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No. of Recommendations: 12
Up over 25% ytd, we'll see how the last 9 or so trading days go, esp if we get translucence on the tariff thing. Maybe I'll hit 30 with the help of SCOR, AVLR, BHC, CHWY.

Top 5 positions, no real change this year save MA's rally:
GOOGL
MA
AMZN
BKNG
FB

Best 2018 trade: OKTA, CELG

Best short-term trade: DDS

Best option trade: None

Worst trade: LGF

Worst shorts: SKY, QNST, CLCT - Why do I even bother.

Better late than never: LULU & XPEL

Best long: APO

Worst long: ETSY

Worst timing: ULTA

Best sells: ETSY, PLCE

Worst sales: STZ, DPZ - I'm an idiot and will now light myself on fire.


Stocks spent most time waiting & watching to buy and still watching: WYNN, LB.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
37%+

Best long's: Apple, BRX, SBUX, CTT, WY, SaaS names (AYX,APPN,ADBE,MSFT,) (all are 50%+) returns

Almost all my longs worked, except FDX. Timely additions to JPM, WFC, HD all performed very well.

Best sale: Closing BRK and buying JPM, Closing WFC-L (preferred) and buying WFC

Best Option trade: Long APPL $150 at the beginning of the year, sold prematurely around $180, then shorted $200 Put

Carrying close to 20% cash hurt pretty bad.

One of those years, that makes you think you are genius, then I talk to my wife and son to get back to reality.
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No. of Recommendations: 11
Up a ridiculous 105% ytd. Practically every position performed well and the largest position rose spectacularly.

2019 is the opposite of 2018 although both proved to be strong years. But 2019's returns were broad and generous and 2018's returns were extremely narrow. Although I was quite pleased with 2018's overall 30+% return that number was due to one outstanding position.

Everything else went down in 2018 but XPEL ... and in 2019 everything went up including XPEL.

Mr. Market marked stuff down unnecessarily in late 2018 and these markdowns reversed in 2019. So be it.

Hindsight is 20/20 but in early 2019 I even found a large cap stock I liked. Facebook ... you may of heard of it. I could see myself even adding to FB or GOOG at these prices but overall the large cap market seems fairly to fully priced given modest growth prospects for many companies.

***

Best long: XPEL (my offspring will be covering my tombstone with paint protection film).

Darn good longs: APO, ARES, BX, CG (Mr. Market reversed the hate-on he had for alts at the end of 2018. Plus even regular asset managers did well in 2019, and the continued tailwind of C-Corp conversion helped).

Best growth stock you never heard of: HemaCare (HEMA) Peter Lynch had it right when he referred to "fast growers" as companies boasting revenue growth of 20+ percent. Don't give me the puke "high single digits" topline and call it a growth stock, girlfriend. The world needs speciality blood for future meds.

That being said, it's a dark stock. Not for everyone.

Most disappointing (former) position: Poor BioSyent (RX.V) may be ending 2019 on sounder footing but the Canadian in-licensing market is not what it once was. Sold it earlier this year. Also the Best Sell of 2019.

Biggest Miss: Formerly REPR now KRMD. Koru Medical razor/razor blade business. There is a secular growth wave for subcutaneous immunoglobulin therapy and their Freedom 60 device injects the meds into people. A candidate for adding in any pullback, btw. Recent uplisting to NASDAQ. I should have seen this because ...

Another Miss: In 2018 I missed Paysign. PAYS manages prepaid cards, particularly for plasma donation centers. Plasma donations are a booming business with a secular tailwind and also a key ingredient for the medicine used in Koru's devices. The company is literally a 10 minute drive away from me. There is a silly short campaign against PAYS. Given the growth prospects PAYS may be cheaper now than at first glance.

Suffice it to say I think the answer to the question, "Where Do I Find Fast Growers?" is a two part response. Either make your way to SaaSville or relocate to Tiny Town Stocksborough. S&P 500 investing imho is for people who call 145 bips outperformance "success." If you have to play in that sandbox so be it but if you don't ...

ET
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Mr. Market marked stuff down unnecessarily in late 2018 and these markdowns reversed in 2019. So be it
Very true. Some of my position or additions clearly benefited from the Dec 2018 selloff. Especially Apple, BRX, CTT, WY all significant additions to existing position in Jan 2018.

In general, buy the dip on trade headlines worked well.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I made a timely sale of Apple last year but never got back in. Classic error.
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No. of Recommendations: 6
i don't post here anymore, but feel it would be chicken-you-know-what to not close out with a reply...first, kudos to all, but in a word, i sucked in 2019. Which option determined how much I sucked - have three fully invested accounts well ahead of the sp500, but both my plus and model lagged significantly. The model lagged my benchmark too by 2% at last count.

I had too much cash. I continue to have a lot of cash. I'm actually concerned about this market, but I was concerned in Jan19 so I don't think my opinion has any relevance at this point but my circumstance in life have changed (ie, my age). Actual picks were fine but large cap moat picks did really well this year and I don't feel like I added much value via analysis given much of the price appreciation was due to PE expansion.

