Monkey's 2020 Review


Grab a banana daiquiri and settle in for Monkey’s first year-end review. The next time you’ll see another one of these is maybe never––life in the jungle is harsh and brutal, kinda like in Jersey for you humans.

At the beginning of the COVID bug, Monkey had been devoting a lot of time to this world of analyzing human businesses. Half of it was delightful because of all the fascinating things he was learning. The other half not so much, because with student debt, and car debt, and solar panel debt and a mortgage debt, there was pressure to do well.

But thanks in no small part to this sui generis community, as well as over two decades learning investing principles from The Motley Fool and the Gardner Brothers and many TMF-oriented and deeply intelligent investing baldies, Monkey made enough bananas in this venture to at the very least take off the serious pressure of needing to perform well in the market; given that his other job as a public educator in our University system is as we Americans collectively know, not where the bananas grow, much of his effort here was born of a certain kind of necessity. So anyway, as the COVID bug was spreading, Monkey decided to sell a huge chunk of his stocks and pay everything off. And voila, gone was the debt.

What he kept were the absolute core essentials, which included CRWD, ZM and LVGO, and DDOG. And as the year progressed, Monkey had even more 'naners after all the debt pay-off than he did at the start of the year. Three raucous cheers to what it means to run an extremely-concentrated portfolio and have been fortunate enough to been right, which doesn’t always happen, no matter how well-oiled and big your brain might be.

So with no debt, investing became more of a playground again, and Monkey woke up to a realization: aside from COVID accelerating humanity into the digital future, humanity seems to have entered a new golden age of unprecedented innovation. With all the shiny tools and years of previous set-up work in developing new ways of coding and running things on the interwebs, and collecting data, and securing that data, and how we now digitally communicate with one another so seamlessly, plus the advent of AI actually starting to become useful in a noticeable way, not even beginning to mention what the likes of companies like Tesla are doing for automation and possible interplanetary existence!, it became obvious that being an investor now, in 2020/2021 is maybe like never before, with a tip of the cap to maybe early 2000s at the birth of the internet post the Big BOOM CRASH.

So what got Monkey to the privileged position of paying off his debt was a long disciplined and focused portfolio, the likes of which y’all on the board are familiar with; not quite only six stocks like Saul, but for a long time, it was around 12 or so stocks and that was it.

But for whatever reason, going forward, Monkey is jumping to another tree, and has expanded his holdings tremendously in number, even though the absolute value of his bananas are still mostly tied up in the Top 12-15. That’s because it seems like many of his nibbles––all the positions that are basically 2% or lower–– seem like they might all, without exaggeration, grow hundreds if not thousands of percent, if things go well (which they won’t in all these cases, obviously). This seeming endless potential has always been the case, of course, but given Monkey’s perception of the New Golden Banana Age where the human Tech Toys are making possible more than ever in actual reality, Monkey finds himself looking at a risk/reward ratio that looks genuinely compelling for way more companies than ever before. And so instead of just putting them on his watchlist as in yesteryears, he actually took real life nibbles.

This is not an optimal strategy for most, because it requires lots of discipline not to get lost in a maze of shiny objects and holographic yellow fruit. But Monkey has found that he’s having more fun than ever with all these legit possibilities, and that getting to really care about so many of these companies because an actual wager has been made makes a difference.

Monkey is very self-aware to know that dilution of this kind might adversely affect his overall returns. But maybe, just maybe, it’ll expose him to enough new ideas that he then pounces on more quickly than if they were otherwise on mere Watchlists, that he’s willing to see what the data of 2021 says about all this.

So, drum roll of the bongo variety, please…

Exiting 2020 and entering 2021, Monkey’s positions are, in basically order of confidence about each stock’s growth for the coming 3-5 years:

