My portfolio at the end of Feb 2018

My portfolio at the end of Feb 2018

Here’s the summary of my positions at the end of February. As usual, I figure as of the last weekend of the month. This month is a 28 day month, and Friday was only the 23rd and the last day of the month won’t be until Wednesday, so think of it as a four week summary if you prefer. Also note that any PE’s that I give are always based on adjusted earnings, which very rarely may also have small modifications of my own.

Last month I gave you 13 month results as well as 1 month results, but as I said I would do, I am back now to just giving my results for 2018. My portfolio closed February up 21.4% for the year. It got a headstart from the remarkable 16.9% at the end of January, but we all knew the market would pull back in February after that ridiculous rise… didn’t we? (smiley face)

The three indexes that I’ve been tracking against closed as follows. Their results are also given from Jan 1st to date:

The S&P 500 (Large Cap)
Closed up 2.3% for the year so far. (It started the year at 2684 and is now at 2747). It was down 4.7% for the month.

The Russell 2000 (Small and Mid Cap)
Closed up 0.5% for the year so far. (It started the year at 1542 and is now at 1549). It was down 3.8% for the month.

The IJS Small Cap Value ETF
Closed down 0.4% for the year so far… (It started the year at 153.6 and is now at 153.0). It was down for the month too.

These three indexes
Averaged up 0.6% for the year so far. Clearly a Bull Market. No wonder I’m up 21.4% in two months. As someone so aptly phrased it, “Anyone can be a genius in a Bull Market!”

(The averages would be very slightly higher if you use the S&P with dividends added, but I’m continuing to use the straight values for consistency with past results.)

You may ask, “Why these three indexes?” When I started this board I compared my results to the S&P 500. Then I considered that the S&P is all large caps, and smaller caps tend to do better over the long term, so I added the Russell 2000, a small and mid-cap standard. Then in 2016, it was claimed that the IJS, which tracks the S&P 600 Small Cap Value Index, has the best long term results. So I added the IJS. This gives me 500 large caps (the S&P), 2000 small and mid caps (the Russell), and 600 small cap value stocks (the IJS), which combined ought to give me a very representative set of standards to compare against. I’m sure some people will say “Why not drop this index and add that one?” but these are the three indexes I compare against currently, and I will probably continue to do so. I think they give me a pretty good approximation of how the market overall is doing.

Let me remind you that I’m no good on timing the market, and I don’t try. If I did, I would probably have exited all my positions at the end of last April, when I was up 26% in four months and was “aware” that it was “impossible” and couldn’t continue like that. It’s hard to remember now, and it sounds odd in retrospect, and even out-of-date and old-fashioned in light of the results we actually had, but…back at the end of last April, up 26% seemed like a ridiculously ENORMOUS amount to be up in just four months, and way “over-bought.” However, I finished the year 2017 up 84%, and am up 21% on top of that so far this year, which some would say was even more ridiculously overbought. Who am I to say?

But if you or I sold out at the end of April, because we thought the market was overpriced, we never would have bought back, because the market kept going up and never gave us that correction to buy back in, and we would have thus missed all the rest of that huge rise after April.And that’s the problem with trying to time the market!!!

In January, someone was telling us that all the best economists predicted that the market was due to average up just 4% per year going forward, by their calculations. They may be correct about “the market” but I’m up five times that in two months. Don’t listen to that stuff! Did you ever hear of an economist who got rich investing in the stock market? Or an analyst either, for that matter? If the analyst could do it successfully, he’d be investing for himself instead of working for a salary for a brokerage company.

This month (February) the market took a 10% nose-dive and everywhere I looked people were analyzing the reasons that the market was tanking, discussing how relations between long term and short term yields, and other technical indicators, were the reason the market was tanking, and warning about previous corrections that took months or years to recover from. A lot of people were “building cash,” “protecting myself with options,” and all the rest of it. Well, the market recovered in a week, and my portfolio hit new highs in that week after being down 9.7% from its highs. Look, you should always have enough cash to live on for a number of months, and pay your taxes with, but trying to guess what the market will do (“market timing”) is a losing proposition.

