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Opening old investment posts [ClearOnMoney]
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Commentary

Opening old investment posts

16 Oct 2012 by Jim Fickett.

I have neglected for a long time to release older investment posts. That has now been rectified, with posts through July 2012 now public. Here is a concise guide:

  • 22 Sep 2011, Adding to Devon Energy position; 18 Oct 2011, Further increased stake in Encana; 26 Jan 2012, Filling out Encana stake; and 18 Jul 2012, Devon Energy is cheap – Devon and Encana are bargains. These positions will not pay off until the markets realize gas will not be cheap forever. The adjustment is taking a long time, but it is worth being patient.
  • 24 Sep 2011, Sold TIPS; and 17 May 2012, Sold last of TIPS – I bought TIPS in the panic of 2008, and sold them with these two posts, with a capital gain of about 30%. I thought then, and think now, that TIPS were/are seriously overpriced, and there are better ways to get inflation protection.
  • 31 Dec 2011, Selling Commonwealth – My investment in Commonwealth was the biggest mistake I've made in the last couple years. Some investments turn out poorly for reasons that cannot be foreseen, but this one was my own poor judgement. I lost 34%.
  • 11 Jan 2012, Increasing allocation to PIMCO emerging local bond fund – I have been pleased with this hedge against the dollar losing value. The bond fund is well managed and gives a variable yield in the neighborhood of 4%.
  • 17 Feb 2012, Selling WGL – I like WGL, but many of the vanilla dividend stocks have gotten too popular and expensive. I sold for a total return of 32%.
  • 7 Mar 2012, Selling a muni bond fund – Back when Meredith Whitney's silly prediction of massive defaults scared many investors out of the bond markets, I bought, and then with this post, sold for a return of 8%.
  • 21 Mar 2012, Inverse ETFs and Treasury yields – I held a short position on Treasuries from Aug 2011 to Mar 2012. Obviously Treasuries are overvalued, but short positions cost money, so I gave up waiting after the position cost me 7%.
  • 9 Jun 2012, McDonald's -- a dangerous policy of returning too much cash to shareholders – McDonald's is a very popular dividend stock, and I was hoping to be convinced to buy. But it turned out McDonald's was spending far more than they could really afford in dividends and buybacks. Also, there were reasons to doubt gangbuster growth would continue. So I was not impressed.
  • 17 Jul 2012, Sold Walmart – Walmart is another stock that has gotten too popular. Although it was not terribly expensive when I chose to sell, the margin of safety was gone. I made 51% in capital gain, plus the dividend while holding.
  • 24 Jul 2012, Taking a small position in Peabody Energy – Coal is extremely unpopular right now. First, because cheap gas is displacing coal, but this will not last forever. Second, because tighter environmental regulations are shutting some older power plants, but in fact the effects of this are probably mostly already past. And third, because China is slowing, but in fact US coal companies sell almost all of their coal domestically. So the bad news is exaggerated, and current stock prices are quite low. In the case of Peabody, the price was down to approximately match the low point of 2008, and this provided good value.