Friday, March 27, 2009

How Did My X-Mas Shopping Go?

On December 18, 2008, I posted my personal X-Mas shopping list for stocks. Although I intended to hold the stocks for at least a year, I made some changes, taking some losses to raise cash and to buy Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B). Let's review:


CSCO = 16.66
EWZ = 35.95
INTC = 14.26
KO = 45.18
MXIM = 12.00
WFC = 29.65

S&P 500 = 885.28
DJIA = 8,604.99
Nasdaq = 1,552.37


CSCO = 17.31 (+3.9%)
EWZ = 40.85 (+1.3%)
INTC = 15.82 (+10.9%)
KO = 44.85 (-0.7%)
MXIM = 14.11 (+17.58%)
WFC = 15.95 (-46.2%)

S&P 500 = 832.86 (negative 5.9%)
DJIA = 7924.56
Nasdaq = 1587.00

Overall, the return on the above portfolio is a negative 2.2% (not including dividends). This return beats the S&P 500, but my victory is admittedly Pyrrhic. If I had avoided Wells Fargo, I would be doing quite well. In fact, I bought Wells Fargo stock all the way down to 9 dollars and recently sold at around 14 dollars, taking a loss. I just sold Intel and Maxim, too, but plan on buying them back at lower prices. The recent run-up seems too much, too soon. Even so, my major holdings, all in mutual funds, are untouched and mostly in stocks.

I am worried about the T. Rowe Price Latin America mutual fund (PRLAX) and iShares MSCI Brazil Index (EWZ). Despite its name, the T. Rowe Price Latin America fund holds Brazilian stocks. I am concerned because Brazilian government projections seem overly optimistic; demand for commodities continues to be soft; and political rivals appear all-too-willing to undermine President Luiz Silva's authority.

Right now, the above list is not representative of my major holdings. I continue to trade actively in my retirement accounts.

The information on this site is provided for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances do any statements here represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities or make any kind of an investment. You are responsible for your own due diligence. To summarize, I do not provide investment advice, nor do I make any claims or promises that any information here will lead to a profit, loss, or any other result.

Update on 3/27/09
: an astute reader points out that my math above is incorrect (and in my favor):

"You need to check your math. On EWZ, a price move from $35.95 to $40.85 is 13.63%, not 1.3%."

That, my friends, is why I'm a lawyer. I leave the math to the professionals and the expert witnesses.

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