Author Topic: Any individual stock pickers out there?  (Read 5944 times)

dividendpig

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Any individual stock pickers out there?
« on: November 23, 2016, 04:28:25 PM »
Hey all, I know this community is primarily dedicated to index investing ( which Im a fan of and have a good chunk of my portfolio in )

Having said that, I also dedicate a percentage of my portfolio to individual stocks, many are long term 'never sell' types, and a small amount are stocks I trade in and out of . Anyone else out there want to talk stock strategy ? Ive beaten the market fairly handily since Ive started self directed investing, albeit in a relatively short time period of just over 2 years.

Any thoughts or insights are much appreciated

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2016, 05:13:50 PM »
Hey ebs,

I'm a picker.  I admit it... haha.  It's probably not worth trying to have a thread here about non-indexing as the indexers jump in crowd out the pickers.  A lot of us who like that kind of action blog about it.  You can find many good blogs on stock picking especially in the dividend and dividend growth spaces.  You can always PM me if you have something specific to discuss and don't want to duck the slings and arrows of the indexing True Believers...

Fireball

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2016, 09:56:01 PM »
I don't pick a lot, but I do keep a very small amount of money set aside for me to play with. The rest of my portfolio is in index funds. Only been at it for about a year so not a long track record of success, but so far so good. I go into it with the plan of holding 1-2 years or when I've gained/lost 30%.

My most recent pick is DB. Up about 18% in the last couple months. Really banking (pun intended) that Germany won't let them go belly up. Crossing my fingers. Before that, did well with some mining stocks and CVX back when oil bottomed out.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2016, 09:58:51 PM by Fireball »

Driko

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2016, 10:59:20 PM »
I don't pick a lot, but I do keep a very small amount of money set aside for me to play with. The rest of my portfolio is in index funds. Only been at it for about a year so not a long track record of success, but so far so good. I go into it with the plan of holding 1-2 years or when I've gained/lost 30%.

My most recent pick is DB. Up about 18% in the last couple months. Really banking (pun intended) that Germany won't let them go belly up. Crossing my fingers. Before that, did well with some mining stocks and CVX back when oil bottomed out.

I thought about buying it when it was around 11 a few months ago. Hopefully it does well for you, but I also agree that its doubtful that Germany will let them fail. I think they do have some big law suits pending though that could really hurt the stock price.

dividendpig

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2016, 08:21:22 AM »
Thanks for the replies folks! I should have mentioned im in Canada, 30 YO.. Ive recently discovered this site and I havent set a date with the Mrs yet on when we plan to FIRE but ive taken control of all my investment accounts and feel more clear on where we are heading now then I ever have

Not sure if its against the rules but any blogs or sites you guys check out for value stocks, please pass them along !


Seppia

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Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2016, 09:43:25 AM »
I have my index investments on auto pilot with a set Asset Allocation.
Since I still have the tendency to build up cash, I then invest it in opportunistic ways in either individual stocks or indexes.
My approach is mostly contrarian, and I focus on very very large companies.
I have been buying mostly energy (Royal Dutch and Vanguard's VDE) since oil has started dropping, so I kinda hurt myself at the beginning, but it has paid out handsomely in more recent times.

Individual stocks are the way I started investing back in late 2006, because in Europe nobody knew indexes (and even today, their popularity is zero in respect to the USA).
Haven't been tracking my performance since the beginning, but in recent times I've not done bad.

Before I started indexing I was basically (without knowing) mimicking the index idea: bought diverse large companies in diverse sectors (energy, finance, utilities etc), so I would suspect my results were more or less in line with the market.

This (blue line) is my last three years in the brokerage account, compared to the S&P500

« Last Edit: November 24, 2016, 11:54:06 AM by Seppia »

SweetLife

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2016, 11:27:38 AM »
Thanks for the replies folks! I should have mentioned im in Canada, 30 YO.. Ive recently discovered this site and I havent set a date with the Mrs yet on when we plan to FIRE but ive taken control of all my investment accounts and feel more clear on where we are heading now then I ever have

Not sure if its against the rules but any blogs or sites you guys check out for value stocks, please pass them along !

