2019 Mid-Year Portfolio Review

Not quite mid-year, but given the recent market volatility, I've been able to buy into a few companies that I've been monitoring for a while, and wanted to provide a quick summary of my positions and rationale. I think it's also important to chronicle both the ups and the downs…

XPP: XP Power

Things have been quiet on the blog lately because there hasn't been much actionable activity on my end. I've been looking into a lot of companies, but for the most part things seem fairly valued or overvalued. Given the "temperature" of the market - the recent WSJ headline of "'Fear…

BIDU: China's Google?

Baidu (BIDU) may be one of the rarest of sightings: an undervalued Chinese tech stock. It's traditionally hailed as China's Google, and operates in similar sectors: Search - With roughly 75% of China's market shareVideo - Both user generated content (like YouTube) and high-quality original programming (like Netflix)Cloud Services…

AI, ML, 5G, IoT: Dangerous Investment Acronyms

It's hard to read an earnings call transcript now without running into references to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), 5th Generation Wireless (5G) or IoT (Internet of Things) - even in seemingly non-technical and historically stodgy companies. It doesn't matter what industry you are in: these technologies are going…

NOK: Thoughts on Q4 2018 Earnings

Recently, I wrote about Nokia, and highlighted some high level assumptions for a general investment thesis. I wanted to provide a quick update based on recently released Q4 2018 earnings, and see if any of those assumptions warrant a re-examination. Q4 earnings were stronger than anticipated, but the stock has…

Nokia: Models, Precision and Accuracy

"All models are wrong, but some are useful" - George BoxI've always been skeptical of financial models. First, personal experience has taught me that, even with access to what essentially amounts to "insider information" and deep industry expertise, I still find it impossible to reliably predict where my own businesses…

Process vs. Outcome

I began the year with only a handful of holdings: MRVL, MU, NOK, DESP and GOOGL. Recently I sold GOOGL, leaving my portfolio highly concentrated in four stocks. Although I was confident in the long term prospects for each company, and still believed that they were individually undervalued, I decided…

Micron: Cycles and Risk

I've been reading The Most Important Thing Illuminated by Howard Marks, a legendary value investor. He spends a lot of time talking about cycles and risk, two very timely subjects for the Micron Technology (MU) investor. Cycles I think it's essential to remember that just about everything is cyclical. There's…

AMD: Mr. Market's Irrational Ride

AMD's stock performance during 2017-2018 is a perfect example of Mr. Market in action: AMD stock price 2017-2018Its stock price fluctuated 1-3x, mostly on fear and speculation. There was very little material news that deviated from AMD management's stated expectations, the drivers for growth and risks were well known and…

2018 Performance Review

In 2018, the S&P 500 index returned -4.38% while my portfolio[1] returned 30.36%. These types of gains are unsustainable long term and a lot of luck was involved, but I learned a lot about the investing process in a volatile market. My holdings throughout the…