Monday, July 31, 2006

State of the Portfolio - 7/31

I try to run a very concentrated portfolio despite my tendencies to nibble at the latest investments that seem promising. My current top 10 holdings include MSFT, FAF, HD, MMM, DELL, PFE, AEA, BUD, FDC, and FII. I would not hesitate to add to any of these holdings at the current market prices. For disclosure, my other positions include COP, UNH, RCII, LKI, GPS, ENH, DHOM, TYC, JBSS, DISCA, DRL, and ACUS. I hope to get around to discussing these smaller positions, but I will be spending most of my time analyzing and updating on my largest positions.

A number of my holdings have been beaten down over the past 2-3 months. My portfolio has suffered and I am currently flat for the year (lagging the S&P by 4% for this year's cash flows). Despite these "setbacks", I am ecstatic about the opportunity to buy more of these stocks with such a large margin of safety, i.e. discount to its my estimate of the intrinsic value.

Mega-caps like MSFT, DELL, HD, and WMT should prove to be good buys for the long term. The stock prices have been stagnant the last few years, not because the businesses have been performing poorly, but because investors paid too much for growth during the bubble. The PE ratios have now fallen into the low teens. The PEs are at historic lows and seem inappropriate for superior businesses like MSFT and WMT. Microsoft and Walmart in particular have huge moats and should provide excellent returns for many many years to come.

Currently, all of my top 10 investments are Motley Fool Inside Value newsletter picks. Some of these stocks I owned before the recommendation, but many of them were introduced to me by the newsletter. Inside Value is a great service and well worth the $150 I paid for the subscription and for access to the discussion boards. Their recommendation prequalifies a stock for me and it immediately earns a spot on my watch list.

For my next post, I will analyze either Home Depot or Dell. I think these are currently the best buys on the market. I'm crossing my fingers that Dell will drop down to $19 a share again.

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