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Questions for active investors...
Old 05-27-2009, 06:03 PM   #1
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Questions for active investors...

Do you still actively invest? What sort of success have you had? What software do you use? What percent of your portfolio do you actively manage? How much time do you put into it each week?

I'm sure I'll always be an indexed mutual fund type of investor but I've thought about buying a few shares of a company to play around with. I suppose I could start with my wife's employee stock option and try to determine the best time to sell.
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Active investing
Old 05-27-2009, 07:08 PM   #2
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Active investing

Like the OP I mostly invest with mutual funds. I do have a Schwab account for active trading of individual issues. I read the WSJ, NYT, Forbes, have Google alerts set to follow stocks I have an interest in purchasing(or already own). I try to invest in stocks where I use and like the products. as I feel that I have more of an understanding of that market. I have actually done better with my own stock picks than with managed funds. My failing is holding them too long, both when they increase in value and when they decline.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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Do you still actively invest?
Yes, still accumulating via monthly DCA. Mutual funds only.
What sort of success have you had?
I FIREd at age 48.
Varying degrees except for 2008.
What software do you use?
Morningstar portfolio tracker, Preferred subscriber with multi-year discount.
What percent of your portfolio do you actively manage?
100% DIY
How much time do you put into it each week?
Weekly peeks out of morbid curiosity.
Monthly share updates for bond funds using M* tracker.
Quarterly share updates for stock/balanced funds using M* tracker.
6 months - review AA and check out "watch but didn't buy" MF candidates.
Yearly - review potential cap gains and taxable dividends and look for tax loss harvest opportunities or just leave well enough alone. Do minor exchanges to realign AA or redirect DCA as needed to return to target AA.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:44 PM   #4
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I am 50, retired 2+ years, and live on the dividends from a 100% individual stock portfolio almost entirely in IRAs, accessed via 72t withdrawals.

The whole portfolio is actively managed and always (about) 100% in stocks. I track about 30 mostly large cap stocks with long records of increasing earnings and dividends, solid financials, good capital decisions, etc. I generally own 5-20 stocks at one time, trading out of the ones with higher valuations into the ones with lower valuations (based on my own ratings). I track their earnings / estimates, balance sheets, etc., but mostly ignore news stories about them except as entertainment.

I spend a few hours per week on them. I keep everything in a bunch of Excel spreadsheets. I started investing seriously in individual stocks in 1993, and settled on my current methods around 1997, with few changes since then. I have done well enough (vs SP500) to feel comfortable enough continuing what I am doing now.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:47 PM   #5
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Um, software?

Personally, I do it the old fashioned way. Find a hated sector or company, see if there are securities offering a fat potential return, and go dig into the fundamentals to see if there really is return potential.
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Um, software?

Personally, I do it the old fashioned way. Find a hated sector or company, see if there are securities offering a fat potential return, and go dig into the fundamentals to see if there really is return potential.
Soo - Brew what looks super disliked in the housing market yet likely to survive the current cycle.

Or anything in the general building materials /RE/developer area?

They gotta be unloved now. My old summertime college employer Weyerhaeuser has had me looking but not buying periodically since 1966.

heh heh heh - I look at dividend achiever lists and tryed to buy balanced div/div growth widow and orphan stocks. Now since my balanced index funds are handling my retirement - thinking maybe growth stocks??
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:06 PM   #7
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Personally, I like the better P&C insurers and the Bermuda reinsurers.
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Old 05-27-2009, 09:22 PM   #8
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I guess I could be considered an active investor by the purest bogleheads. I invest exclusively in mutual funds (index funds mostly), but I don't put new investments on autopilot. In order to help me determine how to invest new contributions, I have been using a spreadsheet with a formula that I have refined over time to take several factors into considerations including market valuation. I now use a sliding AA and a deep value bias to make my investment decisions.
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Old 05-29-2009, 05:00 PM   #9
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selling OTM credit spreads on indexes, averaging around 5% monthly gains, shooting for 10% - also contributing heavily to same portfolio since we're out of almost all debt
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