JabbokRiver December 2023 Portfolio Update

Here we are at the end of 2023, my third year in active management of my own portfolio.

At the end of 2020, I owned one stock. Zoom. I got into TMF to figure out what I was doing and, after affirming many pledges to buy at least 20 of one of their services’ recommendations, I held 51 companies by spring of 2021.

That summer I went rogue, found this board, and began slashing, ending the year with something like 10-11 companies. I slashed the number of companies in 2021, and then the market slashed the value of my remaining holdings in a merciless 2022. Turns out valuation does matter.

2023 has been a wild ride. My broker, TDAmeritrade, merged with Schwab at the end of May, wiping away my portfolio history, so I only have returns from June 1, 2023 onward. The months looked like this (each month is for that month only, not cumulative except for the final number):

June: 15.40%
July: 25.26%
Aug: (15.70%)
Sept: (5.64%)
Oct: (9.30%)
Nov: 4.99%
Dec: 6.57%
Whole period, June - Dec: 17.41%

It sure was nice to see green for a change!

Any money I would have added to my portfolio in 2023 went to try (unsuccessfully) to save my cat, so I had to sell something to buy something this year.

On Dec. 1, 2023 my portfolio looked like this:

Samsara (IOT) 16.41%
Palo Alto Networks (PANW) 15.07%
Nu Holdings (NU) 14.42%
CrowdStrike (CRWD) 11.99%
The Trade Desk (TTD) 11.66%
PureStorage (PSTG) 11.18%
Remitly (RELY) 10.64%
Aehr Testing (AEHR) 7.38%

After making lots of changes in the fall, I did next to nothing in December. I’ve mentioned that I hold a very small position for my brother in C3.ai (AI). I trimmed a few shares of TTD in December to give him more shares for Christmas. That was it.

As of yesterday’s close, here’s what it looks like. All changes (apart from that slight trim of TTD above) are due to price fluctuations.

Samsara (IOT) 15.75%
Palo Alto Networks (PANW) 14.80%
Nu Holdings (NU) 14.22%
CrowdStrike (CRWD) 12.82%
PureStorage (PSTG) 11.96%
The Trade Desk (TTD) 11.20%
Remitly (RELY) 9.75%
Aehr Testing (AEHR) 7.99%

(AI is now at 1.44%)


One thing I looked at this month for the first time was the proportion of companies I held by size. I hold two Large-Cap companies (PANW and CRWD), four Mid-Caps (IOT, NU, PSTG, and TTD), one Small-Cap (RELY) and one Micro-Cap (AEHR).

I like that weighting. My pension fund (which is managed for me) has me in all the places a 64-year-old still working should be. This portfolio was funded from the sale of my house at the end of 2020 to help me learn, take some risks, and to see if I could replicate what happened with Zoom that year. (Spoiler alert: No.)


My two Large Caps are the leaders in a field with strong secular tailwinds and absolutely necessary services for any and every company. They provide anchors for my portfolio. When I look at the companies that are up the most from my purchase prices, they are two of the top three with CRWD up 56.07% and PANW up 23.49% despite me buying it only in November.


In the middle is IOT, up 32.18%, and the other Mid-Caps are also mostly in the green by double digits: TTD is up 15.24% and NU 14.61%.

Many, including me, have gushed about IOT before, and my summary from last month also talked in more detail about NU. The only news from NU this month was a notice to the market last night that they passed some kind of bar I don’t understand in Brazilian banking, which now allows them to keep less in capital reserves in Brazil.

Here’s the relevant paragraph:

It is anticipated that this transition will yield a reduction in operational risk capital requirements for Nu Brazil. Illustratively, had the ASA methodology been in place at the end of September 2023, the required capital of Nu Brazil would have been reduced by USD 152 million and its capital adequacy ratio (“CAR”) would have been 12.5%. Please note that the above-mentioned capital adequacy ratio does not consider the excess capital held by Nu Holdings, which, as of September 30, 2023, amounted to USD 2.3 billion.

I interpret that to mean, “Hey, we no longer have to tie up as much cash for regulation in Brazil, which means more working capital for us. If we had this in September, we would have had $152 million more to grow the business. But don’t panic, none of that counts the $2.3 billion of excess capital that we hold. Our balance sheet is strong.”

Sounds good to me, but the news dropped after the close yesterday, so it’s hard to tell whether the market saw it the same way.

TTD has been range-bound for the latter part of this year, trading up or down with good or bad news from the variety of streaming services. I think the US presidential election year will be a strong tailwind for ad spending, so we’ll see what that does.

My final Mid-Cap, PSTG, has flirted with green several times across the last few months–a couple points up, now a couple down at (2.27%). As I posted in my update last month, I think the market totally mis-read their earnings report as they transition from a capex to more of a SaaS/Consumption-based model. I’m anticipating a strong 2024 for them, as that shift continues and begins to make its way to their bottom line.


They are, yes, small. And growing. And taking share. There has been no news this month. I haven’t specifically looked at their stock-based compensation, but I’m guessing it’s high since my biggest beef with them is that they sell shares pretty frequently. My guess is that the share-price dropping is linked to their frequent selling to get a paycheck combined with light trading for a little-known, small-cap company rather than from any flaws in reports or management.

In their last earnings call, a lot of time was spent defending their decision to spend big on advertising during Q4. Lots of analysts brought that up. The defense was always the same–Q4 is typically their largest quarter, due to the many people trying to send money home for the holidays. So they are coordinating a big ad spend with the time that the most people are likely to see the ads. Seems like a smart strategy to me, but we’ll see in February whether it was effective.


As for Aehr, we only have to wait until Thursday, as they report 1/4 after the close. I posted their December news here, and I’m eager to hear more about it and any other potential dilution of their customer concentration.

The stock price has dropped significantly, first from their miss last quarter, and then further with every slower-than-expected report from companies involved with EVs, even though I think those lackluster reports were already reflected in Aehr’s miss. Of course I could be wrong, but I think they got hit for the same thing multiple times. I think their miss was predictive.

Since Aehr’s fiscal year is out of sync with my other companies as well as most of the market (they will be reporting Q2 2024 on Thursday, which ended at the close of November), I expect the quarter’s results to also be predictive and reflect whatever trends we will hear in the Q4 reports of the EV makers to come.

But, since the large sale to that customer for the GaN testing equipment was going to be shipped and delivered “in the current quarter,” (which was December, which is Q3), I expect a strong guide.

What the market would do with a lackluster quarter and a strong guide at this point, I have no clue. Nor do I know what I’ll do with it if strength does not appear to be returning. It sold off this week on no news–I assume in anticipation of earnings. I did not sell. As my only micro-cap, I expect extra volatility–and on that I have not been disappointed!

So, here’s to you, Saul and Friends! Thanks for the ride across 2023 and may we all have a happy and prosperous 2024!




Just to make a correction. Aehr will report on 1/9 not on 1/4.



Thanks for the summary, @JabbokRiver, I always appreciate your thoughts and look forward to them continuing as NU and PSTG are on my short list of potential portfolio additions. My condolences on the loss of your cat.