Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Shutting down portfolio, starting up new portfolio on Instavest

I'm deciding to shut down the Ten Grand Chicago portfolio as I have pretty much liquidated all my positions with exception of XHB ETF (Hombuilders) that I continue to hold in my account.  I started this experiment back in 2008 and after 8 years, the portfolio has garnered 26.4% total return.  On a annualized basis however, it is only 2.98%.  I would have done better moving that into the S&P500 (SPY ETF) periodically and taken a nap.   In any case, it's time to start anew and continue investing, but using a new service called Instavest.  It's a lot easier for me to track performance and see investments made by others.  Think of it as a community of investors putting their skin in the game investing their own funds and writing about why their position is worthy to "coinvest" with.  You can follow lead investments and get notified when the lead investor takes action to add to the position or sell it.  You can learn more about them at

If you like what you see there and open up an account, please use this link and Instavest will deposit $50 in your account.  I started on July of 2015 managing a new pool of funds and netting 5% gains. The goal is to get above 10% by the end of the year.  You can continue to follow my picks and write up analysis there.

Happy Investing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Easing into Oil today IEO (iShares US Oil and Gas Exploration)

Yes, I'm still here and still investing.  Haven't updated the Portfolio in quite some time, but 2013-2014 have been good years.  The playbook is not rocket science for today's IEO ETF pick.  Oil is getting hammered and this ETF fund is a safe long term (5-10 year time horizon) pick.  Dividend Yield should be steady and healthy.   I picked up SPY (S&P 500 ETF) and XHB (Home Builders ETF) back in 2008 and they've paid off handsomely. Same play but this time for Oil.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Still 3 million fewer jobs...

Interesting read of the day comes from NPR showing an interesting chart outlining the percentage of jobs relative to peak employment right before every US recession since WWII.  I found this interesting because the Dow has hit all times highs, while this trajectory in the chart shows we are still a ways away from getting employment back to where it used to be.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Q4 2012 Portfolio Performance

After a much needed hiatus to focus on buying a new home and a new job, I'm back.  I haven't actively managed the portfolio for over a year and half, selling most of my positions at the end of 2011 to buy that new home.  First order of business is to see how things wrapped up at the end of 2012.

I have 3 remaining positions:
  • XLF - Financial Select SPDR ETF
  • XHB - SPDR S&P HomeBuilders ETF
  • Cash

The Home Builders ETF (XHB) has done extremely well since I picked it up in the depths of economic despair of 2008 holding a total gain of 52.9%.  Did you think home builders would come back?  Come back it did.  This one ETF alone held up the portolio for all of 2012.  Not a bad way to come back in and lead off 2013.

Time to finish up this damn coffee analysis of Starbucks (SBUX), Tim Hortons (THI), and Dunkin' Brands (DNKN).

Monday, September 24, 2012

Back at it with Coffee


It has been almost an entire year with no activity, but I'm coming back at it with coffee.  Will be covering the likes of Starbucks (SBUX), Tim Horton's (THI), and Dunkin' Doughnuts (DNKN).  

Friday, November 11, 2011

How them apples Mickey? Pretty good

Disney's quarterly earnings just reaffirmed my decision to purchase last August when the market was bashing this company. 7% revenue gain from a year ago.
Full story:,0,6869494.story
Still happy to know that I can still pick 'em in this environment.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Driving value in a down environment

A couple of interesting things I came across today. The first one comes from UBS which paints a picture that equities are still not cheap. The endless stream of negative news from the media just continues to pile on. There just doesn't seem to be anything positive or any glimmer of light to look forward to, from the European debt crisis, to the sluggish job outlook here in the US. The article is a pretty good read which looks at overall PE for the world. Yes, the "world" which they pin the forward looking "fair" PE at 13x earnings, while the current PE is running 9.9x 2012 earnings. Logic looks simple... The "world" is trading below fair value, so one way to move some cash is into a low cost fund that encompasses the world, like Vanguard's Total Stock fund. However, the article's main point is that due to current global risks with no signs of stability, there is more risk to the downside. I tend to agree with this, but at the same time as I've said before, this presents opportunity... one just needs to approach this "sale" of equities with a sharp sniper like focus and pick out those quality companies that will survive this downturn. And yes, I'm convinced we are entering another down turn. One of the companies I recently picked up was the Walt Disney Company (DIS) for this very reason. I'm currently evaluating the set of 3 coffee companies to try and weed out any quality companies that maybe worthy of investment (Tim Horton's THI, Starbucks SBUX, and Dunkin' Brands DNKN).

One company that is providing value is Amazon. Not value to investors, but value to customers. When I first started this investment blog, I made a strong call to stay away from Amazon (AMZN). Well, that was 3.5 years ago when the company was trading at $81/share. Today, Amazon announced a deal with Fox to provide more instant streaming video content to Amazon Prime customers. So not only do you get two day shipping from your existing $79/year Amazon prime membership, but now you get the benefit of all this content to be streamed on-demand. The company continues to add more value to customers and although the valuation is beyond me, it's now trading at $229/share... almost 3x ROI if you had bought 3.5 years ago. Ugh. This just brings back fresh memories of Lesson number 9. Don't bet against a company you actually like from a customer stand point.

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