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It's been a while since I reported on the performance of the 'Retire Young' portfolio I started about 8 months ago. For those that haven't been following, the latest components of this portfolio were Monster Beverages (NASDAQ:MNST), Statoil (NYSE:STO), American Express (NYSE:AXP), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS), Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC), The Cheesecake Factory (NASDAQ:CAKE), Hertz (NYSE:HTZ), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) and Santarus (NASDAQ:SNTS). Now it's time for a performance update, which I will present stock-by-stock. Keep in mind that there were two versions of these portfolios, the first version was buy-and-hold and the second version was buy-and-write-calls.

Part I - Buy and Hold

Monster Beverages: We added this company to our portfolio at $56.49. At the time of writing of this article, this stock was worth $67.90, which indicates a premium of 11.41%.

Statoil: We bought this company at $23.00 and the dividend on this stock was $1.15 per share, reducing the breakeven price to $21.85. As I am writing this article, the stock is worth $23.73 which indicates an upside of 8.60% from our breakeven price.

American Express: We bought this company at $67.75 and collected three dividend payments of 23 cents per share. At the time of writing this article, American Express was worth $85.05, bringing the premium to 25.87% (including the dividend).

The Walt Disney Company: We added this company to our portfolio at $62.75 and collected 86 cents per share in dividends, bringing our breakeven price to $61.89. Currently the stock is worth about $72.57, giving us a premium of 17.26% over our breakeven price.

The Cheesecake Factory: We added this stock to the portfolio at $40.74 and we collected 0.28 in dividends. The shares currently trade at $44.54, giving us a premium yield of 10.01% over our breakeven price.

Hertz: We added this stock to our portfolio at $25.30. Even though the stock's price rose to high $28s during last month due to Icahn investing in it, it fell to $26.15 as of right now. Our gain percentage in this stock is 3.35%.

First Solar: We added this to our portfolio at $51.55. The shares currently trade for $48.42, giving us a loss of 6.07%.

Santarus: We added this stock to our portfolio at $22.20 and the company got acquired by Salix Pharmaceuticals for $32 per share in November, which gave us a total premium of 44.14% over our buy price.

Microsoft: We added this company at $31.45 per share and collected $0.51 in dividends, bringing the breakeven price to $30.94. The company's current price of $37.80 indicates a premium yield of 22.17%.

IAMGold: We bought this stock at $5.30 and sadly watched it crash towards the current price of $3.65, indicating a loss of 31.13%.

SodaStream: We bought this stock at $58.55 and it is currently worth $36.56, indicating a loss of 37.55%.

We also traded other stocks in the history of this portfolio as mentioned in my past articles. We bought and sold stocks such as Wells Fargo, Smith & Wesson and Hewlett Packard with considerably profits over the life of this portfolio.

The portfolio's current worth is $114,696 in stocks and $3,875 in cash, bringing the total value to $118,571. When we first started, the portfolio value was $108,602, giving us 9.17% of a yield since April 17. During this period, Dow Jones average rose by 4.42% and S&P index rose by 10.84%. Basically, the buy-and-hold version of our portfolio outperformed Dow but underperformed S&P.

Part II - Buy and Write Calls

In volatile markets, buying and writing calls is more profitable than buying and holding. This was evident in this case. Here is how our buy-and-write-calls portfolio with the same stocks performed during the same period.

Monster Beverages: We added this company to our portfolio at $56.49. Initially, we sold a covered call with a premium of $2.30. As the strike price of $57.5 was met at the time of expiration, our shares were called away. This first trade gave us a premium yield of 5.86%. Next, we bought the same shares again at $64 and sold covered calls for a premium of $2.40. These shares were never called and we were able to sell another round of covered calls for $2.30. At the time of writing of this article, this stock was worth $67.90, which indicates a premium of 13.43% on top of the original 5.86%.

Statoil: We bought this company at $23.00 and the dividend on this stock was $1.15 per share, reducing the breakeven price to $21.85. Later on, we sold covered calls for $1.00 but the shares never got called since the stock's price was relatively flat. As I am writing this article, the stock is worth $23.73 which indicates an upside of 12.52% from our breakeven price.

American Express: We bought this company at $67.75 and collected a dividend payment of 23 cents per share. We collected a premium of $1.18 from covered calls expiring in July with a strike price of $70. These shares got called away since the actual price at the time was $75. This gave us a gain of 5.40% for the short term. We acquired the shares at $75 again and issued covered calls with a strike price of $80 for a premium of $1.27. The shares got called away in December with another gain of 8.97% including two additional dividend payments we received at 23 cents per share.

