Ethan's portfolio and thoughts of encouragem

A few people have asked me about my portfolio. I figured it is time to finally get around to posting my portfolio and my general thoughts. I don’t plan on doing full portfolio reviews as there are already a bunch of helpful ones out there. I haven’t been as active lately because life has been busy busy and I’ve been doing my best to just keep up with my portfolio and life.

I see a lot of posts by new people. My main reason for posting this is to welcome the new people and encourage you all to get serious about contributing and learning for yourself.
I joined the board somewhere around post 2000, july 2014ish. I didn’t post much and I didn’t invest Saul’s way.

My Path to Here
I began investing early…like in my teens in the late 90’s. Mostly I was aware of the idea of stocks, understood compounding, p/e ratios etc. I found the Fool when I finally began earning some money in 2007. Somewhat amusingly I think I was a better investor in 2009-2012 than in the 2013-2016 range because I didn’t pay attention to anything besides if I thought the company was going to change the world. I had some big winners, NFLX, CMG, ATVI, etc which more than made up for my losers. Somewhere around 2012/2013 I decided I was going to learn how to be a “good” investor because I had some pretty big swings and misses. The swings and hits were carrying me, but the misses bothered me. I began studying how to value companies. I invested in JNJ, KMI, XOM and that ilk. My returns sucked but not to worry! I was buying and holding…i had CONVICTION! AS you all can see below my returns in 2013, 2014 and 2015 sucked. I watched my returns go from great to, reasonable, to bad. I saw Saul’s post on WPRT and came over to the board because for a year or two I was feeling like the Fool didn’t have a reasonable sell strategy. I lurked here for a while and posted very occasionally. At first I sat back and just read a lot. Then I started following some of Saul’s buys, not totally understanding the reason but putting a little money in so that I cared. Around the same time Bear started to post his portfolio. Bear, i say this with great thanks and humility, your posts (and others) are what made me finally get serious about learning to invest. For those of you that weren’t around Bear made A LOT of mistakes in the beginning. He did this all in the public eye with unflinching honesty. The thing is though, every month he got a little better, and better, until one day I realized that Bear had become a MUCH better investor than I. So to Bear, and everyone else here. Thank you. Below I have posted my returns. The first section is my investing with little knowledge but great enthusiasm. The second chuck is my value investing time, The 3rd chunk is my Saul’s time. I have bolded years that I beat the s&p.

Unfortunately I don’t have my records before 2009

           Me %          S&P %
**2009**    34.68          20.71
**2010**    14.44          8.39
**2011**    10.24          8.82
**2012**    28.67          23.89
2013    21.64          22.68
2014    5.57            7.36
**2015**    4.55            1.38
2016    3.74            11.93
**2017**    37.54            21.83
**2018**YTD 73          10.38

S&P total  3.54X ~ 13% CAGR
Me total   7.24X or ~ 25% CAGR

I don’t run as concentrated of a portfolio as the others here. I also have tried to keep my money in a few different things that I think are good investments even though I don’t think I will earn as much money in them.

Below is my portfolio
AYX 10.5
SQ 9.5
NTNX 7.4
MDB 7.15
PVTL 7.02
ABMD 6.63
NVDA 5.6
TWLO 5.5
MA 4.8
PAYC 3.6
ZS 3.5
OKTA 3.3
A small grab bag of hanger ons that I haven’t sold for tax reasons. ~3%
Cash 6
Options 8

I am more conscious of taxes than many, however I never hold onto a stock that I think is going to do poorly just to save on taxes. My post tax YTD return is somewhere around 62%. I know others totally disregard taxes and some of them have higher post tax returns than I do. About half my portfolio is in tax advantaged accounts. My thought process generally goes something like this. If I have a profit, let’s say 50%, then i lose 25% of my position to sell it early, vs 13% to hold onto it until long term capital gains kicks in. If I have something I want to buy then I generally will just go for it. If I don’t have something else and the money would just sit in cash then I generally wait until I either want the money or I hit the long term capital gains. Time is also a factor, if there are 8 months until long term captial gains then I am more likely to sell vs 1 month.

I assume that if people are here on this board then they are interested in learning. Saul said something in an earlier post that really resonated with me. It’s got to be fun for you, like a game you are playing, not “buy it, put it away, and forget it” This is fun for me, I enjoy the process, the hours going through conference calls, 10-qs, reading trade magazines, the boards, talking with people offline. I no longer follow anyone’s trades. I make my own decisions after much discussion , research and thought. We have an incredible community here, get your feet wet, take a risk, post something useful and be wildly wrong (or right), but keep learning.

All the best,