When we began our journey back in late October 2011, the S&P was roughly 1225. As of Friday's close it stood at 1408. An approximate increase of 15% in a relative blink of an eye. A very impressive run thus far, even though we have been waiting for a pullback to pick up some bargains to add to our core portfolio.
Our current portfolio consists of ExxonMobil (XOM), Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), AT&T (T), General Electric (GE), Annaly Capital (NLY), Southern Company (SO), Procter & Gamble (PG), Philip Morris (PM), Intel (INTC), Realty Income (O), Chevron (CVX), E.I. du Pont (DD), Duke Energy (DUK), Coca-Cola (KO), Bank of America (BAC).
Highlights Of Our Strategic Moves
We reduced exposure in several stocks
We sold several positions and took profits
We replaced one utility with another (a GREAT move)
We have collected all the dividends and built more cash
We have moved a trading play into our core portfolio
We stood our ground with a 2% position in NLY and won!
We added KO to our core portfolio finally
We wrote covered calls that either have expired or will (adding more cash)
We have a strong defensive portfolio with a terrific offense, intact, without flinching.
Our Overall Performance To Date
As you can see, based on our current holdings and the strategy that we have implemented, step by step if you have been following this series, we are ahead by 18.4% since inception, and handily beat the S&P by roughly 3.4%, or $3,400. (We began with $100,000.)
For the sake of comparison, we placed all of our dividends into our cash reserves, as well as collected call premiums for cash, and capital gains from sales of shares for cash. An $18,000 cash position could have easily been reinvested in our existing stocks and tweaked another 1.5% gain overall by being 100% invested. That would have reflected a wonderful 20% increase in our portfolio value.
Since this is a retirement portfolio, we have taken the more conservative approach of increasing our cash (which we can use for our expenses, buying other stocks, or just keeping our powder dry for the pullback that never seems to happen, yet.)
Team Alpha Has Done This Itself
I realize that I push a lot of buttons when I remind everyone that we have done this without a professional Financial Planner or Advisor, and with minimal costs. We have not paid a dime to anyone for "advice" or "babysitting" OUR money, and we have learned more and more as each day has gone by. I truly believe in accountability, and Team Alpha has a track record that can be looked at and admired (or bemoaned I guess) by anyone who reads this series.
By following what we set forth here, within your own portfolio, you can easily see how you fared. We had no high flyers like Apple (AAPL) to move our portfolio as it obviously moved the overall S&P and Nasdaq, and we had very few missteps because of our relatively conservative approach. The negative nay-bobs, doom and gloom crowd attacked us in all sorts of ways, but we stood our ground, we crushed the S&P thus far.
While we can all do the "happy dance", anything can happen going forward. And we have a lot of work to do to keep vigilant, make some more strategic moves, as well as continuing to cash our sweet little dividend checks while we do it.
What Is Next
Well, now that we have covered many of the conservative moves thus far, we can repeat them and add some value stocks when the time is right (not yet). Remember, we are still waiting for a pullback, but we are positioned very well for it, in my opinion. In the next segments I will outline a new round of calls to be sold and update everyone on our next round of dividends. So far, so good.
As a special note, not only did Seeking Alpha reach 1 million subscribers this past week, but yours truly, "Regarded Solutions", passed the 1 million reader mark! In a tad over 5 months, I believe that number of readers is a remarkable feat which has been reached ONLY by YOUR efforts and loyalty.
Thank you, one and all!
Additional disclosure: An open naked put position in AAPL to own shares if strike price hits.
Disclaimer: Please remember to do your own research prior to making any investment decisions. This article is not a recommendation to buy or sell any securities or stocks, and is the opinion of the author.