The newsletter continued to fire on all cylinders for the first quarter of 2010 and it was great to get so much positive feedback.
Most of the recent enhancements were relatively minor. I added a color coded Economic Data Highlights table to summarize the actual and estimated numbers for five different areas of economic activity, as those data points have been critical in painting a picture about the relative health of the economy as of late. I also added entries for the VIX front month and second month futures, as well as the VXX roll yield for the Volatility Update table. Finally, I made some minor enhancements to the proprietary Aggregate Market Sentiment Indicator (AMSI) to better tune some of the bullish and bearish signals to the current signal to noise ratio for volatility, put to call data, market breadth, volume, etc.
The real star of the newsletter continues to be the Stock of the Week ‘Sequential Portfolio,’ which is one (relatively) unknown stock I highlight each week. In terms of performance, the Stock of the Week (SOTW) was a consistent performer in the first quarter, experiencing only three losing weeks and generating a cumulative return of 40.9% for the first quarter. The three biggest gainers were RELL, OFIX and BELM. In fact, BELM was selected one day before the company was bought out for a 29.2% premium over the previous close.
The Aggressive Trader Model Portfolio also had a very strong first quarter. This portfolio, which draws from some of the same approach as is used by the SOTW, managed a 27.8% gain in the first quarter. Also beating its benchmark was the Foreign Growth Model Portfolio, which was up 2.1% during the quarter. The mystery sub-par performance continued for the Growth 2 Model Portfolio, which was down 10.8% in the first quarter and was the only portfolio to underperform its benchmark during during this period.
The graphic below shows the performance of the three model portfolios since inception, with a separate breakout for 2008, 2009 and 2010 (first quarter only) 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.
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