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Assessing My Performance: Jan 2018 - May 2019

On January 1 of last year, I published "2017 Recommendations: A (Partial) Year in Review" where I summarized how my stock picks performed. As I admitted at the time, I slightly underperformed the market, although I anticipated that my new investments would outpace the market average. 

In the spirit of intellectual honesty, I would like to once again let you know how I'm doing. According to TipRanks, an independent website that tracks stockpickers, my recommendations have gained an average of 23 percent over the last year. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 has appreciated 9.5 percent. At the moment I'm ranked at #98 out of 6,786 bloggers tracked by the site. 

The stocks held in my personal portfolio also generated very satisfactory returns. For every dollar I have invested since mid-2017, I have gained approximately $0.65. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. 

I attribute much of this success to my continued drive toward simplification, which is why I decided to close out several positions and consolidate on my very best ideas. To that end, I sold stock in HarborOne Bancorp, PDL Community Bancorp, Altria, Disney, Church and Dwight, and Chipotle. None of these are bad companies, but they weren't my top picks. 

Instead I doubled down on the two best performers, Copart and Ollie's Bargain Outlet. In 2018 I opened a position in Match Group, followed by shares in Turning Point Brands and Standard Diversified. Most recently, I purchased stock in Clarus Corporation. Here is a snapshot of my portfolio as it appears today:

Ollie's Bargain Outlet: +122%

Copart: +108% 

Turning Point Brands: +93%

Standard Diversified: +62%

Match Group: +52%

Clarus Corporation: +21%

That's it. Five picks - a bargain retailer, salvage vehicle auctioneer, online dating company, outdoor equipment seller, and tobacco producer (Standard Diversified derives most of its value from its majority stake in Turning Point Brands). 

I don't expect last year's success to continue, and it wouldn't surprise me to see some pullback. On several occasions, I saw these stocks go down 30 or 40 percent. However, I do expect that the overall outperformance will continue over the long run. 

Once again, I appreciate your comments and views. I hope you find my work helpful.