Financial media isn’t known for transparency or honesty, so I try to be as straightforward as I can with my punditry. And while clearly I have a bias in my own favor and don’t like to make myself look needlessly stupid, I always try to revisit my picks regularly to share the best and worst stock advice I’ve given.
It’s been a good 2013 so far for me, and while a lot of that has to do with the market updraft I have a number of calls I’m proud of.
For instance, each December, we offer a list of buy-and-hold stocks for investors with the idea of purchasing on Jan. 1 and holding until Jan. 1 the following year. This year my pick was Intel (INTC), based on the potential of a value buy amid overly negative post-PC haters and the juicy dividend of 4%. With a total return of 17% so far in 2013, I’m outperforming the market handily — and leading all comers, I might add. (Check out my original Intel call here and read up on the Best Stocks for 2013 Buy List.)
I also have been very bullish on housing, and bearish on gold as well as China (here and here), so I feel like I’ve made some decent macro calls in addition to stocks. But obviously if you made one trade based on my recommendations and it was a dud, then you have a different experience.
At any rate, here’s the best I can offer as “disclosure” and a track record for the first half. Often I don’t make overt calls so I didn’t count those, and some recent advice such as this week’s bearish call on Oracle (ORCL) obviously need time to play out.
But here’s the worst and the best of what I’ve done in 2013:
I’ll just offer the date, stock, performance and link to original call — sparing myself the indignity of hashing out why I made a call on the wrong side.
- 1/23: Buy emerging market consumer staples. SPDR S&P International Consumer Staples (IPS) down 2% vs. S&P 500’s gain of 5% and Fomento Economico Mexicano (FMX) down 16% in same period.
- 1/31: Buy JCPenney (JCP) — down 25% since call vs. 5% gain for S&P 500.
- 2/4: Buy tech stocks. Qualcomm (QCOM) and IBM (IBM) down 10% and 5%, respectively, since call vs. 4% gain for S&P 500.
- 2/7: The market is due for trouble. S&P tacked on 4% since that call, and then 5% from a similar call a few weeks later.
- 2/27: Sell Netflix (NFLX) — up 13% since call vs. flat S&P 500.
- 3/22: Buy materials stocks. iShares Global Materials ETF (MXI) down 10% since call vs 2% gain for S&P 500.
- 4/1: Sell Tesla (TSLA). Up 160% since call vs. flat S&P 500.
Same drill — stock call and performance with a link. If you want more detail, click through:
- 1/24: Buy Google (GOOG). Up 17% since call vs. 5% gain for S&P 500.
- 1/29: Sell BlackBerry (BBRY). Down 13% since call vs. 5% gain for S&P 500.
- 2/1: Buy retail stocks. SPDR Retail ETF (XRT) and Target (TGT) both up 11% since call vs. 3% gains for S&P 500.
- 2/7: Sell utilities. Utilities SPDR (XLU) down slightly vs. 4% gains for S&P 500. Four out of five specific stocks named also down.
- 2/13: Sell Facebook (FB). Down 12% since call vs. 4% gain for S&P 500.
- 2/22: Sell Apple (AAPL). Down 10% since call vs. 5% gain for S&P 500.
- 3/19: Buy financial stocks. SunTrust (STI), Nicholas Financial (NICK) and Wells Fargo (WFC) tacked on an average 7% return vs. 1% for the S&P in the same period.
Here’s my recap from six months ago, too, if you want to review those as well and extrapolate the data on your own.
Anyway, it’s not perfect but hopefully is representative of my work. Please reach out with any questions — and feel free to call me to the carpet in the future if my advice leads you astray.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP.