No better day than my birthday to provide a portfolio update, so here goes...
February and early March has continued to produce increased market volatility as oil prices have spiked due to mid east and Lybia tensions. The wide intra-day price swings in stocks have created great trading opportunities in many individual names, however we have remained largely on the sidelines awaiting a more clear direction to the market. Toss in a 2 week Disney World vacation, and February was one of the least active trading months in the portfolio.
Year-to-date, the portfolio is up 2% and continues to trail the overall market. Decreased trading activity, combined with weakness in telecoms, utilities and REITS has contributed to the under-performance.
I expect continued volatility and sideways market trading over the next few months. Barring a major geopolitical event, I remain comfortable with our target of 1,500 for the S&P 500 index.
Within the portfolio, I have increased my focus on current income. Idle cash has been used to increase positions in (NYSEARCA:JNK), (NYSEARCA:HYG) and (NYSEARCA:PFF). In addition, I have initiated new positions in (NYSE:OLP), (NYSE:CYS) and (ETP). The current portfolio dividend yield sits at 7.99%.
Overall Sentiment: Near-term neutral. Long-term bullish.
Portfolio Yield: 7.99%
Projection: Flat market in the near term. Increased volatility. S&P to 1,500+ in next 12 months.
Top 5 Positions:
- iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index (PFF)- 8.2%
- iShares High Yield Corporate Bond (HYG)- 7.01%
- SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond (JNK)- 6.66%
- Cash - 5.84%
- First Energy (NYSE:FE) - 5.46%