April 05, 2020

Reorganizing My Portfolio


As always, I am not recommending anyone purchase any particular stock. However, interest rates at banks are far below the rate of inflation. Keeping large amounts of money in your local bank causes the value to decline dramatically, even though the numbers grow ever so slowly. Therefore, I am recommending downloading Robinhood and investing in your favorite company, or perhaps companies. As a small incentive, if you use my link to download Robinhood, open an account, and deposit some money, you and I will both receive one free share of stock worth about $4. Here's my link:

https://join.robinhood.com/brianm3790
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On Friday I made a bold and somewhat risky decision. I decided to lock in the few profits I had made over the past three months and wait until Monday to re-evaluate the current market. I sold every stock in my portfolio currently in a profit position, except for Marathon Petroleum (MPC). Over the past two weeks my meager portfolio regained many of it losses, but only a handful of stocks were consistently rising. All through Friday, everyone who is anyone, including all of the editors of the investing newsletters I receive, predicted another precipitous drop next week. Part of the problem is those 90% of institutional investors now completely dependent on AI were all issuing more sell orders than buy orders. It never pays to bet against the house. If the bots are moving into precious metals and bonds then the next couple weeks are going to make thousands of Doomsday Preppers very happy.

I sold off five stocks, Veon (VEON), GoPro (GPRO), Energy Transfer (ET), Limelight Networks (LLNW), and Marvell (MRVL). This gave me a new cash balance of $663.70. When the market closed I received an interest payment of $0.03 from Robinhood based on the cash balance held during the month of March, bringing my total cash balance to $663.73, with $660.42 immediately available. My current breakeven point is still basically $2100. I'm not going to worry about three cents. I do have a dividend payment from Marvell coming worth $1.20. I will probably receive it next week sometime. Everyone else has temporarily suspended dividend payments to cover debt servicing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The profit from those five sales is about $180, plus or minus the price of a good cup of coffee. Doubling everything in my portfolio immediately after selling my truck helped put all five of these stocks into the profit position. Receiving one free share of GoPro from a referral also helped. My current portfolio value looks like this:

Naturally, I am hoping that this week everyone's gloomy predictions will come true and I will be able to buy back all of these stocks at even cheaper prices than I sold them, thus increasing the number of shares in each. However, my personal bank account is hovering very near zero and there is no hope of finding a new job until the COVID-19 "shelter-at-home" order ends at 12.01am on May 1st. This puts me in a very difficult position. Do I use the $660 in cash to buy groceries and pay bills? Do I risk starvation and losing my home by putting that cash back into the market at the earliest possible moment? Do I just let everything sit exactly the same way for the next two weeks and watch what happens? Everyone's life has this moments of high suspense and stress. I am not lying awake at night worrying about it, but it is a very tense situation.

In military circles everyone knows, "the best strategy never survives the first moment of contact". I cannot predict the future, no one can. If the market rebounds next week the five stocks I sold are one hundred percent certain to be leading the pack and I will have lost out on the possibility for huge profits. "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," always, so I took my profit and let the potential for even greater profits escape. If those two birds fly off, then I will have made the right decision. If they hang around and watch me nibble on the one bird, then I will just have to grin and bear it. On the other hand, if the market continues collapsing, that cash will come in very handy for snatching back those stocks at bargain prices, or even investing in new ones. In closing, here is my current portfolio: