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djshagggyd (< 20)

Novice looking for thoughts/critiques on my current real-life portfolio...



May 24, 2010 – Comments (18) | RELATED TICKERS: GE , ATVI , INTC



Let me start by providing some context regarding my goals and background...

I don't plan on withdrawing anything from my brokerage account for at least 30 years (barring emergency). I don't have any dependents or any debt, so at this stage in my life I can tolerate a pretty decent amount of risk.

That being said, I'm not working with much money... so every dollar counts. I struggle to save $100 a month. I work part-time at a warehouse, and make the rest of my income as a musician.

When I first started investing 2 years ago, it was with $500. Now I'm up to a humble $4000 and currently sit at a 14% overall return. My goal is to stay above 12% for the duration of my career as an investor.

I am primarily interested in long-term growth and value, and also dividend paying stocks. I want to stay diversified across several industries and markets (including internationally). 

Here are my current holdings:


click here to view larger size 


 BASIC STRATEGIES regarding each of my positions:


Acitivision Entertainment/Tech play. I plan to keep a close eye on industry/company related news and adjust my holdings accordingly.

Wisdom Tree India Earnings Fund International growth play. I plan to D.C.A. on this one for several years, while keeping a close eye on news from India and the surrounding region. I will adjust my holdings if needed.

General Electric Picked this one up at a great price. This is my blue-chip/stability play. The dividend isn't great, and I don't plan on buying more... but I'm content to hold on to what I've got until the economy recovers. I will sell once the share price hits between $25 and $30.

Genoptix Medical play. Very solid company. I've been in-and-out with great luck once before. I recently got back in at a great price... and I plan on holding until the share price reaches somewhere near the $40 range. 

Intel The first stock I ever bought. Holding until I get back into the green. Enjoying the dividends in the meantime. Hoping to free this money up soon and reinvest it in something with higher growth potential.

Innophos Holdings Growth, value, and a great dividend! This is one of my favorites... I would like to hold on for another year or so, but will pay close attention to company/industry news and adjust my holdings accordingly.

KAR Auction Services Even though they're new to the market, I know a lot about this company and feel strongly that they will continue doing good business for many years to come. That being said, this is still somewhat of a speculatory pick for me... and one I have fun with because my best friend works in their accounting department. So I get all the dirt straight from the source! I plan to hang on to a small amount for as long as my friend continues to work there, but will adjust my holdings in an intelligent way as needed. 

Linn Energy Utility with a great dividend. I plan to D.C.A. over the next few years while keeping a close eye on industry/company news. The solid dividend allows me to take a greater short-term loss without feeling pressure to sell... but I will still adjust my holdings as needed. 

Templeton Emerging Markets This is my attempt at combining international exposure with exposure to the bond market . It's an ETF which focuses on debt in emerging markets. The dividend is great! I plan to DCA once or twice a year for the next few years.

Neutral Tandem A tech/communications play. This is a solid company which I believe has been beaten down by irrational fear. This will be the main focus of my D.C.A. strategy over the next 3 months. I would like to reach about a 30% profit within the next two years, at which point I will sell.


I'm very curious to hear any thoughts, ideas, opinions, etc... you might have on this portfolio and my general strategies. I'm still very new at this. I know I've got a lot to learn.

I've got thick skin... so if you think I'm going about things in a completely idiotic or ill-informed manner... PLEASE DON'T HESITATE TO SAY SO!!!

Thank you so much for your time and have a great week!


Special thanks to Danielthebear for teaching me how to use color and pictures and all the fixins! If you would like to do the same... read his blog here

p.s.-more blogs on the Intelligent Investor soon! 

18 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On May 24, 2010 at 10:05 AM, mhy729 (30.27) wrote:

I got some shares of GE back in 2008, and it was among a handful of trades that marked my first entry into the stock market with a small amount of cash I pulled from my savings account.  It's down by quite a bit right now.  One thing I should've properly understood at the time of my purchase is the fact that GE has a significant financial business division.  Here's a relevant article from September 2008:

G.E., a Giant of Lending, Is Dragged Down Along With Banks

Don't have much more to add than that regarding your portfolio as I too am pretty new to this (looks like we may have bought INTC at about the same position is down slightly as well).  It sounds like you have been reading books on investing, which is very good.  Other subjects which are important to understand in order to be a well-informed investor are economics, finance, and monetary and fiscal policy.  Good luck.

