My First Year On Seeking Alpha: Pick Performance And Article Stats

by: Douglas Denhartog

Summary

Securities I recommended performed 430% better than stocks I recommended avoiding.

I recommended buying 44, and avoiding 27, different securities.

Seeking Alpha published 21 articles I wrote, which contained a total of 28,589 words.

It has been exactly one year since I became a Premium Contributor on Seeking Alpha after my first article was published on July 8, 2013. Being a part of the Seeking Alpha community has been a wonderful opportunity to interact with investors, educators and other Contributors, and to have a productive outlet for my creative and analytical energies. I was inspired to write this article not only for my own understanding of the scope and impact of my effort, but also because I have often seen other Contributors voice a desire to have better insight into their own efforts. This article is not an attempt to stroke my own ego or measure my performance against anyone else, but rather an opportunity to reflect on my presence in the Seeking Alpha community over the last twelve months.

WORD COUNT

If someone were to tell myself in high school that I would ever enjoy writing, I would tell them that they must have had me mistaken for someone else because at that time the thought of writing even a double-spaced, two page paper was intimidating. Every article I have written on Seeking Alpha exceeds that length! Over the course of the past year, I penned 21 articles which were published on Seeking Alpha, excluding this one, which in aggregate contained 28,589 words, or 160,995 characters. While the median word count of my articles was 1,239 words, my shortest article, Coca-Cola: Don't Miss Out Like I Did, contained 1,001 words and was my fourth most viewed article over the last twelve months, and my longest article by word count, Roadmap To Higher Returns: Earnings Vs. Cash Flow, contained 1,985 words and was among the bottom quartile of my least viewed articles.

PAGE VIEWS

I must admit the slight twinge of discouragement I felt when my very first submission to Seeking Alpha was declined for publication was completely replaced with excitement when I saw the page view counter tick higher and higher with each passing hour the day my first article, 4 Opportunities Using Dividend Growth Rate And Yield On Cost, was published. That same excitement has accompanied every subsequent release of one of my publications and is undoubtedly a motivator to continue writing for Seeking Alpha. Having never previously had the opportunity to reach a global audience, knowing that my 21 articles have generated more than 127,000 page views over the last twelve months is an intoxicating thought. With IBM Down, Buy And Sleep Sound Like Buffett, which was published in October 2013, was my single best performing article with 32,355 page views and 3 Telecom ADRs To Consider Before China's Economy Rises was my worst performing article by page views with only 1,028 views.

COMMENTS

I do my best to respond to almost every comment left on one of my articles that is directed at me, but I have found this becomes increasingly difficult as time goes on and more and more people join the discussion. Thank you to all who were so inclined to message me or leave a comment on one of my articles! I appreciate the constructive criticism, collaboration and insights each of you have shared. A total of 512 comments were made on my articles, 121 of which were mine, meaning 391 comments were made by other members of the Seeking Alpha community, for an average of more than 18 comments per article!

PERFORMANCE

I have collected and discussed data, metrics and prices of hundreds of stocks for my articles over the past year. In general, my articles either opine support for, or against, purchasing a security or securities, though some articles like 2 BRICS You Should Use To Build Your Portfolio were more in support of a theory or trend rather than securities. Although I have collected and discussed many more securities, I have been an advocate of potential purchases of 44 securities and a critic of 27. The majority of my articles thus far have trended toward higher-level overviews of groups of companies rather than in-depth research of single companies. I wrote 3 articles about specific companies, 2 articles covering no securities and 16 list/group style articles. Price data provided in Table 1 and 2 was obtained from Yahoo! Finance.

Table 1 lists the 44 securities covered in my articles which I advocated owning, along with their relative performance since the date I covered them through the market close on July 7, 2014.

Table 1. The 44 Companies I Was An Advocate Of

Date

Symbol

Original Price

Ending Price

Capital Gain Performance

7/23/2013

(NYSE:NVO)

32.28

45.84

42.0%

7/8/2013

(NYSE:VFC)

48.39

63.09

30.4%

4/23/2014

(NASDAQ:AAPL)

74.55

95.97

28.7%

4/23/2014

(NYSE:SDRL)

32.17

39.6

23.1%

6/11/2014

(NYSE:TEG)

57.16

68.96

20.6%

4/2/2014

(NYSE:CHU)

12.96

15.53

19.8%

7/8/2013

(NYSE:KMB)

95.02

112.14

18.0%

6/11/2014

(NYSE:HNP)

40.48

47.06

16.3%

4/2/2014

(NYSE:CHA)

44.26

50.78

14.7%

7/23/2013

(NYSE:UTX)

102.96

115.1

11.8%

6/24/2014

(NYSE:CLF)

14.2

15.83

11.5%

3/17/2014

(NYSE:KO)

37.98

42.14

11.0%

6/24/2014

(TCK)

22.29

24.55

10.1%

10/18/2013

(NYSE:IBM)

170.91

188.04

10.0%

4/2/2014

(NYSE:CHL)

44.82

49.2

9.8%

7/23/2013

(NASDAQ:CHRW)

58.41

64.11

9.8%

7/23/2013

(NASDAQ:TROW)

77.96

85.17

9.2%

4/23/2014

(NYSE:BUD)

106.45

115.1

8.1%

4/23/2014

(NYSEMKT:BTI)

114.47

122.86

7.3%

6/17/2014

(NASDAQ:DGAS)

20.04

21.44

7.0%

6/24/2014

(NYSE:SHI)

26.53

28.37

6.9%

4/23/2014

(NASDAQ:MSFT)

39.41

41.99

6.5%

4/24/2014

(NYSE:CVX)

123.25

130.47

5.9%

7/8/2013

(NYSE:PG)

