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

Well,

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:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-disney-posts-higher-revenue-shares-gain-20111110,0,6869494.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.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Q2 2011 Results of Ten Grand Chicago Portfolio

19.2% Total Return (since inception - Jan.1st.2008)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Disney bashing = Good time to buy

Per my last few posts, it's buying season and some good companies are on sale. Disney (DIS) hasn't shown up on my radar simply because Return on Assets isn't stellar, but not too bad either. The company comes out today with a great 3rd quarter and the market rewards them with a 9% drop in stock price. Every business segment reported positive operating income growth compared to a year ago with the exception of studio entertainment (ticket sales at theaters) and their interactive media group (video games, club penguin, online, etc.) Just opened up a position today. The only concern I have at the moment is with their interactive media group which continues to lose money... just hoping they don't follow Microsoft's Online division patterns in generating periodic losses quarter after quarter. Back to coffee analysis.

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