Saul’s Portfolio at the end of Nov, 2023.
MY RESULTS MONTH BY MONTH FOR 2023
Here’s a table of the monthly year-to-date progress of my portfolio for 2023. I’ll present them as starting from 100% of my starting value and figure from there. This has been a much better month than October but most other posters have higher ytd results than I do, so don’t follow me!
End of Dec 100.0% starting point
End of Jan 109.7%
End of Feb 107.0%
End of Mar 105.8%
End of Apr 91.9%
End of May 106.3%
End of Jun 119.0%
End of Jul 127.5%
End of Aug 124.5%
End of Sep 116.5%
End of Oct 101.3%
End of Nov 113.0%
Here’s what my postions looked like a month ago (end of Oct).
The Trade Desk 13.8%
And here’s what they look like now, at the end of Nov:
The Trade Desk 10.7%
As you can see, of my nine positions at the end of October, two of them which together had taken up 17.6% of my portfolio, Global-e and Remitly, are both gone, and a new 7.8% position in Nvidia has joined the portfolio. I explained my exit from Global, by far the larger position of the two I exited, in a mid-month summary in which I tried to explain my reasoning and feelings at some length, so I won’t go through the explanation again, and it has since bounced back, but for a quick summary, I’d have to say that it was vast disappointment with their quarterly results and the uncertainty about the future that I was feeling.
My other seven positions are still there, and in approximately the same order, except that ELF and Celcius have moved up from 6th and 7th places to a three way tie for 2nd, 3rd and 4th, with Monday.
Trade Desk , which had been in 3rd is now in 6th, as I decreased it from a 13.8% position to an 10.7% position.
Why did I decrease the size of my TTD position? Well… a week ago when I was looking, its PE was 55, as high as Nvidia’s. Its EV/S was at 17.2, roughly tied for 2nd highest behind Nvidia which was highest. So we can assume that it must have had one of the highest growth rates, right? … No, wrong. Revenue growth rates of my top seven companies last quarter ranged from 25% to 206%. Guess who came in last, at 25%. It was Trade Desk! It was thus given a very high stock value, with a very low growth rate, so I decided to decrease my position. Simple as that.
Why did I increase the size of my Celcius? First of all, I liked the story. Second, its PE was 24.5, less than half the PE’s of Axon, Trade Desk, and Nvidia, and a quarter of Monday’s. To go with that low PE it had a revenue growth rate of 104%, four times that of Trade Desk, and a much more reasonable EV/S, at 11.0. It actually seemed like one of the best bets in my portfolio.
And how about ELF ? I really liked their story too. Besides, it had a revenue growth rate of 76%, a PE of 40, and an EV/S ratio of only 8. (Compare that with Trade Desk’s at 17, with the slowest revenue growth rate of all).
I also took a position in Nvidia for reasons that have been well discussed on the board, and include a relative dominance in an exploding field, a revenue growth rate of 206%. Revenue was up an amazing 34% sequentially on top of the previous quarter being up 88% sequentially, and Nvidia had a PE based on the EPS run-rate of just 30 (using four times the most recent quarter EPS).
I reduced the number of shares by smallish amounts in my largest and 2nd largest positions because Samsara hadn’t yet broken into making a profit, and Monday, although growing profitability very rapidly, still sported a very high PE.
I also reduced my Tesla position from 2.7% to 1.0%, still in last place.
I have kept a permanent safety fund out of the market that I could live off for several years if necessary, and I feel everyone who does not have a secure regular source of income should do the same. I have gradually added to it over the last year or so, moving some funds gradually from my investing pool to my out-of-the-market pool. Given our advanced ages, my wife and I probably have enough to live for the rest of our lives with our out-of-the-market pool, with a little left over for our children, even if our investment pool went to zero (which is an unlikely scenario). I added a little to our out-of-the-market pool this month.
I have learned long ago that sticking with great companies wins out in the end, and beats market timing, but living through the 2021/2022 decline was very difficult.
Let me remind you first, that I have NO IDEA what our stocks will do next month. I’m terrible on predictions. But I know that the businesses of our companies will do just fine for the most part.
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. Sometimes it’s after months, and sometimes after 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 later do 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 try to just follow what I’m doing without making up your own mind about a stock . First of all, you may have a completely different financial picture than I have. Different age, different income, different assets, different debts, different expenses, different financial and family responsibilities, etc.
Besides, 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 sometimes make mistakes, 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 the Knowledgebase , which is a compilation of my “words of wisdom”, and definitely worth reading (a couple of times) if you haven’t yet. It’s on the panel to your right.
I hope this has been helpful.