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The return on my Jubak Picks Portfolio
from May 1997 through the end of 2014: 445%

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Jubak Picks Portfolio Performance 1997-2017

Jubak Picks

Buy and hold? Not really.

Short-term trading?
Not by a long shot.

So what is the stock-picking style of The Jubak Picks portfolio?

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I try to go with the market’s momentum when the trend is strong and the risk isn’t too high, and I go against the herd when the bulls have turned piggy and the bears have lost all perspective. What are the results of this moderately active — the holding period is 12 to 18 months — all-stock portfolio since inception in May 1997? A total return of 483% as of December 31, 2017. That compares to a total return on the S&P 500 stock index of 125% during the same period.

Click to View Jubak Picks Portfolio


Jubak Top 50 Portfolio Performance for 2017

Jubak Top 50

This long-term, buy-and-holdish portfolio was originally  based on my 2008 book The Jubak Picks.

Trends that are strong enough, global enough, and long-lasting enough to surpass stock market averages.

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In The Jubak Picks I identified ten trends that were strong enough, global enough, and long-lasting enough to give anyone who invested in them a good chance of beating the stock market averages.

To mark the publication of my new book on volatility, Juggling with Knives, and to bring the existing long-term picks portfolio into line with what I learned in writing that book and my best new ideas on how to invest for the long-term in a period of high volatility, I’m completely overhauling the existing Top 50 Picks portfolio.

You can buy Juggling with Knives at

Click to view Jubak Picks Top 50 Portfolio


Dividend Income Portfolio Performance for 2017

Dividend Income

Every income investor needs a healthy dose of dividend stocks.

Why bother?

Why not just concentrate on bonds or CDs?

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Because all the different income-producing assets available to income investors have characteristics that make them suited to one market and not another. You need all of these types of assets if you’re going to generate maximum income with minimum risk as the market twists and turns.

For example: bonds are great when interest rates are falling. Buy early in that kind of market and you can just sit back and collect that initial high yield as well as the capital gains that are generated as the bonds appreciate in price with each drop in interest rates.

CDs, on the other hand, are a great way to lock in a yield with almost absolute safety when you’d like to avoid the risk of having to reinvest in an uncertain market or when interest rates are crashing.

Dividend stocks have one very special characteristic that sets them apart from bonds and CDs: companies raise dividends over time. Some companies raise them significantly from one quarter or year to the next. That makes a dividend-paying stock one of the best sources of income when interest rates start to rise.

Bonds will get killed in that environment because bond prices will fall so that yields on existing bonds keep pace with rising interest rates.

But because interest rates usually go up during periods when the economy is cooking, there’s a very good chance that the company you own will be seeing rising profits. And that it will raise its dividend payout to share some of that with shareholders.

With a dividend stock you’ve got a chance that the yield you’re collecting will keep up with rising market interest rates.

But wouldn’t ya know it?

Just when dividend investing is getting to be more important—becoming in my opinion the key stock market strategy for the current market environment—it’s also getting to be more difficult to execute  with shifting tax rates and special dividends distorting the reported yield on many stocks.

I think there’s really only one real choice—investors have to pull up their socks and work even harder at their dividend investing strategy. That’s why I revamped the format of the Dividend Income portfolio that I’ve been running since October 2009. The changes aren’t to the basic strategy. That’s worked well, I think, and I’ll give you some numbers later on so you can judge for yourself. No, the changes are designed to do two things: First, to let you and me track the performance of the portfolio more comprehensively and more easily compare it to the performance turned in by other strategies, and second, to generate a bigger and more frequent roster of dividend picks so that readers, especially readers who suddenly have a need to put more money to work in a dividend strategy, have more dividend choices to work with.

Why is dividend investing so important in this environment? I’ve laid out the reasons elsewhere but let me recapitulate here. Volatility will create repeated opportunities to capture yields of 5%–the “new normal” and “paranormal” target rate of return–or more as stock prices fall in the latest panic. By using that 5% dividend yield as a target for buys (and sells) dividend investors will avoid the worst of buying high (yields won’t justify the buy) and selling low (yields will argue that this is a time to buy.) And unlike bond payouts, which are fixed by coupon, stock dividends can rise with time, giving investors some protection against inflation.

The challenge in dividend investing during this period is using dividend yield as a guide to buying and selling without becoming totally and exclusively focused on yield. What continues to matter most is total return. A 5% yield can get wiped out very easily by a relatively small drop in share price.

