I decided to establish two new retirement accounts on January 20, 2009 to test whether or not this tradition will remain true over the next four or eight years. After taking positions in four stocks to start (two in my SEP-IRA and two in my Roth) I have subsequently added one stock to each portfolio and plan on slowly adding others as the prices of stocks that I like reach levels I feel will bring medium- and long-term gains to my retirement.
I am a value investor. My strategy is to buy stocks of companies I'm familiar with that are trading at or near their 52-week low price with the intent on holding them for the long run in most every case. Ordinarily, I wouldn't even bother keeping up with the prices of my stocks more than quarterly, but for these I will keep up a monthly accounting.
On January 20, 2009 I purchased the first four stocks listed here (APPL, GOOG, BRK-B, JNJ). I'm familiar with each of these companies, and I am a fan of Warren Buffet and his Berkshire Hathaway in particular. Full BRK-A shares are currently trading around 78,000 so I am content to own a pair of BRK-B shares, which are pegged at roughly 1/30th the value of the former.
When Ford dipped below two dollars I got all up in that and took a position at $1.60. Finally, yesterday I picked up a few hundred shares of Citigroup, more to get the dregs of my Roth all in the game than anything else. Plus, if its good enough for the government to put in 25 billion or so, I figure my $540 will do okay in the long run.
|Name & Symbol||Bought at||Current||Change|
|Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)||56.79||53.53||-420|
|Berkshire Hathaway B (BRK-B)||3005.00||2564.00||-894|
Note that the Citigroup stock has risen from my purchase price, but that didn't reflect the commission. Thus it shows I'm down a few bucks on that trade.
As you can see, the current drags are BRK-B and JNJ. My boy Warren will have his end turned around later this year or sometime next year, and Johnson & Johnson (a conglomerate, mostly into health care and drugs) will be turning up very nicely in the medium term, I believe.
Google was looking to be the big winner this month with its stock up in the 350 range, but it has come back a bit. Ditto Apple (with the same amount of money invested in each) has been a nice gainer, though it too has pulled in its horns of late. The nod this month has to go with the high-revving engine of Ford, which by itself has pretty much covered the losses from BRK-B and JNJ.
In today's stock market climate, staying above water in any particular month is a good deal. The thousand dollars or so of gains for this month should at least be a buffer against losses in some sectors in upcoming months.