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#2) On May 24, 2010 at 10:49 AM, portefeuille (98.92) wrote:

I think your portfolio is reasonably diversified, maybe you should add shares of another non-U.S. company or an equity ETF covering a region like Latin America, Asia or Europe or covering "emerging markets". Maybe 20% of the portfolio in GE shares is a little too much, I like GE though (and I like most of your current positions).

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#3) On May 24, 2010 at 10:57 AM, wordjunkie (< 20) wrote:

For a novice, you've done your homework pretty well. And you're not chasing "hot stocks" which is what a lot of beginners tend to do. You have good reasoning for your picks and plan to keep up with industry news. Keep doing it like that and you'll retire with a nice nest egg.

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#4) On May 24, 2010 at 12:56 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:


Thanks for sharing your thoughts and the link to the GE article! Yeah it looks like we both started investing at about the same time. Similar to you, I also failed to realized GE had a large financial division until AFTER I bought it... but fortunately, it ended up working in my favor a little bit, because I picked it up right around the time the banks had been taking a beating. Now that things have started to improve for banks and the economy, my position in GE is doing quite well.

And although I still like GE a lot, but I'm hoping to sell off about 10% of what I own and reinvest it into something else within the next 6 months.

Thanks again for your comment! Hope you have a great week mhy729!

~djshagggyd Report this comment
#5) On May 24, 2010 at 1:04 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:


Thank you so much for taking the time to look over this for me!! I really appreciate your insights! I think you're right about everything you said... I agree that 20% in GE is too much. I would like to sell about 10% of that off as soon as reasonably possible, and then reinvest that money into a non-US company or ETF like you suggested.

I was also considering putting that 10% from GE towards a gold or silver investment... but I think I like your idea better.

Do you have any favorite European ETFs? I don't have much European exposure, so it would probably be wise for me to diversify my money to that region.

Thanks again Port! Hope you have an awesome week!


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#6) On May 24, 2010 at 2:13 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:


Thanks for the encouragement! I know I've got a lot to learn... but i't good to know I'm doin a few things right!

Hope you're havin a good monday, thanks again!


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#7) On May 26, 2010 at 10:52 PM, Fool (88.88) wrote:

djs -

It really looks like you've done some good research and picked some great stocks.

If you're serious about investing in this account for at least 30 years, I might suggest transferring your funds to a Roth IRA.  That way, you can still maintain control of your portfolio, but your earnings will grow tax-free.  If you keep it in a standard brokerage account, you'll get hit with the capital gains tax (currently 15% and expected to rise) on every cent that you earn on that portfolio.

Just my two cents.  Best of luck in your investments.


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#8) On May 27, 2010 at 3:00 AM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:


Wow, thanks a lot for the advice! I'm really new to this... and taxes are something I have barely begun to even think about.

(the bad sorta foolish) 

To be honest, I've been procrastinating the research... it seems complicated and unpleasant.

But I know I'm just hurting myself by not doing it... so I gotta get it done!

Thanks for the wake up call. T'was much needed!! If you have any other advice about taxes (or anything else) I'd love to hear it. 

Have a great week, and best of luck to you as well,



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#9) On May 29, 2010 at 12:06 PM, HarryCaraysGhost (87.59) wrote:

The only company on your list that I know alot about is Ge. Since I also started buying about the same time.

There has been talk of upping the dividend, so I'd keep a close eye on the payout ratio. If it gets to high they'd just be shooting themselves in the foot again.

I almost bailed when Imelt said the dividend was safe for all of 09 when anyone who looked at the balance sheet could clearly see that it was not. But now I'm glad I stuck it out, and bought on the lows. 

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#10) On May 30, 2010 at 5:17 AM, ozzfan1317 (73.27) wrote:

Im not all that Fond of Linn or Atvi there are better tech and energy plays imo. GE is a solid company I booked my profits though and bought NUE instead.

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#11) On May 30, 2010 at 3:04 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:


Nice... that's cool you got in on GE at a good time too. I havn't heard the rumors about a possible dividend increase... but that'd be great! I'll have to look into it.

I'm planning to sell off about half of what I've got in GE soon. Then I'll probably split it between either gold or silver and a REIT. I think after I've done that... I'll be pretty solidly diversified. 

Thanks for takin the time to share your thoughts! Hope you're havin a great weekend.


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#12) On May 30, 2010 at 3:07 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:


Thanks for the thoughts. I don't know too much about NUE... I'll have to check 'em out.

