TreyC - August Portfolio Update - "Finding

I am a relative newcomer to Saul’s Investing Discussions. This is my second post on the board and my first portfolio update. This portfolio update describes the process of my move from index funds into individual stocks. I hope that the post may be helpful to newcomers to this board. I do not, at this time, anticipate making monthly portfolio updates. I would, however, certainly be open to any feedback on the content of my post or my writing style. I sincerely hope that post (particularly coming from a newcomer) can add some value and not pollute the board.

Over the course of the summer, I began my process of moving away from index funds by subscribing to several paid services. I won’t name them here, however, I can tell that many other readers here also use these services and will recognize some of the companies. I found myself enamored with the idea of trying to blend the best ideas from many different sources. I wanted to build a portfolio with a large number of stocks based on ALL of these services. I paid money to follow well-regarded experts, stock picking services, technical chartists, et cetera.

I will begin with my portfolio allocations at the beginning of August (as of open on August 2, 2021):

**Stock         Position**
Crowdstrike     8.1%
VOO             7.7%
Zoom Video      6.4%
Roku            6.3%
Cloudflare      6.0%
Docusign        5.0%
Datadog         4.9%
Snap, Inc.      4.6%
ZoomInfo        4.2%
Lightspeed      4.0%
Shopify         3.2%
Twilio          3.2%
AMD             2.9%
ArkG            2.5%
Magnite         2.3%
Upstart         2.0%
Paycom          1.7%
Marvell         1.7%
Asana           1.1%
ZScaler         1.0%
Plug Power      0.8%

I just so happened to move from index funds (VOO and QQQ exclusively) into these companies at or near each company’s all-time-high stock price. I saw losses on almost every position within a day, and these losses deepened over the next week. I felt that I had timed my entries very poorly. I began closely following a few technical chartists, trying to find out how to improve the timing of my moves. I learned about Elliot Wave Theory and Fibonacci regressions. In my search for direction, I also found myself reading the Knowledge Base:

“I don’t try to time the market and I stay fully invested. I try to pick good, really excellent companies, who will do reasonably well even if the economy turns bad.”

Why was I trying to time the market so closely? Did I think that I was going to be any good at it? What kind of education and experience would I need to time the market well? The more I thought about what was required to pursue this route, the more I knew that trying to time the market was not for me. And, to put it more simply, Saul’s historical performance convinced me that it was not necessary to do so.

And I kept finding myself drawn to the Knowledge Base. I found muji’s post titled “Distilling Knowledge” (
I copied and pasted all of the posts from this list into a PDF file with a clickable table of contents. Eventually, I ended up with a printed copy that has been read multiple times. I kept trying to apply the tidbits of knowledge I was learning about timing to the stocks that I had. There were so many, though. Over the course of August, one part kept standing out to me:

“If I have stocks that I have strong convictions about I will tend to add additional funds to them instead of looking for new stocks, and I end up with a more concentrated portfolio.”

I eventually asked myself this question: In that list of 21 positions, in which stocks do I have the highest conviction? I realized that I didn’t have any opinion about any of the companies – I was relying on the opinions of others. I began by graphing revenue growth and 12-month trailing earnings. While I have a large stock of log paper (I am a secondary mathematics teacher), I used Excel for this task. I immediately found that I had little to no conviction in many of my positions.

Other positions required more analysis. I began reading earnings reports. But again, there were so many. Again, I picked up the Knowledge Base:

“I really like it better when I have fewer, but high conviction stocks. I’m more comfortable, and I can probably make much higher percentage gain for my portfolio with 8 positions than 24. Fewer are easier to follow, and the chances of finding 8 that will average 50% gain is MUCH better than the chances of finding 24 that will average 50% gain, and HUGELY better than your chances of finding 100 that will average 40% gain.”

It was readily apparent that I simply do not have the time to adequately track all these companies. I began selling entire positions and redirecting those funds to build on the stocks in which I had higher conviction. I had higher conviction because I had spent hours learning about these companies, reading their earnings reports, graphing their earnings. I finally listened to my first earnings call – it was Upstart. I think if you’re going to pick your first earnings call to listen to then that is about as good as it can get. I have listened to several more since then and none came close.

As of market close on Friday, August 27, my portfolio allocations are:

**Stock         Position**
Crowdstrike    25.1%
Upstart        19.4%
DDOG           11.7%
Roku            7.1%
ZoomInfo        7.0%
ZScaler         6.9%
Cloudflare      5.4%
Zoom Video      4.9%
Docusign        4.4%
Lightspeed      4.2%
Snap            3.8%

I plan, in the near future, to liquidate my positions in Snap and Docusign. I intend to open a position in using those funds, likely within the next week. I’m on the fence about Zoom Video and Roku. Time will tell.

