Dec-04 2004 ends on a happy enough note. My portfolio increased in value 3% during the month, bringing performance for the year to 6%. While this is a far cry from the previous year it was respectable enough, especially considering how I started out!
By way of comparison, the performance for the Dow Jones Industrials, the Nasdaq Composite, and the S&P 500 indices are shown at right.
Nov-04 November gave me something to be thankful for — the value of my trading account grew 17% month-to-month, bringing me back in positive territory for the year: 3%. I'll try not to spend it all in one place.
Oct-04. Can two months be a trend? I hope so, because this is the second month in a row that my portfolio has gained value, reversing the disastrous trend established earlier in the year.
Sep-04. Hallelujah! Finally — a good month. The value of my portfolio increased 18% during the month of September (compared to August), bringing me back up to only -18% for the year. Some of the stocks that I've been nursing along on life-support for the past months have finally showed signs of recovery.
Aug-04. It's simply too painful to contemplate. Actually, the August drop in portfolio value is almost solely attributable to the tanking of HPQ after missing expectations for earnings and guidance. Thanks a lot, Carly!
Jul-04. Despite banking a lot of profits in July, the value of my trading account lost another 4% for the month. Simply put, a lot of promising stocks in my portfolio were savagely beaten down during the month.
Jun-04. See May. The good news is I didn't lose value this month. The better news is that after writing off so many poorly-performing stocks, my portfolio is purged and replenished with much better pospects.
May-04. The best thing that can be said about May is that the value of my account did not shrink much more. Value remained essentially flat for the month, despite writing off many, many losses.
Apr-04. If February was unkind and March was cruel, April was savagely cruel. The value of my portfolio fell another 8% for the month, bringing me to -12% for the year-to-date. Mercy!!
Mar-04. If February was unkind, March was cruel. I think that the basic problem was that I tried to jump back into the market too soon, thereby un-doing the insurance I had given myself by essentially sitting out February. The markets had changed from trending strongly upward to slithering sidewise, with sudden, big price changes for individual stocks, for no apparent reason. Got me! There is a book called A random walk on Wall Street, and March stands as compelling evidence. Ouch!!
Feb-04. February was an unkind month. The Nasdaq gave back almost all the gains chalked up in January. In contrast to last year, I minimized the damage by taking profits in January and holding very few stocks through February. While the value of my account still took a hit (down 4% for the month), I remain up 6% for the year (in 2003, I was down 13% by the end of February). Maybe I did learn something! Or maybe I was just luckier.