In 2009, I continued to tweak and enhance the subscriber newsletter, but during the last quarter of the year there were no changes to the regular sections of the newsletter, as reader feedback persuaded me that a year of adding new features and graphics had finally resulted in a newsletter that was best left in its current incarnation.
One of the unquestionable success stories of the newsletter has been the excellent performance of the three focus model portfolios and the Stock of the Week ‘Sequential Portfolio’ that consists of one relatively unknown stock which I highlight each week. In terms of performance, two of the three model portfolios (Aggressive Trader and Focus Foreign Growth) ended up with returns of more than 100% for the year. The Stock of the Week was the real star performer, however, racking up gains of 265% for the year, with 10 of the 52 weekly picks logging gains of at least 10% during their week in the sun. The top three weekly gainers were Kirkland’s (KIRK), RINO International (RINO) and last week’s selection, Great Plains Renewable Energy (GPRE).
The graphic below shows the performance of the three model portfolios since inception, with a separate breakout for 2008 and 2009 results. Note that the benchmark data are slightly different due to the fact that one of the focus model portfolios (Growth 2) was launched later than the others and another focus model portfolio (Foreign Growth) uses the iShares MSCI EAFE (Europe, Australasia and the Far East) ETF, EFA, for a benchmark instead of the SPX benchmark data used by the other portfolios.
For those who are interested, I am currently offering a 14-day free trial (see top of right column) to the subscriber newsletter for new subscribers.