Two years ago this June, I decided the most honest and effective way to help the world invest better was to publicly show how I go about making decisions for my own retirement portfolio. I promised to invest $4,000 in each of 10 companies.
Since then, my original investment of $40,000 has grown to $53,640 — or $3,120 more than if I had just invested the money in the SPDR S&P 500 ETF. Read below to see why the portfolio is doing so well and how you can find out which of these 10 are great buys right now.
|Company||Publication Date||Change||Vs. S&P 500 (Percentage Points)|
|Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG)||7/25/11||25.4%||2|
|National Oilwell Varco||7/28/11||(14.7%)||(42)|
|Johnson & Johnson||8/1/11||38.5%||10|
Though the portfolio is actually sitting about two percentage points lower than it was one month ago, it was able to considerably open up a bigger lead over the S&P 500. Two companies in particular helped this portfolio buck the downward trend over the past month.
The first was PriceSmart, Inc.(NASDAQ:PSMT), a company built from the blueprint of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) that is taking the warehouse/membership business model to Latin America. It recently announced sales for May, and it showed an impressive 9.8% rise in comparable-store sales. That, combined with the promise of the company’s ongoing push into South America, has helped PriceSmart, Inc.(NASDAQ:PSMT) shares beat the index by 7 percentage points this month.
Another company helping out this month was Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN). Though there were no major sales or earnings announcements, it did create some waves when reports surfaced that it would be entering the groceries business. After being test marketed in select Seattle neighborhoods, Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN) is hoping to offer groceries for (surprise, surprise) razor-thin margins and, hopefully, bundle those deliveries with more standard (and higher-margin) offerings. On the month, Amazon.com, Inc.(NASDAQ:AMZN) shares outpaced the S&P 500 by about 4 percentage points.
Other important news
One stock that hasn’t fared so well recently is Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL). The company held its long-awaited Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in early June. Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) announced an iTunes Radio initiative that promises to challenge Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P), an iWork for iCloud service that will look to unseat Google’s Google Docs, and a release of the company’s newest operating system, iOS 7.