Thursday, October 21, 2010

3 Cheers for Netflix

As mentioned, I bought this stock a few weeks ago when Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy - and only for that reason. Netflix (NFLX) rose 13% today. Not this week. TODAY!  All I can say is wow. Didn't see that coming, but happy I was standing in front of the train when it did.  Coincidently, their website went down today too.  What caused the gain?  They had 3rd quarter earnings rise 26%. Still, that's crazy. But I'm glad to be on that side of crazy.  Still keeping my eye on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They're up to $.40/share each, but I don't think they're going to stay there long. I see $.30/share in their futures.  When/if they get back down there, I'll consider buying them again.  Why? Because they are still backed by the government and they recently sold at $60/share.  As The Terminator said, they'll be back....

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Just call me butter...

'cause I'm on a roll. Seriously, my portfolio's doing great at the moment. I have to seriously look at taking some profits off the table. 

I came across this USAToday article today about the risk and reward of investing in a stock, specifically Apple.  With all do respect to the author, I just don't think all of this is necessary.  They talk about the compounded rate of return, "Apple's trading history back to 1984, we see the company generated an average annual compound rate of return of 31.7%".  That's all well and good, but right above that the article says "Shares of the company are up 49% this year,".  That to me is more important than what they were doing back in 1984. I've been a follower of Apple since about 1990.  They were a totally different company in 1990 and 1984. Steve Jobs was there, then he left, now he's back. I don't see the value in tracking what they did the last 25 years.  Let me move on.

The article says "To get that much better return, you had to take a lot of risk. You accepted risk — standard deviation — of 69 percentage points. So, by investing in Apple, you took on 341% more risk to get a 213% higher return."  I don't even know what they're talking about. "Measure the stock's discounted cash flow." Again, huh? Apple had a butt kicking quarter - again - and they've got about $40 billion in the bank. Next.

"Compare the stock's current valuation to its historical range. BetterInvesting's Stock Selection Guide can help. If the company can increase earnings more than 18.1% a year the next five years, as analysts expect, that would put the stock in the "buy" range. " Um, they just rolled out a new Macbook Air, they have Mac OS X Lion coming out next summer, the iPhone may be rolling over to a new provider in the states come Christmas, the iPad is running out of stores... Need I say more?

Finally, the article says " An old adage on Wall Street is that the crowd is usually wrong. But Apple continues to disprove just about every tenet of investing, as the crowd has been continuously right on this one." Sooo, all the stuff you wrote in the article is bullpucky?  Again, I think the only people who are worried about measuring risk, compound rate of return and increased earnings over the next 5 years are "the experts". My portfolio is up 49% since last year and over 100% the last 2 months. And I have no clue what the 25 year chart looks like for anything I own.  'nuff said

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blockbuster Busted...

Last week Blockbuster, after months (maybe years) of speculation, filed for bankruptcy protection. I had a buddy who managed a local branch and years ago he told me they'd spent some money to get into online streaming of movies, but after a year, decided to get out.  Basically, they didn't have a clue. So I bought the combustion engine to their horse and buggy: Netflix (NFLX). I think I used to own this stock a few years ago when it was about $40/share but I got out. It's now $155/share and I'm kicking myself. No worries, it's showing up on lots of other devises like XBox and iPad, so I think it's got some more legs in it.

Still keeping an eye on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and they're still selling for $.29 and $.30 a share.  Anyway, I'm doing pretty well. My prediction that the market would hit 10,000 before 11,000 was waaaayyy off.  My big winner today is Starbucks, it's up 4% because some analysts suddenly have "more confidence" in the company.  Last month they said they were raising prices.

Here's my current holdings and returns as of close today:

AAPL 178.72%
AET 1.67%
AGP 50.94%
AIG 12.10%
AXP 186.36%
BP 7.29%
COF 2.89%
DIS 34.65%
EBAY 16.12%
F 223.65%
JBLU 12.91%
LF 3.95%
LVLT -30.94%
MA 33.89%
NFLX 0.35%
PG -5.67%
SBUX 35.70%
SIRI 17.39%
TJX -0.22%
TM -8.81%
XRX 65.24%