«Recent moves in a «young folk» portfolio (IRA) that I advise: Sell SBUX, Add HD. I see this as a step up in quality (now that SBUX has increased its leverage) as well as a step up in yield/valuation. It is possible that SBUX has the stronger growth prospects, but I’m not convinced of that. Especially if the chairman/founder gets involved with politics.
Wrapped leftover dollars from that trade, as well as cash in the account, into add-on purchases of AXP and UPS. Nothing particularly timely about either one, but they were among the smallest of the existing positions and seem to be a reasonable value. Working to build in size.
In the account owner’s other IRA, I recommended available cash be invested into an add-on purchase of UTX. Similar reasoning. (That trade will likely be executed in a couple days, it is still short by $100 or so of the amount needed.)
Trades in another «young folk» taxable account I advise:
Add-on purchase of INTC (was actually February’s buy that never got executed).
Initiate position in HD (March’s buy)
That account was started with ‘core’ positions in AAPL, BRKB, DIS, JNJ, MDT, MMM, PG, and UL. Over the last half year we’ve made two (smaller) purchases each in CSCO, INTC, and T. HD is the latest addition.
This account is a bit of a juggling act, as I intend to build out AND up at the same time. The eight core positions are more than twice the size of the four supporting positions, but they may still be built further. Over time (years) I hope to end up with 20+ sizeable positions in this portfolio. But that will take time! Meanwhile, just one bite of the apple at a time.»
«I advise four different young-folk portfolios, ranging from 40s down to teens… But not sure it is worth a permanent blog?
My approach to these accounts is very simple — buy, hold, build. Two of the accounts do not permit selling under any condition. A third permits selling only on serious quality concerns (and I am making every effort to avoid the potential for those through screening the buys). A fourth can be traded, if appropriate, but it is important to keep the focus there on dividend growth rather than sliding into a trading mentality.
When starting a new portfolio, I prefer to begin from a handful of positions. Chowder seems more willing to own 30 small positions and build each of them up over time. I would rather begin from 5-8 positions and build out-and-up simultaneously. Picture a triangular «staircase», extended one block at a time. Each round you add to both the breadth and height.
It may be risky to have a portfolio concentrated in just a few stocks, but I’m a firm believer that it is the dollars that matter not the percents. For a younger person that will be adding over many years, the bulk of their lifetime savings has yet to be contributed to the account. In some sense you can view that as a «cash» allocation. Thus both of my kids started with just one stock — JNJ — which still represents close to half of their portfolio. They may never need to buy another share of JNJ (aside from dividend reinvestment), but the future contributions will build the rest of the portfolio up in size to match. Eventually!
As you can tell from the list above, I prefer to begin from «classic growth» stocks with a defensive slant, building out first to «growthier» names and then to higher-yield names. Building from the core out. I know Chowder prefers a different direction.»