It's now been 3 years since I bought my first stock. I have no formal investment or business education, this is just something I became interested in. I spent the first two years reading investment books non-stop, getting through probably about a book per month. I've read the classics and I follow a lot of blogs. I haven't read many books this past year as I spend my investment time reading filings.
I've heard people say you need a minimum of 3 years to evaluate investment performance and to me that sounds about right. I'll reserve judgement on myself for another few years though as my style has changed so dramatically. As with any new venture it takes a while to find your feet. My first purchase was AAPL and now I buy companies with a market cap of a few million. I really feel I've found my feet over the past year as a direct result of this blog and the communication I've received through it. A year ago I concentrated and based many investment decisions on someone else's analysis. Now my portfolio is up to 22 stocks and I know why I own each one. I have really moved to tiny cheap companies with a focus on the numbers. My first blog post here was a huge write up of TIK which took me a few months in total and I now buy some stocks with only a few minutes of research if they fit.
So with all of that, here are my results. Year end for me is April 17. As I've said before I have two goals: beat the market and get a 12% return. Over my 3 years now I have basically matched the market. My CAGR is just a hair below my goal and I think that'll improve as I do. For the year I beat the S&P500 but fell short of my return goal. What can you do. All around I think things are going well and I'm very excited for the upcoming year!
I have changed my portfolio tracking because the old way just got to be too much. I have a spreadsheet I was maintaining that included every bit of activity with all stock market values for each day of activity. I have not been updating it as frequently as in the past as my focus has gotten longer. I am getting more confident that I belong here so am relying less on frequent assurance. This spreadsheet would 'buy' shares of SPY when cash became available with my periodic deposits so I could compare exactly what benefit I have vs the market. As I am not maintaining that anymore I now am calculating the SPY Return column just by the delta cost of SPY over the year plus dividends. I also found a mistake in last year's CAGR calculation. So you may notice these numbers for 2013, 2014 are different than I reported last year.