Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Year that was

As the year winds down in these final weeks I have had opportunity to think back on the year that was. For some I know this has been a terrible year, for myself it has financially been one of the best. While we do publish a fair number of stock reviews throughout the year only a limited few actually translate into actual recommended buys, but almost everything we touched this year turned to gold.

We started the year with a buyout of Puget Power (PSD) that netted a nice return, then on to a quick buy and sell of Ford (F) that provided a fabulous return. Then on with Methanex (MX) whose 6% dividend and 62% increase in share price has been quite enjoyable. Our next big move was into Brystol Myers (BMY) who also promises us a nice 6% and whose shares have increased 37% since our posted article.

While others have done better I feel good about the risk and return garnered in these trades.

Loose, but don't loose the lesson

The year was not completely full of winners; our early positions in the small unknown NSEC before the credit crunch really kicked into high gear are still haunting us with a 30% loss. When the company cut it's dividend the share price dropped off the wall and has only recently somewhat rebounded. In this case the mistake was twofold, too small of a company, and it had too little liquid cash onhand to support the dark days of the credit crunch. The lack of cash caused the cut of the dividend and the small nature of the business turned a leak into a mass exodus.

If you can't decide then don't

This has been probably one of the quietest years for shear buys and sells. It has been hard to keep the finger off the trigger with some of the ridiculous prices that have been available for quality companies. With the constant appearance of books chock full of intangibles assets though finding the true value of a company has been laborious and kept me on the sidelines. While I hope to close out the year with a one more buys I've been more than happy to put the money to work in more reliable places while awaiting the perfect opportunity.

Best of the season to you, hoping your new year will be profitable and rewarding.

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