I continue to believe that intelligent stock picking with a modified buy-and-hold strategy can beat any index or average? How could it not? When an “average” is just that: an average of good, mediocre, and poor companies?

Here’s a little table of the monthly progress of my results so far this year:

**End of Jan 		+16.9%**
**End of Feb		+21.4%**

I’m sure that some of you have done even better, as I made some bad choices along the way that cratered as soon as I bought them, and others that continued going up after I sold them.

The stocks I’m still in since the beginning of the 2018 are Shopify, Arista, Alteryx, Hubspot, Nvidia, Nutanix, Square, and Talend. They include my seven largest positions and they make up 85.5% of my current portfolio.

Positions I’ve added since the beginning of 2018 have been:
January - Pure Storage, Twilio, and Okta.
February - None

Here’s a last four months review:

November, I sold out of Alarm not because I found anything wrong with it, but because it just wasn’t really my my kind of company, and I needed cash for other purchases. I sold out of Instructure as well, because I felt it would be years until they showed a profit, if then, in spite of everyone loving their products. I’ve toyed with taking a tiny position back, but I haven’t. I took little try-outs in Align and Nektar. I decided to exit Align and keep Nektar, but in a smallish position. I’ve continued to add to it, and the price has risen too, and it is now at about a 5.0% position. (That’s how I usually take a position, slowly. Alteryx was a real exception).

December: I sold out of my positions in Ubiquiti and Splunk, and also the one I had taken in Varonis, when I decided to take a full position in Alteryx. I exited Ubiquiti because it was one in which I had lower longterm confidence, Splunk because I liked Alteryx better, and Varonis because I preferred Alteryx’s 50% growth rate and low cost of customer acquisition to Varonis’ 30% growth rate.

January: I didn’t sell out of any positions, but added Pure Storage, Twilio, Mimecast and Okta.

February: I sold back Mimecast to raise cash to add to my Pure Storage. Selling Mime may have been a mistake, as it held up very well during the little crash we had. I also finished selling out of LGIH, which, as you know, I’ve been in the process of doing for some months now. During the crash I sold out of Nektar for money to add to my Nvidia, which had just announced wonderful results. I always said that Nektar was just a little speculation for me, and I felt that it had shot way up on acquisition rumors, which might or might not come through. (The acquisition didn’t come through, but a nice partnership did). I have much more long-term conviction in Nvidia. I finished selling out of LHIH, which I already discussed. Finally, I sold out of Wix, which has always been a low conviction company for me, although people whose opinions I respect like it a lot.

Here’s how my current stocks have done in the first two months of the year. I’ve arranged them in order of percentage gain. I’ve used the start of the year price for stocks I’ve been in all year, and my initial buy price for stocks I’ve added during the year.

Shopify from 101.0 to 137.0  	up 	35.6%
Alteryx from 25.27 to 33.38	up  	32.1%
Twilio from 25.70 to 33.52	up  	30.4%
Pure St. from 16.72 to 21.71	up 	29.8%
Square from 34.67 to 44.85	up  	29.4% 
Nvidia from 193.5 to 245.9	up  	27.1%  
Hubspot from 88.4 to 101.7    	up  	25.8% 
Okta from $29.95 to 36.49	up  	21.8%
Talend from 37.48 to 42.65   	up  	13.8% 
Arista from 235.6 to 245.9,   	up 	 4.4%
Nutanix from 35.28 to 35.60  	up 	 0.8%

Exited positions this year [showing gain or loss
from the beginning of this year, or from when I first bought if it was later, and my average exit price.]

