I had a plan. I had a plan to write about one thing based on What The F…, then I answered a Spam Call (I answer Spam Calls) that made me want to write about “Having Fun With Spammers, and then looked at my stocks and decided to switch to updating my Semi-Annual Portfolio Review because five little things have had a bigger effect than I realized. The spammers can wait.
Semi Annual Exercise EOY 2022
For those who have never encountered my semi-annual portfolio exercise I’ll quote myself.
“Here’s my semi-annual exercise to see if I remember why I own the stocks I own, and so I can check back and see if their stories have changed. I post in case it helps others too.”
The full story is back there and then. Here we are, I am, and my portfolio is only about a month later, and an opportunity to make an observation that touches on What The F…, but in a good way.
Typical, common, whatever waffle word you want, long-term market performance is less than 10%. Atypical happens. Ask honest folks who bought and rode the Internet Bubble up. Ask honest folks who were caught in the crash at the start of the Great Recession (which I consider the Second Great Depression.) But, 5%-10%, and usually around 7% is the number I hear and read for portfolios based on publicly-traded stocks.
Two of my stocks had good days, recently, so I decided to check on them, their performance since my portfolio exercise, and the rest of my stocks, too.
YTD stock performance
- GERN 39.2%
- LCTX 13.8%
- MVIS 39.0%
- SOLO 76.2%
- WNDW 85.2%
LCTX is the laggard at 13.8%, and that’s in one month.
Are there reasons? Of course there are reasons. I wonder what they are.
- GERN – Geron announced results for their cancer treatment based on telomeres. Governmental approval looks more likely, and hopefully soon.
- LCTX – Lineage Cell announced news about their cell transplant therapy for improving the outcomes for spinal cord injury patients. It may not be as soon as GERN’s news, but maybe soon enough.
- MVIS – MicroVision (pause for the groans) just purchased a company for $16M, which evidently comes with a client base, or at least a very promising set of technology, patents, and employees.
- SOLO – Electrameccanica is up because… Hmm. One article says sell and another says buy, and maybe the stock is bouncy because no one truly knows how to estimate the business prospects of a three-wheeled electric vehicle which is either too bizarre to catch on, or the right kind of bizarre for some new market niche. Shrug.
- WNDW – Solar Window is up because… Can I just do a Copy&Paste from SOLO and change it to read solar power from window panels?
These kinds of results look like reasons to celebrate! So why don’t I?
Well, I do; but 100% of a small number is a small number. Repeat enough times and head towards infinity rather rapidly; but only towards, not all the way to. There is a limit to the wealth in the world.
This kind of performance can also be ephemeral. If it can go up that fast, it can go down that fast; and the money isn’t made until the stock is sold and the money clears the account.
I did splurge a little. It was much easier to have a very nice lunch with a very nice friend in one of my preferred restaurants and not have to fight over the bill, or avoid it. Besides, with friends, everything evens out, eventually.
The basis for this blog is my book about my personal finances, Dream. Invest. Live. I am not a financial professional so I can not give advice, but I can tell stories about my life and how I live it. Hence, the broad range of topics on this blog. The key for me is in the title. Investing is merely a bridge between dreaming and living that dream. Living is much more important than Investing, and Dreaming is free.
Go back far enough and see the days when I, er, not me but my portfolio, gained on the order of $100K in a day. And the days when I also lost $100K. This has not been a risk-free strategy. One reader called it a get-rich-slowly strategy. I won’t know how this comes out, but the slowly has been too slow – and yet, the previous few weeks have been encouraging.
My definition of ‘rich’ begins below $1M. $1M is a nice target, but not necessary for my frugal lifestyle. Hiking, skiing, bicycling, dancing, and socializing don’t require much. My portfolio can reach those levels if it doubles at least five more times. For some, that seems easy. It has happened once (if I go back far enough), that’s only four more times. Others know that doubling that many times in a row with similarly large losses is highly unlikely.
Unlikely happens, in both directions.
It is easy to apply conventional wisdom to a fault. Markets and portfolios can rise or fall far more than the typical, normal, expected averages. Typical, normal, and expected are words that are being challenged more frequently, lately. What’s going to happen? I don’t know, but I do know that change can happen with or without news, with or without a notification; and the celebrations are worth celebrating because life is about living – but maybe wait until the money clears the account.