Annual Review, Part One

Looking at the stocks that spent 2013 on the Irregulars "core" list

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 10, 2014

I end up covering a large number of stocks here at Stock Gumshoe, so even though a very small number of them end up getting featured as an “Idea of the Month” that I like, or as a stock that I buy personally, there are usually quite a few of even these “favored” names that I don’t say much about on a regular basis.

For that reason, and to make sure that nothing sneaks through the cracks completely, I do an annual review of the stocks on our Irregulars spreadsheet — many of those stocks come up in our coverage frequently, but not all, so this way I promise to update my opinion on these stocks and take a close look at them at least once per year. Frankly, for some of the more “buy and hold” type stocks like Berkshire Hathaway or Pembina Pipeline, once a year tends to be plenty … but still, a re-check and a reorganization of those “core”, “speculation” and “watchlist” stocks is due now.

Before I get started, I’ll just reiterate what our goal is here at Stock Gumshoe: In general, our goal is to help people share ideas and think carefully about stocks without the haze of hype clouding our judgement too much … and for these “Idea of the Month” and other stocks that I actually like or consider somehow appealing, our goal is to share ideas we find interesting, including some that I own personally, but it’s important to remember that we’re all just sharing our thoughts, opinions, and what information we’ve gathered. Even though I try to organize these stocks into different baskets as a way to more clearly communicate my opinions about the stocks, they are not a portfolio that can or should be specifically emulated by anyone, this is grist for your mill as you research and build and manage your portfolio — if you aren’t someone who likes diving in and understanding stocks and making your own judgements about how to invest in them, you’re probably far better off buying index funds and/or having someone else manage your portfolio for you (preferably at very low cost).

Most people will do worse than the market most of the time thanks to trading or fund management costs and emotional trading tendencies that are hard-wired into most of our brains, and even the best managers usually do worse ...

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