Nektar from 59.7.0 to 76.0 up 27.3%
Mime from $32.34 to 30.85 down 4.6%
LGIH from 75.0 to 71.0 down 5.3%
Wix from 69.2 to 61.8 down 10.7%

I’d like to note that since 2010 (with fears of a double dip recession), well-intentioned people have been warning us constantly that another bear market and/or recession is coming. “The bull market is too old.” or “The market is too high.” or “This technical indicator proves the the market is in a bubble.” All of their charts and indicators proved it in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and again last year in 2017. I’m hearing convincing stories about bond yields now fortelling a crash, but I’ve heard other similar convincing stories about other technical indicators every year. And so have you! Eventually they’ll be right, and think “See! I was right all along!”

Of course a marked correction will come eventually. Look, it could come next week for all I know! But we never really know when. And what a price those people have paid in “keeping their powder dry” and staying out of this market for the past eight years, waiting for the big correction that never came. Picking good stocks makes much more sense than trying to pick good stocks AND trying to time the market too.

Large caps (S&P) were up much more than small caps (Russell and IJS) last year, which doesn’t sound like people are wildly casting aside caution. But what do I know?

Now let’s look at my position sizes. I’m still trying to keep my portfolio concentrated and streamlined. With exiting three stocks in February, I’m back to 11 positions, where I’m more comfortable.

Here are the 11 positions in order of position size.

**Shopify   		15.3%**
**Alteryx 		14.7%**
**Arista		 	11.9%**
**Nutanix			10.6%**
**Nvidia	 		10.5%**
**Square			10.0%**
**Talend			 7.3%**
**Twilio			 5.9%**
**Hubspot			 5.2%**
**Pure Storage		 4.9%**
**Okta		         3.4%** 

It’s a very concentrated portfolio. Eye-balling the list you can see that I have six quite large positions running from roughly 15% to 10%, then stepping down to four positions between roughly 7% and 5%, and one position at 3.4%. There are no little try-out positions.

Let’s start with Shopify, my largest position.

Shopify has been my largest psotition for many, many months. It’s grown very fast and got to be a much higher position than I was comfortable with (22% at one point), and well above what I recommend, and I’ve trimmed it down some, over the last four or five months and redeployed the cash, but it remains my largest position by a good amount at 15.3%. Yes, I know 15.3% is still a large position, but I haven’t seen too many Shopifys in a lifetime of investing. Revenue growth is slowing slightly with size but it remains an incredible success story. After four years of compounding 100% revenue growth, they “slowed down” this year to growth of 73% over the previous year.

They just announced an enormous December quarter, and I couldn’t resist. I bought a little back of what I had been trimming, right after earnings. Here’s a little excerpt of what they reported:
Total revenue was up 71%.
Subscription revenue was up 67%.
Monthly Recurring Revenue was up 62%.
Shopify Plus revenue (big companies) was 21% of MRR, up from 17% a year ago.
Merchant Solutions revenue was up 74%.
Gross Merchandise Volume was up 65%
Gross profit was up 78%
Adj operating income was 5% of revenue, up from a loss of 1% of revenue.

As you see, the rates of growth are enormous. In the “real world” companies just don’t grow that fast.

I bought Shopify in 2016 at about $27 as I remember. It closed Friday at $137, which is up about 407% since I first bought it, maybe a year and two-thirds ago.

A few weeks ago, Tim Cook from Apple visited Shopify in Ontario to see how they were integrating enhanced reality into their platform to help their merchants sell products. It seemed to presage some potential alliance between the two companies, which would certainly be more good news for Shopify. I really love investing in this company.

