March 2019 Update

My last update was thread 52430.

Switching my table below to last Friday of month tracking. This is because my main spreadsheet is week based, so tracking at true end of month involves extra work for months that don’t end on a Friday.

Year to Date:

Month      Me       Benchmark   Beat
01/25     15.6%       8.0%     + 7.6%
02/22     26.0%      13.4%     +12.6%
03/29     30.9%      14.7%     +16.2%
YoY       27.1%       8.1%     +19.0%

Its worth noting that I hit my low in the days before Christmas. Since that time, roughly 3 months, my portfolio has gained 41%, while my benchmark (based on the VOO fund) has gained only 18%. My account is now over my September high by 5%, whereas the market is still below its September highs. Wowzers!

Activity: Again, my activity level is lower than historical, and I still think this is a good thing for me. For example, if I had done nothing since January 1 I would be a nearly identical to today. However, I am 17% higher than where I would have been from before I found high growth 7 months ago. So… high growth is helping me absolutely, but my trading frequency this year seems to neither have helped nor hindered me. I think this means it’s good to change things up, just not too often.

Sold   GH (entire stake)
Buy  ESTC (1.8% more, to 5% total)
Buy  TEAM (3.0% stake)
Sell NTNX (entire stake)
Buy   MDB (6.0% stake, getting back in)
Trim AMZN, PYPL to lower allocations
Buy  SMAR (3.3% stake)
Buy  SHOP (2.7% stake)


======  ======  ===
PSJ      10.8%  23.4%
ZS        9.7%  80.6%
TWLO      9.4%  44.0%
TTD       8.5%  70.2%
MDB       8.4%  75.8%
AYX       8.4%  41.0%
OKTA      6.2%  29.5%
CRM       5.7%  15.7%
AMZN      5.4%  18.4%
PYPL      4.9%  23.3%
ESTC      4.3%  12.0%
SQ        4.2%  33.1%
Cash      3.2%   0
SMAR      2.8%  64.2%
TEAM      2.8%  26.1%
ZUO       2.7%  10.4%
SHOP      2.6%  49.4%

MDB: I was one of those who sold after a day of contemplation over the Lyft fiasco. After 2 more days I began to think I made a mistake. And I got my chance to buy back in on the day our stocks dropped hard due to the OKTA down-grade. The first time I panic sold over AMZN I was able to buy back in under my sell price. This time I was able to get back in just a wee bit above my sell price. I’ve been lucky twice so far on this stock and I need to hold to my convictions on this.

NTNX: Sold out for good on this stock. I’ve struggled to make any profit on this stock and had my last straw.

TEAM: Been eyeing this stock for some time now, mostly because of how often we use their software at work and how valuable we find it. Stuff this good to use simply has to grow in value right? :wink: Now I just need to see if the stock is as good as the software.

GH: Got out after a good quick profit because, frankly, I don’t have the stomach for biotechs. Too bad I did this before it’s big pop though! I’m unlikely to get back in however.

AMZN, PYPL: Trimmed both down to 5% allocations. Add in CRM to the mix, they are the lone hold-outs from my large cap days. At times I tell myself these are very high quality companies, keep them. At other times I tell myself “they fell as fast as the SaaS names but climbed back up slower”, which means they are not very good as buffers against volatility. In the words of Pooh, “what to do, what to do”. At the end of the day, names like this help me sleep well at night, and there is obvious value in that. Plus these names are no slouches in ROI. No harm in keeping these names.

PSJ, ARKK: I hold PSJ for diversification across the software and innovation spaces w/o having to buy a ton of names myself. I have an upper-limit to how much allocation I want any given single stock to be, and only so many stocks grab my attention. This means I have money left over that I need to do something, and this is where it goes. I tried ARKK first in my 401k, and then in my IRA. Ended up selling out of it in both. After looking at it’s holdings I’m simply not interested in the companies they are investing in. PSJ is a different animal and I’m quite happy with its investing strategy and continue to hold in both accounts.

NVDA: I got out earlier this year with a 30% (overall) loss in a name that used to be my number 1 holding. The final straw for me was the company’s seeming inability to deal with crypto fall-out and inventory. It seemed like a rookie mistake to me, even though I highly believe in the company. So far this year it is up as high as my overall portfolio and I’m wondering if that is a lesson, when your conviction is that high, you stick with something. Didn’t I learn that with MDB?

SMAR, ZUO, TEAM, ESTC, SHOP: These are my lowest conviction names. Shopify is one of those that I thought had run up as far as it would go, and boy was I wrong. Atlassian is one of those companies who makes tools that make my work-life so much better, but that does not mean the stock is therefor one to invest in. Same with Elastic Search, great to use at work but needs to prove itself as a stock to own. And ZUO and SMAR are try-outs for me that I still have not made my mind up about. I’m not expecting to sell any of these soon but I am watching them.

