downside, at 1/2 of the highest appreciation sale point or at 120%/2 = 60% appreciation level, all of my shares would be sold. This works out to 1.6 x $32.57 = $52.11. If we look at the 'point & figure' chart on Morningstar from StockCharts.com, we can see these points graphed:
ResMed (RMD) 150 shares, 2/4/05, $29.87, $40.28, 34.86%.
I have sold portions of ResMed twice, at 30% and 60% appreciation levels. Thus, on the downside all shares of ResMed should be sold at 1/2 of 60% or back to the 30% appreciation level. This works out to a sale at 1.3 x $29.87 = $38.83. On the upside, the next sale would be 1/7th of my holding or 150/7 = 21 shares at 1.9 x $29.87 = $56.75. Reviewing the 'point & figure' chart on ResMed from StockCharts.com we can identify these points:
Meridian Bioscience (VIVO), 171 shares, 4/21/05, $7.42, $28.08, 278.49%.
VIVO is my most profitable stock having sold portions 8 times already, at 30, 60, 90, 120, 180, 240, 300, and 360% appreciation levels. Thus, on the upside, my next partial sale would be at a 450% appreciation level (!) which works out to 5.5 x $7.42 = $40.81, at which time I would plan on selling 1/7th of my shares or 171/7 = 24 shares. On the downside, at 1/2 of the highest appreciation sale recorded, this would work out to a 360%/2 or 180% appreciation level. Calculating this, we have 2.80 x $7.42 = $20.78.
Here is the 'point & figure' chart on Meridian (VIVO) from StockCharts.com showing these points:
Thus, I am still at 6 positions. As I have previously noted, my minimum for my portfolio is 5 positions with a maximum of 20.
The current market value of my securities (May 11, 2008) is $45,056.74, with $234.87 in the money market portion of the account.
As of 5/10/08, I had $(4,534.09) in realized net short-term losses, and $3,283.50 in realized net long-term gains, for a net of $(1,250.29) in realized losses in 2008. In 2008 I have paid a total of $(221.13) in margin interest and have total income of $53.82.
My account, as of 5/9/08, has $14,289.41 in unrealized gains.
Thanks again for stopping by! I hope the more detailed view of my positions and my current 'inactivity' is explained. Of course, I shall step up my trading activity as my own portfolio dictates. Meanwhile, I shall be trying to exercise the 'Zen' of trading patience!
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them on the blog or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yours in investing,