By far the subject which seems to generate the most emails is what I call the Stock of the Week ‘Sequential Portfolio,’ often known simply as the SOTW.
I launched this feature on 3/30/08 with the first issue of the newsletter. My intent was to highlight one relatively unknown stock each week, which I believe is worth owning for both fundamental and technical reasons. While all positions are long-only and are limited to one week, the purpose of the SOTW is not to encourage readers to hop on a single stock and ride it for a week, but rather to generate a new idea each week that might be a candidate for further investigation and perhaps an extended holding period.
Each week I combine my broad market outlook, sector analysis and favored stock selection criteria (sometimes overweighting technical factors and other times favoring fundamentals) to arrive at a handful of finalists for the SOTW. More often than not, the selection of the SOTW for a particular week is the result of analysis of the charts, recent news flow for the stock, and sometimes my perception of how likely I think a particular stock is to become a story stock.
The self-imposed rules of the SOTW state that each week the entire portfolio is invested in a single stock that is purchased at the beginning of the week and sold at the end of the week, regardless of performance. To make for easier accounting, I elected to use Friday's closing price as the official cost basis in the newsletter and do not subsequently adjust that priced based on Monday's open or any other data. At one point I toyed with the idea of editing the data the following week so as to use Monday's open as the official cost basis for record-keeping terms, but over the long run, the difference between Friday's close and Monday's open should be negligible. Also, to my knowledge, I have never there have not been any SOTW selections that have had significant news over the weekend.
The results of the SOTW selection are below and include the date of the newsletter in which the SOTW selection was published, the ticker and the price change from Friday to Friday. For 2008, the SOTW was up 97.7%. For the first eight months of 2009, the SOTW is up 186.5%. Over the full 17 months since the SOTW was launched, the cumulative gains to date are 466.5%. For the record, during this same 17 month period, the S&P 500 index is down 22.7%.
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