Friday, September 24, 2010

Newsletter and Portfolio Performance Update Through 6/30/10

Largely as a result of overwhelmingly positive feedback, I made no significant changes to the subscriber newsletter during the second quarter of 2010. After two years of tinkering and considerable reader input, the sections, graphics and commentary seem to have found a flow and style that I enjoy and readers appear to be getting a great deal of value from the current structure and format as well.

One interesting development that occurred during the quarter was a review of the Stock of the Week ‘Sequential Portfolio’ (SOTW) by Michael Stokes of MarketSci. In a three-part series, MarketSci has a very positive review of the SOTW, first as a single stock portfolio, then using a short SPY position to hedge market risk and finally examining a theoretical 10-week holding period. The quick summary of MarketSci’s findings is that the performance of the SOTW is very strong both unhedged and hedged, but there is not convincing evidence of persistent outperformance past the initial post-selection week.

The full set of MarketSci reviews can be found at:
For the record, MarketSci’s analysis assumes that an investor would buy the SOTW at beginning of the first session of the following week and close out the position at the end of the final trading day of that week. As I stated in MarketSci on the Stock of the Week ‘Sequential Portfolio’:
“This is different from the Friday close to Friday close data I have always reported in my subscriber newsletter, because I always wanted to report a cost basis in the newsletter on Sunday and assumed that if I avoided stocks which had news over the weekend, the difference between using a Friday close vs. a Monday open as a cost basis would not be meaningful in the long run.”

Regarding the performance of the SOTW and the model portfolios during the second quarter, it was a mixed bag. The S&P 500 index fell 11.9% from 1169 to 1030 during the quarter, with both the Aggressive Trader Model Portfolio and Growth 2 Model Portfolio underperforming the benchmark, while the Foreign Growth Model Portfolio and the Stock of the Week both outperformed the benchmarks. In fact the SOTW increased its margin on the S&P 500 index from 40% to 69% during the period, riding weekly gains of more than 10% from XRTX, VPHM and PQ.

Last but not least, my apologies for the delay in getting this update posted in a timely basis. Not that much changed in the newsletter during the second quarter, but as there have been a number of important changes in the third quarter, I will do my best to provide another update discussing those changes in two weeks or so.

For those seeking additional information, I am offering a 14-day free trial (see top of right column) to the subscriber newsletter for all new subscribers.

long VPHM at time of writing