Pardon my absence since just prior to Thanksgiving, but I had some website issues which I neglected and only recently got fixed (hired a freelancer in New Zealand–ah, the times we live in!)
Much has happened since then. For one thing I was featured at FORBES online. Marketocracy–of which I have written much here–approached me out of nowhere to remind me how brilliant I’ve been with my picks (I now have an 11-year record with them, far surpassing the market as a whole, in 2 different mutual funds I ran there).
I had been neglecting my Marketocracy funds the last several years after they shut the investor forums down. My funds suffered accordingly (I guess “Buy and Hold” doesn’t really work that well), but with the impending article I started getting active again, sold off my losers, and picked up others to match my “real world” holdings.
Marketocracy started offering a “mirror fund” to my own picks (and my own real world holdings) December 11, 2014, and as of this writing a little over 3 months later I am up 16.47% compared to the S&P500 increase of only 3.95% during the same period. Information on investing in this mirror fund–all buys and sells managed by me–are available at the Marketocracy site. (Minimum investment amount is $100,000. HOWEVER, “friends and family” can get in for $25,000. You can contact me at the blog to become my “new best friend”, I suppose, by commenting below–I will have your email then and we can private message…)
Just to get up to date here at the blog with my picks since Thanksgiving: they are China XD Plastics Company Ltd. (cxdc), Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A. (ASPS), Methode Electronics, Inc. (MEI), PRA Group, Inc. (PRAA), Panhandle Oil and Gas Inc. (PHX), Bancolombia S.A. (CIB), The McClatchy Company (MNI), and InnerWorkings Inc. (INWK).
Arguably, bringing up the “age issue” is crossing the line somewhat. But McCain’s age and consequent life expectancy have become more of a factor now that he has made his Vice Presidential choice. There has been increasing discussion of it, complete with actuarial table analysis, ever since noted mathematical savant Will Hunting was heard to speak of it in the video below:
What about his claim that McCain had a 1 in 3 chance of dying during his first term? Turns out that he is off just a little. If you go to the Social Security site and check out their actuarial tables (stay with me on this) you’ll find that a 72-year-old male in good health (uh-oh, cancer…) has a life expectancy of 12.01 years. Fine so far. But if you look in the 3rd column “Number of Lives”, you’ll see that at age 72 there are 67,016 people still alive (out of 100,000 born) and at age 76 this drops down to 57,395–a drop of, um, around 16%. So actually–for a 76-year-old in good health–McCain only has a 1 in 6 chance of actually dying during his first (and likely, only) term as President. Comfortingly, only half of what Will Hunting says.
But…what about disability? Couldn’t find a table for that. I would speculate, however, that a 72-year man probably has about as much chance of having a disabling heart attack or stroke or the like, as dying. I could be wrong. If you have some comforting statistics I’d like a link to them. So maybe Will Hunting’s analysis isn’t that far off.
My point being: I could live with a McCain Presidency. After all, I lived with 8 years of George W. Bush. I think McCain is basically an OK guy and won’t steer us too horribly wrong, except for keeping us in Iraq a little longer than we want. But, hey–what’s another four years? (Although, if he picks Supreme Court Justices like he picked his Veep…)
But I think it would be devastating to our country if Palin rose to the Presidency. Sure, she’s personable and a firecracker and a pistol and a MILF and “one of us” (well, maybe one of you) and she tells it like it is, and so on and so on. But I truly think she’s a whack job. (Have you noticed a little bias from me here with respect to her?)
Besides her belief that global warming won’t happen because Jesus wouldn’t let it, and…well–let’s just wait until after Thursday’s debate. We can discuss it further then.
Interesting development for me in that FORBES Magazine interviewed me last week in connection with their upcoming December “Retirement 2015″ issue. I remain one of the “stars” at the Marketocracy site I’ve written about here (although not lately), and Marketocracy had passed along my name. I have given the FORBES writer the following 2 stock picks, which I will be purchasing myself today: Fonar Corp. (FONR), which engages in the design, manufacture, sale, and servicing of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, and Maiden Holdings, Ltd. (MHLD), which is an insurance company.
I now have a 10+ year record with Marketocracy. Those of you who are curious can see the records for my 2 “star funds” at the following links:
I decided to also put some what-the-heck money into Winnebago Industries, Inc. (WGO), also because it made the screen. Do people really still buy recreational vehicles? Winnebago is the leading brand of them, as far as I know. Maybe they’ve started making “hybrids” (?), because I thought these things got about 5 miles to the gallon and thus just don’t make sense at all–but the stock has been doing okay the last little while. Is it because We Boomers are prematurely senile and forgot we have a fuel crisis? Hey, I’d personally like to have one, but what with costing so much to buy and with the fact that I’d have to leave it parked in my driveway unless I went back into the work force…I just don’t know who is crazy enough to buy these things. Oh, yeah–me, I guess. Because I just bought a bunch of their stock and I can’t even “drive that around to visit the grandkids”…
[EDIT: I wrote this post a couple of days ago, aware that I would be traveling yesterday and unable to actually consummate my purchases until today. Turns out that BBSI plunged 34% yesterday and I dodged a bullet. I ended up buying it anyway–the PE ration is even better–but only half as much, since a plunge like that is “nervous-making”…]
Well, after a dearth of picks the last time I looked (August 27th), I found several this time around:
First up, I’ll be taking a half (limited confidence) position in both JMP Group Inc. (JMP), which is in the investment banking industry, and REX American Resources Corporation (REX), which is in the ethanol business, and which I actually purchased once before a couple of years ago, although I don’t recall how I did–I think pretty well.
I’m also going to take a full position in Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK), hoping to be able to get cheap airplane tickets to go watch the next Palin family brawl.
And BBVA Banco Franc (BFR), which provides financial services in Argentina–to the extent that Argentina HAS “financial services”. They defaulted a week ago and their market tumbled some 8%–making this a fairly risky pick, as so many of mine are.
The market is a little nervous-making these days, so…Good Luck!!
I’m going to jump back into AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI), which I bought in July, 2010, and sold a couple of years later, pretty much doubling my money. It has kept running up (me missing most of it) and now is back on my screen, so I guess I’ll try, try again.