At the beginning of 2017 my portfolio was valued at $322,626 and you can see that here along with all the stocks I owned then. One year later, my portfolio is worth $370,463 which is a gain of $47,837 for 2017. That is a gain of about $14.83% for the year. ***It is important to note that my portfolio ended the year with $139,877 in cash and that cash position was over 33% the whole year. This means my return on the invested portion of my portfolio was a lot higher than that $14.83%.
The market averages started the year at these levels:
Dow – 19,762
NASDAQ – 5,383
S&P 500 – 2,239
Now, one year later on January 1, 2018 they look like this:
Dow – 24,719 (Up 25%)
NASDAQ – 6,903 (Up 28.2%)
S&P 500 – 2,673 (Up 19.4%)
What My Portfolio Looks Like on 1/1/2018
Here is what my portfolio looks like at the end of 2017/beginning of 2018:
I did very little in 2017, mostly because I couldn’t believe how fast and steadily the market was going up! I hate buying stocks at their highs and it seems I spent the whole year waiting for the market to go through a correction. If it had, my intent was to then buy a few stocks. But 2017 was a crazy year that saw very few dips in the market and the ones that did happen were very brief and small. Here is a chart of the Dow for 2017…who could have imagined it would have kept going up and up?
What I Sold And Bought
I sold three stocks in 2017: American Airlines, Ford, and Costco. AAL and F are now each up a couple dollars higher than I sold them for and Costco is at about the same price. Ford is the only one I sort of regret selling and wish I would have stuck with that one a little longer. But no big deal, as I had my reasons for selling each of them.
I only bought three stocks in 2017: I added shares of CVS and Nintendo to what I already owned and I bought SoftBank at the very end of the year. Nintendo has been a big winner for me and I need to make a decision soon on whether to keep holding or get out with my gain. NTDOY has been steadily going down ever since it hit a high of just over $53. CVS is down but I consider that a long term hold of 3 to 5 years or maybe longer so Im happy holding that one. SoftBank I just bought because it is a company that has its hands in a lot of different technologies around the world and is led by Masayoshi Son who I consider to be someone who is very smart and savvy, at least from what I have read.
2018….What Will I Do?
I will probably continue waiting for the market to drop in 2018 just like I did in 2017 before buying. The only stock I see as an exception to that is, believe it or not, Alibaba (BABA). It reached a high of around $190 earlier in the year and has gone down into the low $170’s. I’d like to get it even cheaper but may buy some soon, even if the price doesn’t go down. I’ve been hearing a lot of really good things about BABA and I’m thinking maybe I should own some shares.
Selling wise, the only stocks that I can see myself selling this year are Nintendo as discussed above and Gilead. GILD is a stock I have pretty much given up on. It has gone down almost constantly from the time I bought it and is in a downtrend ever since it hit a high of $119.80 back in June 2015! I predict I will sell my 200 shares of Gilead sometime in 2018.
Please understand (and I mention this frequently), that my portfolio is NOT diversified like most professional money managers recommend. I only have a handful of stocks and way too much (dollar wise) in AAPL. But that is the way I am happy investing and this portfolio is not the only money I have in the world – I have another portfolio with different stocks in it with a different broker which I never show.
If you are starting out investing in the stock market, I suggest buying one stock at a time and trying to find stocks you like that are in different industries. I also would recommend buying ETF’s that mirror different market segments as a good way to diversify. Keep adding one stock at a time and try to find companies you think will do well for a long time. Frequent buying and selling, even though that is what the guys on TV want you to do, is NOT the best way to save for retirement. Many professionals advise to have 5% or less of your money in each stock as a way to guarantee that you are diversified but that is an arbitrary number that you may or may not wish to follow.