Bear's Portfolio through Mar 2018

After how good last year was, I thought nothing could surprise me this year. I certainly didn’t think the market would just keep going straight up forever – and it hasn’t. At the end of January the S&P was up 6%, but now it is down YTD. And it hasn’t been a smooth ride up or down.

I would have been happy just to go sideways during this turmoil. Instead, I have been up as much as 40%. That is I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y. Even though my stocks have had quite a pullback since the highs of a little over a week ago, I still stand at a 28% gain YTD. All while the indexes are mostly down! And I know many others here are similar. The stocks we follow and ones like them are truly the best around. It’s not always easy to find them and follow them, nor to tune out the noise, but man is it worth it.

My Portfolio Performance

**This Month**
My Portfolio              2.13%
S&P                      -2.69%
Nasdaq                   -2.88%
Russell 2000              0.98%
My Portfolio             28.02%
S&P                      -1.22%
Nasdaq                    2.32%
Russell 2000             -0.41%

Previous Month Summaries

Dec 2016 (contains links to all 2016 monthly posts):…
Dec 2017 (contains links to all 2017 monthly posts):…
Jan 2018:…
Feb 2018:…

My Current Allocations

Ticker	Curr%	Buy/S	Mo Ch	YTD Ch
SHOP	14.5%	13%	-9.9%	23.4%
WIX	11.4%	-8%	6.0%	38.2%
ANET	10.5%	-10%	-5.4%	8.4%
AYX	9.0%	44%	-0.1%	35.1%
SQ	8.4%	37%	6.8%	41.9%
TLND	7.7%	17%	2.2%	28.4%
HDP	6.8%	0%	13.3%	1.3%
PSTG	4.7%	-22%	-7.9%	25.8%
HUBS	4.5%	0%	-2.5%	22.5%
NEWR	3.0%	-30%	3.3%	28.3%
OKTA	2.9%	26%	3.3%	55.6%
MU	2.6%	-32%	6.8%	26.8%
MDB	2.5%	NEW	34.7%	48.4%
INST	1.9%	-40%	-2.9%	27.3%
options	3.2%			
cash	6.5%			

New 2018
January - nothing
February - AYX, NEWR, OKTA
March - MDB

Sold 2018
January - TTD
February - TDOC, ALRM
March - NVEE

I now have shares in 14 companies, same as at the end of February. Plus a few significant options positions in other companies, like BL and FB.

SHOPIFY - SHOP (14.5%)

About the company: To slightly modify what they say about themselves, Shopify is “the only platform you need to build your [small or medium sized business] empire [online].” They provide a website, a way to take payments, SEO optimization, etc, etc, etc. They’re innovating and growing…and boy are they growing. They make money when businesses sign up with them, and then they make more when those business grow and sell more stuff.

Latest Quarter Review:…

Recent Action: I’ve learned not to trim too much based on valuation, and have decided to trim no more than about 20% for that reason in any given month. Since I had trimmed SHOP the last couple months, I decided not to trim in March even as it hit $150. However, after the 20% pull back, I have added.

Plans: This is a top confidence position, and I’m in this company for the long haul.

WIX.COM - WIX (11.4%)

About the company: Wix is a company that helps users create websites, and then hosts them. It makes most of its money by charging subscription fees for premium content. It has over 100M users, and more than 3M of them pay for premium accounts.

Latest Quarter Review:… - I especially love the guidance for revenue acceleration! I think 2018 is going to be a BIG year for Wix.

Recent Action: I finally trimmed a tiny bit when Wix hit $85/share.

Plans: I’m happy with the size of this position, and I still think it has a long way to run.


About the company: Arista sells network switches, just like Cisco, except Arista’s switches use SDN (Software Defined Networking), which I understand makes for better control, performance, and security. Oh, they’re also pretty hard to make, because Cisco is sucking wind trying to catch Arista, but to no avail.

Latest Quarter Review:

Recent Action: I trimmed 10% when ANET returned to near-$300 earlier in March.

Plans: Obviously I like this company and its management a lot and plan to hold indefinitely.

ALTERYX - AYX (9.0%)

About the company: A very familiar friend to many on this board (most of all its eponymous leader), Alteryx is a little company that is changing the landscape of data integration and analysis for data scientists. They have a product that from all accounts is inexpensive, easy to implement, and saves users incredible amounts of time while enhancing accuracy. The companies who try it seem to love it, because every year they spend (on average) 30%+ more money with Alteryx!

Latest Quarter Review: I called it “perfect,” and I stand by that:…

Recent Action: This was a new position last month. It skyrocketed immediately, but has retraced a bit, and I’ve been adding every time I get a chance.