I started a little thread about APH stock in Canada .... take a look ... it has done very well since Oct 31 (when the Dragon Den lady joined the Board of Directors !!) ... :) I have REALLY just started having a bit of fun with this ... ;)

dividendpig

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2016, 08:52:02 PM »
I have my index investments on auto pilot with a set Asset Allocation.
Since I still have the tendency to build up cash, I then invest it in opportunistic ways in either individual stocks or indexes.
My approach is mostly contrarian, and I focus on very very large companies.
I have been buying mostly energy (Royal Dutch and Vanguard's VDE) since oil has started dropping, so I kinda hurt myself at the beginning, but it has paid out handsomely in more recent times.

Individual stocks are the way I started investing back in late 2006, because in Europe nobody knew indexes (and even today, their popularity is zero in respect to the USA).
Haven't been tracking my performance since the beginning, but in recent times I've not done bad.

Before I started indexing I was basically (without knowing) mimicking the index idea: bought diverse large companies in diverse sectors (energy, finance, utilities etc), so I would suspect my results were more or less in line with the market.

This (blue line) is my last three years in the brokerage account, compared to the S&P500



Impressive results! Well done !

lordmetroid

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2016, 04:06:17 AM »

human

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2016, 04:23:57 AM »
My post won't be helpful but I was real tempted to put all money in Bombardier when the went under 80 cents a share. For some reason they are a sacred cow and the quebec provincial and federal govs just love propping them up and throwing interest free loans or becoming partners in failing ventures.

They never deliver on time and the global series of jets are going nowhere but we spend billions to save a few thousand jobs. Maybe it's a policy choice to keep aerospace alive in Canada but they never really say this.

Sure enough the stock bounced back to a buck fifty, buuuut when exactly would  I have known to sell?
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 06:52:22 AM by human »

chasesfish

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2016, 07:25:01 AM »
I'm a picker as well.  I'm up 5% over the S&P 500 on a 1 year and 2% over a five year period.

Lots of that is luck as it relates to the sale that happened on banking stocks twice this year, once when everyone was worried about oil exposure in January and second on the Brexit in June.

Its a fun hobby and I keep it to 30% of the portfolio.  The rest is generally in index funds

Proud Foot

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2016, 10:23:23 AM »
I do some picking as well.  Have a portfolio of 23 individual stocks making up around 30% of my overall portfolio.  Started purchasing in August 2015 so I have a short time horizon but currently at an IRR of 21%. All stocks with the exception of BRK.B are dividend paying stocks and were purchased at a time when they had low valuations.  My only regret with the current stocks owned is I did not document everything behind my purchase decision.  Definitely something I will be doing for future purchases.

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2016, 09:57:48 AM »
I have only a tiny amount in any kind of index funds.  I found Motley Fool website around the time I needed to learn about investing and have found their stock picks to be very helpful.  I hadn't plotted out my overall performance against the SP500 until I saw some of your graphs.  I did a graph this morning in personal capital and wow, looks like I perform quite a bit better than sp500, especially in the last run up.  According to the graph I am up about 10% over the SP500 in the last three years.

« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 10:07:12 AM by HAPPYINAZ »

JumpInTheFIRE

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2016, 10:42:55 AM »
If you want to pick individual stocks the question you need to ask yourself is "What do I know about these companies that I am buying that the people who do this professionally all day, every day don't know?".  If you don't have a satisfactory answer to that question then it's probably not a good idea to pick individual stocks.  Reading a thread like this it is easy for someone who doesn't know a lot about investing to get the impression that they can outperform the market because generally only people who happened to beat the market post their results.  The people who picked individual stocks that performed poorly don't like to broadcast their failure so it seems to the uninformed person that regular Joes can pick stocks just fine.  For the vast majority of people, individual stocks are just a gamble - you might win but most people lose and they are doing it for the same reasons people gamble in a casino. 

VoteCthulu

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2016, 10:45:31 AM »
I used to pick a few stocks with less than 10% of my portfolio,  but I learned that I'm terrible at it. It could have been a much more expensive lesson to learn, but financially I'd have been much better off just paying down my 3% APR mortgage.

On the plus side, I now have a strong reason to hold the course through the storms of my index investing voyage.

Interest Compound

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2016, 11:35:13 AM »
I have only a tiny amount in any kind of index funds.  I found Motley Fool website around the time I needed to learn about investing and have found their stock picks to be very helpful.  I hadn't plotted out my overall performance against the SP500 until I saw some of your graphs.  I did a graph this morning in personal capital and wow, looks like I perform quite a bit better than sp500, especially in the last run up.  According to the graph I am up about 10% over the SP500 in the last three years.