Top holdings - GOOG, FB, MSFT, MOAT, and a trio of CAD stocks

No real trades of note, though almost every sale was the wrong choice if you measure by subsequent price action. If had one none-decision to take back, it would have been being too tepid with Enghouse when I knew it was an opportunity again - that should have been 5% vs. the 2 to 3% exposure.

I do think MOAT continues to be a viable alternative of sorts (re: index alternatives), both as a straight pick and to mine opportunities. Every year can be different, but Morningstar's stock picking system has two important advantages: it is consistent and logical.
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I don't feel like I added much value via analysis given much of the price appreciation was due to PE expansion.

Very true.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I don't feel like I added much value via analysis given much of the price appreciation was due to PE expansion.

This line kind of hit a chord, today I was looking at COST, this is a small position that I managed to not to sell of the purchase I made aftermath of AMZN's wholefoods purchase. Costco was trading around 25 PE at that time (my cost basis was $160), and while the earnings have increased, the price appreciation to $290 is mainly the PE expansion to 36. Costco is a great business, I shop there regularly, I like the company, its products, services etc, but 36 PE?

If democrats win and reverse the tax cuts to corporation, that along with a garden variety recession can still do a significant damage to share prices.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
This line kind of hit a chord, today I was looking at COST, this is a small position that I managed to not to sell of the purchase I made aftermath of AMZN's wholefoods purchase. Costco was trading around 25 PE at that time (my cost basis was $160), and while the earnings have increased, the price appreciation to $290 is mainly the PE expansion to 36. Costco is a great business, I shop there regularly, I like the company, its products, services etc, but 36 PE?

No comment on COST's multiple expansion but it's worth noting that the SP500's trailing and forward PE are not out of line with the multiples we experienced from 2015 until the correction in 2018. To the extent that the SP500 multiple is a problem it is the same problem we've had for a few years.

(See Figure 12 on Page 7 of Yardeni's report)

https://www.yardeni.com/pub/stockmktperatio.pdf

ET
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No. of Recommendations: 1
To the extent that the SP500 multiple is a problem it is the same problem we've had for a few years

I think most of the returns in 2019 are due to PE expansion, especially if you view it from Dec 18 sell-off, factoring the earnings growth. In other words, the performance hit taken at the end of 2018, reversed and further multiple expansion resulted in outsized gains for 2019.

It is true for most of my big winners whether it is AAPL, MA, or BRX completely different sectors. IF PE were to remain constant the share price growth should mirror earnings growth, but many of these names experienced over 50% share price appreciation, clearly they are aided by not only earnings growth, but significant multiple expansion too.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I don't have up-to-date figures but from 1/1/2019 to 11/30/2019 I was up
- 23% in an all-value no-new-money portfolio
- 21% in a mixed US(2/3)+foreign(1/3) large-cap value stocks no-new-money portfolio
S&P 500 (total return index) was up 27.5% and EAFE TR by 18.5% so overall I underperformed my index by ~3%.

This despite putting > 2% in absolute stinkers like ADS (down > 30%) and non-performers like VIAB (now VIAC). Some stocks I bought based on valuation turned out to be growth stocks (who knew) - SWKS, LGIH, AZO. I don't have any true growth stocks like SaaS companies or any large techs (FB/GOOGL/AMZN) etc. And no AAPL, though it is a value stock now, since Buffett bought it (?)

These numbers would look a lot worse if I compare returns starting September 2018 or earlier before the market tanked in late 2018.

Life goes on. I am transitioning from a stock-picker to an indexer but the surgery is constantly ongoing and very painful. (They had to remove most of my ego). Right now I am a non-binary investor :-)
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Year's still not over but I hit up 105% YTD, wait...[checks notes] sorry was reading someone else's year-end report, I hit 30% YTD today thanks to some ridic gains in INVT this week, and SCOR and LULU continuing to rally into year-end.

Given that we have, at most, 2-3 'real' trading days left this year and 30.0% is a nice round number, I'm calling time on 2019 here.





My 10 year IRA did 366.7%, or about 110% better than the index. Last 3 years avg over 25% CAGR.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Worst trade: LGF
Comcast and StarZ enters into a deal and the stock pops 8%
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No. of Recommendations: 1
re: buying WFC

what do you look for (data points, quantitative info, opinion, etc.) - what made you make a switch? find this stock very difficult to evaluate
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I have closed this sometime back when it was hitting the resistance at $53 and not able to break-out. Today, it just looks so smart, sometimes it is better to be lucky.

I am not a big fan of WFC, the thesis, while they are taking time to resolve their issues, and their net incomes stuck around $22 B, their share count is coming down, and at some point they will be able to increase their efficiency (right now it is the worst for the big banks) and that should set up this bank may be a year or so later nicely. They could get to 4B shares and $6 EPS, with 4% dividend yield at today's price.

So, I will get back into this name if it gets to $45 or so. More than WFC, I like Citi. Increasing profits, increasing dividend, reducing share count and have ability to get better. The EPS can get to $10 pretty soon, and the TBV is $69, the shares are trading modestly higher than TBV.
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