The Walt Disney Company: We added this company to our portfolio at $62.75 and collected $1.42 per share in call premiums, bringing our breakeven price to $61.33. We had a strike price of $65 by July and the shares got called away as the stock's actual price was a few cents above $65. The first trade gave us 5.85% in profits. We bought the shares back at the same price and issued more calls with a strike price of $70. We collected additional $1.39 in call premiums and $0.86 in dividends. Currently the stock is worth about $72.57, giving us a premium of 11.15% over our breakeven price in the second trade (since our strike price is at $70, we consider this the sale price).

The Cheesecake Factory: We added this stock to the portfolio at $40.74 and we collected $0.90 in call premiums and $0.14 in dividends. We had a strike price of $42.00, which resulted in a calling off the shares as the company's share price was a little above $44 at the time of expiration. The first trade gave us a gain of 5.64%. We bought these shares again at $44 and issued covered calls with a strike price of $46 for premiums of $1.22 and we collected another $0.14 in dividends. The shares currently trade at $44.54, giving us a premium yield of 4.31% over our breakeven price.

Hertz: We added this stock to our portfolio at $25.30. Initially we sold covered calls with a strike price of $27 and expiration of September for a premium of $1.40. The calls expired worthless and we sold another round of covered calls for $1.57 at a strike price of $30 and expiration of January. These calls also expired worthless. Currently the company's share price is $26.15, giving us a premium of 15.09%.

First Solar: We added this to our portfolio at $51.55. Initially we sold covered calls with a strike price of $55 with a premium of $4.80. By August, the shares were trading below $40, which means that the calls expired worthless. We wrote new calls expiring in December for a premium of $3.65. These shares got called away at $50. In total, we profited 13.38% from this trade mostly due to the high premiums based on the company's high volatility.

Santarus: We added this stock to our portfolio at $22.20 and sold covered calls for $0.90 which expired worthless in July as the share price closed right below our strike price of $25. We wrote new calls with a strike price of $27.50 and gained $1.22 in premiums. In October, these calls also expired worthless as the company's share price was under $24. Then we sold a third batch of premium calls expiring in January with a strike price of $27.50 for a premium of $0.97. This time the company got acquired by Salix Pharmaceuticals for $32 per share and our shares got called away. We made a profit of 37.79% from this trade.

Microsoft: We added this company at $31.45 per share and collected $1.01 from covered call premiums with a strike price of $35. In December these shares got called away after collecting additional $0.51 in dividends, bringing the breakeven price to $29.93. The first trade gave us a yield of 16.12%. Then we bought the shares again at $36 and issued more calls with a strike price of $40 for $0.92. These shares are still with us. The company's current price of $37.80 indicates a premium yield of 7.55% in the second trade which is still ongoing.

IAMGold: We bought this stock at $5.30 and issued calls with a strike price of $6 for a rich premium of $0.35 per share since the stock was highly volatile. In September, the calls expired worthless as the share price was down to $5.10. We sold additional calls with a strike price of $6 that would expire in December and collected another $0.28 in premiums. The stock's price kept falling and falling, causing our calls to expire worthless again. Currently we have more calls issued on these shares with a strike price of $5 and premium of $25. The current share price is $3.65 but our "damage control" brought the breakeven price to $4.42. We are still at a loss of 17.42%, and the company's dividend suspension did not help the matters either.

SodaStream: We bought this stock at $58.55 and sold covered calls with a strike price of $60 for a premium of $4.65. Since the stock was highly volatile, premiums on calls were pretty rich for the company. Our calls expired worthless and we wrote another one for $4.40 and one more for $3.20 as the share price crashed to mid-30s. Currently the company's share price is $36.56, indicating a loss of 16.63% even after factoring all the rich premiums we received from the covered calls.

The portfolio's current worth is $99,542 in stocks (after factoring-in the strike prices) and $21,086 in cash, bringing the total value to $120,628. When we first started, the portfolio value was $108,602, giving us 11.07% of a yield since April 17. During this period, Dow Jones average rose by 4.42% and S&P index rose by 10.84%. Basically, the buy-write-calls version of our portfolio outperformed Dow by a good margin but underperformed S&P by just a little bit. If the market has a major correction, this portfolio has plenty of cash to take advantage of newly cheap prices.

Soon, we will be replacing some stocks with other stocks as stocks get new valuations in 2014.

Source: 'Retire Young' Portfolio Performance Update

Additional disclosure: I'm long all the stocks mentioned in this article through a variety of portfolios even though the amounts and buy dates might be different from the amounts and buy dates mentioned in the article.