Here we go again. No. You aren't beating the market. I genuinely understand your confusion. When you're on a website (Motley Fool) whose business model is reliant on people thinking they can beat the market...well, this is what you get. You get flawed comparisons against the "S&P500 Index" that doesn't include dividends, but including dividends in your personal performance, tricking people into thinking they're beating the market.

Here's how a REAL S&P500 fund performed from 1/1/2013 - today:



Compared to your performance of 64.89%. Did you spend countless hours researching, planning, and executing trades in your personal account over the last 4 years? Does the knowledge that you would've done better (especially if taxes were involved) by putting it in an index fund and forgetting about it, make you less likely to pick stocks in the future? That's what the Motley Fool is afraid of. That's why they show you these charts. It's incredibly misleading, and in my opinion, unethical.

The biggest problem with individual stock pickers, is they almost universally simply don't know how to calculate returns.
  • Are these returns time-weighted or money-weighted (and do you know the difference)?
  • Are you including taxes? (Index funds are very tax-efficient)
  • Are you including the cost of your time spent researching stock picks and managing the portfolio?
  • Are you even considering the risk-adjusted return?
  • If you're doing all of the above, are you then comparing it to a comparable index (so if you own all small-cap stocks, comparing your performance to the small-cap index)?
These questions aren't directed at you HAPPYINAZ, they're directed at everyone. Financial.Velociraptor made the same mistake not too long ago:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/blending-dividend-investing-and-index-investing/msg639877/#msg639877

(response starts here)

Financial.Velociraptor puts a lot of time into this. He runs a blog dedicated to his active trading, and retired early on a ~10% withdrawal rate. Yet even he was tricked into thinking one of his picks was heavily beating the market by +6%, but once all the proper adjustments were made he was actually losing by -3%. He blasted Skyrefuge for insinuating someone else was "blind to reputed under-performance", when he himself was blind. If even people like him are tricked, what chance do you have?

Please understand HAPPYINAZ. I'm not insulting your intelligence. You were tricked. I'm not calling you out, I'm calling out the various tricks and pitfalls the industry uses against you, and why it's best to simply avoid them all-together.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 01:10:41 PM by Interest Compound »

Interest Compound

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2016, 11:42:05 AM »
I have my index investments on auto pilot with a set Asset Allocation.
Since I still have the tendency to build up cash, I then invest it in opportunistic ways in either individual stocks or indexes.
My approach is mostly contrarian, and I focus on very very large companies.
I have been buying mostly energy (Royal Dutch and Vanguard's VDE) since oil has started dropping, so I kinda hurt myself at the beginning, but it has paid out handsomely in more recent times.

Individual stocks are the way I started investing back in late 2006, because in Europe nobody knew indexes (and even today, their popularity is zero in respect to the USA).
Haven't been tracking my performance since the beginning, but in recent times I've not done bad.

Before I started indexing I was basically (without knowing) mimicking the index idea: bought diverse large companies in diverse sectors (energy, finance, utilities etc), so I would suspect my results were more or less in line with the market.

This (blue line) is my last three years in the brokerage account, compared to the S&P500



It seems your brokerage account has the same aligned interest as Motley Fool...you'd have to increase the stated S&P500 returns by 50% to get the real number:

« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 02:50:52 PM by Interest Compound »

mizzourah2006

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2016, 11:55:49 AM »
If you want to pick individual stocks the question you need to ask yourself is "What do I know about these companies that I am buying that the people who do this professionally all day, every day don't know?".  If you don't have a satisfactory answer to that question then it's probably not a good idea to pick individual stocks.  Reading a thread like this it is easy for someone who doesn't know a lot about investing to get the impression that they can outperform the market because generally only people who happened to beat the market post their results.  The people who picked individual stocks that performed poorly don't like to broadcast their failure so it seems to the uninformed person that regular Joes can pick stocks just fine.  For the vast majority of people, individual stocks are just a gamble - you might win but most people lose and they are doing it for the same reasons people gamble in a casino.

There are more factors that go into this than that. Time horizon is a really big one. They have to please their investors on a quarterly or an annual basis. I don't have anyone to please. I bought a  lot of Chevron last year at about $94/share. It dropped to $72/share. I could have sold, but I kept in it, kept collecting the dividend and now it is up to $111/share and at this point my cost basis is $4.28 lower than it was at the time of purchase. As an individual investor your time horizon can be much much further than the professionals and I think that is often completely disregarded.