Alteryx is now at 14.7%, and in 2nd place on Arista’s sell-off and Alteryx’s own strength. This was a new position in December. It finished February at $33.38 after starting the year at $25.27. It’s very rare that I take a large position like this in a new stock within a few weeks. I have great hopes for it. During February I added to my already large position at $27 to $28, and some more at $24.95 when the market melted down a week or so ago. I wrote endlessly about Alteryx the last two months so I won’t repeat myself, but I’ll let Bear describe their latest earnings report here from his post a few days ago:

“It just sounds like they are growing as fast as they can. This is some incredible stuff!
Revenue: 38.6M (up to 55% growth…wow), a $2.7M beat
Adj. EPS: 2 cents, a 5 cent beat
Gross Profit: 32.3M, up 56%
Operating Expenses: 34.2M, up 31%
Operating Loss: 1.9M, down from 5.6M (down 66%!)
Nice to see Gross Profit growing so much faster than expenses.
Cash Flow from Operations: 12.5M! (and 18.9M total for the year)
Dollar Based Net Revenue Retention Rate: 131%
Customers: 3,392 (up 46% YoY)
New Customers this Quarter: 338 (up 11% sequentially!)
Deferred Revenue: 114M
New Deferred Rev this Quarter: 32M! Nice.
March 2018 quarter guidance:
Revenue: 39M - 40M
Adj. EPS: $(0.06) to $(0.07)
Full year 2018 guidance:
Revenue: 176M - 190M
Adj. EPS: A loss of 24 to 29 cents. Ha! I don’t think there’s any way they don’t beat that…they’ll probably raise guidance every quarter.
They were cash flow positive this year and said they will be again in 2018, but are expecting to invest more. Translation: Look for more fantastic growth to come!
Wow. This was an incredible quarter. Everything was accelerating, better than expected, and planning for an even bigger 2018. I couldn’t be more impressed.

Arista was in second place but sold off about 20% a week ago after reporting excellent results, but giving “cautious” guidance that they could be sure of beating. That dropped them down to 3rd place at 11.9% of my portfolio, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were soon back battling for 2nd place.

Arista was founded by a small group of very smart people who used to work at Cisco. They developed a better way of doing something (using SDN), but Cisco didn’t want to deploy it (the legacy dinosaur’s dilemma) because it would undermine their legacy products. So the Arista guys (and gal) left, started their own company, and got sued by Cisco because they are taking market share left and right. They have been moving up steadily as the threat from Cisco’s law suits diminishes. In January they were up an enormous $48 to $283.50, and in February they rose another $25 to a high close of $308, before settling back to close the month at $246.

Their December quarter was another excellent one. Revenue was up 43%, and up 7% sequentially, and EPS up 64% year over year. What seems to have spooked people is that they forecast the March quarter flat with the December quarter, and they only forecast 25% growth for the year. However the first quarter was forecast flat with the previous fourth quarter in 2016, and again in 2017. It’s seasonal. And Arista always beats their estimates. The CEO was also very, very, clear that they were not seeing any competitive pressure at present.
They have always said that they see an eventual longterm growth rate at about 25%. They explained that they don’t have much vision past two quarters so they are falling back on that 25% growth estimate for the full year, but they also pointed out that they didn’t see 2017’s huge 50% growth in advance either. I think the stock is down because a lot of people had had a huge run-up and were looking for an excuse to sell (or they got scared). After some hesitation I added a tiny bit in the low $250’s.

Nutanix is pretty much tied with Nvidia for fourth and fifth places at 10.6% of my portfolio. It was a new position in September, which I entered when Bert praised it very highly, and it was discussed at great length on the board at the time, with a lot of skepticism. I entered at about $21.70. I added a small amount this month at about $31.25 and some more at $33.00. It closed the month at $35.60

Nutanix is growing revenue at a great rate, has loads of deferred revenue ($409 million last quarter, up 48% from the year before), but no earnings as of yet. It’s area is “hyper-converged infrastructure” in data storage. Like Arista in a way, it sells hardware but what counts is its software and operating system. It is, in fact, doing away with the pass-through zero-margin hardware that it was selling, and pivoting to be a pure software company (also moving towards a SaaS model). This makes their revenue growth look deceptively slow (hardware sales no longer being counted, and subscription revenue being counted only month by month, even if all paid in advance).

