Portfolio Of A Student Of The Game

I’ve been investing since the 60s, but really got serious about it in the 80s after getting married. After a disastrous home building business that I closed in 1993, we were broke. As in… didn’t declare bankruptcy… but our net worth was about zero. That’s with a heavily mortgaged house, two kids in private school, immense credit card debt… and some residual IRAs that enabled us to zero out that net worth.

1993: Got back into corporate life… and buckled down with my investing. Got seriously whacked in the tech meltdown of 2000. JDSU anyone? :wink:

Regardless of the tech meltdown, subsequent investing success allowed us to go from zero in 1993 to a net worth in 2010 that meant… retirement. Ahhhh…

Along the way, we continued private school, paid for most of the kid’s college and the daughter’s wedding. We figure there is little sense in racking up returns in the market if you’re not going to USE THE MONEY.

(Side note: I sold almost everything in 2008 and early 2020 for a brief time. Why? Downturns in the market come frequently and can be ignored. But those two instances were different. The first one (the Great Recession) looked like a strong possibility of an extended Depression due to financial collapse. The second one looked the same… except due to an extended voluntary shutdown of the economy… sort of like taping a plastic bag over the economy’s head. You know what happens then… kills the economy/country. Not a political comment, just a fact. Still think the current recession/depression is pretty bad, but the companies we own are doing well anyway.)

Since retiring, we have withdrawn 8%-13% or more from our portfolio each year (contrasted with financial “expert” advice of 4% for retirement)… and we’re up anyway and can see that it’s possible to join “the 1%” in net worth in time unless we offset gains with a lot more spending. At the halfway point of 2020, we have already withdrawn about 8% of our starting portfolio (bought time share condo and motorhome in January and increased other spending a LOT). Withdrawing so much really dampens the overall return, but we’re still up about 78% YTD. Seems kinda paltry given the returns of so many others. LOL… OK, I’m a slacker… :slight_smile:

Now… what’s up:

Portfolio Status


LVGO 22.5%
AYX  16.6
CRWD 15.9
DDOG 11.6
TTD  10.5
FSLY  7.1
MELI  4.3
SE    2.9
OKTA  2.6
ZM    1.8
AMZN  0.6

plus a smattering of cash to pay the bills.

Commentary

LVGO: This one OUTGREW everything else to it’s current allocation. Everybody already understands what they’re doing. I see the opportunity to be quite a bit greater than most folks here, I guess. Still a baby in their primary diabetes market and involved in a few other large markets… and more markets not yet entered. Lots of debate on the business model on this board. I just point to the sales growth… the insurance companies aren’t paying them more and more because it DOESN’T work. I find that focusing on the basics keeps me from getting tangled up in the weeds/details, most of which cannot be understood with the limited data available to investors. Our LVGO is heavily leveraged with $50 calls that expire in Sep22. Probably should re-position. Side note: Finally got my daughter and husband to buy a Fool rec! They bought LVGO around $70. They’re happy. LOL

AYX: They seem to own the market for what they do. I’m taking a risk holding this with another leveraged (calls) position given the unknowns of growth with COVID economic effects and their guidance. Holding anyway.

CRWD: VERY promising growth. If they keep it up, the current pricy P/S won’t look so pricy. Security is a very difficult business in which to maintain a strong position. I have no idea how long growth will be maintained. Reflecting on that, I’d call this a fairly risky position… especially since we have a ton of call options here as well.

DDOG: A strong position in their market, but pricy. I would probably reduce this position but it’s in a taxable account. Won’t be selling until next year at the earliest. Might use some of the proceeds to pay off the motorhome.

TTD: Lots of fluff in the company presentations and that concerns me but they continue to see solid growth in both the TOP AND BOTTOM LINES. Still, the price seems crazy high to me. Risky over the short term.

FSLY: About a 85% call option position. I have nothing to add from what others have said.

MELI: Most people don’t realize that MELI isn’t just an eBay of Latin America. They’re actually transitioning into an Amazon… with payment processing and other financial tools. Currently $1100 a share, I can see this being 10x growth for the patient investor (years). Yeah. 10X. And I don’t see much risk here short of an apocalypse. A nice long term, safe, solid hold.

SE: Ummm… a lot like MELI, actually. I plan to steal money from one of the other holdings and increase our position here. Too big a future. Located in Singapore and focusing on the billion people in “greater southeast Asia”. Don’t overlook this one. I think this is probably another “nice long term, safe, solid hold.”

OKTA: You know about this one. A small allocation… can’t give everyone a large allocation…

ZM: You may have heard of this one. Promising. I just have a small 100% option position. I see a lot of growth from here, but it’s already a $70 billion market cap and I can’t see $1T happening. Maybe that’s myopia on my part, but I won’t be missing out on growing my portfolio because I don’t have a huge slug of ZM.

AMZN: The MELI of North America and Europe… without the benefit of the finance stuff MELI is doing. They seem to be muddling along fairly well anyway. :wink: I note that I could have done almost as well this year to have 100% AMZN instead of what I have, but I think the future points to better returns with the current portfolio.

Th… th… th… that’s all, folks.

In a bit more than a week, we’re off for a long motorhome trip. A memorial in MI for my brother who died back in March (stroke, not virus), then a tour out West (we live in NC) that will include visiting family there. I’ll probably just return to my lurker mode.

