My Personal Finance Journey

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My First Realized Double-Bagger

Contributed by mm | February 3, 2007 3:20 PM PST

When I started picking stocks in April 2000 -- yes, I was lucky to start my investment experience at the best time of the decade -- I knew almost nothing about investment, and I had great ambitions of doubling my portfolio every year. Soon, the burst of the bubble taught me that doubling a portfolio, or even a single stock, is not easy.

Since then, I have flirted with 26 stocks and 18 mutual funds/ETFs so far. In earlier years, I had a great batting record of buying into companies that would soon bankrupt. In May 2000, I bought an online retailer, only to sell next year at 75% of loss. As close as April 2003, I bought into Orthodontic Center of America (OCA), saw the value my investment doubled in one year, only to fell afterwards with no return (I only lost 20% of my original investment as I stopped loss pretty soon).

During the period, I had two double-baggers in my stable of investments -- only on paper. In both circumstances, my greed forced me to hold on the winning issues, only to see them heading south. (In both cases, I even lost some my original investment.)

Well, today, I can finally claim I have my first double-bagger realized, not on paper, but in real returns: I bought 50 shares of Altria Group, Inc. (MO, yes, it used to be Philip Morris) at $45.04 a piece back in May 2004 in my wife's Roth IRA account, and sold it earlier this week at $87.72. Since Altria is a high dividend payer, I also received a total dividend of $426 during the same timeframe. All in all, my original investment of $2,252 brought a return of $2,550 in a bit less than three years. (The better part: since it is in Roth IRA, the return is tax free.)

I guess based on my growingly risk averse mentality and preference for blue chips, another double bagger will be hard to come by for a while, but nevertheless, having the first double-bagger bagged is worth some celebration.

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This Post Has Received 6 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too. - Lender, Loan, and Rate analysis Commented on February 3, 2007

I love doubling my money. I plan on using Prosper. My current IRR is 12.31% which would double my money every 5.85 years (72/12.31 = 5.85). Only time will tell if my performance holds up. Incidentally, I think where you went wrong was on loans where the borrower was currently delinquent?

IHTFP04 Commented on February 4, 2007

Not bad, I first bought MO at 63 and change, but I've been buying it up on the dips. My last purchase was at 76 and change.

My personal best was a dollar cost averaged triple with FMD, which I've since cashed out. I've also scored a double with the majority of my position in IBN, but it's looking kind of pricey here so I'm going to start cashing out.

BTW, as a fellow value investor, check out Tom Brown's . He was the guy who reaffirmed my long call in FMD after I had bought at 35 or so on Cramer's recommendation (and my own DD) and the stock had fallen to 30, 28, and finally to 21.90 where I bought a metric shit-ton.

CPA1298 Commented on February 4, 2007

MM - I'm surprised that you didn't hold onto MO and wait for the Kraft spinoff. That unit should trade significantly higher on its own. Also, MO is looking to spinoff its international arm.

I recommended MO to my dad back in 2003 when it was in the $30s, but he's still holding it at ~ $90 waiting for the spinoff(s). (I was in college and had no extra money to invest) His Edward Jones broker thought it was a terrible idea; the same broker recommended Ericsson for my Roth, and I promptly lost ~ 95% on it (1 for 7 reverse splits are rough).

MM, I wish you would limit the 'mad money' to $50k or so, and invest the rest in a handful of value index funds. 26 stocks and 18 mutual funds?At your level of net worth, you can get some super low fees; eg. Vanguard will give you 'Admiral' shares at .09% expense ratio.

MM Commented on February 4, 2007

Thank you for all the good comments. I sold MO because the news is out -- there is almost no suspense that MO will successfully spin off Kraft and soon PMI, and I am quite sure the price has reflected most of the knowledge. At 16x forward earnings and single digit top line growth, I'm not sure how much more MO can fetch.

CPA1298, good point on 26 stocks and 18 mutual funds ... they are the lessons I learned and I am having a very focused portfolio now (if you recall my portfolio update last time). I admit I need to spend some time to clean up my portfolio, but I'm not particularly in favor of index funds -- as a value investor, I do believe actively managed funds run by good value managers can beat index consistently.

fin_indie Commented on February 4, 2007

Interesting. I bought big MO around the same time and have loved owning the stock. I have been wondering what I will do in advance of the March spin-off. Supposedly shareholders will get 7/10ths of a share of Kraft for every share of MO they hold. Depending on the price, it might be worth getting in low. Kraft around $31 is attractive as heck from a value perspective. (granted, the value of MO will be reduced at the spin-off date by an equivalent amount, but still).

makingourway Commented on February 13, 2007

i agree with CPA1298 point.
When we don't have much in terms of assets we have less fear of loss due to high risk investments (non-economic psychology).
I would definately limit the mad money to 5% of your portfolio or less.

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