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The Coca-Cola Company (KO), Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG): The “World’s Greatest Retirement Portfolio” Continues to Outperform

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Intuitive Surgical, Inc.It’s been almost 23 months since I introduced the World’s Greatest Retirement Portfolio to Foolish readers. This was, has been, and will continue to be my way of helping the world to invest better. Putting my money where my mouth is, I pledged to put at least $4,000 behind each stock and attempt to hold each one for at least three years — though I’ve already broken that promise.

Since I began, the market has returned 24.1%, which is pretty darn good by historical measures. Though this portfolio has been outperforming the market by double digits for well over a year now, it is currently ahead by just 3.3 percentage points.

Read below to see why the margin between the two is narrowing, and at the end, I’ll offer up access to a special premium report on one of these 10 companies.

Company Publication Date Change Vs. S&P 500
Google 6/26/11 64.4% 38
PriceSmart (NASDAQ:PSMT) 6/28/11 56.7% 31
Baidu 9/15/12 (20.8%) (44)
Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) 7/25/11 22.4% 1
National Oilwell Varco 7/28/11 (11.8%) (37)
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) 6/21/11 28.1% 3
Whole Foods 7/5/11 40.3% 19 7/12/11 26.1% 3
Apple 6/30/11 33.8% 11
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) 8/1/11 34.7% 8
Total 27.4% 3.3

Source: All numbers accurate as of market close March 31, 2013. *Returns are for position in ATVI held from July 15, 2011, to Sept. 9, 2012, and transferred over to BIDU on Sept. 15, 2012.

One company that can’t catch a break
More or less, the companies in this portfolio didn’t perform terribly during the month of March, they just weren’t able to keep pace with the S&P 500, which climbed over 3% during the month. That wasn’t the case, however, for Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG), maker of the da Vinci surgical robot.

I’ve covered the stock’s dive already, but there are three simple events that caused the stock to drop. First, the Journal of the American Medical Association questioned the need for robotic hysterectomies. Second, the FDA announced it was investigating a rise in the company’s incidents reports. Finally, the president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists publicly echoed the concerns raised in the JAMA article.

Three companies having a good month
Even though the portfolio as a whole isn’t leading the market by quite as much, three stocks had a relatively good March.

Shares of Latin American club wholesaler PriceSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT) were up 5%. This came on the heels of the announcement that the company’s net sales increased 7.8% during the month of February, which included an impressive 8.9% increase in same-store sales. PriceSmart also announced it has acquired land in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, to open up its third store in the country.

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