Rob
Rule Breaker / Supernova Starshot Home Fool & STMP/MTH Maintenance Coverage Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

87 Likes

Perhaps the strongest argument for Livongo is that the present methods of controlling diabetes (especially type 2) just do not work for most patients. So something is broken here.
Unlike many other chronic diseases, a prescription or two with a doctor visit every 4 months won’t be enough. Most chronic diseases fit into the stable or gradually getting worse category. Usually if you have hypertension all you need do is to remember take your meds twice a day. It is a lot harder with diabetes. Eventually more AI will be used .There aren’t enough skilled humans to follow diabetics 24/7

3 Likes

I’m long LVGO.

There’s another company called Virta Health that’s private at the moment. They are able to reverse Type 2 Diabetes through diet in many cases. I think their model is similar to LVGO in that there’s an app and consultation with medical team behind the app.

“Virta’s approach reduces the need for prescription medications. At one year, clinical trial patients eliminated 63% of diabetes-specific medications. 94% of patients eliminated or reduce insulin usage.¹”

https://www.virtahealth.com/outcomes

I’m going to keep my eye on this one.

Of course nothing stopping Livongo in taking a similar approach.

2 Likes

Perhaps the strongest argument for Livongo is that the present methods of controlling diabetes (especially type 2) just do not work for most patients. So something is broken here. Unlike many other chronic diseases, a prescription or two with a doctor visit every 4 months won’t be enough.

No matter what doctors tell you, often type 2 diabetes is reversible with proper treatment and the treatment has little or nothing to do with medicine and institutional healthcare. I’m living proof. Not only did my type 2 diabetes disappear but all the other related problems like high cholesterol did too. I no longer take any of the eight or so daily medications that I had been told were for life.

The cure? Eating healthy and walking more that led to losing 50 pounds and returning to a weight near what I used to have as a young adult.

This is not OT. Imagine the saving Livongo could create for its customers with this "cure!?

Type 2 diabetes is reversible

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q…

Technically type 2 diabetes is chronic but in practice it is often reversible but not with the standard medical treatment. It’s reversible with lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes are part of Livongo’s arsenal. But reversing type 2 diabetes is neither in the financial interest of the healthcare industry nor of the Agroindustrial Food Complex so expect lots of pushback. It’s amazing the things they want to do to you in addition to feeding you medicines, lab tests, stress tests, angiograms. Ever wonder why healthcare is so expensive?

PS: I eliminated the medication under medical supervision but I had to really push the doctor hard to get it done. It was not the “accepted medical protocol” or words to that effect. He is an excellent doctor but if all you have is a medical degree… everything looks like a nail.

Denny Schlesinger
Long LVGO and TDOC

68 Likes

I saw some post about Sea Limited but can you let us know more about this?

Do you think Sea is exploiting a ‘Asia/South-East Asia’ market like Mercado is for the spanish-speaking market? How do they compete with Amazon or Alibaba or say other Chinese e-commerce?

Singapore is Asian and China facing but also English speaking and open to the West. Where is its competitive advantage?

tj

thejusticier–

For me, the best first step is usually looking at previous posts on the subject.

To the right, click on the Board search type. Click on the one of the two options. The Greg site, for example.

Type in Sea or SE in the search tab. Most of the posts that pop up are related to Sea Limited, and some address the very questions you pose.

I hope this helps.

1 Like

I meant “Board search site” in the prior post. If I every run into a Gardner brother in a Starbucks, I will pay for their latte and humbly ask for post editing functionality.

Type 2 diabetes is reversible

Indeed, as are many other life-threatening
conditions that not only are reversible, but
avoidable in the first place. Simple life-style
changes in diet and exercise that work wonders
are ignored by most people most of the time.

Just a quick mention of a book that deals
with these issues as they relate to the major
causes of premature death, including diabetes,
high blood pressure, cancers, and many others.
The book is “How Not to Die” by Michael Greger, M.D.

If interested, just look it up on Amazon.com and read
the reviews.

Sorry if this is a bit OT, and please delete this
post if it violates board rules.

Long LVGO.

vez

10 Likes

Just a quick mention of a book that deals with these issues as they relate to the major causes of premature death, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers, and many others.

The book is “How Not to Die” by Michael Greger, M.D. If interested, just look it up on Amazon.com and read the reviews.

Sorry if this is a bit OT, and please delete this post if it violates board rules.

Hi vez, yes the post is off-topic but I’ll leave it in as that book changed my life too and saved me from looming major surgery or radiation therapy, and I thus hope that it may be of help to others on the board, but PLEASE people, lets not start a thread. If you have questions, write to me or vez off-board.

Saul

30 Likes

When did you initiate your positions? Did you start anew this year?

When did you initiate your positions? Did you start anew this year? – jlavez

I sold in mid-March and got back in late-March.

Sound crazy to jump out and in? Well, by late-March it seemed like the US was not going to be exceptionally stupid with the lockdown and I figured it was OK to get back in.

It’s working out. I can’t complain. Up over 85% YTD right now.

Rob
Rule Breaker / Supernova Starshot Home Fool & STMP/MTH Maintenance Coverage Fool
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.