Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My miserable July

This is the portion of the show where I normally discuss my exceptional portfolio return and modestly claim the results were the result of "good luck" or some one-time event that can never be repeated. My IRA was down 5.20% in July, which was on top of a -1.92% return for June. So which stocks ought I to have sold to avoid this calamity? Oracle, my largest holding, was down a modest 2.99%. Canon clocked down 9.48%. Select Comfort only lost 1.73% in July but for the last 3 months it has lost 14.02%. Berkshire nearly held steady at -0.66%. First Marblehead was the biggest loser: trimming 14.7%. Sally Beauty lost 10.78% and its brother, Alberto-Culver, lost 0.84%. So it was a clean sweep—everything lost market capitalization in July. Here's how I compared to my benchmarks so far this year:

Date     S&P 500 Delta   IRA   Delta  BRK A
07/31/07   2.61% -3.32% -0.71% -0.72% 0.01%

To be honest, I don't feel that holding onto these positions was a mistake. Each of these companies have performed well in my opinion and will likely rebound when the market starts to calm down a bit. First Marblehead in particular is wildly undervalued because of its perceived connection to mortgage bonds and other asset backed securities.

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