I think that I’m going to talk to you a little about my portfolio now. Since about when I started college I started buying and holding on to stocks. I’ve always been interested in the stock market and I’ve always thought of making money using it but I never had the money to do so. So I had to buy in small quantities. I didn’t buy often since at the time, there was no discount brokerages. The first stock I ever got was in high school and it was a gift of one share of Exxon.
The Exxon share was cool since they had this thing called a DRIP. With most dividend producing stocks you can enroll with the company in this plan that allows you to reinvest the dividends in fractional shares of stock (hense the name : Dividend ReInvestment Plan). In addition DRIPs allow you to send them additional money and they will buy you fractional stock with no fees. Thats what I did and I would send them maybe $25 every couple of months and buy myself .6 shares or whatever. I ended up doing the same with Intel stock and for a while I had those two shares. That was the start of my stock trading carreer.
Now I’m all set up with a Scottrade account. They are pretty good. $7 trades, a nice web interface, and no account fees. The only thing I don’t like is that they won’t mail you statements. Instead you download PDFs from online. This is good, but I forget to do it often.
So, over the years I’ve ended up investing about $20,000 and my portfolio has done pretty well with that investment. My investment plan is simple: I buy companies that I think are doing good stuff and are going to for some time in the future. What I mean by ‘good stuff’ is that the company is making money by selling a product that I use or they do a service well. I buy and hold stocks for a very long time. I barely look at stock prices or news on the companies except in one case which I’ll get to.
OK. So here are the stocks I own and the reasons I own them:
Disney : This company owns ESPN and ABC and makes money every damn year.
Comcast : Ok. This one’s interesting. You all know I’m not a fan of their service, but I bought a share so I could get thier Annual Report so I can keep an eye on their ownership of the Flyers and also so I could watch them take over the media world. Thier stock has been a great investment since then and I’ve bought some more. This stock goes against my rules but it keeps making money and Comcast keeps growing. So, what can I do?
General Electric : I’m a solar guy and a renewable energy guy and no huge company is doing more to embrace the new green economy than GE. This company (in my mind) gets it and although they are huge, they seem like a good investment to me.
British Petroleum : I have to own an Oil stock. They just keep making money. But BP is different. I bought them becasue they are investing heavily in alternative energies. More than any other oil company. I’ve also bought into the thought that they are the most concious company in their group. This is a very long term holding for me. My thought is that oil dwindles, this company will be most poised to change over and when oil is gone, they will not only survive, but thrive with their headstart.
Intel : I still own intel and although they are tanking a bit, I can’t see them ever not making money in the long run. They are simply too big a company and have too much market dominance.
Sirius : I’ve saved the best for last. I own a ton (relative to my other stocks) of shares in this company. I can’t stop buying them either. I bought a bunch at $2 about 2 years ago and watched them climb up and up and up leading into the Stern deal and now I see them dropping down again so they are a killer bargain to me. Owning this company in the long term will be like owning shares in HBO or CBS. The reason right now they are not doing well in the market is that XM is doing poorly as a company and the market treats them both as one (even though Sirius is very well managed currently). I watch this stock all the time becasue I am conviced the market has it wrong. We’ll see.
Other : I have a large amount of cash in a hedge fund I bougt a while ago. I’ve made some decient returns from it but now it’s coming time to sell it. I will probably sell it in November and will use the money to balance out my positions in the companies I own and also buy a new stock (Netflix) who I think is poised to become the next Mirimax.
Anyway, now you’ve got some reference when I talk about stocks and the market (which I may, rarely).