Friday File: Annual Review, pt. 1

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 11, 2019

Time, once again, for the Annual Review of all of the stocks I hold in the Real Money Portfolio. Many of my positions are built up over many years, and sometimes they’re stocks that don’t generate a lot of news or attention for months at a time, so I promise each January to cover every stock and update my opinion to make sure that I get to an updated analysis of each stock at least once per year.

It takes a while to get through them all, I currently have about 40 equity positions (plus plenty of dumb little speculations, mostly options, and I’ll cover the more meaningful of those as well), so I won’t be looking at all of them today… but I’ll start with a theme that has been interesting me over the past year, 5G, and move on to the positions that have actually changed this week or generated some news that was worthy of comment, and see how much we can get to. As usual, I’ll aim to cover all the stocks in the portfolio by the end of the month. If you want to skim, each stock and the quick summary are in bold, followed by some more detailed comments on my opinion.

So… starting with 5G.

Qualcomm (QCOM) — Buy below $60 for a 4% yield, 5G play with underappreciated growth prospects (mostly because of Apple legal risk) and a strong dividend. Increased my position by about 20% today, it’s now a bit over a 1% allocation.

Qualcomm is a very volatile stock, mostly because of the huge unknown of its legal fight (including a CEO-level pissing match) with Apple… but they are well positioned for 5G and are making more progress than I expected in automotive (without NXPI)… and Apple is perhaps becoming less of a drag, at least in investors’ minds, because iPhone sales volumes are no longer quite as important as they were, and no one other than Warren Buffett loves Apple anymore (at least for the moment) and the companies are bound to come to some kind of settlement to their many legal fights eventually.

Qualcomm will almost certainly be the key modem supplier for 5G phones for at least the first year, which won’t be a huge deal on the revenue line since that market will start small, but it should help them to cement their position as ...

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