To Interest Compounds point time technically should be factored in, but you could say that about everything. In my case I actually enjoy following companies and learning about them. So, if time is always counted then I guess you could technically argue any hobby anyone has needs to factor in time to see if they would be better off having someone else do it for themselves. People waste a lot of time on a lot of things. It really depends on your perspective of what "wasting" time is.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 12:00:31 PM by mizzourah2006 »

SeattleCPA

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2016, 02:32:16 PM »
Mizzourah,

Just to put another hopefully useful thought into your pondering...

You and anyone here wanting to "go active" would probably really enjoy reading David Swensen's "Pioneering Portfolio Management."

In his "Unconventional Success" book, of course, Swensen argues that regular folk (surely everybody here) should assemble a collection of cheap index funds.

But in "Pioneering Portfolio Management," he explains how to be a successful active investor if you want to go that route.

Probably many of us here know Swensen has an astonishingly good long-run record of successful active management. And with a giant pile of money to deploy. What maybe lots of people don't know is that Swensen would say you don't invest into traditional (liquid) asset classes if you want to succeed as an active investor... He says you need to start with alternative asset classes.

P.S. I'm personally an "Unconventional Success" guy and not a "Pioneering Portfolio Management" guy...

needmyfi

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2016, 02:41:57 PM »
My husband and I have 4 percent "casino" money.  Like another poster on here, I made a killing on Chevron.  Only invested 1k though.  Just enough success to give me false confidence.

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2016, 03:23:55 PM »
I have only a tiny amount in any kind of index funds.  I found Motley Fool website around the time I needed to learn about investing and have found their stock picks to be very helpful.  I hadn't plotted out my overall performance against the SP500 until I saw some of your graphs.  I did a graph this morning in personal capital and wow, looks like I perform quite a bit better than sp500, especially in the last run up.  According to the graph I am up about 10% over the SP500 in the last three years.

Here we go again. No. You aren't beating the market. I genuinely understand your confusion. When you're on a website (Motley Fool) whose business model is reliant on people thinking they can beat the market...well, this is what you get. You get flawed comparisons against the "S&P500 Index" that doesn't include dividends, but including dividends in your personal performance, tricking people into thinking they're beating the market.

Here's how a REAL S&P500 fund performed from 1/1/2013 - today:



Compared to your performance of 64.89%. Did you spend countless hours researching, planning, and executing trades in your personal account over the last 4 years? Does the knowledge that you would've done better (especially if taxes were involved) by putting it in an index fund and forgetting about it, make you less likely to pick stocks in the future? That's what the Motley Fool is afraid of. That's why they show you these charts. It's incredibly misleading, and in my opinion, unethical.

The biggest problem with individual stock pickers, is they almost universally simply don't know how to calculate returns.
  • Are these returns time-weighted or money-weighted (and do you know the difference)?
  • Are you including taxes? (Index funds are very tax-efficient)
  • Are you including the cost of your time spent researching stock picks and managing the portfolio?
  • Are you even considering the risk-adjusted return?
  • If you're doing all of the above, are you then comparing it to a comparable index (so if you own all small-cap stocks, comparing your performance to the small-cap index)?
These questions aren't directed at you HAPPYINAZ, they're directed at everyone. Financial.Velociraptor made the same mistake not too long ago:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/blending-dividend-investing-and-index-investing/msg639877/#msg639877

(response starts here)

Financial.Velociraptor puts a lot of time into this. He runs a blog dedicated to his active trading, and retired early on a ~10% withdrawal rate. Yet even he was tricked into thinking one of his picks was heavily beating the market by +6%, but once all the proper adjustments were made he was actually losing by -3%. He blasted Skyrefuge for insinuating someone else was "blind to reputed under-performance", when he himself was blind. If even people like him are tricked, what chance do you have?

Please understand HAPPYINAZ. I'm not insulting your intelligence. You were tricked. I'm not calling you out, I'm calling out the various tricks and pitfalls the industry uses against you, and why it's best to simply avoid them all-together.


