Austin's March 2019 Portfolio Review

Section 1: Sappy Thank Yous
Section 2: Portfolio Performance, Max Drawdowns, and Geographical distribution
Section 3: Portfolio Allocation
Section 4: Company Info
Section 5: Mistakes

If you don’t care about my sappy thank yous and just want to see investing returns skip to section 2.

Section 1 - Sappy Thank Yous

Mushy Austin here. I have to start by saying thank you. You all have helped educate, inspire, and give me the confidence to take my Foolish investing a step further and really concentrate on only my best 10-15 ideas. A few of you have even been mentors to me. Thank you all so much.

The results since January 2018 have truly been life changing here’s why:

I was on Active Duty in the U.S. Air Force from the time I graduated college in 2011 until June 2018. I really really enjoyed it and I’m so thankful for the life experience I gained from it. When I first joined my fiance (now wife) and I were pretty set on making a 20 year+ career out of it. I loved my job, pay/benefits were great, and if I made it to 20 years (I would have been 42 after 20years), I’d get a pension for the rest of my life. Pretty cool.

But then we had kids and EVERYTHING changed. We had our son in 2015 and our daughter in 2017. Staying on active duty would have meant continuing to move every 2-4 years and me being gone 50% - 60% of the time.

Because we had been investing and saving, we had the confidence to decide for me to separate from Active Duty in 2018 and move to the Atlanta area (closer to our family who’s in Florida). That’s when I joined Slalom Consulting, which is an incredible company. I’ve really enjoyed the work and I’ve also learned about many of the enterprise software companies we focus on here.

But, we realized Atlanta is still so far from our parents in Florida. We want to be much closer so we can help them as they start to have health challenges and give them time with our kids (and give our kids time with them). So again, because I’ve been investing and specifically because of the returns I’ve had since finding this board, I was able to do two things:

  1. Take a “risk” and join a relatively young “startup” and make ~25% less salary to be able to work remote, live wherever we want, and be part of a really really cool mission with a company called Lambda School that’s trying to disrupt higher education.

  2. Take money out of our portfolio to use as either a down payment on a house in Florida (much closer to family) or to keep as a large cash cushion in a High-Yield-Savings account as we make this transition.I know using that money as a down payment is likely a bad “financial” decision, but it gets back to why we invest which for me is to be able to spend more time with my family and kids as they grow up, not stress about necessities, and be able to help others.

So Friday was my last day at Slalom and today is my first day at Lambda School as a Career Coach.

I shared all of that to share the very real impact that investing, this board, and all of the time that many of you sacrifice to spend sharing ideas and educating others. It really makes a difference and for my family specifically, it has been life-improving.

Thank you again.

Section 2 - Portfolio Performance, Max Drawdowns, and Geographical distribution

As of the market close on Friday, March 29, 2019 according to my broker’s portfolio analysis tool
My TWR are:

Time Period My Portfolio vs SPX (S&P 500)

30 - days 4.73% vs 1.57%
Year to date 39.81% vs 13.07%
1 - Year 86.18% vs 10.70%
Since Nov 2014 211.10% vs 52.21%

I’ve been a Fool subscriber since 2013 and I’m so thankful I found investing by way of TMF. I do believe investing alongside Rule Breakers or Stock Advisor is all anyone ever needs to build incredible long-term wealth.

I was doing a little better than the market (which is great!) until December 2017 which is when I found this board. This was a really interesting time because I was doing an internship at Slalom consulting and learning about some incredible enterprise software companies (some being our partners). Then I started seeing those names pop up here and for whatever reason, (probably Saul and others’ transparency mixed with my personal experience) so I dove in head-first and completely transformed my portfolio from about 85 stocks in December 2017 to ~12 by January 2018.

As you can see by my results, much of my outperformance has come over the last one to two years. Since concentrating my portfolio down to 12ish holdings.

Max Drawdown:

30-days (March 21 - 27) 10.82%
1-year (09/11/18 - 12/25/18) 34.64%
Since inception 34.64%

As we know, the fourth quarter was a turbulent time for the market and our companies. I’m thankful to have gone through a time like that so early (ish) in my investing career because I now know what it feels like to see 35% of my portfolio evaporate and more importantly. I know how I acted.

I’m proud that I didn’t panic and stayed the course. I owe that to The Motley Fool and all of you who have shared your experiences over the last 10-20 years. Seeing those examples really helped me condition myself to be ready for when something like that happens to me.

Thank you all.

Geographic Distribution:

North America 94.47%
South America 5.31%
Asia .22% (a nearly worthless call on TME that I’m not even going to mention in my position sizes)

I’ve been talking to GM off the board a lot and let me first say I really really respect him. He’s incredibly smart and a very experienced investor. GM if you read this, thanks so much for all of the education. After some of my conversations with GM, I decided I wanted a little international exposure. Not because I’m afraid the U.S. is headed for disaster. If it is, the global economy will be crushed so international exposure won’t matter much, but rather because there are some pretty great companies in other countries.

So I dabbled with about 1-2% positions in HUYA, BZUN, and IQ during the month of March. I was thinking they have similar models to some very successful businesses in the US/Canada and everything about China was so negative right now, that as soon as something good trade related happens, these companies will Skyrocket. I still think this is true. We may have even seen the move up start Friday when each of these companies was up big.

However, I just couldn’t be comfortable holding them. I don’t know enough about them and also, I wouldn’t be comfortable with any of them becoming more than a 5% position so really what’s the point? I reserve the right to change my mind on these companies, but with the IPOs of Zoom and PagerDuty coming up, I think I’d rather put that money in them.

