As I note at the start of my stock synopses that are posted on the discussion boards listed below;
“INTRO 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.“
Portfolio analyses can be made overly complex. Single portfolios are tough enough if money flows in and out. Multiple portfolios are tougher, especially if money flows from one to another, like when I had to sell some stock in my IRA to add cash to my regular account from which I pay bills. And then, there are years when one stock can act as a summary of the complexity. Frequent readers won’t be surprised that MVIS fits that description.
In April 2020, MVIS was priced at $0.15. Dismal times for my portfolio. By the end of 2020 it had climbed to just about $5. Hope! The percentage rise was great, but a large percentage increase of a small number can still be a small number. But that hope, that was valuable. Within the first quarter of 2021, MVIS rose to $28, with some interesting intra-day spikes. Investor sentiment carried my sentiments higher, with the potential of easing lots of monetary and personal anxieties. By mid-year it was back to just over $16. Now, it is back to about where it was 12 months ago; ~$5.
The part that is less obvious is the emotional ride. Hope rose as the stock became a good source of story. The hope took a while to settle in, and when it did my mood began to improve as years of patience and struggles looked to be over. Then the slips, and the slips, and the rationalization that “Well, at least it is better than two years ago.” As the stock dropped 50% from its peak and personal expenses rose the numbers looked less optimistic, but the optimism that remained superficially continued while an unease crept in beneath it. In the midst of a complex year, it took a while to recognize the emotional ride of seeing heights then having to accept a retreat to overly-practiced coping mechanisms. It is a good thing I was frugal by choice years before it became a necessity.
The stock charts are easier to draw. The emotional charts are more important. The two are as tied as the words ‘personal’ and ‘finance’.
There are many ways to measure a portfolio. My broker, Schwab, and others provide a variety of ways that also provide a variety of answers depending on what is measured: individual stocks, IRA vs regular portfolios, cash flows, deposits, withdrawals, performance relative to cost basis, or yearly, or the rest of the market, etc. Take your pick for your portfolio and your personal perspective.
One basic measure captures the personal and the financial: how much do I have to work? Without assets, income heads straight to expenses, and hopefully there’s something left over. Many aren’t fortunate enough to have excess. Work is a necessity. At the other end of the spectrum, assets are sufficient to sustainable retire. Work becomes discretionary. Work because I want to (but am I taking away someone else’s opportunity to have a job to they can meet their basic needs?). The middle is most common; a bit of excess, or at best more than enough to live but not enough to retire. I am in the first of those three parts of the continuum (#ALAYCPYB).
Within these last two years I’ve been able to see the entire spectrum, though my re-retirement was only glimpsed at the time. At that time, however, projections of my stocks suggested I could (not guaranteed but could) have enough assets by the end of the year to cover the majority of my money-related anxieties, and maybe even re-retire. My physiological and emotional health looked forward to that. Sigh. I’ll check my lottery tickets soon, maybe after the New Year begins. (The roads are a bit icy here, now.)
And yet, I feel confident about 2022.
LTCX and GERN, my two biotechs, both announced (forward looking statement alert) expectations of commercial availability of their respective treatments within the next few years. News about treating people beyond trials is encouraging. Twelve months from now those stocks may be much more in demand.
MVIS has been a rocket ship roller coaster, and 21st century rocket ships can fly again. At least one product has launched. Another seems imminent. Others are advancing. The company is better known and respected. And management was smart enough to raise enough funds to skip a buyout and possibly remain independent.
NPTN announced that it would be bought out, so I redeployed those funds to SOLO (electric vehicles for sale now with more models to come) and WNDW (solar energy windows which have uses that opaque panels can’t match – e.g. greenhouses.) Those holdings are new, small, and encouraging; but largely moot unless I can find funds to bolster those positions. But, that’s the way investing works.
My personal finances outside of my portfolios also elicit encouragement, but those are outside the scope of my semi-annual portfolio review. That story will be chronicled, as usual, in the rest of this blog. For more details about the stocks, here are links to various discussion boards where you can find my synopses, as well as others’ points of view. For more details about how I do what I do, there’s a book that I wrote at the request of several friends: Dream. Invest. Live. Maybe you can help my personal finances by buying a copy – though the frugal part of me recommends checking one out from a library.
The following links are to various discussion boards I follow. Many of the independent investors who contribute to the discussions provide in-depth analyses that either aren’t available elsewhere, or would cost too much to buy. The other advantage is the diversity of perspectives. Unfortunately, I don’t engage as much as I did before. Some discussions have degraded due to lack of moderators, or have too many immoderate voices. Some boards are effectively ghost towns, or feel like cavernous empty warehouses. Regardless, here are the sites I continue to visit, even if it is only to lurk and listen.
I encourage you to tune in, because more voices (as long as they’re mature) make for a better conversation. Maybe I’ll read you there.