Some thoughts on my Top Ten Personal Holdings

Friday File checkup on my largest holdings, including barnburner Africa Oil and some quieter "near book value" plays.

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, March 30, 2012

I get questions about my personal portfolio every day, and you know that I always write about the personal stock buys and sells I make on this site for you, my favorite Irregulars — so every now and then I like to share some updates on what my top holdings are and, particularly when there’s big news or newsletter pushing going on for particular names. Or, really, whenever some thoughts come to mind that I feel like sharing.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that I’m recommending you go out and buy any of the stocks that I own. This is also, to be clear, not my entire portfolio — I also dabble in some speculative (usually stupid) derivatives investments from time to time, like options and warrants, and I do have a fair amount of my family’s portfolio allocated to a variety of mutual funds and similarly passive investments that probably, on the whole, perform similarly to the global stock market indices. But individual stocks are what I spend most of my time thinking about, and what interest me more than any other investments.

So for a quick update, here’s how my top ten stock holdings currently line up, with the largest at the top:

Sandstorm Gold (SSL in Canada, SNDXF on the pink sheets)
Africa Oil (AOI in Canada, AOIFF on the pink sheets)
Seadrill (SDRL)
Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B)
Apple (AAPL)
Altius Minerals (ALS in Canada, ATUSF on the pink sheets)
Sprott Resource Corp (SCP in Canada, SCPZF on the pink sheets)
Sprott Resource Lending (SILU)
Google (GOOG)
Dorchester Minerals (DMLP)

SILU and DMLP are currently carrying paper losses at the moment, in the 5-10% neighborhood even counting the many dividends reinvested in those shares (both have above-average yields), the rest are profitable holdings, including some very long-term holdings (Berkshire) and some that have shown huge gains in just the last year or less that vaulted them into my top holdings (Africa Oil and Apple, particularly).

So what’s been going on with the stocks on this list, which I follow more closely than I do most other stories?

Well, the one that has gotten the most attention this week has been, no surprise, Africa Oil. This one I first bought shortly after seeing it teased by Christian Dehaemer last Fall, since I liked the strength of their institutional backers and ...

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