Thanks!  I didn't know the S&P index didn't include dividends.  I appreciate your thoughtful reply.  I am not even sure the graph from personal capital is accurate since I don't know how they calculate the value of my accounts in the past.  I only signed up with them recently.  I am also not sure how you can include what you have previously sold at a profit or at a loss in to a timeline graph like the one above.   

The idea of index investing was something new to me when I stumbled upon MMM couple years ago.  It definitely would be easier to index invest.  I need to look into how index investing is more tax efficient.  Thanks again for your thoughtful reply. 


HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2016, 03:55:12 PM »
So it looks like Personal Capital's "You Index"  (that I used to create the graph above) doesn't include dividends either.  Is that correct?

According to their definition it takes the stocks that I currently own, finds the current price and then extrapolates backward.  So it's not my actual account values over time, but an extrapolated version of what I hold currently.  And I don't see how that would include dividends since it's not my actual account values over time and it's based on stock price only.  Am I interpreting their You Index correctly?






Interest Compound

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2016, 04:07:37 PM »
So it looks like Personal Capital's "You Index"  (that I used to create the graph above) doesn't include dividends either.  Is that correct?

According to their definition it takes the stocks that I currently own, finds the current price and then extrapolates backward.  So it's not my actual account values over time, but an extrapolated version of what I hold currently.  And I don't see how that would include dividends since it's not my actual account values over time and it's based on stock price only.  Am I interpreting their You Index correctly?

You're right. The "You Index" is worse than I thought. If you bought today, a stock that skyrocketed over the previous 3 years, the "You Index" would be showing the performance of that stock. Since people love buying recent out-performers (but only after they outperform), overlaying that on-top of an S&P500 graph, and calling it the "You Index"...is incredibly misleading in my opinion. I can see many people being tricked (as you were) into thinking that information indicated they were personally beating the market.

What you want is on the Performance tab, which is your actual portfolio's performance based on transactions in/out and ending balance. It's basically an internal rate of return graph, which would include dividends.

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2016, 04:45:58 PM »
I was thinking that it was better than you thought....since your were saying comparing to the sp500 was bad because it doesn't include dividends.  But since the You Index doesn't include dividends either that means the two are more comparable.  Most of my stock holdings are well over three years old.  I didn't just suddenly buy a bunch of stocks recently.  But anyway, it's just the You Index and not actual account value over time so not true performance.

Since I only signed up for personal capital in april (about 8 months ago), I couldn't go back very far for performance.  Guess I can't use personal capital for this until I have more years with them. 




« Last Edit: December 01, 2016, 04:59:52 PM by HAPPYINAZ »

whodidntante

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2016, 10:10:06 PM »
I don't pick a lot, but I do keep a very small amount of money set aside for me to play with. The rest of my portfolio is in index funds. Only been at it for about a year so not a long track record of success, but so far so good. I go into it with the plan of holding 1-2 years or when I've gained/lost 30%.

My most recent pick is DB. Up about 18% in the last couple months. Really banking (pun intended) that Germany won't let them go belly up. Crossing my fingers. Before that, did well with some mining stocks and CVX back when oil bottomed out.

The question is not whether DB will be allowed to fail, but whether existing shareholders will be left holding the bag if it is recapitalized. 

Livewell

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2016, 10:26:18 PM »
Todd Tresidder has some good stuff on his site, including this that might help some folks reading this thread
http://financialmentor.com/free-articles/investment-advice/alternative-investment-strategy/which-type-of-investor-are-you-take-this-test

I like passive investing.  Occasionally I had some good picks that panned out, however I found index investing to be just as or more profitable versus my stock picking skills, at a fraction of the cost in fees, time and stress.  The change in strategy to a more macro level is more in tune with my way of thinking (big picture economics) and the extra time has allowed me to think more about my income, which has been the real driver towards our family's stache.

Seppia

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2016, 03:15:28 AM »
I have my index investments on auto pilot with a set Asset Allocation.
Since I still have the tendency to build up cash, I then invest it in opportunistic ways in either individual stocks or indexes.
My approach is mostly contrarian, and I focus on very very large companies.
I have been buying mostly energy (Royal Dutch and Vanguard's VDE) since oil has started dropping, so I kinda hurt myself at the beginning, but it has paid out handsomely in more recent times.

Individual stocks are the way I started investing back in late 2006, because in Europe nobody knew indexes (and even today, their popularity is zero in respect to the USA).
Haven't been tracking my performance since the beginning, but in recent times I've not done bad.

