I would rather forget last month. After nine months of gains, I hit a nasty double digit loss. In truth, this sort of thing was inevitable and the preceding months were as much a part of the process as last month was. The previous month’s write-up and links to others can be found here. I do this stuff because I happen to believe that anyone writing about investment should disclose his own performance.
Philosophizing over, I’m going to confess to a certain amount of exasperation at being hit with accounting errors with Ixia (NASDAQ:XXIA), a weaker than expected tax return season at Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ:INTU), the loss of a major customer contract with REGAL-BELOIT CORPORATION (NYSE:RBC), and when even Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) disappoints then you know it’s not going to be your month.
The weakness at International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) and Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) was a bit more predictable and I topped up on both. I suspected tech would be weak over earnings and held back buying more before their earnings. In fact, this approach helped me avoid disasters in companies I like and have held before, such as Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT) and F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV). It was definitely a month of dodging bullets! I’ve put some performance charts at the end of this post for those interested. I will update my current portfolio on my blog in a few days.
For now, it’s the usual format of reviewing the articles for January (i.e. three months previously) and picking out some investing ideas that readers might find useful. The companies in bold are those that I hold now. Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE:AYI) was sold because it hit its price target. F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:FFIV) was sold because it hit its target and my general tech caution.
|View||Company + Article Link||Performance Since Fool Article|
|Positive||Intel Corp (NASDAQ:INTC)||14.3%|
|Caution||PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG)||6.7%|
|Caution||Check Point Software (NASDAQ:CHKP)||-4.4%|
|NON BUY STOCKS||1.9%|
Superficially these numbers look good, but let’s recall that the S&P 500 has put on over 12% in 2013. The ‘buy’ stocks averaged 6.8%, ‘positive’ recorded (0.6)%!, ‘evaluation’ returned 7.7%, and ‘caution’ did 0.4%. The difference between what I bought and didn’t was 6.8% to 1.9%.