March 24, 2015
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).
March 31, 2011
I have posted many times before about my fascination with Saturn. This is some footage of an IMAX movie in the works, apparently, and which is using actual photographs of the Cassini flyby somehow, rather than CGI. Click the rightmost icon and full-screen it–it is truly wonderful:
5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation from stephen v2 on Vimeo.
August 29, 2006
Â Â Â According to Britain’s GUARDIAN:
Â “Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ has the best guitar solo of all time, according to a new poll. It was chosen ahead of the opening riff from ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ by Guns N’ Roses. Third was ‘Freebird’ by Lynyrd Skynyrd, while ‘Eruption’ by Van Halen was fourth and Guns N’ Roses’ ‘November Rain’ fifth. Led Zeppelin classic ‘Stairway to Heaven’ was in sixth place.
Â “The radio station Planet Rock asked listeners to come up with a top 40. The rest of the top 10 featured ‘Sultans of Swing’ by Dire Straits, ‘Aqualung’ by Jethro Tull, ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles and ‘Child In Time’ by Deep Purple.”
No way.Â “Freebird”.Â Am I right?Â Right!
By the way, I am aware that “Comfortably Numb” is not on the above-pictured album DARK SIDE OF THE MOON.Â I just wanted to recommend the DVD–which I just watched last weekend–of that same title about the recording of the classicÂ album, featuring interviews with the boys in the band as well as with Alan Parsons, who did the engineering.Â Highly recommended!
November 19, 2014
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:
Pettit Mutual Fund #1
Pettit Energy Fund
October 29, 2014
A couple of unenthusiastic picks this time around.
I’m going to take a small position in Barrett Business Services Inc. (BBSI), which barely makes it onto my screen and looks really boring–but sometimes you can make money with boring.
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”…]
October 8, 2014
Truly terrible several months for me–underperforming the market, which always is upsetting.
Okay, I’m going to split my money up between two similar investments: Fortress Investment Group LLC (FIG) and Apollo Global Management, LLC (APO), both companies being in the investment management business.
Which also describes me. (At least for myself).
More deep breaths…
September 18, 2014
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.
August 27, 2014
I think I’ve only done this once before, but…
Sitting it out for a few weeks.
Nothing showed up on my screen that I want to buy.
I’m just going to hold on to what I’ve got.
Call it My August Vacation, I guess.
August 6, 2014
Ouch! Taking a hit lately, but I keep on plugging.
Today I have two selections: Appliance Recycling Centers of America Inc. (ARCI), which apparently recycles appliances. A noble pursuit.
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!!
July 17, 2014
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.