Before I started indexing I was basically (without knowing) mimicking the index idea: bought diverse large companies in diverse sectors (energy, finance, utilities etc), so I would suspect my results were more or less in line with the market.

This (blue line) is my last three years in the brokerage account, compared to the S&P500



It seems your brokerage account has the same aligned interest as Motley Fool...you'd have to increase the stated S&P500 returns by 50% to get the real number:




Great info thanks IC!
I do think though that even my performance does not include dividends, which are higher than the S&P by a fairly wide margin.

Just FYI by the way, the only stock picking I do is with play money, the vast majority of the investing is in indexes.
I like to do this because I do have a lot of fun, and I do very little trading.
I mostly buy and never sell, the only stock I sold in the last 5 years was Amazon when it reached $650.


mizzourah2006

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2016, 06:51:28 AM »
Mizzourah,

Just to put another hopefully useful thought into your pondering...

You and anyone here wanting to "go active" would probably really enjoy reading David Swensen's "Pioneering Portfolio Management."

In his "Unconventional Success" book, of course, Swensen argues that regular folk (surely everybody here) should assemble a collection of cheap index funds.

But in "Pioneering Portfolio Management," he explains how to be a successful active investor if you want to go that route.

Probably many of us here know Swensen has an astonishingly good long-run record of successful active management. And with a giant pile of money to deploy. What maybe lots of people don't know is that Swensen would say you don't invest into traditional (liquid) asset classes if you want to succeed as an active investor... He says you need to start with alternative asset classes.

P.S. I'm personally an "Unconventional Success" guy and not a "Pioneering Portfolio Management" guy...

I'm more of a Benjamin Graham type investor, but I will definitely look into it.

Fireball

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2016, 08:30:33 AM »
I don't pick a lot, but I do keep a very small amount of money set aside for me to play with. The rest of my portfolio is in index funds. Only been at it for about a year so not a long track record of success, but so far so good. I go into it with the plan of holding 1-2 years or when I've gained/lost 30%.

My most recent pick is DB. Up about 18% in the last couple months. Really banking (pun intended) that Germany won't let them go belly up. Crossing my fingers. Before that, did well with some mining stocks and CVX back when oil bottomed out.

The question is not whether DB will be allowed to fail, but whether existing shareholders will be left holding the bag if it is recapitalized.

Agreed.  That is one important question out of many for DB.   

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2016, 03:49:36 PM »
Interest Compound brought up a point about Motley Fool essentially being dishonest or misleading because they compare their account performance to an sp500 index without including reinvested dividends.  I wasnt sure about this so decided to see if I could look it up and found that the Motley Fool Disclosure statement says both their performance and the sp500 benchmark include dividends. 


The Motley Fool Investment Return Calculations Disclosures

Real-Money Portfolios
The Motley Fool's real money portfolios include Pro, Supernova, the Everlasting Portfolio, Million Dollar Portfolio, Special Ops, and MDP Deep Value. The total return is calculated using a time-weighted rate-of-return formula. The returns of the individual stocks are calculated using a simple average, excluding dividends. Dividends are included for both the total portfolio return and the benchmark, the S&P 500 Total Return Index.

Recommendation Services
Total average returns are the average of all individual stock recommendations (active and sold) and the average of the S&P 500 Total Return Index, starting from the end of the day we make each recommendation. Both the stock and benchmark returns include reinvested dividends


« Last Edit: December 02, 2016, 03:52:57 PM by HAPPYINAZ »

scottish

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2016, 03:01:21 PM »
I used to pick stocks.   One Christmas I wrote a script to scrape yahoo finance and compare my stock picks on a long term basis to index investing with dividends and splits and everything.   (I think it was a 15 year period).   I found I was lagging the index by a bit, so I decided why bother?   I still have a big basket of stocks in non-registered accounts because I'm not willing to take the capital gains whilst I'm still at work, but the registered accounts have been converted to index investing.

I always liked dividend paying, conservative stocks.    I think I usually lost money on higher risk stocks, but the blue chip ones paid off fairly well.   And don't even talk about the business cycle in resource stocks!

SnackDog

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2016, 04:09:47 PM »
The Vanguard personal performance calculator seems to work ok.  If I compare ten year returns to VTSAX, which includes dividends, my total portfolio is ahead by 1 percentage point and my individual stock account is ahead by about 2 points.  Of course, their calculator does not include tax implications such as tax loss harvesting nor taxes on dividends or sales but those seem negligible.

