Annual Review … Two New Stocks for the Watchlist … And a Bit of Reorganizing

A new way of organizing and reporting on our favorite stock ideas in 2013

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 18, 2013

Every year in January I set aside the monthly “share a favorite idea” pieces and do some reflecting on all the ideas we’ve shared in the past. This has been a good mental exercise and discipline as I’ve been forced to confront past mistakes and to check in at least once a year and reconsider investments that have changed or been revalued by the market in either good or bad ways … but at this point, there have been enough ideas shared that the volume of blather and thinkolation is getting a little ridiculous.

I’ve covered close to 70 stocks in the “Idea of the Month” since starting this endeavor (Stock Gumshoe launched in 2007, the Irregulars features started in 2008), some with more enthusiasm than others, but I can’t watch that many stocks very closely (or care about them) … and I certainly don’t want to bore you with analysis of a bad idea I shared four years ago in these annual reviews, so I’m going to change the way I organize my ideas and update you on them. I also own usually at least 30 stocks at any given time personally, and there are typically several of those that get a lot of my attention that have never been featured in the idea of the month segment, despite the fact that I end up writing about them quite a bit (like Sandstorm Gold, for example).

The tracking spreadsheet of these past ideas has gotten almost incomprehensible, and my attempts to break up picks by year, for example, haven’t helped (I’m going to simplify that, too, that’s the next step — look for something clearer in that space by the end of next week).

The challenge, then, is how to cover my favorite stocks for you more effectively, and provide updated thoughts on them from time to time, without giving you the impression that I’m recommending a stock portfolio for everyone — I feel strongly that every investor should understand the stocks they buy, and know why they personally are buying them at the price they’re paying. I’ll share my opinion on lots of investments, including the ones that I own, but I’m not ever going to tell you what stocks to hold, or how many of them, or how all the stocks that I like and profile here will work together … because they ...

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