76.38

80.19

5.0%

4/24/2014

(NYSE:T)

34.5

36.02

4.4%

6/24/2014

(NYSE:PKX)

71.87

74.82

4.1%

4/23/2014

(NYSE:BX)

32.16

33.28

3.5%

6/11/2014

(NYSE:EDE)

24.26

25.03

3.2%

4/24/2014

(NYSE:CB)

91.24

93.43

2.4%

6/11/2014

(NYSE:HE)

24.17

24.68

2.1%

6/24/2014

(NASDAQ:IOSP)

42.24

43.13

2.1%

6/24/2014

(NASDAQ:KALU)

71.44

72.62

1.7%

6/11/2014

(NYSE:ETR)

77.42

78.4

1.3%

6/17/2014

(NYSE:NJR)

55.12

55.67

1.0%

6/24/2014

(NYSE:LXFR)

18.99

19.12

0.7%

6/24/2014

(NYSE:ODC)

30.65

30.71

0.2%

6/24/2014

(NYSE:OLN)

26.51

26.48

-0.1%

6/24/2014

(NYSE:GGB)

6.28

6.27

-0.2%

6/17/2014

(LG)

47.6

47.49

-0.2%

6/17/2014

(NASDAQ:ARTNA)

22.22

22.16

-0.3%

7/8/2013

(NYSE:GWW)

252.06

250.53

-0.6%

6/17/2014

(NYSEMKT:EGAS)

10.39

10.31

-0.8%

6/11/2014

(NYSE:FE)

34.15

32.67

-4.3%

4/2/2014

(NASDAQ:VOD)

35.4

33.47

-5.5%

Click to enlarge

As can be seen in Table 1, 80% of the securities I recommended purchasing presently have a positive capital gain based on their closing price on the date on which the article they were included in was published and their respective closing price on July 7, 2014. My best performing recommendation was Novo Nordisk A/S , which has returned 42% since July 2013, while my worst performing pick was Vodafone Group Public Limited Company, which has lost 5.5% since I mentioned the stock in April 2014. If someone were to have purchased a single share of every stock listed in Table 1, it would have cost $2,538.96 and would have a current value of $2,736.23, which would have resulted in an 8% gain, excluding dividends.

It is difficult to measure the relative performance of my picks against a benchmark, like the S&P 500, because of the varying purchase dates and desire for brevity of this article. For example, in the twelve months since my first article was published the S&P 500 has increased from $1,640.46 to $1,977.65, a 20.6% gain. However, the majority of my articles have occurred since June 11, 2014 when the S&P 500 has increased only 1.7%, from $1,943.89 to $1,977.65.

Table 2 lists the 27 securities covered in my articles which I was against owning at the time, along with their relative performance since the date I covered them through the market close on July 7, 2014.

Table 2. The 27 Companies I Was A Critic Of

Date

Symbol

Original Price

Ending Price

Capital Gain Performance

4/27/2014

(MHFI)

74.77

83.4

11.5%

4/27/2014

(NYSE:BF.B)

88.42

95.32

7.8%

4/27/2014

(NYSE:BCR)

136.5

146.73

7.5%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:ATI)

44.58

46.14

3.5%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:SLCA)

53.87

55.34

2.7%

4/27/2014

(NYSE:SHW)

200.18

205.24

2.5%

6/26/2014

(NASDAQ:BCPC)

53.06

54.17

2.1%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:CRS)

61.95

62.91

1.5%

6/27/2014

(NYSEMKT:TIS)

31.65

32.09

1.4%

5/30/2014

(NYSE:ED)

55.83

56.6

1.4%

6/12/2014

(NYSE:D)

68.03

68.86

1.2%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:NUE)

49.09

49.68

1.2%

6/27/2014

(NASDAQ:GSM)

20.6

20.8

1.0%

6/12/2014

(NASDAQ:ENOC)

18.2

18.37

0.9%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:NP)

52.99

53.31

0.6%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:FNV)

56.3

56.39

0.2%

6/27/2014

(NASDAQ:RGLD)

74.56

74.63

0.1%

6/19/2014

(NYSE:STR)

24.05

23.97

-0.3%

6/26/2014

(NYSE:FMC)

71

70.76

-0.3%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:MSB)

19.69

19.57

-0.6%

6/19/2014

(NYSE:AWK)

48.44

48.1

-0.7%

6/19/2014

(NYSE:NFG)

76.99

75.85

-1.5%

6/19/2014

(NASDAQ:YORW)

20.63

20.2

-2.1%

6/19/2014

(NYSE:WTR)

25.75

24.97

-3.0%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:DEL)

60.95

58.98

-3.2%

4/27/2014

(NYSE:PNR)

73.83

71.05

-3.8%

6/27/2014

(NYSE:GNI)

20.32

18.19

-10.5%

Click to enlarge

All but three of the securities I was critical of have returned less than 3.5% since I covered them and 60%, or 16, have returned 1% or less. If an investor were to have purchased a single share of every company I was critical of, it would have cost $1,545.59 and would have a current value of only $1,573.39, a mere 1.9% return, excluding dividends.

CONCLUSION

An investor who were to have purchased the securities I favored would have done more than four times better than an investor who purchased securities I was not a fan of. This fact is encouraging to me that my methodologies have merit and I look forward to continuing to develop as an investor and writer through my continued participation at Seeking Alpha. One goal I have set for myself is to average publishing over the next twelve months at least one article per week on Seeking Alpha, for a minimum total of 52 articles over the next 52 weeks. I look forward to your continued input regarding my methodologies and learning and hearing from each of you that comment on my articles and message me. Thank you for a delightful first year on Seeking Alpha!

Disclosure: The author is long KO, CHL, T. The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.