Why don't you like LINE or ATVI? I can think of a couple things I don't like about them... but to me, the pros outweigh the cons. Curious to hear what your qualms may be...

Hope you have a nice weekend,


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#13) On May 30, 2010 at 10:24 PM, tomlongrpv (54.26) wrote:

Now that Berkshire Hathaway B shares split 50-1 and now that they are pretty low you might want to get some.  It's a boring stock with no dividends and not likely to grow wildly but given you time horizon and low portfolio amount it is a good way to diversify (the company is a conglomerate) and to get you a piece of high quality management (not just Buffett).  The shares are right around 70 right now which is about as low as they have been since the split.  Of course I should disclose that I own 1,050 share of Berkshire B.  But I am not selling anytime soon.

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#14) On May 31, 2010 at 12:12 AM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:

Cool, thanks for the heads-up Tomlongrpv! I'll definitely look into it.

Have a good Memorial Day!


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#15) On May 31, 2010 at 12:52 AM, topsecret09 (87.87) wrote:

  You have done a good job with your portfolio. Not sure why you would want to sell Intel,especially If you bought It for the long term. At any rate I will give you one (spec stock) and one dividend payer ....   (IPAS) @ $1.14 currently Is an Interesting play In a solid sector looking Into the future. One director just purchased 750,000 shares @ $ 1.08 on May 28th (Friday)  The dividend payer would be (PNNT) @ $10.00  Current yield a tad over 10% and a forward PE of 8.5....   Good luck,and keep up the good work....   TS

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#16) On May 31, 2010 at 9:18 PM, topsecret09 (87.87) wrote:

iPass Inc. provides enterprise mobility services that facilitate network access from mobile devices. Its enterprise mobility services include iPass Mobile Office service, which delivers 3G mobile data, Wi-Fi hotspot, wired broadband, and dial-up access services; and network services that provide customers with a dial-up network coverage and broadband coverage. The company also offers iPass Mobile Connect, a service that collects and transmits usage data and statistics from the mobile device; iPass Mobile Insight to report and analyze mobile usage across networks, connections, and devices; iPass Mobile Control, a policy enforcement service; and iPass Mobile Network, a virtual network that offers broadband access. In addition, it provides site-to-site managed network services to enterprises through its iPass Branch Office that offers a managed wide-area network to connect small offices with corporate data centers; and iPass Retail Office, which provides wide-area networking for distributed retail locations to connect to a corporate data center. Further, the company offers iPass Virtual Office that provides managed fixed broadband for teleworkers, as well as offers professional services. iPass Inc. offers its services worldwide directly through its sales force, as well as through network service providers, telecommunications carriers, systems integrators, and value added resellers. The company was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Redwood Shores, California.            Mobility Craze Likely to Carry Tech Rally Past 2010   Right now, the demand for mobility is what’s moving technology stocks.

“If you look at engagement curves, it used to be just the desktop,” says Gene Munster, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. “As the hardware gets better, people are using mobile more. The hardware guys are moving at lightning speed to have better mobile products, and the Internet guys are trying to optimize mobile.”

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#17) On June 01, 2010 at 12:38 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:

Hey thanks TS! It's good to know you think I've got some solid picks.

The main reason I'd like to reinvest the money I have in Intel is because they are such a small percentage of my holdings (only 4%). Which in my humble portfolio, comes out to about $150.

And I think that my $150 might be able to do me more good in a higher risk/higher growth type situation... as opposed to a company like Intel which has so much analyst coverage and is generally fairly priced by Mr. Market.

Speaking of growth/risk... thanks for the heads-up on IPAS and PNNT. Those sound like promising companies. I'll have to read up on them a bit more.

Hope you have a great week! Thanks again TS!


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#18) On June 11, 2010 at 12:50 PM, djshagggyd (< 20) wrote:


As per your suggestion, I set up a new IRA this week.

And it reminded me that from the time I was 18 until I was 20 I worked for a company which set me up with a Simple IRA. I am 29 now, and I'd completely forgotten about it! The account was on hold so I hadn't been receiving statements for over 5 years. 

Found money!!

I got the account reinstated, and am in the process of transferring it to my brand new Scottrade Traditional IRA account. It's about $2,000!!

I'm very excited to be able to have two investing accounts now. I will probably start an alternate Fool profile to reflect the picks I make for my IRA.

I'll be posting a blog about it on here soon...

Thanks again TXInvestor! If it weren't for you, it may have taken me many more years to get this IRA back up and rollin!

Really appreciate it!


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