I struggle at times with the risk/volatility compared to my long-term targets for growth. With a goal of 16% CAGR over a 15 year time horizon, I certainly don’t need to be as aggressive as I am currently. In fact, many retirement calculators say I need only a 10% CAGR to meet my needs. That means I can cut back on risk and still reach my goals. THAT IS GOOD! However, lots of things can happen over 15 years. I could get forced into early retirement, for example. At which case I need more money, sooner, than my “target” growth rate will give me. At least however, over the last 12 months, my worries about being under-funded for retirement are gone, and now my worries are about how fast can I tolerate it rising without the risk driving me mad? Good problem to have!


You said you use TEAM products at work and that you love them and they make your life easier.

Could you expand on what Atlassian products you use and how you use them? We haven’t had too much first hand discussion from TEAM users.

I’m curious how that could contribute to the SMAR discussion as well as interest in TEAM as an investment.



I know that ARM uses Jira, Confluence and Bamboo. Its possible others use more of the tools, but that is what I am familiar with.

Jira is used for project management as well as task management, enhancement requests and bug tracking. I have activities on 3 projects where my tasks are tracked on Jiras. I can easily see what I’m doing this sprint on each project. I can see if my tasks are dependent or blocked by other tasks. I can keep embedded notes about my progress, or my issues and questions, along with each task. Others can ask me questions or provide answers directly in the task. And in the backlog I can see what tasks I have coming up that are not currently scheduled. I can use the same system to raise questions or issues with some of the other projects I am working with.

I don’t use Bamboo but some projects do for continuous integration work. Some projects use Jenkins for this, some use Bamboo. I’m only familiar with these products but don’t actively use them. However, those that do say they are very valuable in making sure that code changes don’t move a project backwards. For those not familiar, continuous integration involves taking recent changes to a project’s version control repository and using that to build several different environments and running regression tests on them to insure that current functionality is maintained and not broken. In other words, the functionality does not regress, it progresses. And this happens automatically, with the tool watching for commits, firing off updates, builds, and regressions, and reporting results back.

Confluence is another tool we use a lot. I both use and author pages. They are a convenient way to publish information and let people comment on information in ways that email and Slack channels absolutely cannot provide. If someone reads a page I wrote and asks a question via email that chain is lost and cannot be shared to others in the future. However, comments directly on a page, along with responses, means everyone can read it. These pages can also be collaboratively authored, edited and expanded. I have a page, for example, for a team I lead where I put together various sections that they get filled in by others, one section at a time. It has worked great. And I can “watch” pages, and get emails when a page has been edited, with a link to the page and a brief description of what has changed. Wonderful.

We don’t use Jira Service Desk, we use Service Now (and I have considered investing in them), but I have heard rumors we are looking at Service Desk (completely unconfirmed rumors, I could be quite wrong).

This first-hand use is why I started investing in TEAM. However I know this could be a mistake. My very first stock I ever bought (back in the day of calling a broker, asking for a purchase, and then mailing a physical check to pay for it!) was Borland International. And I loved their compilers (they really were good) and used them all the time. However, that great product did not turn into a great stock. In fact the company went under. This won’t happen to Atlassian, they will survive. The question is will the stock make me as happy as their tools do?

We also use Slack, which is not public yet but I believe it is going to go public this year. So far I’m quite happy with Slack, and prefer it a LOT compared to using Skype, which is what we used to do. I also use Tableau a lot and find it very useful. My experience at Tableau Conference 2018 is what pushed me over the edge to buy Alteryx, actually. I have not invested in Tableau however because I’m not convinced they are growing fast but I keep eyeing them as another investment.



That was very helpful. Last question.

It seems what you’re using these applications for is very technical IT work. I saw words like “code” and “bug” popping up in there. So my question is do you use Jira for “agile software development to develop, plan, track, and release great software”? Or is this a tool used for other projects and collaboration not generally associated with IT issues?

TEAM is one of those that got away. Unfortunately it was always on the watchlist. It would have been a great investment over last few years and will likely do very well for some time.


Yeah, agile software development is a big part of it. Although sometimes its also just for “getting stuff done” that is not necessarily software. For example, “benchmark this project”, or “write and publish this Tableau page for this team”, or “interact with this vendor on this need”, etc.

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I am a contractor in software development, so move around fairly frequently. Most if not all of the companies I work with use some flavor of agile and Atlassian products.

Jira for sprint planning, story tracking, bug tracking, Kanban boards, etc.

Confluence for Wiki. I have seen it used in all sorts of ways. Project information, production support, sprint retro notes, Team birthdays, etc, etc.

Bitbucket for source control on top of GIT. (branching, pull-requests, etc)

SourceTree for a source control GIT client

Trello for a “free” tool when the team didn’t want the heaviness and/or admin controlled Jira implementation.

I haven’t used Bamboo yet, but have heard good things about it.

Anyway, I too have been eyeing this stock for the same reason…I see it everywhere I go and use it everyday.