Individual Stock Discussions

Gotta get this thread started. Is DavidScubadiver on here yet?


He posted on phatwallet and slickdeals. I’ll direct him over here.

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Due to having signed up at and having failed to leave the last s off for savings, I spent several days thinking that this site was just down because I could not get past the log on page.

So, here I am, late to the party! Here’s the amalgamation of my recent thread starts :slight_smile:

For those who are just starting out, I cannot recommend the wiki enough. It provides an excellent education in why a simple three or four fund portfolio is the most efficient way to accumulate wealth. I do not know if I would have done better following such an approach, but I am perfectly comfortable migrating to it as I become older, wiser, and am substantially richer than I was.

Do what you are always reading about in the trashy financial magazines and websites. Max out on those 401(k) contributions if at all possible. Max out on your Roth IRA whether through “back door conversions” or direct contributions. And, if possible, take a portion of your take-home pay and invest it in a broad index such as SCHB or VTI, every paycheck. If you must buy individual stocks, I recommend checking out a good newsletter (I have always liked the Fool Advisor) so you at least have the benefit of someone’s deep thinking. If it meshes with your own, make the investment with a bit more confidence than you might otherwise have done.

My investments as of today total $2.7 million. About half of that is in retirement accounts. About $200,000 is in 529 accounts, and the rest are in non-sheltered accounts. I have sold calls on most of my apple position, so come the end of January I will be a lot lighter on tech, and a lot more diversified. Though, there is a lot of time between then and now, so who knows how I will be positioned.

ETA: (At the request of someone, I am pasting my introductory post from Slickdeals here:
I’ve been a member of the FatWallet community for a long time, and one of the most popular threads, though not necessarily the most useful, was the Individual Stock Discussion thread. I figured, it couldn’t hurt to start one here.

Keep in mind that some people buy and sell a lot of stocks while others invest for the long term.
Some people do no research and others do lots of research.
Some people have good luck, and some people have bad luck.
Some people can afford to take a lot of risk while others cannot.
Some people lie about their investments; some post only their successes.

All of this is a warning to you – nobody cares more about your money than you do (with the possible exception of a financial advisor, who may want to take your money and therefore cares a great deal about it).

The vast majority of my investments are in very low cost ETFs, but I currently have a handful of individual stocks that I am invested in.

Apple 3.3% of my portfolio. (With options to sell most of it come January, at 155)
Googl 1.7%
MA: 0.8%
NYT: 0.3%
ROL: 0.3%
TMUS: 0.3%

I am happy to share my entire portfolio, and occasionally do so. I’ve been investing for a long time and have no idea how I am doing in comparison to how I would have done had I kept it simple and invested in a broad index fund and simply added to it as the years rolled by. What I do know is that for many years the returns in my 401(k) were essentially zero. That had something to do with market crashes. But my individual portfolio did much better. So, I THINK I’ve done better than I would have had I stayed with fund investments, but it is by no means a scientifically arrived at conclusion.

During the financial crisis, I made a lot of money by investing when others were selling. I recall promising myself that I would be more careful with my money once the markets recovered. For the most part, I ignored my promise, or at least delayed its implementation. This year, I changed my asset allocation so that I am investing nearly 20% of my portfolio in fixed income (5.5% of which is earning 7% under NYC teacher’s fixed income fund). Previously, I was essentially 100% invested in equities.

Additional advice to people interested in growing a nest egg is to head on over to and review their investment wiki. It is very well done and may convince you to forgo individual stock picks altogether. If you need the thrill of stock picking, then I also suggest heading over to and trying out their Stock Advisor service. You can try it and cancel for a refund, particularly if your portfolio is under $10,000 (I would not pay a penny in fees with such a small portfolio).)


Thanks, David. Very instructive post!

As for individual stocks, I’ve limited my own trading to no more than 3 to 4% of our total investment assets. With my two current holdings, I bought them to scratch an itch; i.e., get the trading bug out of my system.

Bought Roku today - @ $17.50

I’m the crazy person who levers using Portfolio Margin in IB (yay 2.16% margin rates). The main amount there is a three fund portfolio with VTI, VNQ, and SDY, but I have some short term picks thrown in there as well - NFLX, AAPL, T, TSLA. I am up 20% in NFLX but, since I bought at a recent high, 10% down on TSLA.

I also have a pension and 457 in Schwab ETFs, and a Roth IRA which I have made a big (80%) value bet on XOM (which has been basically flat since I got it, although I enjoy dividend reinvestment), F (6% of the Roth) and VTI (14%).

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Sold SBUX today for ~9% loss. Moved all that over to NFLX and NVDA.