Nvidia At the end of January Nvidia was in ninth place at 3.6%, with a price of $243. Well I finally got serious about Nvidia, talked into it by all the great write-ups and discussion by members of the board, as well as by the last quarterly report. I bought a lot during the meltdown, when it should have been going up. Nvidia has moved up from that small position to a virtual tie for fourth and fifth place with Nutanix at 10.5%. [You may decide to take my change of heart as a sell signal [smiley face]]. What was so good about their last report? Well here are a couple of items:

Revenue of $2.91 billion, up 34% from 2.17 billion, and up 10% sequentially from $2.64 billion (note that sequential rise).
Adj earnings of $1.72, up 52% from $1.13 and up 29% sequentially from $1.33 (and THAT sequential rise)
Adj gross margin of 62.1%, up from 59.7% seq and from 60.2% a yr ago (Certainly not being commoditized, and they guided to 63% next quarter).
Data center revenue of $606 million was up 105% yoy.

Virtually every internet and cloud service provider has embraced our Volta GPUs. Hundreds of transportation companies are using our NVIDIA DRIVE platform.

There’s lots more. Nvidia seems to have a lock on the future. This may be a very exaggerated conclusion. Check out the discussions on the board, and decide for yourself.

Square is now in sixth place, at 10.0% of my portfolio, and up to $44.85 from $34.67 at the end of the year. I started my position last March at an average price of about $17.50, and have added several times along the way, but then trimming a little at about $45.50 and $47.00 in December, and trimming some in January at about $42.00, and again in February.

Square is growing revenue like mad (45% in the Sept quarter, which accelerated from 41% growth the quarter before), and also has a lot of recurring revenue. It has been profitable for the past six quarters, but not a huge amount.

Its original purpose was to allow any merchant with a mobile device to be able to accept card payments. Since then, it has evolved into a robust payments solutions business, and it also provides more sophisticated services such as:

Instant Deposit, which allows retailers to receive money instantly in their bank accounts upon swiping a customer’s credit card, instead of waiting up to four days. For each instant deposit, Square charges 1%. This is incredibly lucrative for Square, as it’s a three-to-four day loan at 1% (which is a huge compound rate, at little risk).

Square Capital is a service that facilitates loans to Square’s merchants, who pay the loan back gradually, as a percent of transactions. These loans especially appeal to small businesses that don’t normally have access to capital. And, because Square is so familiar with its customers’ businesses, it can decide whom to offer loans to with a high degree of safety.

Caviar – a restaurant delivery might seem an odd service for a payments company. However, Caviar has quickly grown since coming aboard. The most important thing is that restaurants that use it often sign up for all the rest of Square’s services.

Note that 4th, 5th, and 6th places are very close in percentages and can change from day to day.

Talend is in seventh place at 7.3%, and a price of $42.65, up $3 on the month. It’s a big-data analyzer that is growing very rapidly, has no earnings, but has huge amounts of deferred revenue, and is free cash flow positive. I consider it a category crusher as well as a disrupter, as it seems to have no effective competition at present.

Here’s what their December quarterly results looked like. It looked great to me. Most of the following is from the conference call:

Cloud and Big Data had a combined subscription revenue growth rate about 80%.

Cloud SaaS subscription revenue was up over 100%.

The number of Enterprise subscription customers grew 58% and theyproduced 2/3 of our subscription revenue.

Asia Pacific region revenue was up over 100%

Our strong results in the quarter were driven by

  1. continued adoption by large global enterprises,
  2. growth in international markets
  3. continued success in growing our installed base through our land and expand strategy.
    We continue to see Cloud adoption accelerate and our Cloud business becoming increasingly important growth driver for the company.

Dollar based net expansion rate was 125% on a constant-currency basis. This is the 16th consecutive quarter we’ve had a dollar based net expansion rate over 120%.

Competition: The competitive landscape hasn’t really changed that much. A lot of that is due to the fact that our number one competitors is actually hand coding, and our number two competitor is our own open source product. So, it’s not until you get to number three that you see the first actual software competitor, Informatica, sold by IBM.
Cloud: If I separate customers that are using our own SaaS service from those self-hosting our software either in the Cloud or on-premise, it’s that category of customers using our own SaaS software that’s really exploding right now.