I enjoy picking individual stocks and have had good luck (which may be all it is) reading Barron's the last decade or so. Barron's check's their stock pick performance annually and they normally beat the market overall. I will eventually figure out how to unwind some of my better positions into a three-fund set-it-and-forget-it at some stage.

Interest Compound

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2016, 10:05:19 PM »
Interest Compound brought up a point about Motley Fool essentially being dishonest or misleading because they compare their account performance to an sp500 index without including reinvested dividends.  I wasnt sure about this so decided to see if I could look it up and found that the Motley Fool Disclosure statement says both their performance and the sp500 benchmark include dividends. 


The Motley Fool Investment Return Calculations Disclosures

Real-Money Portfolios
The Motley Fool's real money portfolios include Pro, Supernova, the Everlasting Portfolio, Million Dollar Portfolio, Special Ops, and MDP Deep Value. The total return is calculated using a time-weighted rate-of-return formula. The returns of the individual stocks are calculated using a simple average, excluding dividends. Dividends are included for both the total portfolio return and the benchmark, the S&P 500 Total Return Index.

Recommendation Services
Total average returns are the average of all individual stock recommendations (active and sold) and the average of the S&P 500 Total Return Index, starting from the end of the day we make each recommendation. Both the stock and benchmark returns include reinvested dividends

Revisiting the example from the before-mentioned post, this is the Motley Fool page Financial.Velociraptor referenced when determining one of his picks was beating the market.

http://caps.fool.com/player/fvelociraptor.aspx

Look at the numbers in the "Index Gain" column, and compare them to the actual performance of an actual S&P500 fund during that time period, and tell me if you think they match up:

http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fund/chart?t=VFIAX&region=usa&culture=en_US

From my calculations, the S&P500 numbers are off almost exactly by the dividend amount. Honest question, if you're saying it's actually including dividends, and they're off for some other reason...does that make this page less deceiving to you?

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2016, 08:47:37 AM »
Interest Compound brought up a point about Motley Fool essentially being dishonest or misleading because they compare their account performance to an sp500 index without including reinvested dividends.  I wasnt sure about this so decided to see if I could look it up and found that the Motley Fool Disclosure statement says both their performance and the sp500 benchmark include dividends. 


The Motley Fool Investment Return Calculations Disclosures

Real-Money Portfolios
The Motley Fool's real money portfolios include Pro, Supernova, the Everlasting Portfolio, Million Dollar Portfolio, Special Ops, and MDP Deep Value. The total return is calculated using a time-weighted rate-of-return formula. The returns of the individual stocks are calculated using a simple average, excluding dividends. Dividends are included for both the total portfolio return and the benchmark, the S&P 500 Total Return Index.

Recommendation Services
Total average returns are the average of all individual stock recommendations (active and sold) and the average of the S&P 500 Total Return Index, starting from the end of the day we make each recommendation. Both the stock and benchmark returns include reinvested dividends

Revisiting the example from the before-mentioned post, this is the Motley Fool page Financial.Velociraptor referenced when determining one of his picks was beating the market.

http://caps.fool.com/player/fvelociraptor.aspx

Look at the numbers in the "Index Gain" column, and compare them to the actual performance of an actual S&P500 fund during that time period, and tell me if you think they match up:

http://quotes.morningstar.com/chart/fund/chart?t=VFIAX&region=usa&culture=en_US

From my calculations, the S&P500 numbers are off almost exactly by the dividend amount. Honest question, if you're saying it's actually including dividends, and they're off for some other reason...does that make this page less deceiving to you?


I don't know what the Index gain references (ie whether it's with or without dividends).  The info I posted was Motley fools statement for the index they use when measuring performance of their stock recommendation services and real money portfolios.  I don't know what the index is when you are in the other section of their website (the CAPs community).  I never use that part of the site, so I am not familiar with it.  But if you are interested in that, you should be able to find out what the definition is of that index gain column.  It sounds like you have already figured out that the index mentioned on that page you referenced is the standard sp500 without dividends.  But they must have an official definition somewhere.   

CorpRaider

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Re: Any individual stock pickers out there?
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2016, 12:04:49 PM »
I've got 80% of my Roth in TARP warrants.  Does that count?