To me, setting annual objectives is vital. At the start of each year I set a limited number of objectives and post them at my work station so I HAVE TO VIEW THEM DAILY.
Usually I set one to three annual objectives. One is always financial another is personal and the third (if there is one) is for something else. For 2013 I had only two objectives.
The first was financial and specified how much I wanted my investment portfolio to grow in dollars. I exceeded this objective by 1.4% so I guess I should be happy. Unfortunately, although I exceeded this objective I badly missed market performance …... so, in the final analysis, I have bittersweet feelings.
In 2013 my portfolio grew by 12.29% which represented a six figure gain. My three best performers were FBHS (57.52%), SSW (51.3%) and CSX (49.49%) while my three worst performers were PZG (-51.14%), SCCO (-22.54%) and MSB (-6.38%). These figures are all inclusive net, net (dividends, commissions, trades, etc).
Now ….. here are my excuses for missing market performance. At 71 years old I've “pulled in my horns,” limited trading and moved to a more conservative portfolio. At the end of 2013 I did some tax loss selling to partially offset the capital gain I had to take by moving stocks from an IRA to a taxable account and I gave money to both my 3 year old grandson and my daughter. Additionally, throughout 2013 I sat on better than 10% cash. But, in the final analysis, if the tax loss selling and the give-away had not occurred I would still have fallen short of market performance. In the past 10 years (excluding last year), I've missed beating market (DOW, S&P OR NASDAQ) on maybe three occasions. So, although I met my 2013 financial objective, deep down I feel like a failure.
My second 2013 objective was to get down to 218 lbs (I'm 6'2”). I met this objective and believe it or not, I'm quite proud of this although the net loss was only 10 lbs.
Hate to rain (ice in your case) on your parade, rog, but moving stocks from an IRA to a taxable account = ordinary income which cannot be offset with capital losses.
I did not beat the s&p 500 either due to concentration in reits and, to a smaller extent, pipelines. Total weighted average return for the year was 28.05%. This included dividends, flip gains and unrealized appreciation. I was saved by NRF which is, by far, my largest position. For the year, NRF was up 91% price only, 102% with cash dividends and even more with dripped dividends.
After NRF on a price only basis, next best was BMY (whodda ever thought) at 63% followed by ABBV, the ABT spinoff, at 54.6%.
Worst three are all agency reits, ARR down 38%, AGNC down 33% and NLY down 29% followed by SCCO down 24%.......all the preceding on a price only basis.
My best pick for 2014 is still NRF which is spinning off its management business and still growing like gangbusters. It's 14 now with the spin expected in 2Q. I expect continued increases in dividends and a combined post spin price of at least 18. Low to mid 20s would not surprise me.
For 2014 I'm frankly stuck on where to invest new $$$. I'll take your NRF recommendation under consideration.
I'll be holding my top 2013 performers in 2014 and perhaps add to my SSW position. Other than that I'll be looking to add to my holdings in TEL and JAMRX (the only fund I own) but both are low div payers. My 2013 performance in TEL was +45.29% while JAMRX increased 35.12% and holds some pretty good stocks.
If any of you other guys or gals have any 2014 ideas I'll be happy to listen ...... sometimes sharing info. brings new ideas and $$$$.
"moving stocks from an IRA to a taxable account = ordinary income which cannot be offset with capital losses."
Note I said "partially offset". My trusted advisers have told me that the maximum offset is in fact $3000 in any one year. Since I don't always believe what I'm told, I also spoke with the Charles Schwab professionals (at their 800 number) who, AFTER CHECKING, confirmed that the total offset is indeed $3000. A small offset with minor tax consequences I'll admit, but every buck counts especially if it doesn't go to fund inefficient government programs. If these sources are wrong I'll be #$%$. Both sources also told me I could not re-buy the portion of stock I sold (NRP) for a period of 30 days.
Your 2013 performance is impressive ...... well done. Question: are you pulling in your horns on some of those REITS?
My 2014 objectives are:
Increase portfolio value by 12%
Get down to 210 lbs.
Take at least one vacation in Florida and one to ride my ATV on challenging mountain trails
So, why am I telling you this? Because it's cold and snowy in Ohio, I've got nothing better to do and it amuses me ........ AND MOSTLY, since this board is basically dead, maybe we can get some dialogue going to share our market experience and express to one another where we think good investments may lie in 2014 (outside of SCCO).