My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.


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March 2004 Month-End Holdings

Contributed by mm | April 2, 2004 6:14 AM PST

March 2004                  
Stock Quantity Avg Cost This Month Value % of Portfolio Last Month MOM Change % Change Since Entry Target % of Target
FDP 148  $        26.04  $        25.76  $      3,812.48 12%  $        25.46 1.2% -1.1%  $      40.00 64%
OCA 1,500  $         5.42  $         7.90  $    11,850.00 36%  $          7.49 5.5% 45.8%  $      10.00 79%
PPD 280  $        23.07  $        24.48  $      6,854.40 21%  $        23.73 3.2% 6.1%  $      34.00 72%
TALK 290  $        10.41  $         8.42  $      2,441.80 7%  $        11.70 -28.0% -19.1%  NA   
+YWZMD 600  $         5.23  $         5.20  $      3,120.00 9%        NA   
+ZMFME 1,000  $         1.38  $         2.30  $      2,300.00 7%  $          1.70 35.3% 66.7%  NA   
Total Portfolio Value      $    30,378.68            
S&P 500           1,126.21            1,144.98 -1.6%      

TRANSACTION(S)

TRADE #38 - Buy YWZMD (QQQ Jan 06 $37 Put) 600s @ $5.20 in Datek (March 9, 2004)
TRADE #39 - Sell RJR 100s @ $58.02 in AmeriTrade (March 23, 2004)

DISCUSSIONS

- My portfolio gained around $100 depsite S&P 500 losing 1.6% in a choppy month. All positions have a small gain with the exception of a runoff in the MSFT option play +ZMFME and a meltdown of TALK due to a major regulatory issue.

- Becoming more defensive, I purchased some LEAP put options on QQQ per suggestions from Whitney Tilson on Bearish Option Strategies

- As I blogged in last month's month-end summary, I sold off my RJR positions after it turned into long-term status in late March. If you look at my transaction history, I started purchasing 120 shares of RJR as early as September 2002 as a value play (Trade #14 and Trade #15), only to see RJR suffered from a number of legal challenges (some associated with MO) and operational issues. I later purchased another 100 shares (Trade #24) in March 2003 with the intention to sell of the original shares after the washing-sale period and recognize a short-term capital loss (which I did in April 2003 as Trade #26). Overall, I feel my strategy is working fine: I stick to a good value play (RJR was once paying 13% dividend rate supported by health cash flow) and achieved a nice profit.

- (FDP) FDP is still lukewarm in stock movement, but this is to be expected. I see I can hold FDP for an extended period of time and may add investment into it. Target price is maintained at $40.

- (OCA) It is a really rollercoaster ride for OCA shareholders in the past month. OCA experienced a major selloff after its one-two knockout of, first, a legal setback and, later, the delay of its annual earning release by several days. Fortunately, OCA's earning report is not as bad as market perceived (although the Street is still suspicious of the company's growth plan) and the stock price recovered a lot and even gained 5.5% for the month. I will consider to sell the 500 shares in my Roth IRA account if OCA can climb to $8.50 or so for diversification purposes (OCA is my largest holding at the moment and takes around 9% of my net worth). I might need to hold the stock in my Datek account for another short while before it can become a long-term position by April 16. I don't see a rosy growth picture in this stock, and the value side of the company is still cloudy until it can resolve its collection problem. My fair value estimate is around $9.00. I am not eager to sell all my OCA shares for now -- although the prospect is not clear, I do not see OCA has any problem to remain an ongoing concern.

- (PPD) PPD just released its quarterly production results. While maintaining its base in core legal products, the company quickly rolled out the Identity Theft Plan and it may become another reliable cash flow stream. With the rationalization of it sales force recruiting efforts, I expect the company to announce another good earning number. I am equally pleased by the management's persistence in buyback stocks to increase stock value. I will be in for the long-term with a target price of $34.

- (TALK) TALK's business model is challenges with an unfavorable court ruling that toppled the system of cheap access to Baby Bell customers, so TALK becomes my riskiest play in the portfolio with a 28% drop in the month. While the legal prospect of the ruling is unclear, my gut feeling (or you call it wishful thinking) is FCC will take it to appeal. I'll watch this company closely. Original target price of $17 is removed due to legal uncertainty.

- (+YWZMD) My newly acquired bearish bet on Nasdaq had a nice run in the first half of the month when the market was undergoing a correction, but returned to where I bought it once the general market recovered. I'm treating this issue as a long-term risk mitigator in an overvalued market.

- (+ZMFME) Similarly, this MSFT bearish bet ran its course to a double-bagger by March 22, but quickly declined in a magnitude of 15% in one week. Anyway, this serves as a nice balancer of my large stock option grants, although I might consider to sell it to buy more put options on QQQ.

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