Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stock Trades, Year in Review

I figure I'll join the crowd and add this to the plethora of "best of", "worst of", "top X# of" etc for 2012.

Best Trade: ATT (T)
Bought in two lots in Dec 11 & Feb 12 at an average price of $29.40 and sold in late Sept at $38.35, near its highs this year. Accounting for commissions and dividends, a 32.5% total return, annualized (counting time actually held) at 48.2%.

Missed Trade: United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG)
An ETF. Bought in mid-April at $14.98 near its all time low and sold about two months later in late June at $19.00. Accounting for commissions and dividends, a 23.9% total return, annualized 117.8%. This is a miss because I simply didn't buy enough to make much actual money.

Which set up my....

Worst Trade: ProShares Ultra VIX Short-Term Futures ETF (UVXY)
High on the success with UNG, I read more and more about ETFs. Knowing that the VIX was way down from normal and knowing we're coming up on an election and the "fiscal cliff" I bought in got hammered and I averaged lower in mid-Sept just to get hammered some more. Cut by the "falling knife". I bailed shortly after the election, down a composite 20% or so. Only my 2nd loss ever, but valuable lessons learned about how ETFs (especially leveraged ones) work and investing (betting in this case) on things I don't fully understand. UVXY finally started moving up, up over 40% in the past month, 34% of that just in the last week...and it is just...just back to where I SOLD at.

The jury remains out on:

Pitney Bowes (PBI) bought back in July at $14.29. It just hit a new 52 week low this past week in the mid-$10 range. It continues to pay awesome dividends (at Friday's closing price, 14.4%).

Intel (INTC) Bought in mid-late November at an average price of $19.80
Conoco Phillips (COP) Bought in late July at $53.13
Both INTC and COP were near their lows when I bought in and have dividend yields in the upper 4% range at my buy in prices. I knew PBI was a flyer when I bought it, at some point soon, maybe the shorts will either cover or get squeezed out, in the meantime I'll take the dividends (assuming they continue to be paid).

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