Year in Review; +22% Portfolio Gain in 2017
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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! I hope you've all had a wonderful holiday season with your family, and friends. Thank you all for being readers of my books, blog, and newsletter. I'm really looking forward to writing more in 2018 (don't forget to read My Top 15 Best Ideas for the New Year), and updating you on my stock portfolio, top stocks, and watchlist.
I'm proud to be involved with such a big community of DIY investors :)
On top of my market-beating return in 2017, and new portfolio high (which I'll get to soon), there's a bunch of other things I'd like to share with you...
Here's My 2017 Milestones:
- 1,850 Newsletter subscribers (always free!) - 42 issues to-date
- 40,000+ Books sold-to-date (including Market Masters, Capital Compounders, My 72 Rules, + others)
- Won the Gold Award from IPPY for the Finance/Investment book category
- 21 New Patreon Members (who receive my monthly portfolio updates, top stocks, & more - join now)
- 450 Capital Compounders Club members - become a member!
- 13,000 Blog visitors (w/ 26,000 views) - the top 3 posts; here, here, and here
- 302 YouTube Channel subscribers (w/ 24,000 views of my videos)
- 20 Speeches given-to-date, including my speech at the Fairfax Financial Annual Dinner
- 1,800 Twitter Followers
It was certainly a solid wealth-building year for me in 2017 as I'm sure it was for you. My stock portfolio was up +22% (not including dividends), beating the S&P 500 (+19%), and S&P/TSX (+6%) for the year. I'm always content if I beat the S&P 500 over the long run. That's my objective; generate 'alpha' by picking my own stocks. Otherwise, I'd just dump all of my stock holdings and invest in an ETF that tracks the S&P 500. Brutal honesty. The cherry on top this year was that my winners (i.e., stocks that went up) made up 80% of my portfolio, meaning only 20% of my stocks went down (the losers). I like it when I'm right more often than I'm wrong. Also, that my predominantly Canadian portfolio (75% of holdings) beat the S&P 500 - a U.S. index.
I've been investing in the stock market for over 12 years. I started when I was 18, in 2005, with $10,000 (money earned through part-time jobs back then) and have now built a $375,000 portfolio, which I plan to grow to $1,000,000 by 35. I'm 30 now. If you've read about my story, you'll know that I don't come from a rich family. No trust fund. And no easy access to a cushy job. It's taken a lot of work, and perseverance to get here. And it'll take more focus on my investment strategy to get to my goal; though, the power of compounding helps (as my 'snowball' gets bigger). You can read about How I Pick Winning Stocks here. Hopefully we don't suffer a huge market crash in the near-term. But if that does happen, I'll just buy stocks on sale, and push my $1 million goal a bit further down the road. Ultimately, I want to achieve financial independence, and do more of the things that I love... freedom of choice.
My portfolio got a big jolt in Q4-2017; the last couple of months leading up to the end of the year (October-December). As I shared in "My Bad Quarter", that while Q3 (July - September) showed general weakness in the small/mid-cap segments, and many of the new micro-caps in my portfolio, I excepted some strength to return soon. Indeed, many of these stocks revived in the 4th Quarter, with a bunch of micro-caps showing new signs of life in the last month of the year - December. I suspect that a lot of capital in 2017 flowed out of quality micro-caps to chase momentum in Blockchain, Lithium, and Marijuana stocks on the TSX Venture. However, some of that capital might be returning to quality micro-caps. Wild parties can't last forever. Anyways, I'll talk about my Q4 Top 10 Stocks (see table below) in this newsletter, but if you want a full Portfolio Update, with my Top Stocks, and Watchlist in 2017, check out how to become a member on Patreon. There's over 20 members now - woohoo!
Canopy Growth (WEED, +177%) was the clear winner in my portfolio in Q4 (Oct - Dec). In fact, WEED has now become my first 30-bagger ever. Some of you know that in my book Market Masters, I revealed that I was investing in Tweed (former name of Canopy Growth), predicting that it would become the leader in the Marijuana market. That was all the way back in 2015. Since then, WEED has gone from ~$1 to $30. But, here's the problem. WEED's rapid price appreciation has defied enormously its underlying growth, and intrinsic value. I'm now seriously considering WEED's future in my portfolio. But I also don't want to be that guy who leaves the party early..
Match Group (MTCH, +35%) was another Q4 outperformer, and 'no-brainer' for me. Match owns Tinder, POF, OKCupid, and a bunch of other dating apps. This is how everyone dates (errr 'hook-ups') now. Plus, the Return on Equity (ROE) is amazingly high. I love my Capital Compounders, like Match Group, which is also among my Top Ideas for 2018.
Clairvest Group (CVG, +32%) was the surprise for me here. While I expected CVG, a private equity company with the prestigious Rotman family on the leadership team, to be a strong performer, I didn't forecast their partnership with Great Canadian Gaming (GC) to operate and develop four Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. facilities west of Toronto. Though, this is exactly what I want to see; positive business developments, and pleasant surprises. I'll be allocating more capital to Clairvest Group in 2018.
Savaria (SIS, +31%), Tucows (ATC, +21%), and Photon Control (PHO, +21%) have been long term holdings in my portfolio, and continue to perform very nicely over time. All three stocks represent some of my biggest stakes. Finally, Amazon's (AMZN, +21%) continued ascent was really no surprise (although as an aside, Wal-Mart's mega-rebound, which I don't own, was a surprise).
My Top 10 Performers - Q4 (Oct - Dec), 2017:
|| Q3 Return
Do you want to see my full results for 2017? Become a Patreon Member
January, 2, 2018 will sound the opening bell for the new year. In my last newsletter issue, I shared my Top 15 Best Ideas for 2018; all stocks that I currently hold in my portfolio. I really do hope that 2018 is another solid wealth-creating year in the stock market. Although, we will never know. What's important to me is continuing to beat the indexes, especially the S&P 500, and achieve a ~15% compound annual return over time.
What about you? Tell me about your big winners in 2017, and also your top picks for 2018.
I wish you all the best in 2018! Have a Happy, Healthy New Year, and talk soon :)
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Happy Investing, Regards,
– Robin Speziale
(If you want to chat, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Past Newsletters (in case you missed any):
Robin Speziale is the National Bestselling Author of Market Masters. He lives in Toronto, Canada. Get a copy of his latest book, Capital Compounders. Click Here.
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Disclaimer: Robin Speziale is not a registered advisor. This newsletter does not contain financial advice or stock recommendations. Please conduct your own research and consult a professional.