Plans: Probably won’t add too much more unless I get a fat pitch – happy with the size of this position.

SQUARE - SQ (8.4%)

About the company: If you’ve ever paid with a credit card at a local vendor, there’s a good chance they used a Square device to take the payment. Square also provides many other services available to their customers. One of the most profitable is Square Capital, which really leverages their data advantages to offer extremely profitable and low-risk loans to their customers.

Latest Quarter Review:…

Recent Action: The rich valuation makes it tough to add a ton, but I realized I had trimmed too much. I have added back opportunistically, and this one is now about the size where I would like to keep it.

Plans: Find a way to meet Sarah Friar, on whom I have a huge crush.

TALEND - TLND (7.7%)

About the company: Talend has carved out a niche within big data integrations by specializing in Hadoop, an expertise that will not be easily disrupted. Saul has called them a “category crusher,” a leader with no viable competition in its niche. I tend to agree, though others will not ignore this space forever. Hopefully Talend will continue to build up years of subscription revenues while they occupy the catbird seat.

Latest Quarter Review:… - A slightly down quarter at only 36% revenue growth, but guidance to grow faster next quarter.

Recent Action: During a minor freak out this month, I added. Definitely not planning on adding more, but I haven’t trimmed what I added because of all the post-MULE acquisition buzz.

Plans: Hold and enjoy, but not add.


About the company: Hortonworks helps companies manage big data with Hadoop. Customers subscribe to the HDP software platform, and Hortonworks stores, processes, and analyzes their data.

Latest Quarter Review: 63%+ growth in subscription revenue the last 2 quarters – simply astounding. Their growth is accelerating.

Recent Action: I added substantially in February when HDP dropped to $17/share from recent highs around $22. In March I added options, and wrote this post:…

Plans: I still think there’s a good opportunity here. I’m happy with this as a mid-sized holding, plus options. Might add opportunistically, but I don’t foresee adding unless the price drops.


About the company: Pure Storage provides flash storage arrays. Storage arrays are nothing new, but flash is different. How different? Bert Hochfeld says it’s the biggest change in storage since spinning discs replaced tape:…

Latest Quarter Review: Saul wrote this one up:…

Recent Action: In March I added options and loosened up on shares. The main reason is because options seem to be a great value, and I can have more exposure while tying up less cash.

Plans: Hold, and possibly add after earnings.


About the company: Hubspot helps companies manage their brand online. This is much more than just buying ads. This is SEO, website, blog, social media, etc, etc. Hubspot is such a powerful and value-adding tool for marketing departments (a CMO’s dream) that I can’t see why any company of a certain size wouldn’t want to use it, and use it increasingly. Of course with a product that’s this much of a value add, there are certainly competitors. Yet it sure seems to me like Hubspot is a leader, if not THE leader, in the space, and the results it continues to achieve seem to confirm this.

Latest Quarter Review:… Fantastic quarter of acceleration.

Recent Action: No change here in March.

Plans: This one is fine around 5% – I like it and have no plans to sell it, but it’s probably not going to be a top holding for me again.


About the company: New Relic monitors web and mobile applications in real time, detecting issues before they become problems, and helping companies figure out where the pain points may be before it costs them sales, or even customers. Along with Cisco’s recent acquisition, AppDynamics, and a private company called Dynatrace, New Relic is one of the main leaders in the APM space (Application Performance Monitoring). Also, they partner with Splunk.

Latest Quarter Review:

Recent Action: This one was up so much so fast I just had to trim a little.

Plans: Solid but not cheap. I’ll probably just hold, unless it dips.

OKTA INC - OKTA (2.9%)

About the company: [Stealing this from Saul] What they do is called Identity and Access Management, or IAM. They are a SaaS company, and are still racking up big losses in Net Income and even in Cash Flow. Their TTM revenue is $231 million, which is up 67% from TTM revenue of $138 million a year ago.

Latest Quarter Review:… (They smashed it!)

Recent Action: I added in March, but I’m not getting too aggressive. It’s not cheap.

Plans: Add if I can find a good spot.

MICRON - MU (2.6%)

About the company: Micron (MU) makes chips for four different business units: Compute and Networking (CNBU) - read: DRAM, Storage (SBU) - read: SSDs, Mobile (MBU) - read: NAND, Embedded (EBU) - read: Auto. I’ve talked about how cheap they are before, and how they’re seen as a commodity (and may be). The numbers seem too good to be true.

Latest Quarter Review: Ant wrote this one up: (Looks like everything is solid here)

Recent Action: I trimmed this one further in March, because it will never be high-confidence position. I’ll probably sell all the way up, but I’m ok with that in this case, because compared to other things I own, there is more risk inherent in the product and business model with MU.

