It is time for my regular exercise and I am already sweating. That has much to do with the house being at 80F during one of the hottest and driest Junes for Seattle. Yes, we do get sunshine, and it doesn’t always rain. Regardless, June 30th is one of the two days when I conduct my semi-annual review of my portfolio. The other, naturally, is December 30th, another very distracting day and evening. These past six months have included some great stories, and yet, my portfolio’s value has barely budged. It’s actually down a bit. Evidently, not all of the stories were good ones. Great is not the same as good. I have been posting these for about a decade now, and doing it for longer than that. A pleasant surprise has been that others have decided to do the same thing, too. I hope it works for them.
One value of regular exercise is the visibility it brings to slow and steady progress and trends. If something only improves 1% per week, it improves 67% in a year, or 29% in a half year. Exercise is far easier when the results are positive. The hard part comes when hard times come. since my Triple Whammy of a few years ago, this exercise has rarely been easy and care-free. My fortunes weren’t tied to The Great Recession directly, but they did coincide, which meant my recovery options were dramatically reduced – just like everyone else’s. Finally, despite the continuation of my financial distress and the uneven-ness of the recovery, I have reasons for optimism. Of course, being an optimist means I’ll always find reasons for optimism; but these ones are real, honest.
The short version of the downside is that I watched two of my stocks do one of my least favorite finance moves. AMSC and RGSE had reverse splits. Both stocks are down. But they will recover. Right?
The short version of the upside is that two of the companies had good news. GigOptix should announce net positive income as of 2Q15. MicroVision has enough backlog and cash that I am no longer as worried about their bankruptcy.
The short version of the biotechs (AST & GERN) is that there’s lots of news, and none of it means much until they get to Phase 3 clinical trials, which hasn’t happened yet. Until then, they are as risky as ever – and ironically have the highest market caps of any of my investments.
This is also my time to consider the Economy and the Markets; but so much is going on there that it has become part of the daily newsfeed for Pretending Not To Panic.
Based on conventional criteria, the US looks troublesome; but relative to the rest of the world, the US looks relatively secure.
Regardless of the rest of my stocks, my asset portfolio has potentially increased dramatically because Zillow suggests that my house is now worth $66K more, a 26% rise in six months. Not that anyone has offered me that – yet. My stock portfolio hasn’t done that, and yet it may. If the house appreciates and the stocks don’t, I may have to sell. If the house appreciates and the stocks do too, then I may sell, but probably not. If my business improves – ah, but you see how complicated this can all become. That’s why every six months, for one day I only really consider the stocks (except to send out the end of month invoices, because, hey, business.)
For more about my investing strategy, read my book, Dream. Invest. Live.
For the details of the stocks, I post the semi-annual review of each of my stocks on various discussion boards. I could post the entire collection here, but 1) it would be very long, 2) the more public the conversation the more valuable it becomes, and 3) reading my posts on those boards introduces you to individuals who have different perspectives, strategies, and experiences. Collectively, those communities are more powerful than large financial institutions because the motivations and incentives are those of similar individual investors rather than that of profit-minded corporations.
Here are the links to the discussion boards I use. Feel free to comment here or there, and to pass along links to others. The bigger the discussion, the better the chance of valuable insights (as long as the trolls and flamers are moderated appropriately.)
The Motley Fool
Economy and Markets