My Stock Portfolio

photo credit: kevinzhengli

Some of you have expressed interest in what stocks I own. I’ve been reluctant to share this since I’m not a stock expert and I don’t want my portfolio to be seen as advice on what you should buy.

I currently have twelve stocks in my portfolio. It would be better to have more but this is what I can afford at the moment. These are the current holdings in my stock portfolio: Bemis (BMS), British Petroleum (BP),Consolidated Edison (ED), Great Southern Bank (GSBC),Johnson and Johnson (JNJ),Coca-Cola (KO),McDonald’s (MCD),Realty Income (O),Pitney Bowes (PBI),Power Shares International Dividend Achievers (PID),Ship Finance (SFL),Universal Health Realty Income Trust (UHT).

Most of these stocks were chosen because they had a consistent history of raising dividends or had a nice dividend yield. Ideally they would be like O and have both. An 8.4% yield and a consistent history of increasing their dividend since their listing on the NYSE in 1984. I don’t particularly like investing in funds but I have PID since I am under diversified and need more international exposure.

My return on investment since I started investing last October is 4.9% or 7.2% annualized. The actual ROI is higher than that since I didn’t invest all my money at once, I’ve been slowly adding to my portfolio since then. I just calculated this figure for this post and initially thought this wasn’t a very good performance. Considering the S&P 500 index lost 22.56% the last quarter of 2008 and is down 2.67% this year my performance looks pretty good.

This performance would be a lot better if I would have been quicker to unload GE. On the other other hand if I hadn’t bough GSBC, which more than doubled, my performance would be a lot worse. That is how diversification works. If one stock sucks, there should be some others that pick up the slack.

My initial plan for this portfolio was to eventually have enough dividend income to cover my monthly expenses. I’m no longer sure if I’m going to pursue that plan since I’m looking at having a wider variety of investments. I’ll still have stocks they will just be a smaller percentage of my investments overall.

My Stock Portfolio is Up

My portfolio of individual stocks I started investing in last year is finally showing a profit.  Not much of one but compared to the 30% loss in my Roth IRA it looks pretty good.  This doesn’t matter much since I won’t be using the money for several years but it is good to see it heading in the right direction.  I wish I could say that the superior return of my stock portfolio compared to my Roth IRA was due to my investing skill but it is mostly attributable to luck.  I didn’t start investing in my individual stocks until late October/early November after the stock market had already declined steeply.  This wasn’t because I was timing the market but because I didn’t have the money to invest before then.  Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.