Steady As She Goes

Last time I wrote about my stocks was November 2010. Having a steady paycheck again means I can allocate money to my investment account and actually enjoy the trading aspect of the stock market. I never stopped watching my portfolio although I wasn’t able to add to it. For years I was buying stocks considered mid to high risk growth stocks. Meaning, I made money as the stock price increased in value. In late 2010 I decided to go the less risky route and start buying stocks that earn a modest rate, but also pay dividends. I figured as I get closer to retirement, it is probably best not to lose money on a fluctuating market.

In 2010, I dumped all my losers and all the companies I had lost faith in, because I figured the money could be better spent elsewhere. Bye-bye to Ameristar Casino (-16.03), GameStop (26.37), Heathway’s Inc (-61.54), HRPT Properties (5.69), and Vasco Data Security (-75.24). With the funds, I purchased shares in these dividend paying stocks, Automated Data Processing (up 15.83% in 2011), California Water Services (up .25%), HJ Heinz (up 11.65%), Kellogg (up 2.37%), McDonald’s (up 30.55%) and Waste Management (down 7.35%)

In 2011 I started listening to financial/economic/money matters podcasts on my iPhone while I worked all day. Armed with good insight, I decided to sell Cedar Fair (-20.75), Columbia Sportswear (59.15), Federal Express (-15.72) and Netflix (644.17). Federal Express was doing fine in the first few months I purchased it, but then the gas prices soared and they never seemed to recover. My timing on sales of Netflix was perfect! I decided to sell when the podcast chatter was mentioning Amazon, iTunes, Hulu and others’ foray into the streaming media. I also managed to beat the announcement by Netflix CEO to tamper with pricing and delivery method. If I had Netflix today I would be down about 580%!

My sister handed over the reins of her portfolio to me and asked to get her portfolio to work harder at making money so she wouldn’t have to. I figured I’d get her started with some stocks she would know, like Berkshire Hathaway-B, and Coach, in addition to some of those in my portfolio.

2012 found me selling Rosetta Stone (which never recovered from Borders’ bankruptcy filing losing me a cool -59%), and Kellogg (after their management proved to be inept) but buying into Callaway Golf because they are the clubs I use, Westport Innovations Inc. which is having a bit of trouble and 3D Systems, a company I hope turns out to be the leader in the 3D printing market.

And here we are, caught up mid-2012. July is over and my favorite company (Apple) has been my largest ROI (up 305.22%) 7 months running. Whole Foods has been a close second (up 248.29%). I’m keeping my eye on DreamWorks Animation and Ford Motor Co.

Here’s the breakdown…

Stocks 2012

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