Finally, this brings me to my portfolio performance for the month of August. My portfolio is up 16.8% through the final full week of August. I won’t list the performance of individual stocks because (1) there were so many and (2) of the stocks that remain, most are popular on this board, and frequent readers know how they performed. I will, however, post my monthly results for 2021:

**Month          YTD Gain**
End of Jan      -0.26%
End of Feb      +1.06%
End of Mar      +2.56%
End of Apr      +9.25%
End of May      +8.28%
End of Jun      +11.67%
End of Jul      +15.64%
End of Aug      +35.11%

I think the change in performance speaks for itself. But, more importantly, I now have a set of companies in which I have confidence, because I have learned to do the work myself. I can now continue developing these skills and collaborating with others on this board. I don’t need to trust Elliot Wave Theory, Fibonacci recursion, or blindly follow the advice of newsletters or other experts. Where so many paid services and newsletters are ‘giving out fish’ to their subscribers, this board has ‘taught me to fish.’ What a life-changing skill to give to others. For this, I am appreciative beyond words.

Kind regards,



Hi TreyC, Thanks for your portfolio update. I highly appreciate that you post your portfolio as a “newbie” on the board. I know the “problem” of a portfolio that is too large. I also try to trim my approx. 20 positions. Saul’s forum helps me a lot in doing that. I have also been trying to give something back to the community for a long time in the form of a portfolio update. But until today I haven’t managed to get a sensible, readable form. I am still practicing. In this respect: Congratulations on your first successful portfolio update. I thank you for that!
I also use chart analysis here and there for my purchases, but the most important actually seem to be the quarter results / records etc. I am in long zoom with one remaining position. Today the numbers come, I’m excited to see the results. I wish you success!

(translated with google Translator from german/english).


I wanted to make an addendum to my original post.

1- I want to thank all those who reached out by e-mail with kind words. I’m glad the post has been helpful for many people.

2- Several people have asked for my PDF version of Saul’s KnowledgeBase. You can access that here:…

3- I feel compelled to add a bit more discussion regarding Zoom Video.

At the end of my post, I state the following:

"I plan, in the near future, to liquidate my positions in Snap and Docusign. I intend to open a position in using those funds, likely within the next week. I’m on the fence about Zoom Video and Roku. Time will tell.

My positions in Snap and Docusign are already gone. I was unable to open a position in Monday due to a glitch in the E*Trade matrix (an error message that indicated it was an OTC security that prevented my purchase. Customer service seems baffled but is working diligently to resolve the issue).

All the while, even in the midst of writing my original post, I was still hanging onto my position in Zoom. I planned to get rid of it but thought I would hang on and see how this earnings report would go. You see, Zoom Video and Roku were the last of my companies from one of those other services. They were also the last positions that I was holding at a loss. I was hoping to play the earnings and sell after those stocks gained back at or near my purchase price, hopefully over the next month or two.

I sometimes complain that my mathematics students can’t even remember what we learned yesterday. It seems I may be no better. Back to the KnowledgeBase I go:

“Not accepting that an investment could be a mistake as it continues to go down is a dangerous error, and could be very expensive.”

“There’s no such thing as “I was so far down I couldn’t sell”. The stock price has no memory of the price you bought it at. It’s at the price it’s at. That’s the reality of now. The question about any stock is “What decision should I make about it now, at its current price and its current prospects?” Not, “What price did I pay for it?” unless you are planning for tax losses or gains. Price anchoring is a big mistake.”

“Forget the price you bought something at. It’s at the price it’s at now.”

And if the KB was not enough for me, I could have simply read Saul’s portfolio update from the end of March 2021 (which I have read, more than once). It contained paragraphs upon paragraphs of reasons for exiting Zoom. Link:…

I graphed Zoom’s financials myself. I read what Saul wrote and I did the math myself, and I still held onto the stock, trying to play the earnings. I did not have high conviction in these companies - I was simply anchored to the price I paid for the stocks and was hopeful that the stock price would achieve those levels again. If I had put my money only into my highest conviction stocks, I would have closed my position in Zoom (and Roku) well before yesterday.

In any case - it seems this will be an expensive lesson for me, but one that I will not forget for a long time.

Kind regards,