Q1 2017 Performance: Equity Investments

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In the previous article, I talked about my performance for Forex portfolio in the first quarter of 2017. This article will lay out the equity investments portfolio performance for the 1st quarter. Unlike for forex, I don’t have much performance results for equity investment portfolio….at least for now.


Cash is trash.

For the first quarter of 2017, my stock investment portfolio was down 1.31%.

In the 1st quarter, I bought W.P. Carey (WPC). In this Seeking Alpha article, I laid out why I bought the diversified REIT.

Also during the quarter, I bought short-term bond ETFs. Such ETFs are Vanguard Short-Term Bond ETF (BSV), iShares 1-3 Year Credit Bond ETF (CSJ), Vanguard Short-Term Government Bond ETF (VGSH), and PowerShares Emerging Markets Sovereign Debt ETF (PCY).

I bought those ETFs for four reasons;

First, I had a lot of cash sitting in my portfolio. Cash did not add any value to my portfolio.

Second, the ETFs barely moves and yet offers attractive dividends that would be distributed every month, with low expense ratio. Instead of having cash be lazy, the ETFs provided free money since they barely moved in price.

And lastly, the ETFs were commission-free through my broker, Ameritrade. When opportunities arise, I can freely liquidate the ETFs position(s).

All three reasons provided me with great flexibility and free money. The average SEC 30 Day yield from the “big four” is currently 2.43%.

And lastly, I also bought iShares Core Conservative Allocation ETF (AOK). I bought this ETF for the same reasons I bought the “big four” ETFs; low risk, low fees, and attractive dividends.

The portfolio of the five ETFs mentioned above returned 2.77% in the past 5 years, with the largest quarterly loss at 2.65% in the 4th quarter of last year and the largest quarterly gain at 1.70% in the 1st quarter of last year. Year-to-date, it’s up 1.32%.

Estimated investment portfolio dividend yield is 2.8%, with largest being 6.4% and lowest 0%. I plan to increase the portfolio dividend yield by getting rid of non-dividend yielding stocks and/or buying dividend-yielding stocks.

I did not sell anything in the portfolio during the first quarter. However, I’m planning to make some changes this quarter, which will be released in the 2nd quarter performance article. But first, I will probably tweet out the changes.

32.30% of my portfolio is currently in cash. I plan to cut that in half. How will I do it? I’m not sure yet. I’m doing research on multiple companies. The one that stands out will be bought and an article about it will be posted, mostly likely on Seeking Alpha.

 

Note: Equity/Commodity active trading portfolio (Robinhood) performance will be posted later.

Update: “Q1 2017 Performance: Equity/Commodity Trading” article is posted.

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Q1 2017 Performance: Forex

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As you may know, I published my forex performance for 2016 and since inception. From now on, I will also share my quarterly performance. March 31st marked the end of first quarter, here are my performance results for FX trading.

Forex Trading Performance – Q1 2017

For currency trading, I was up 2.15%. I know, it’s low (in % terms at least). But, allow me to explain.

Before this year, my currency trades used to be in 1,000 units (or 0.01 lots), lowest I can trade. Since I usually had about 10 positions, each of 1,000 units, the nominal amount was large enough. After depositing more money and getting a clear picture of my Forex performance, I decided to increase my trades to 2,000/3,000 units (or 0.02/0.03 lots) for each position.

Getting a clear picture of my performance – average gain/loss, drawdown, trade duration, the percentage of profitable trades, etc – helped me improve my performance significantly.

This quarter [Q1], I further minimized my drawdowns. By minimizing drawdown, I minimized my returns. And that works for me. Stable uptrending P/L with a low risk.

It is true Forex is way riskier than other assets classes due to its leverage, mostly 1:50. But, that does not mean your portfolio has to include a lot of risks.

While 2.15% return this quarter from Forex trading is low, it’s still big in nominal terms for me and I’m getting a much better understanding of my weakness/strengths as I look through the metrics.

I don’t have the key metrics (besides the returns) and charts to share with you for this quarter for one reason: FXCM was Banned from the U.S. (I’m not even surprised after what happened on January 15, 2015).

FXCM is a retail FX broker and my former broker. They were banned by CFTC for defrauding retail foreign exchange customers and engaging in false and misleading solicitations.

As a result, FXCM customers were automatically changed to a different broker, Forex.com by Gain Capital Holdings, on February 24th. Unlike FXCM, this broker did not offer an analysis of trades. In addition to that, a third-party software did not offer an analysis of trades for Gain Capital’s customers since the broker did not allow the software to be connected with it.

Good news is that I’m currently in process of changing the platform to MetaTrader, which will make it easier for me to track performance metrics. The other platform, ForexTrader made it harder for tracking key metrics.

For the next quarter’s results, you can expect to see more performance metrics for FX trading.

Live On Twitter

As you may know, I tweet out trades/investments I’m making. That’s one of many reasons you should follow me on Twitter if you haven’t already. One of many ways I measure success is through twitter followers, believe it or not.

Here are some of the tweets:

My target for annual FX return is 15%, with minimal violability (less than 4% drawdown).

Interested in investing in me? Feel free to privately message me for more details. The minimum investment is $1,000.

 

Note: Equity/Commodity portfolio performance will be posted later.

Update: “Q1 2017 Performance: Equity Investments” article is posted.

Update: “Q1 2017 Performance: Equity/Commodity Trading” article is posted.

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Buy W.P. Carey For Portfolio Diversification And Income Despite Risks (Seeking Alpha Article)

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Summary

  • W.P. Carey is highly diversified both by the property sectors and the global locations, unlike its competitors.
  • Carey’s FFO multiple is below sector average.
  • Company’s investment management platform offers more flexibility and M&A opportunities.
  • Carey has been aggressively financing its growth with debt, but fundamentals are strong overall.
  • Traditional investors with stock/bond portfolio may want to take a closer look at the real estate sector. REITs provide a strong portfolio diversification with lower exposure to market volatility.

To keep reading more, click here for the SA article. Or copy/paste: http://seekingalpha.com/article/4037840-buy-w-p-carey-portfolio-diversification-income-despite-risks.

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