Nice flip there. Are you going to cash out?

I’ve been thinking about it today… not sure, seems to still have some meomentum. I’ll probably put a limit order in at the end of the day today.

You’re not the only crazy person. If you’re going to use margin, remember to be extra lucky with your investments. Also, aim for that 1.41% IB rate :wink:


I have been thinking about investing in Madison Square Garden recently after watching the following super-informative video:

100% Upside: Why Shares of Madison Square Garden (MSG) Can Double

The premise is that the stock is undervalued on a sum-of-the-parts (SOTP) basis as the Knicks, Rangers, MSG building, and Rockettes are all undervalued. While SOTP theses can be quite difficult as they require catalysts to unlock the value, the recent sale of the Houston Rockets provides a possible revaluation event and the upcoming 2 year anniversary of the MSG spinoff from the parent company provides an opportunity for MSG to be acquired (possibly by the Dolan family) tax-free.

Invest at your own risk! I will be doing more work soon and will hopefully keep everyone updated with my thoughts.

This is my first post on this forum and I was never involved over at FWF, but I look forward to the discussion.

Disclaimer: I may have positions in names I discuss; opinions are my own.


I am in the process of liquidating my position in Best Buy (BBY) as I believe the stock is worth ~$57.

Best Buy, as a company, is doing very well, but there are a few issues with its ability to compete in the retail marketplace.

I originally became enamored with Best Buy after reading this investment article: February SOTM: Best Buy Is Back In Blue.

The thesis was that although Best Buy had not been growing revenues, management had executed a solid turnaround and had committed to being the best electronics retailer and returning capital to shareholders through buybacks. The stock was cheap. Best Buy was trying to work around Amazon’s dominance by price matching certain online merchants as well as local retailers within 25 miles. I was comfortable with this investment because I felt it was relatively safe and I had exposure to upside should revenues re-accelerate and the company benefit from strong product launches (think Switch + iPhone cycle).

I purchased BBY around $53 after the stock sold off many percent on an article that Best Buy would be introducing a Geek Squad like service. Two earnings ago, BBY crushed it and I felt this was an appropriate time to being building a position.

The most recent earnings were spectacular with a huge beat on same-store sales. However, the flow through to earnings was poor, evidenced by decreasing margins led by investments. In order to compete, Best Buy noted that they would be making increased investments into their e-commerce platform. While many analysts defended the company as the underlying business is healthy, investments can be killer to the stock price. The stock went down. The same thing happened when Best Buy spoke about their plans for the future at their recent Investor Day. The stock dropped like a rock. After re-reading many sell-side analysts’ notes, tweaking assumptions, and reviewing future multiples/estimates, I came to the conclusion that Best Buy was likely worth ~$57 (the current price of the stock) and even though I enjoy the story of the company and shopping at the store that it likely no longer a suitable investment.

One issue that I always had with Best Buy is that a lot of their success is out of their hands. Best Buy’s comps (same-store sales) numbers are HIGHLY influenced by successful product launches like the Nintendo Switch. While Best Buy controls inventory, advertising, and the customer experience, the real impact comes from the manufacturer (Nintendo, Apple, Samsung, etc.). In this terrible retail tape, brands excel and retailers get crushed.

I’m giving up on my bull thesis for now and am beginning to sell my position. I do not believe that Best Buy is a suitable investment at this time for those interested in adding single stocks to their portfolios. Investors must recognize when their theses change and cannot become married to any position.

Disclaimer: I may have positions in names I discuss; opinions are my own.

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Wow. I hadn’t paid attention to rates lately. They’ve climbed up some. I’m at 2.45% average :confused:
Someone loan me a few $M unsecured so I can get IB’s 1.41% rate!

also, unrelated…
Sold 300sh of HIMX friday at $11.00 (I think I bought it ~1yr ago). Purchased at $6.74. Sold 10% at $10.50 and another 10% at 11 now. Been a while since I made any trades (or posted them in the FWF stock thread).

Nothing to add or ask, but I wanted to say thanks for the interesting read… these are the kind of posts I love to see in this thread.

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Decent sales numbers from F. Looks like a good morning.

Limit order sold @ 23.50

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Google Finance portfolio tracking has a popup saying the portfolios feature will no longer be available in mid-November. What do you guys use for a quick way to check up on things?

Market ready to tank yet so I can put life savings in?

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How long after IPO, will put options for ROKU be available? I just don’t see how they are going to compete with 3 giants (Amazon, Google, and Apple). I wouldn’t be surprised if these 3 giants squeeze Roku to BK within next 3 years.

I agree. There’s certain criteria, I think Roku meets it all, so youll have to wait for 5 days after the ipo date.