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XMFHelical (< 20)

Helical Portfolio 5! Year Update



January 08, 2016 – Comments (0) | RELATED TICKERS: GILD , HNT.DL , ICLR

Huh?,  . Helical What’s That Now …?

I know, it has been over a year since I blogged here on the Helical Portfolio (or at all really).  So .. while I expect this is mostly just whispering to the wind, I do want to put down some record of what I have been up to with this effort.  I have considered setting up a blog of my own, but expect I would not be active enough to make that worthwhile.

Maybe I should start back at ‘what effort’ this is.  At the start of 2011 I made the decision to invest my Roth entirely in the healthcare sector, where I work and may have some insight.  I was inspired a bit by The Fool’s consideration of having their analysts run ‘Rising Star’ portfolios.  I seem to have both outperformed and outlasted the majority of that effort (deserved shout-out to Joe Tenebruso who excelled).  The Helical Portfolio is my real Roth IRA and started on 12/31/2011 with $50,173.96.  It has been invested entirely in healthcare (or cash) for the past 5 years.  I see the healthcare space as composed of many subsectors, and have a few portfolio guidelines I try to follow.

·         Stay concentrated to fewer than 20 holdings.

·         Try to have a blend of ~ 1/3 invested in Low, Medium, and High risk holdings (subjective assessment)

·         Buy to hold, but also keep individual ‘high risk’ holdings below 8% of the port, ‘mid risk’ below 14%, and ‘low risk’ below 20% (except cash). 

·         Reassess (but not necessarily act) when losses in any given month account for more than 6% of the portfolio in whole or are more than 2% of the portfolio from any one holding.

Moves of the Last Year+

I will start with the transactions I have made in the time since I last blogged.  There have been few.


Date              Holding       Shares         Value            

01/22/15       ABBV            75              $4661.66     

Sold ½ my stake in ABBV post Hep-C treatment approval

01/22/15       MR              100              $2695.64     

Sold remainder of shares – 14.0% IRR from 8/8/11, +$2451.03.

06/30/15       FHCO         1000             $1844.36     

Bought after dividend cut, which was not overreaction.  IRR of -57.2% from 7/18/14.  ($2292.64)


11/13/14      EXETF           300            $1843.00

Total of 1200 sh.  As the special situations investors were clearing out.

01/12/2015   ATHN          40               $5602.20

Back in athenahealth as delayed milestone dates again approach

12/24/14      GILD            40                $3697.79

01/22/15      GILD            60                $6272.78

02/04/15      GILD            30                $2960.50

I got back in Gilead and continue to see value, the position is full.

Current Portfolio 

Value and IRR through 12/31/15.

Holding            Shares             Value          % of Port          Risk Tier     IRR

GILD                  130             $13,154.70           9.6%          Medium      11.2%

ICLR                   160             $12,432.00           9.1%          Medium     49.9%

ANTM                  80             $11,155.20           8.1%                High      25.0%

CVS                    100              $9,777.00           7.1%                  Low      26.3%

CAH                   100              $8,927.00            6.5%          Medium      25.6%

NVO                   150             $8,712.00             6.4%         Medium      25.6%

EXETF               1200             $8,364.00            6.1%                 High        9.3%

MDT                   100             $7,692.00            5.6%                 Low       22.7%

HNT                    100             $6,846.00             5.0%                High       41.0%

MCK                      35             $6,903.05            5.0%          Medium       34.8%

ATHN                    40             $6,438.80             4.7%                High         9.5%

GHDX                 160             $5,632.00             4.1%                 High       31.3%

PRA                     100             $4,853.00            3.5%                 Low        12.2%

ABBV                     75             $4,443.00            3.2%                 Low        16.0%

MRTX                  100             $3,160.00            2.3%                High         35.9%

BCRX                   300             $3,096.00            2.3%                High         21.3%

BIIB                       10              $3,063.50            2.2%                High         -7.7%

Cash                                       $12,436.44           9.1%                Low

Total = $137,085.69

IRR is for holding since inception even if fully sold and rebought (GILD, ATHN others).  All holdings have been held for > 1 year in total.  IRR includes dividends which are collected as cash. Many of these holdings are or have been recommendations in Fool newsletters, but several are not, including those that provided my best returns.

Risk Tiers

26.7%  High Risk

44.7%  Medium Risk

28.6%  Low Risk

I have not reset my risk assessments for some time, and some do require review e.g. Healthnet is soon to be acquired and should not honestly be high risk.  I am overdue for a re-assessment of each holding, which may well be triggered anyway by a portfolio review (loss of 6% overall).  I was honestly lax in performing the guided reassessment when the sector and portfolio fell in Q3 (post Hillary tweet).  I should have raised some cash then and probably should consider that more now as well.  I feel many of my holdings are more in the ‘hold’ category than ‘buy’ at this time.


The Helical Portfolio started on 12/31/2010 with $50,173.96.  Over the years, $23,000 was added, including $6,500 on 4/15/2015.  At the close of 12/31/15 the value of the portfolio was $137,085.69.  Including the added money, the portfolio has grown by 173.2% since inception (CAGR of 22.3%, IRR of 16.0%) and in 2015 by 17.1% (IRR of 11.1%).  Well ahead of my stated goal of 8-10% annual returns.  This may be compared to the return of an investment in SPY with dividends reinvested* of 131.5% (CAGR of 18.3%, IRR of 11.6%) since inception, and 4.9% (IRR of -1.0%) for 2015.  The performance difference by total return is 41.7 percentage points (31.7%), by CAGR 4 percentage points (21.8%), and by IRR 4.4 percentage points (37.9%).   It is always nice to beat the S&P as I have for 3 of the 5 years and overall, but that is secondary to my personal return goal.  The cash position at the close of 2015 was $12,436.44 or 9.1% of the portfolio.  This is near my ‘base allocation’ of ~10%.  I wouldn’t mind the cash position being a bit higher.




* I consider the return on SPY with dividends reinvested.  Dividends paid in MAR, JUN, SEP, DEC are reinvested at the opening price of the following month.  This creates a problem where I am comparing my portfolio value at the close of the quarter (year) to SPY’s value at the open of the next quarter (year).  Often this is not a substantial difference, but it was this year as SPY opened the year down >1.65% from the close of 2015.  Using the end date of the year, and Q4 dividends not yet reinvested, SPY’s returns on the year would have been 6.6% (IRR of 0.7%) for 2015 and 135.4% (CAGR of 18.6%, IRR of 12.1%) since the portfolio inception.

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