Friday, August 8, 2008

Stocks Update, 8/8/08

Numbers below are based on prices at mid-day on August 8, 2008. Positions below have at least a $2,500 basis or current value of at least $2,500.

I've had 175 of CCT for a while and am up 2.03%. If you don't want to invest directly in a company's preferred shares, check out PFF, an exchange-traded-fund containing a basket of preferred shares (I own shares in PFF also).

The market will be choppy for a while. These large swings we've had--up 300 points, down the next day, up 200 points the next day, etc., will continue until the experts feel prices have bottomed out. Unfortunately, the experts want to see more volatility before deeming a market bottom. Investor's Business Daily says we're in a confirmed rally, and even Barry Ritholtz said several days ago the Dow would temporarily go back to above 12,000.

I am not committing large amounts to the market yet, but am enjoying trading. The percentages below are deceiving--my short term trades involve far more money than my open positions. If I make 1% on a $50,000 trade each time, but am losing 8% on a $3,000 investment like IF, I am still up.

I sold WFR because I noticed many competitors jumping in the solar wafer business. When I saw SOLF and other Chinese companies enter the market, I thought to myself, "Let's see, WFR, competitive advantage, wide moat...hmmmm." And then I blanked. I sold the very next day, eking out a small gain.

I am also slowly adding commodities-related investments. I missed the boom and didn't have any commodities, but with their recent price decrease, they are slightly more interesting. To be more diversified, at least 15% of my portfolio should be in commodities-related industries or non-equities. I recently invested small amounts in UNG (bought more today), KOL, and JNK. I'm nowhere near 15% for diversification purposes, but will get there at some point. My friend recommended MRO, but the information about its spinoff or breakup of the company is already public knowledge. I am not sure the market is that inefficient.

In other news, the Olympics are here!

Open Positions
DUK = +1.11
EWM =-8.07
[will average down from here]
EZU = -0.57 (own 65 shares) [excluded from average, negligible movement]
IF = -8.01
YHOO = -2.89

[Average of "Open Positions": losing/negative average 4.46%]

Closed Positions:
Held more than seven days but less than one year (from May 30, 2008):
CNB = +10.0
EQ = -8.83
GE = -6.4
INTC = 0.0 (excluded from average; insignificant movement)
PFE = -5.5
PNK = -16.7%
PPS = -2.8
VNQ = +2.37 [sold 8/7/08]
WFR = +0.9 (approx; based on partial sales week of 8/4/08 in two separate accounts)
WYE = +2.4%

[Overall Record: Lost an average of 2.82%]

Held less than 7 days:
GE (1.0%); GOOG (0.8%) [7/28/08 - 7/29/08]; GRMN (-6.2%) [Sold 8/5/08]; ICE (2.0%), MMM (0.5%), MRK (0.1%), NVDA (8.0%) [8/12 to 8/13/08]; PFE (1.3%), SCUR (15%); SO (-0.3%) [Sold 8/5/08]; TTWO (4.3%) [partial sales on 8/5/08, 8/7/08, and 8/8/08]

[Overall Record: Gained an average of 1.85% (changed after NVDA sale)

PFE = +0.5%
GE = +0.5% (Updated on July 14, 2008; bought at 27.15, sold at 27.30)
XLF = +4.3% (Updated on July 15, 2008)

[Overall Record: Gained an average of 1.76%]

Compare to S&P 500: losing/negative 7.38%
[from May 30, 2008 (1385.67) to mid-day August 8, 2008 (1283.42

The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes only and does not constitute investing recommendations. Under no circumstances does this information represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities or make any kind of an investment. You are responsible for your own due diligence.

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