In addition to my various mutual funds, I have a few individual stocks which in total make up less than 10% of my portfolio. Let’s see how they’ve performed year to date.

Some of these stocks I’ve owned for many years; some I’ve bought this year; at least two of them are the result of dividends or spinoffs. Some of them are decidedly long term holdings and some I’m only thinking I’ll hold onto for a year or so (and those get reviewed at the start of a year to determine whether or not I’ll hold onto them for awhile more). In any case, as you would expect, some have done markedly better than the stock market indices and some have done markedly worse. Proceed with caution on individual stocks, but they can certainly be a part of any portfolio. As a reference, the S&P 500 index is down 12.64% year to date, so even if something is down 10% year to date, it’s doing better than the market as a whole!

In no particular order:

Idearc Inc. (IAR): I got this stock as a dividend from, I believe Verizon. It was too small to do a whole lot with (selling it would have resulted in a cost that was substantial on a percentage basis and I didn’t really want to buy more of it). It’s down an astronomical 90.6% for the year.

American Capital, Ltd. (ACAS): I bought this one because I was impressed by its dividend, which is still quite impressive; it had also had a nicely elevating stock price for a few years prior to my buying it. So much for that: it’s down 34.04% year to date., Inc. (AMZN): I’m sure that everyone knows these guys. I bought into Amazon just this year, in fact, just a few months ago, making it my most recent stock purchase. It’s down 12.77% this year.

Apple, Inc. (AAPL): I’m just as sure that people know Apple at least as well as they know Amazon. It’s down 14.41% this year (I am actually buying into this stock every month and found that despite it being down for the year, my investments in it are actually up about 10% year to date).

Altria Group, Inc. (MO): The international tobacco king (that also has many other holdings) has been a long term holding for me. It’s been my most successful stock over time. The performance this year seems dismal but it’s due to a spinoff of Philip Morris International (PM) which is up next. For the year, the stock is down 72.18%, which is due almost exclusively to the PM spinoff.

Philip Morris International (PM): Received as an Altria spinoff, this stock is the first one I’m looking at that’s statistically up year to date, a healthy 6.17%.

Google (GOOG): Another household name. I bought into Google in April. While my holding is definitely down, it’s not quite at the level of the year to date figure, which is a negative 33%.

Merck (MRK): A pharmaceutical giant, I’ve liked Merck’s dividend and had it for awhile. Year to date, it’s not doing so hot, down 38.62%.

Verizon (VZ): I hate all the phone companies, but I own one of them. I’ve had a holding in Verizon for a couple of years, and it’s usually done better than this year, when it’s down 19.62%.

Bank of America Corporation (BAC): Yes, I own a financial stock (two, actually, as you’ll see shortly). Bank of America’s fared better than many (this is one I’ve only owned since this year) but it’s still down 24.53% for the year.

RPM International Inc. (RPM): These are the Rustoleum guys if you can’t figure out what they do. Just as the market has only had a few bright spots this year, this is one of the bright spots in my portfolio of individual stocks. It’s up 6.4% for the year.

Toyota Motor Corporation (TM): You know who these guys are. It’s a long term holding of mine that really hasn’t done well the last couple of years but are not going to be sold out of my portfolio anytime soon. Down 15.62% for the year.

Finally, Wells Fargo & Company (WFC): My other financial that is a long term holding. It’s done very well compared to other bank stocks and the market as a whole and is up for the year, but not much: a positive .26% this year.

It’s a tough market year, as you can see in the performance of these stocks. While individual stocks lack the diversification of a mutual fund, they can certainly be a great part of anyone’s portfolio; just keep their totals to a small part of your total portfolio, buy wisely, and hang on!

2 Responses to “Treasuring Inviduality: My Individual Stock Performance Year to Date”

  1. Andyon 04 Sep 2008 at 11:33 am

    Wow, tough year indeed. I am just doing my portfolio update and there is not much good news to report. Things are going to get worse for the next 6 month, but we should hopefully see some improvement next year. Now is the time for traders and regular investors (like us) are going to find it very tough to make money in the market.

  2. 105th Edition of the Festival of Stockson 07 Sep 2008 at 9:37 pm

    [...] Treasuring Inviduality: My Individual Stock Performance Year to Date posted at Uncommon Cents. This individual’s reviews the performance of each of his stock positions. Stocks: (IAR), (ACAS), (AMZN), (AAPL), (MO), (PM), (GOOG), (MRK), (VZ), (BAC), (RPM), (TM), (WFC) [...]

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