May 2023 Starting Gate

Starting Gate is intended to take over where the monthly summary ends. It starts with assessment of the entire portfolio, allowance for general market direction, and concludes with a plan - or, in some cases. with only a fairly outlined sketch…a semblance of a plan. Sometimes it actually works well - and sometimes it leaves me with a sort of What The Heck did I just do: such is the life of a ragtag amateur investor.

April was a loss for the portfolio and no use dwelling on or crying about it - Just consider whatever coaching moves and roster adjustments might help win May. Just take it one month at a time and just date these companies - you don’t have to marry them. Just saying.

Here is the May Plan:

  1. Reduce MNDY slightly in a sort of tighten down the hatches for the potential recession everyone is talking about. It is an outsized position and although it had a great last ER - in this environment, the market looks to shoot first and ask questions later. MNDY remains a Starter. The company reports pre-market on 5/15.

  2. Demote NET to a Bench level position. Might cut them all together but haven’t though it all the way through just yet. I am caught in the why-sell-now-dichotomy-when-the-damage is already done and thinking that they have bottomed out and its all pudding from here - or something like that.

  3. Hold TTD as is. TTD remains a Starter

  4. ENPH to the Bench. See NET. ENPH is a solid company so some hesitation here. The ER was fine - guidance sucked but all guidance is sucking now. Practically speaking - right now before any growth company report there is a mob with pitchforks and torches waiting in the wings.

  5. CRWD hold as it…Returns to STARTER status as NET and ENPH move down.

  6. MELi is rock solid on the Bench. Reports 5/3 after the market closes.

  7. Reduce GLBE just because and part of a plan to add another company to the roster. Reports 5/17 pre-market I think.

  8. Reduce IOT - same as GLBE in that currently they seem to be a one trick pony and I need funds for another company.

  9. S - Reduce slightly

  10. ZS - Reduce slightly.

  11. Shelter in place for TMDX (reporting Monday) and for DDOG (reporting5/4.

  12. ONON could go either way depending on its day-to-day performance.

Considering: Adding both FND and SCMI with a Scout Team positions.

Watching: ANET, PERI, MBLY, DKNG and PI. And whatever else pops up from all the services, boards and people I follow.

Thats it - that the best plan I can come up just now.

Note 1: Scout Team is quickly evolving into a short term trading group on a kind of slow motion basis; although, I am not sure whether it a product of a subconscious lean into a sort of risk on-risk off, hair trigger survival instinct or a case whereby Scout Team members are cheap and easy come easy go. I am still bucking it all out.

Note 2) I am a bumbling Amateur investor with a long record of mistakes and while I do have a pretty solid investing plan that has seemingly worked fairly well - it could just as suddenly go K-A-B-O-O-M! So theres that to consider. You’ve been so advised.

All the Best,


SMCI Right?

It’s been going gang busters. XMFRob pointed it out.


Hi Andy and Champ,

I have become very wary of stocks that see a parabolic rise ( it is rather too late a lesson for me, as the damage to my portfolio has already been done).

I took a look and saw that SMCI has close to 14% short interest (14th April data, so not sure pf the current one)…

I did not even know what shorting was or what short interest meant till 2 years ago…and how that can have a huge impact both on the plus and negative…But UPSTART and so many others have taught me everything I need to know about that point - But boy, what an expensive lesson it is !

Again, I know nothing about stocks and am just taking baby steps, perhaps too late for redemption but trying notheless…I see that this has a low P/E, and low P/S etc, …however, I can not but suspect that the phenomenal rise in price has had very little to those metrics and lot more /everything to do with the shorting, and shorts covering with what are admittedly good ER in the last 1 year or so…but what happens when (not if) one of the Earnings turn out to be bad…

And this stock hasn’t really done anything from 2016 to Jan 2022…and then just went crazy. Does it really manufacture a product that is truly indispensable in the current environment? I just googled and one motley fool free report talks about some hardware related product and throws in the word “AI” just like that ( no idea if SMCI products truly contributes to AI in any big way)…but when I saw clickbait articles using buzz words like these, it was enough to keep me away…But may be I am over reacting…

I hope you guys with vastly superior knowledge and expertise on stock investing can pitch in on how you view this stock.


Hi Charlie:

One phrase that should ever be linked with my investing profile is : vastly superior knowledge. Just a tip.

Rarely, if ever, do I find my own ideas. I steal them from a multitude of subscription services (Including several of the Fool’s) that I scout continuously, several pretty good free sites, a number of really valuable Fool posters, and my own collating and measuring system for evaluation and final decision making.

Involved in that process is a mandated reading and re-reading of the last several ER Conference Call Transcripts. (This part is like panning for gold - you can always get some color but you need reading glasses to differentiate between fool’s gold and the real thing. )

Keep in mind that unless your are going completely overboard on any given company stock - you are never overreacting in any sense of the word. After arming yourself by researching the company - going to its website, looking at what they do and how they present themselves from a buyers point of view, then spending some time on the latest ERs and Press Releases, checking Current News, and even taking a quick look at he Chart to see the ups and downs/ the volatility - then its all about instinct as in go or no go - as well as potential positioning within the portfolio.

At the end of the day it’s all about your instincts because it’s your money and your decision, and yours alone. But what I do find is that if I do enough of the dirty work going in - my instincts seem to be better and more sharply tuned in.

Really good deals in investing come along just about as often as the once-in-a-lifetime Real Estate deals - which is to say, every couple of weeks. A confused mind always says no, and if not, then it’s asking for disaster along with dragging along a definitive and troubling level of dread and discomfort.

Lastly - five things: 1). If you are a rookie investor - then be comforted that everyone on the Fool was in the exact same position at one time; 2) Peter Lynch was quoted as saying that even the best of the best investors get more than 6 out of 10 investments right; 3) Initiate new positions in small increments so that if anything goes catastrophically wrong - you get out without any serious internal injuries or broken limbs; 4) I talk and write about a good number of companies in a process that lets my see clearly whether I am sane or not but I usually wind up not buying a lot of them 5) I forgot the fifth thing.

All the Best,


Hi Andy:

Thats the one. And they have been doing well with really nice numbers on their last report. But…

Back a few days ago they pre-announced earning for their upcoming ER that are going to fall short. The stock tanked all the way down to the 94-95 range. They are blaming key component shortages for the shortfall and the time to add was right then and there - but I hesitated, with my reasoning being that with the ER coming up it might be a iffy roll of the dice. Much better to wait for the report and more detail before any potential add.

Just my humble opinion of course.


Thanks Champ, that is certainly helpful…And wisely spoken…buying in small amounts should have been the right approach all along. Thanks for specifically sharing how you would approach any stock buys.

That was very good advice Charlie. One thing about investing is always keep reading and learning. Don’t hold any really strong convictions but loosely and always look for reasons you are wrong. My worst mistakes were made when I knew I was right. Also, if you do not know how to read financials, learn how to understand them. It is dry reading but very informative.

Great book for beginners.

Also keep a positive mind set. Don’t dwell on your mistakes but learn and move ahead. Being a millionaire is just one step away. Don’t get in the mode of griping about the past but learn and keep improving.



Thanks a lot Andy. Will look into this as well. I might try for a video/ youtube video as this is a topic which I would really like to learn but am afraid can be too advanced for me…or like you mentioned, may be too dry a read such that I fail to grasp the more important points.

Thanks again - much appreciated


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