Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stock picking

So it's been about 6 months since I embarked upon my first stock picking journey. Normally I just dabble in mutual funds for my RRSPs, now just consisting of index mutual funds that involve no active management, which have been consistently shown to outperform the alternative.

However, last year, after doing an insane amount of reading on personal finance and stocks I was just too interested about stocks to not dive in. But I didn't want to go crazy. So I just put up $500, an amount I could sleep at night after losing.

I ended up picking 6 companies, Google, Apple, Intuitive Surgical, Schlumberger, Research in Motion, and Home Capital Group.

So I evaluated where I stand today. Only 5 months after I bought the companies, I sold my first one because it had already launched over its initial valuation. I bought it at $100.46 and sold it at $223.11. That is a 122% increase over only 5 months. Sweet! And the greatest thing is that Intuitive Surgical, the company in question, was the laughing stock of so called "analysts" at the time I bought it. It was the lowest ranked of all 6! Ha. Analysts. Fools.

Anywho, overall, things are looking great! Over the last 6 months the 6 stocks I chose have risen 55.4%. I compared the increase over this time period in an equal-weighted portfolio consisting of only the TSX 60 (Canadian index) and the S&P 500 (American index). It was only 27.6%. So my stock picks have doubled up on the market! Not too shabby!

Hopefully they keep it up. I'll keep you posted on how the remaining stocks do, will explain my strategy for picking these stocks, and will share with you the updated valuations as the new annual statements come out. Of course, if you're not a finance nerd like me, you can always just delete the feed!

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