Going forward, I will continue to report on the cash thrown off by the portfolio—since I recognize that many investors are looking for ways to increase their current cash incomes. But I’m also going to report the total return on the portfolio—so you can compare this performance to other alternatives—and I’m going to assume that an investor will reinvest the cash from these dividend stocks back into other dividend stocks. That will give the portfolio—and investors who follow it—the advantage of compounding over time, one of the biggest strengths in any dividend income strategy.

What are some of the numbers on this portfolio? $29,477 in dividends received from October 2009 through December 31, 2013. On the original $100,000 investment in October 2009 that comes to a 29.5% payout on that initial investment over a period of 39 months. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 8.27%.

And since we care about total return, how about capital gains or losses from the portfolio? The total equity price value of the portfolio came to $119,958 on December 31, 2012. That’s a gain of $19,958 over 39 months on that initial $100,000 investment or a compound annual growth rate of 5.76%.

The total return on the portfolio for that period comes to $49,435 or a compound annual growth rate of 13.2%.

How does that compare to the total return on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Stock Index for that 39-month period? In that period $100,000 invested in the S&P 500 would have grown to $141,468 with price appreciation and dividends included.) That’s a total compounded annual rate of return of 11.26%.

That’s an annual 2 percentage point advantage to my Dividend Income portfolio. That’s significant, I’d argue, in the context of a low risk strategy.

Portfolio Related Posts

Good news in yesterday’s U.S.-China trade deal for Visa, MasterCard, and American Express

Good news in yesterday’s U.S.-China trade deal for Visa, MasterCard, and American Express

Yesterday, the day of the announcement of the Part 1 trade deal between the United States and China, shares of Via (V) climbed 1.91%. MasterCard (MA) gained 1.16%. American Express rose 0.79%. On a day when the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 0.15% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained just 0.11%. Today the overall market was much stronger with the S&P 500 gaining 0.84% at the close and the Dow Industrials ahead 0.92%, but Visa (up 0.58%), MasterCard (up 1.93%) and American Express (up 0.56%) added to the previous day’s gains rather than giving ground. What’s up with these stocks?

Nektar’s new non-addictive opioid NKTR-181 to finally get an FDA advisory vote tomorrow

Nektar’s new non-addictive opioid NKTR-181 to finally get an FDA advisory vote tomorrow

I understand why the U.S. Food & Drug Administration has moved so slowly on a decision on Nektar Therapeutic’s (NKTR) new non-addictive opioid NKTR-181. The last thing the FDA wants to do in the midst of epidemic of opioid addiction is to approve a drug that might be one part of a solution to the problem only to have it turn out to have harmful side effects or ineffective or, maybe worst of all, itself addictive. But the delay–I remember looking for an advisory committee vote last summer has been torture for any one who holds the stock.

iPhone sales in China show double-digit growth in December

iPhone sales in China show double-digit growth in December

Apple’s iPhone shipments in China grew 18.7% year over year in December to roughly 3.18 million units, according to Bloomberg. (Bloomberg’s calculations are based on data from the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology, a government think tank. The growth rate is especially impressive given a drop in overall smartphone shipments in China of 13.7% ear over year in December.

Reporting 2019 (+21.19%) and 2018 (-8.22%) performance on long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio

Reporting 2019 (+21.19%) and 2018 (-8.22%) performance on long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio

Before I move onto looking at future buy and sells for this long-term portfolio, let me take a look at where the 50 Stocks Portfolio has been over the last two years. It makes some sense to treat your portfolio returns for 2018 and 2019 as one giant two year period because the near bear market at the end of 2018 dashed returns for that year but set up the recovery and high returns for 2019. My results in my long-term 50 stocks portfolio certainly followed that pattern with an 8.22% loss for 2018 and a total return of a positive 21.19% in 2019. (The performance numbers for both years include the dividends paid by the stocks in the portfolio–a 1.43% yield in 2018 and a 1.73% yield in 2019.)

The first of four not so easy pieces for rebalancing any portfolio but specifically my long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio

The first of four not so easy pieces for rebalancing any portfolio but specifically my long-term 50 Stocks Portfolio

In an ideal world, every stock market trend–up, down, sideways–would begin on January 1 and end on December 31. That would make an annual rebalancing of any portfolio as easy as falling off a madly spinning log in a Canadian logging festival. Most market trends don’t cooperate. They start early or end late and just make picking a date for selling long term losers, adding to promising positions that are temporarily down, or taking profits in winners from whatever the trend was, difficult. And sometimes the trend’s timing doesn’t just make a rebalancing difficult–sometimes it makes it downright daunting, head-scratchingly hard. You–or I in this instance–wind up wondering if rebalancing on the normal annual schedule is the best move or would it be smarter to wait until the trend seems to be peaking or has turned?And that was/is the case with 2018 and 2019.

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