Friday File: We’re All Speculators Now

Reducing some leverage in some names, and buying a little more equity in others in our latest Real Money Portfolioupdate -- with updates on CHWY, SFIX, YSAC, ROKU, VSBLTY and dozens more...

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, December 11, 2020

First, a hearty welcome and “thank you” to all the new Irregulars who joined us during the Gumshoe Gives Back campaign this week — we did set a new record, and the money is still rolling in… but you’ve got until midnight tonight to talk the rest of your friends into joining 🙂

And now, on to my weekly brain dump of thoughts about my Real Money Portfolio, the big picture in the investing world, and the updates that have caught my eye in the past seven days. If you’re new to us, feel free to skip through parts of the blather that bore you, there’s a little **** between each section. And I do answer a reader question or two each week at the bottom, so feel free to send us your questions — or add them using the friendly little comment box below. Thanks again!


There was one large investment bank pitch this week for a shift out of some of the fabulous high-growth cloud names and into some of the more boring stocks in those same sectors — that was JP Morgan, downgrading, as reported in Barron’s, some familiar names that are in the Real Money Portfolio and were real pandemic winners, like DocuSign (DOCU), Avalara (AVLR) and Cloudflare (NET), along with the poster child of the pandemic, Zoom Video (ZM)… and upgrading some others that they see as more cyclical, like, RingCentral, Autodesk and Intuit.

The real impression I get from them is that it’s time to take some profits from the biggest winners in technology… and shift some of that investment to the somewhat-similar technology companies that have not run quite as far, or that are better positioned for a rebound in the real economy as the pandemic succumbs to the vaccine in the coming year.

To sum up, just for your information, JP Morgan’s top picks are Varonis (VRNS) and RingCentral (RNG), and they also have a buy now on Altair Engineering (ALTR), Autodesk (ADSK), Cadence Design Systems (CDNS), PTC (PTC), VeriSign (VRSN), Wix. com (WIX), and Intuit (INTU). They cut their ratings on CrowdStrike (CRWD), Okta (OKTA), Cloudflare (NET), Zoom Video (ZM), DocuSign (DOCU), Avalara (AVLR), Veeva (VEEV), Check Point Software (CHKP), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), Fortinet (FTNT), SecureWorks (SCWX), Pluralsight (PS), Model N (MODN), and SS&C Technologies (SSNC).

I haven’t looked at most of those companies in ...