Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why I sold Canon

I'm pretty far behind in updating my transaction diary. Partially that's because I don't want to think about the carnage done to my portfolio in recent weeks and partially because I got busy with other things (i.e. buying a house). Because I need some cash to use as a down payment, I sold off my Canon shares at a price less than what I consider to be their value. On August 6, I got $46.49 a share. The first lot (bought in December, 2003) returned 62% compared to 6% for the S&P 500. The second lot (bought in December, 2004) returned 47% compared to 7%. The annualized return was about 11% for both lots. Needless to say, both lots were excellent investments.

Canon has lost a lot of market cap since I sold, so I lucked out there. Since Berkshire had about the same price to value ratio, I was tempted to sell it instead. But I resisted in part because I assumed consumer electronics will be harder to sell in the next few years and Berkshire will be able to pick up some good deals over the same time period. Like Oracle, I suspect Canon will be a compelling value and on my investment radar in the future.

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