Darwin’s Portfolio – The Full Monty

by Darwin on March 11, 2010


The Full Monty.  My trading portfolio in all its glory.

I used to update readers on my portfolio holdings and performance at Everyday Finance, but that blog was recently locked up in unceremonious fashion by the Blogger team at Google, so until that is resolved, there may be some cross-content over here at Darwin’s Finance.

Basically, I have various investment accounts including 529s/ESAs for the kids, a 401K, my own IRA mutual funds and self-directed and I have this traditional trading account.  I had posted last week on how I’ve been making double digit returns regardless of market direction by selling short leveraged ETF pairs simultaneously.  It’s really been working out spectacularly.  Feel free to revisit that article for the short portion of the portfolio.  I also have a decent sized Stock Option portion of my portfolio.  On the long end though, these are the stocks I own with a brief explanation of why I own them.

Baidu.come (BIDU) – Dubbed the Google of China, this stock has benefited of late from Google’s troubles in China, well, actually Google having a backbone and standing up to China’s recent hack attacks.  That being said, by owning both Google and Baidu, I’m confident that I’ll capture the net growth in China which is going to grow orders of magnitude during the next several years.  They’re both holders.

Apple (AAPL) – As you can see, Apple’s been up big since entry – well over 100%.  When everyone was running for the exits in early 2009, I loaded up on Apple with 100 shares.  It was a huge portion of my portfolio, but being a recent iPod enthusiast myself and seeing the euphoria over the iPhone versions to date, I became a believer.  Along the way, I sold some covered calls to collect income and I’ve since unloaded more than half the shares because the position was starting to comprise too large a portion of my overall portfolio.  It freed up some extra cash for other plays to diversify.  I’m not complaining though, with Apple breaking through new highs on news of their iPad launch date confirmed.

IMAX (IMAX) – When the Avatar buzz was building, I snatched up shares.  Then I Saw Avatar and became a believer.  IMAX 3-D is the future of movies in my opinion.  They’re able to garner massive premiums on tickets and any future action flick that wants to be an “it” movie for the season will be forced to launch in the IMAX format.  Shares were further bolstered this week by the wild success of Alice and Wonderland.  I’m just sayin’ wait for Clash of the Titans! (a childhood favorite being remade and launched next month in IMAX 3-D).

Chiplotle Grill (CMG) – This was a recent purchase.  From the Warren Buffet “buy what you know” playbook, after eating in one of these for the first time and having researched the stock without ever pulling the trigger, I was sold.  I looked at the chain, future growth, the arms-distance help from McDonald’s, the “health/natural” movement with food following movies like Food Inc. and general attitudes in America, I see huge potential for the franchise.

Green Mountain Coffee Roaster (GMCR)
– This is another one of those  “Buy what you know” stocks.  I started buying and drinking their flavored coffees over a year ago and I’m kicking myself for not buying shares sooner.  They’ve greatly outperformed the market and continue to rally on growth prospects.  People just love their coffee!

Google (GOOG) – Even though they wiped out my blog, Google’s incredible.  If Google stays in China, you want to own it.  If they don’t they’ll still do fine.  With print advertising dying a slow death and Google gaining market share consistently, they’re really running like a fine-tuned machine.  They have the best and the brightest engineers figuring out more and more ways to organize and monetize the world’s data.  This is one of those 21st century stocks everyone should own.

Pimco Muni Fund (PMF) – I bought this one when I wrote about the high yield muni ETFs and how you could get incredible 8% tax-free yields payed monthly and without interruption.  Well, a year later, I’m still collecting my tax-free dividends monthly.  I still think at current yields, PMF holds promise over the yields you can get even from the highest online savings rates.

Vimplecom (VIP) – This is a Russian telecom I’ve owned for some time.  At one point, it was up 100%, then down 50%.  It’s quite volatile, as is Russia.  I intend on holding as an emerging market play on Russia.

GDXJ (Gold Miner Junior ETF)
– While I’ve knocked the gold rush as hype in prior posts, I bought this ETF based on my presumption of continued dollar weakness and the fact that this ETF is levered to gold, as opposed to buying a gold ETF itself given tax differences in a bullion ETF vs. a company ETF.  You may have noticed I included the 2X gold ETFs in my long/short strategy I referred to earlier as well, so if gold takes off and that pair falls apart, the underlying GDXJ will offset any losses.  It’s up marginally so no complaints.

TYH – Ignore this one.  It’s part of one of those double-short ETF pairs trades but I opened the position with long stock and it didn’t reconcile my short stocks, so it’s stuck in this section of the ledger.

Goldman Sachs (GS) – Basically, of all the big banks, financials or whatever you want to call them post-TARP, Goldman was the standout winner.  They were solvent, they didn’t need TARP funds, they had incredible proprietary trading results and Warren Buffett was snatching up warrants.  However, as the political ire was directed toward Goldman for their role in the crisis and $700,000 bonuses projected, the stock has been under fire since.  It’s moved up a bit, but I did buy high.  I’m holding though, I still believe in them long term.

If you like ETFs over stocks, check out ETFBase where I just outlined the top 400%+ gainers over the prior year from the March lows.

What Are Your Favorite Stocks?

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March 25, 2010 at 9:21 am


1 Evan March 11, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I love these sort of insights into the bloggers I read daily.

I know it may be too much info for a comment reply, but how do you choose stocks – P/E and similar metrics vs. News and Public Buzz vs. chart reading…a combo of all 3?

Darwin's Finance Reply:

@Evan, I’ve tried various methods and have actually toned down my # of holdings and trades in general. I actually still have some of these from 1-3 years ago. I’d researched them thoroughly (for the most part) and bought, but I have to admit I haven’t always employed a consistent, methodical approach. I believe in trends. And I’m buying the trends. Technology, Internet spread in China to the other hundreds of millions that don’t have it yet, America’s love of coffee and natural foods, stuff like that.

2 Budgeting in the Fun Stuff March 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm

My husband has been mentioning our Pepsi and Johnson & Johnson stocks lately (he enjoys dividends).

I invest our 401k and current Roth IRA in target date mutual funds. He invests our Scottrade account and will be investing our second Roth IRA in individual stocks…I’m forwarding this list onto him. Thanks!

Darwin's Finance Reply:

@Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, Pepsi and J&J are good, safe dividend plays. While yields not huge, the dividend growth propels them long term. Most people do just fine in index funds; I find I’m learning a lot and have some nice runs on individual stocks, but of late, the market buoyed all stocks, so I can’t take sole credit for the triple digit gains.

3 Monevator March 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Brave man revealing your portfolio in its entirety, but you’re probably a better blogger than me for it. I fear it influencing my decision making and so on too much. Instead I’ll probably run a real money demo portfolio before too long (have been putting aside money in readiness).

Not so convinced about Google. Obviously it’s great to own now, but it’s not clear to me it couldn’t be instantly supplanted by another network — it’s advertisers and consumers (us) wouldn’t care less. All it requires is a better mousetrap to come along… Not impossible!

4 Kevin Khachatryan March 12, 2010 at 3:44 am

Hey there, this post really stood out because I recommended Chipotle to a few of my friends and family. One of there franchises opened next to a busy mall next to my house and I feel like their expansion will be continual.

P.s, you put an extra L in your Chipotle.

5 Elliott March 12, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I’ve been really missing Everyday Finance. I was afraid you had decided to shelve it. If memory serves you had just posted a list of high-yield blue chips with a solid history of dividend growth before it went down. I’m really wishing I had written that list down – good stuff (both there and here). Keep up the great work. I really appreciate all the info!

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