CRWD 14.36%
NET 10.30%
ZM 9.53%
TDOC 6.78%
BTCUSD 6.54%
DOCU 5.02%
DDOG 4.45%
SE 3.60%
PTON 3.43%
LMND 2.77%
AYX 2.75%
TTD 2.53%
OKTA 2.30%
ETSY 2.01%
APPN 1.83%
ETHUSD 1.66%
ROKU 1.50%
FVRR 1.32%
FLGT 1.18%
RDFN 1.16%
NNOX 1.03%
ESTC 0.99%
TSLA 0.80%
SHOP 0.77%
TWLO 0.76%
MELI 0.76%
MP 0.73%
FUBO 0.63%
ARKG 0.63%
IPOC 0.57%
CMPS 0.54%
PINS 0.52%
FSLY 0.49%
JMIA 0.46%
TWOU 0.45%
GH 0.44%
DM 0.39%
SNOW 0.38%
INAQ 0.35%
MDB 0.32%
SPCE 0.27%
OPEN 0.26%
NVTA 0.24%
FROG 0.21%
PAYC 0.20%
SDGR 0.18%
COUP 0.15%
DOMO 0.14%
SKLZ 0.11%
BLFS 0.10%
GDRX 0.09%
CURI 0.08%
MGNI 0.07%
ADSK 0.07%
SFIX 0.07%
VEEV 0.06%
TEAM 0.05%
EAR 0.05%
SQ 0.05%
KNSL 0.05%
ZS 0.05%
NVCR 0.04%
U 0.03%
CRSP 0.03%
EVBG 0.03%
ABNB 0.03%
BL 0.03%
OZON 0.03%
SWAV 0.02%
ALRM 0.02%
CRNC 0.02%
SMAR 0.02%
EXPI 0.01%
SPT 0.01%
JBLU 0.01%
INDY 0.01%
PD 0.01%
API 0.01%
NTNX 0.01%
TRIP 0.01%
BOMN 0.01%
AEYE 0.01%
PLTR 0.01%

Notice that the Top 20 = 85% of the total value; and that Bitcoin and Ethereum are now a whopping 6.5% and 1.6%, respectively, though like dwarves, they certainly started waaay smaller.

Of course this collection is far from the tight diamond-esque prism of Saul’s portfolio; and of course there are gems here that will outperform some of Saul’s stocks, too. So consider this list Monkey’s best guesses going forward, because all of these have had to have some kind of serious merit to even be considered in the first place, let alone purchased, even if at a nibble level, out of the tens of thousands eligible bacholerettestocks. And no, not all of them are appropriate for this board, so skip those, like, say JBLUE and and INDY, etc.

The next portfolio update Monkey will post will plop on this board 365 days from now, with a percentage gain-loss counter, as well as what was shifted, percentage-wise, and what was sold entirely. Curious if any gamblers out there want to make some bold 2021 Predictions about what the best worst performers out of this wild and crazy bunch will be?

Monkey’s last words before 2020 crawls itself across a ragged finish line: We are all so blessed, pretty much beyond measure. And despite humans not doing so hot, we, collectively, in this group of merry spirits, stuck together, and helped one another. There is nothing more miraculous in this life. May you all find peace in your sleep tonight and wake up full of hope and energy to be kind and to give 2021 all you’ve got.

With Screeches of Love,




Hilarious and informative. Kinda similar to my portfolio, but my top 20 are only about 60% of my total portfolio - this monkey is more concerned about losing all his bananas than getting a lot more. Out of your top 10 picks and my top 10 picks, I’m pulling for TDOC to be my biggest 2021 mover (assuming a somewhat normal year - if a repeat of 2020 all bets are off). It’s the stock with the highest cost basis in my top 10. Second Pick is TWLO.

Some other notes that I wasn’t going to otherwise post.

  1. My biggest “non-Saul” stock (my #2) is BILL, which I infrequently update here.
  2. Surprised to see that MGNI passed my TTD position. Shocked really.
  3. I have a big bet on (AI) that I don’t feel entirely comfortable with.
  4. I was fortunate to keep my job without much disruption.
  5. I made lots in my taxable account this year. As a result, I was able to:
    a. Eat at one local restaurant ALOT and …
    b. Give very large tips for the entire year to a few local restaurants. (I’m famous.)
    c. Join a NFP board and give a large amount of money to it.
    d. Give lots of money to other charities.
    e. Give LOTS of money to family members who are struggling.
    f. Give meaningful holiday gifts ($) to my direct reports.
  6. The wealth created this year gave me the opportunity to do a lot of things that I wouldn’t have felt entirely comfortable with. Really thankful for that. My portfolio could have been even bigger and my future a lot more secure, but I’m happy with what I did.
  7. Thankful for this board and TMF for helping me do that.

Happy Holidays,