I bought a bunch at $36.25 during the brief correction we had earlier this month. Their Analyst Day 100-slide presentation was pretty euphoric.

Twilio is now in 8th place at 5.9% of my portfolio. It has been discussed at length on the board, including by me, and I really have nothing additional to add. It was a new small position in January. I bought it back basically because of the hypothesis that their non-Uber and non-FB revenue is growing at 60% and will hopefully soon make the Uber situation fall into the rear-view mirror. Several board members made convincing cases for it, as did Bert. Based on the December earnings, it looks like what’s going to happen. I took my initial position at $25.75, and added a little at various prices before earnings. And then after earnings I added a bunch. Their non-Uber revenue was up 62% and their non-Uber dollar-based retention rate was 136%.

Hubspot. I dropped Hubspot from 4th place to 9th place at 5.2% this month with the rise after earnings. They had great December earnings but I just don’t feel confident about their long term room to grow. They sound to me like a bunch of kids with a tinker toy set, just trying out things and saying, “Wow, that worked!” Now I admit that it did work, so I waited until after earnings to sell any, knowing that they’d have a huge beat because of moving their big conference out out of the December quarter, and I only reduced my position and didn’t sell out, but Hubspot just didn’t seem like it should be a 12% position to me. It doesn’t seem that it has the same quality as Shopify, Arista, Nvidia, etc. In December there was a rather foolish short attack by Citron, and the price has actually risen quite a bit since then. There wasn’t any bad news, and that’s not why I reduced my position.

Pure Storage was a new position in January, and it’s now up to tenth place at 4.9% 0f my portfolio. I was encouraged to enter it by reading Bert’s articles and Bear’s and Ant’s posts. It’s busy right now replacing spinning disc storage for enterprises with flash arrays, as I understand it. And once that’s through they will replace first generation flash arrays with NVMeoF-enabled flash storage. And then the next advance, and the next. And meanwhile the demand for data storage will be expanding exponentially. At least that’s the investment thesis. And Pure is the leader in the leader’s quadrant on Gartner. But keep in mind that I am a tech illiterate. I don’t really understand much of all that above, and I am relying on other people’s advice. Here’s the kind of thing I do understand: Sept quarter revenue was up 41%, gross margins were over 66% (it’s not a commodity, for sure), net loss was $2 million, improved from a loss of $19 million a year ago, EPS was -1 cent per share, improved from -10 cents, they have $551 million in cash, operating cash flow was 10% of revenue, etc. If you are interested I suggest you read about it, and look at the investor presentation slides. I took my main position at about $16.75, but didn’t hesitate to add small amounts all the way up to $21.00. It’s currently at $21.71

Okta was another new position in January, and a small cyber-security firm. They IPO’ed in April, ten months ago. What they do is called Identity and Access Management, or IAM. They are a SaaS company, and are still racking up big losses in Net Income and even in Cash Flow. Their TTM revenue is $231 million, which is up 67% from TTM revenue of $138 million a year ago. I wrote last time that I was giving just a sketchy summary because I was not sure that I’m going to keep it. Obviously I decided to keep it, and it’s now up to a 3.4% position.

They just gave some preliminary results on their quarter that ended at the end of January. They sound very good. Here’s a summary (summarized). Remember that these are preliminary results and they weill give their actual results in a week or so:

For the quarter: Revenue $77.5M (consensus was $71); Adj operating loss of $12.3M to $11.3M; calculated billings, $104M (up 66%).
For the year: Revenue $260M; Adj operating loss, $67M to $66M; calculated billings $314M (up 62%).
Total Customers: 4,350 (up 40%)
Customers with annual contracts above 100,000: 691 (up 56%)
Dollar Based Retention rate: 121%