Section 3: Allocation

Equities 89.74%
Cash: 10.26% will most likely use to invest in Zoom and PagerDuty.

Total positions 15 (counting cash as a position)

Core Positions: 70%

TTD 22%
TWLO 18%
MDB 11%
AYX 11%

Starter Positions: 20%

ZS 4%
Unnamed 3% (may sell in next and since I am a Ticker Guide, we aren’t allowed to sell within 10 days of mentioning a company)
Unnamed 2% (may sell and since I am a Ticker Guide, we aren’t allowed to sell within 10 days of mentioning a company)
SQ 2%
GH 2%

Cash 10% (Plan to invest 5% into Zoom and PagerDuty when they IPO or add to ZS/DOMO)

Section 4: Company Info

The Trade Desk (TTD)
Allocation: 22%
YTD Company Return: +70%
Current Price: $197.95
Average Purchase Price: $130.73

Twilio (TWLO)
Allocation 18%
YTD Company return +45%
Current Price: $132.25
Average Purchase Price: $53.10

Mongo Database (MDB)
Allocation: 11%
YTD Company performance +76%
Current Share Price: $147.02
Average Purchase Price: $115

Alteryx (AYX)
Allocation 11%
YTD Company Performance +41%
Current Share Price: $83.87
Average Purchase Price: $41

Okta (OKTA)
Allocation 8%
YTD Company Performance +30%
Current Share Price: $84
Average Purchase Price: $71.16

Zscaler (ZS)
Allocation 4%
YTD Company Performance: +81%
Current Share Price: $71.40
Average Purchase Price: $39.92

Shopify (SHOP)
Allocation 2%
YTD Company Performance +49%
Current Share Price: $208
Average Purchase Price: $175.98

Square (SQ)
Allocation 2%
YTD Company Performance +34%
Current Share Price: $76
Average Purchase Price: $75.54

Domo (DOMO)
Allocation 2%
YTD Company Performance +106%
Current Share Price: $40.33
Average Purchase Price: $44.58

Elasticsearch (ESTC)
Allocation: 2%
YTD Company Performance: +12%
Current Share Price: $79.87
Average Purchase Price: $72.92

Guardent Health (GH)
Allocation 2%
YTD Company Performance +100%
Current Share Price: $75.21
Average Purchase Price: $38.58

Abiomed (ABMD)
Allocation 1%
YTD Company Performance: -11%
Current Share Price: $288.39
Average Purchase Price: $279.63

Section 5: Mistakes

#1 Far too much trading/adjusting…and yes I’ve made stupid little bets with options. I know it’s dumb, but I still felt compelled to do it. Really trying to get away from this.

This year has started off as good or better than any year I’ve ever had investing before. But it’s felt more challenging for some reason. I don’t know if it’s that I’m paying too much attention to the news/investing entertainment channels (CNBC, etc) or the fact that I was a bit stressed because I’m changing jobs (more on that in a second), but for whatever reason, I’ve felt compelled to be far more active with my portfolio than I should be.

#2 Nutanix. Nutanix was the company I thought had the potential to do best in 2019. Now, it was NOT my highest confidence position. TTD and TWLO have been for a long time. But it’s weird… I wanted to be contrarian or something. I thought I saw something the market didn’t see and that performance would turn around. Well it didn’t and I sold AH when they announced earnings last because I lost complete faith in management, realized the business is too confusing for me and maybe for management too, and that I was investing in the story, not the numbers.

#3 MDB. Basically the opposite of Nutanix. Company has been crushing it, released Atlas and crushed it even more, then some “competitve products” came out from AWS and Azure was brought up, and all this open source blah blah. I don’t fully understand how all that works, but what I do understand is that MDB has been and still is absolutely crushing it. Their results are getting stronger so why the heck sell?

I didn’t ever sell my full position, but I reduced it greatly and am now slowly building it back up.

#4 International Stocks. I’m not saying all international stocks are scams. But, I know myself, and I’m most comfortable investing in founder-led companies that I feel like I can really get to know and trust. So obviously, I’m biased by living in the U.S., but also, I’ve interacted with executives from some of our Founder-led companies on Twitter and even interviewed Meagen Eisenberg, the old MDB CMO. I feel like I understand our companies and business in the US far more than places like China or Brazil. I’ve never even been to either. Jeff Green lived in China for a year as they began building their business there. I would need to do the same to be comfortable investing there.

That’s a flaw on me, I admit it. But the good thing is, we only need to find a few big winners, not invest in them all.

I do have exposure to China through TTD!

I realize I didn’t give company overviews… I always do this to myself and try to cram the monthly review in in a short amount of time.

Most of the stocks in my portfolio have been covered extensively with the exception of Domo. I’ll do a write-up on them this week.

  • Austin

Shopify (SHOP) Ticker Guide

For information on all of my current holdings view my profile here:



Many thanks for the kind words; I enjoy our discussions and am glad you’ve found them useful.

Apologies if you got influenced by my thought process and invested in the Chinese companies; only to sell out a few days later. Of course; you have the right to change your mind and you (and every person) should only do what sits well with them.

For the record; I love many American businesses; the country and its people but I’ve also lived in Hong Kong for 20 years so am familiar with China; which explains my 35% exposure to its companies.

Frankly, if the stock market shut down tomorrow and didn’t open for 2 years, I wouldn’t worry at all about my Chinese holdings and would be worried sick about the richly valued SaaS companies (simply because I’m not a techie and don’t know enough about their technologies etc).

Anyhow, you are a very smart investor and a great guy - congrats on the super start to the year and all the best in your new role at Lambda.