New here, my portfolio

Hello everyone. Thanks for all the activity on this forum. It’s been a great help to me.

I’ve been a Stock Advisor member for about 3 years now, and it has been very helpful in getting my retirement plan back on-track. You see, in '08 during the crash I fired my Morgan Stanley advisor and put everything into my control at Vanguard. The issue was, out of fear of further losses “which are certain to happen soon” I stayed too much in cash. Then as I realized that imminent second crash is not coming I moved into a targeted date fund. I read 3 of Jack Bogle’s books and bought the story that you can’t beat the market so just try to match it. Oh, and diversify too. Then in late 2015 I decided this wasn’t working well enough I put some of my money into some REITs (self storage, health care). A 9-month experiment with that was an eye opener. Shortly after I joined SA and started buying individual stocks and got entirely out of anything of a bond, and for now REITs.

In 2016 I beat the S&P 500 fund (VOO) by almost 4%. In 2017 I nearly doubled that. This year I’m up almost 21% (compared to the 8%-ish for the market). So I now feel confident, at 51 years old, that I can catch up and correct for my mistake years back.

In the last 4 weeks I’ve started to get myself into some of the growth stocks many of you are discussing here. I have about 22% of my IRA devoted to some of these names.

I have been benchmarking myself to the VOO index fund for the simple reason that, as being new to this, I needed to know if my work is paying off or not. If I can’t beat the index then I need to either learn and change, or stop trying. And I set a goal to beat the index by 1% per quarter over a long period of time, including dividends. That 4% beat, over the next 15-16 years, will make a substantial bump in my final balance. And now I believe I can hit that mark and do even better over a long term. Thanks everyone. I mean that.

Here is where I am today:

AIEQ - 35% allocation. I still want a diversified stock fund to anchor the portfolio, though that may change in a year or so. And I like this fund better than VOO. Its a very interesting fund, powered by an AI engine running on Watson using natural language processing and sentiment analysis to choose 30-70 stocks at a time. Not quite 1 year old, it’s beating the market by roughly 6% year to date.

VMMXX - 8.7% - money market holding a small amount of cash for purchases.

NVDA - 8.3%. I’m a big believer in the company overall, though I am expecting someone to disrupt the GPU in this space in the next 5 years. At times I’ve had 12% of this stock. I probably trade around in it too frequently.

AAPL - 7.2%. I’ve used Macs for 20 years, iPhones since the 3, and worked there on mobile GPU development (for the 6) for not quite 2.5 years. I feel they are a bit “lost” right now but still a good stock to own.

AMZN - 6%. Love them.

MSFT - 4.3%. I actually think the new CEO is doing a bang-up job and that the company is getting its former glory back.

AYX - 4.1%. I’m in this after extensive reading up on this forum about this company and quite happy.

NFLX - 4.2%. Used to have more of it, but I’m getting leary of their content spending and possible saturation in the market. I mean, my family watches as much original content on Hulu and Amazon as we do Netflix these days. Not gonna sell but don’t want more.

MDB - 3.6%. I learned about them 3 years ago while working at Oracle (on SPARC processors, RIP) and recently bought into them. I think the relational days are in a slow decline and see no end to that myself.

TTD -3.2%. Learned a lot about them from these boards and other places. I’m optimistic but a bit cautious, as I really don’t understand advertising biz.

NEWR - 3.0%. Lots of noise here about them, and on Mad Money.

PYPL - 2.8%. Bought them due to Stock Advisor recommendation and I have a high conviction on them. I want to buy more soon.

SHOP - 2.4%. Bought them due to Stock Advisor and it has done quite well for me. But I am watching them closely to see if they regain some upward momentum.

SQ - 1.1%. I’ve seen their stuff everywhere for years now. I am adding more soon to my holdings.

OKTA - 1.1%. Bought in due to SA recommendation, but not entirely sure what they do, really.

CRM - 1.1%. Bought them back while still working for Oracle because, honestly, I saw them kicking our butts. I have high enough conviction that I really need to raise this to 4% of assets.

ANET - 1.1%. Been looking at them for months now, and recommendations here were enough to push me into my first buy.

NTNX - 1.1%. Between here and Mad Money I decided to pull the trigger here. Looking to add more.

WIX - 1.0%. SA recommendation here. Bought a small stake to test the waters and deciding I like it enough that I would like to add more.

PSTA - 1.0%. Again, a recommendation here making me test the waters, but not wanting to add more yet to this.

I’m really keeping a close eye on AIEQ. So far it is impressing me as a diversified anchor that outperforms the general market with roughly equivalent volatility. I like having some broad exposure without having to pick yet even more stocks to hold. And I’ve learned over the last 2 years that I start getting nervous when one holding exceeds 10% of my assets, even if a great name like an NVDA, NFLX, AAPL or AMZN. And I’ve also learned that if I hold too many names I tend to get a bit lost in what I’m doing. So, find a good, profitable anchor for the portfolio and then goose the returns with the rest. It’s been working for me so far.

My goal 2 years ago was to average 12% returns for the next 15-17 years. I now think this goal is lower than it needs to be and can be achieved.

Thanks everyone.
Bill Jurasz
Austin, Texas


And I’ve also learned that if I hold too many names I tend to get a bit lost in what I’m doing.

Hi Bill,
That’s what happened to me too. When, at one point I got up around 25-30 stocks I caught myself realizing that I couldn’t remember what company some of the letters stood for. And I certainly couldn’t remember for sure what some of those letters stood for as far as what the company did, how well it was doing, and all that stuff like revenue growth, earnings, etc. I found I was much more profitable with less than 15 companies. But that’s just me…


Money market funds are finally paying something a little noticeable (roughly 2%), though my bank savings account is still only paying something like 0.2%.

PSTA? Do you mean PSTG?