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Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (VOD), Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (GSK): How’s The Beginners’ Portfolio Doing?

This article is the latest in a series that aims to help novice investors with the stock market. To enjoy past articles in the series, please visit our full archive.

LONDON — The Beginners’ Portfolio made its first buy, of Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) shares, on May 18, 2012 — and the first anniversary of the fateful day will be here on Saturday. So how has the first year gone? Here’s a snapshot at market close on May 15, accounting for all spreads and charges:

Company Shares Buy Price Total Cost Bid Price Gain/Loss Change
Vodafone 289 168.5 p £499.51 193 p £48.26 9.7%
Tesco 159 305.5 p £498.23 375.3 p £88.50 17.8%
GlaxoSmithKline (LSE:GSK) 34 1,440.5 p £502.22 1,717 p £71.56 14.2%
Persimmon 79 617.9 p £500.55 1,146 p £394.79 78.9%
Blinkx 1,319 36.9 p £499.68 108.8 p £925.39 185%
BP (LSE:BP) 112 434.5 p £499.01 467.5 p £14.59 2.9%
Rio Tinto 16 3,048.4 p £500.18 2,913 p (£44.02) (8.8%)
BAE Systems 146 332.3 p £497.59 400.8 p £77.58 15.6%
Apple 2 $458.4 £605.98 $427.3 (£72.13) (11.9%)
Aviva 146 321.4 p £499.71 323 p (£36.13) (7.3%)
Dividends £164.31
Total £5,100.66 £1,632.70 32%

p = pence.

It is not a real-money portfolio, but it’s run in exactly the same way — I account for actual bid/offer spreads, commissions, etc., and include dividends in these occasional performance updates.

Verizon Communications Inc.What has changed?
Since our last update on Feb. 26, Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) shares are in the black again with an overall gain of 9.7%. Further simmering rumors of a merger with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) or a buyout of Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)’s 45% stake in Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) have helped push the shares up as the two companies play a game of brinkmanship. Then this week we heard that Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) is to receive £2.1 billion in dividends from Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) — we’ll hear what Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) intends to do with it when the company releases preliminary results on May 21.