Plans: I’m fine keeping a small position, because I think there’s tons of upside. But this will never be a large position. Probably the only way I would add is on a dip.

MONGO DB - MDB (2.5%)

About the company: coming next month

Latest Quarter Review: coming next month

Recent Action: I just added this one in the last couple weeks. Not sure what to think of it yet, and I didn’t even do my usual write up about a new position. Hope to do so soon.

Plans: Just holding until I can learn more.


About the company: I brought Instructure to the board in September 2017.… It’s is a cloud-based learning management platform for academic institutions and companies across the world. Their platform enables virtual learning, and they’ve gotten so good at it in the education context (since they started in 2008) that they’re now (actually since early 2015) offering it in a business context as well. Their classroom product is called Canvas, and their business solution is called Bridge. They are constantly signing school districts and businesses to expand their reach to hundreds of thousands of new users.

Latest Quarter Review:…

Recent Action: I still love INST, but I just love other stuff more. I trimmed in March.

Plans: Maybe add back, but I’m ok with a smallish position here.

My best to all!


“I guarantee nothing but hard work.” - Bear Bryant, Alabama Football Coach, 1958 - 1982

“If you must tell me your opinions, tell me what you believe in. I have plenty of doubts of my own.” attributed to Goethe (but not sourced)

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” - Attributed to Albert Einstein

“exponential compounded growth does not fit the analytical backward looking skill sets of most Wall street analysts” - mauser96

“I presume the thing is to ride the momentum for the short squeeze and exit fast with enough money for a few months supply of whisky before everyone realises it’s a value trap.” - Strelna


Plans: Find a way to meet Sarah Friar, on whom I have a huge crush.

Here you go, Bear.

With MongoDB, I wish I had taken a starter position a few weeks back after seeing so much NPI discussion on it. That probably would have aided in prompting me to actually read the numerous links I have saved about it, as mentioned in the linked post below for those who have proper subscriptions.…


Thanks, Bear. I always find these udpdates very helpful. I share 10 of these positions with the exception of SQ, NEWR, MU and MDB - mostly due to valuation concerns or inadequate knowledge at this time. Interestingly, I also had owned but then sold ALRM, TDOC and NVEE as well. I was concerned about AMZN’s competitive threat to ALRM and I’m not convinced about the longer term growth picture for TDOC and NVEE. I’m in medicine and I’m just not sold that TDOC has any competitive advantages in our ever changing health care system so unpredictably influenced by government interventions. And I’m more of a fan of organic growth rather than by acquisition as practiced by NVEE.

I still own TTD since the fundamentals, valuation and longer term growth potential remain strong. I’ve followed the bull/bear discussions on TTD here and find both perspectives to be compelling. So it remains a medium position rather than one of my larger stronger conviction holdings.

TLND seems to be the most interesting of these right now - other than SHOP, I guess. I have a larger position and I’m tempted to add. I just added to SHOP on the pullback. And I just opened a smaller position in HDP.

I also owned MULE until selling on the recent buyout - an incredible double over a few months after reading about it here.



Thank you for sharing. Consistently, openly, honestly. You (and others here) are helping me learn not only how to invest but to think about my investing life in a new way. I’m forever grateful.



About the company: Pure Storage provides flash storage arrays. Storage arrays are nothing new, but flash is different. How different? Bert Hochfeld says it’s the biggest change in storage since spinning discs replaced tape:…

I don’t read Bert Hochfeld but I was around when “spinning discs replaced tape” and that went commercial in the early 1960s. I installed the first IBM 1311 removable disk drives in Venezuela and was named the "expert in disk drives:

IBM 1311 Disk Storage Drive
IBM manufactured this removable disk drive from 1962 for its computer systems. The device - nicknamed ‘washing machine’ due to its shape - could store 2 million characters on an IBM 1316 magnetic disk.…

Fast forward to the present:

In the quasi-technical report I’m writing I talk about technical paradigm shift, it’s more than just faster storage, it’s so much faster that it is a paradigm shift. For AI to work reasonably well if needs to feed on mountains of data and it needs to gulp down mountains at a time. NVDA does the gulping and PSGT feeds it. This is disruption, AI is the new kid on the block and it is underserved by spinning disks – too slow. PSGT does not need to replace EMC, it needs to outpace EMC. It’s he same argument we made about databases, Mongo does not need to displace Oracle, it needs to outpace Oracle. In time (one or more decades) EMC and Oracle will whither away.…

Denny Schlesinger

Bonus video: