The Aleph Blog » Blog Archive » A Good Month — A Good Year, so far

A Good Month — A Good Year, so far

Of the 35 stocks in my portfolio, only 4 lost money for me in May: Magna International, Group 1 Automotive, Reinsurance Group of America, and Hartford Insurance.  My largest gainer, OfficeMax, paid for all of the losses and then some.

I am only market-weight in energy, so that was not what drove my month.  Almost everything worked in May: company selection, industry selection, etc.  My other big gainers were: Charlotte Russe, Helmerich & Payne, Japan Smaller Capitalization Fund, and Ensco International.  I have often said that I am a singles hitter in investing — this month is a perfect example of that.

Now, looking at the year to date, I am not in double digits yet, but I am getting close — I am only 3.6% below my peak unit value on 7/19/07.  My win/loss ratio is messier: 15 losses against 32 wins.  It takes the top 5 wins to wipe out all of the losses.  The top 5: National Atlantic, Cimarex, Helmerich & Payne, Arkansas Best, and Ensco International.  Energy, Trucking, and a lousy insurance company that undershot late in 2007.

The main losers: Deerfield Triarc (ouch), Valero, Royal Bank of Scotland, Avnet, and Deutsche Bank.

I much prefer talking about my portfolio than individual stock ideas, because I think people are easily misled if you offer a lot of single stock ideas.  I have usually refused to do that here; I am not in the business of touting stocks.  I do like my management methods, though, and I like writing about those ideas.  If I can make my readers to be erudite thinkers about investing; I have done my job.

So, with that, onto the rest of 2007.  I don’t believe in sitting on a lead — I am always trying to do better, so let’s see how I fail or succeed at that in the remainder of 2007.

PS — When I have audited figures, I will be more precise.  You can see my portfolio, for now, at


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2 Responses to A Good Month — A Good Year, so far

  1. Tom F. says:

    Tune in. We’re in 2008. 2007 ended five months ago.

  2. Tom, oops. Yes, 2008. Sigh. :(


David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

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