As you can see, this month I reduced my number of stocks, and weeded out some that seemed like good successful companies, but which didn’t seem to me to have the potential to become “great” companies. For example:
Nektar, which was a successful little speculation on a small biotech, but which I was never going to build into a large position.
Wix, which built websites for people for free and counted on converting a miniscule percentage to paying customers. It was successful at it, but I couldn’t see it conquering the world.
LGIH, which was very good at selling first houses to renters, but home building is a cyclical business, and a capital intensive business. Whenever they sold a house they had to go out and buy and develop a new lot, in fact one-and-a-half new lots. Lots of debt was necessary, pretty much forever it seemed to me. Sorry, not a long-term forever hold kind of company.
Mimecast. This is really a good little company, with a nice rate of growth, and an investment in it will undoubtedly do well, but I couldn’t see a company with a 111% retention rate shaking the world, and I wanted to concentrate on top companies.

Finishing up. When I take a regular position in a stock, it’s always with the idea of holding it indefinitely, or as long as circumstances seem appropriate, and never with a price goal or with the idea of trying to make a few points and selling. I do, of course, eventually exit after months, or sometimes years, but I’m talking about what my intention is when I buy.

I do sometimes take a tiny position in a company to put it on my radar and get me to learn more about it. I’m not trying to trade it and make money on it, I’m just trying to decide if I want to keep it long term. If I do try out a stock in a small position and later decide that it’s not what I want, I sell it without hesitation, and I really don’t care whether I gain a dollar or lose one. I just sell out to put the money somewhere better. If I decide to keep it, I add to my position and build it into a regular position.

You should never just try to follow what I’m doing without making up your own mind about a stock. In these monthly summaries I’m giving you a static picture of where I am currently, but I may change my mind about a position during the month. In fact, I not infrequently do, and I make changes in the position. I usually don’t announce these changes until the end of the month, and if I’m busy or have some personal emergency I might not announce them even then. And besides, I make mistakes sometimes, even big ones! Don’t just follow me blindly! I’m an old guy and won’t be around forever. The key is to learn how to do this for yourself.

Since I began in 1989, my entire portfolio has grown enormously. If you are new to the board and want to find out how I did it, and how you can try to do it yourself, I’d suggest you read posts #4 through #8 at the beginning of the board, and especially the Knowledgebase that Neil keeps for us, which is a compilation of words of wisdom, and definitely worth reading (a couple of times) if you haven’t yet.

I hope this has been helpful.


For Knowledgebase for this board,
please go to Posts #17774, 17775 and 17776.
We had to post it in three parts this time.


Congratulations! What a wonderful start in 2018.


1 Like

Thanks for the great write-up (again), Saul.

One company that hasn’t had much mention on this board (just some)… and I think it does NOT fit with what you’re looking for… is JD. Not fitting because it is Chinese and all the blemishes and worries that may tend to bring to mind. Understandably so, IMO.

Anyway… without going into a long winded pitch that others here do so well, I believe it would be well worth while for those willing to take the plunge in China. :slight_smile:

Approximately a 5% position for me… ALL in call options because I want to take full advantage of what I anticipate to be a nice run-up over the next few years. Currently, options are Jan2019 and Jan2020.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.



you were more glowing in their description in your previous monthly reports. what make you change your view on them?

what you wrote this month sounds like something that has been said all along but you seem to dismiss that until this month. what made you shift?



Many thanks for the regular results and commentary Saul. Riveting stuff as usual.

On a very minor matter, I do indeed ask “Why these three indexes?”!

I always find it baffling that you track your result against 3 completely irrelevant benchmarks. No sector fund manager would (or could) do this. It may not be perfect, but the First Trust DJ Internet ETF (FDN) might do as a rough (but certainly better) guide to performance (especially now LGIH has gone). I expect there is a better index or ETF.

So just for amusement, I put up the chart. Taking only your 6 largest holdings, I am seeing splendid outperformance YTD. To be specific, SHOP AYX NVDA and SQ have outperformed FDN, while ANET and NTNX have underperformed.