I hope you’re spending terrific holidays. I’m someone who loves to work on specific objectives and the end of year is obviously a great time to go through them, see what has worked and what hasn’t I certainly know that it’s impossible to always have amazing years investing (unless you’re named Warren Buffett or Bernie Madoff) but I do aspire to get better over the years. I’ve done this exercise every year but this time, I’m doing it in a more public way:) I’ll leave out the personal stuff although those on the mailing list know that it’s been a very good year on that front:)
General Strategy (bucket investing, etc): Over the years, I feel like I’ve become very organized and efficient in this regard, I am in the process of writing an ebook which will certainly expand on that but basically, I feel like I’m being very efficient with less time..!
Passive Income (USDP, etc): I’ve certainly made a ton of progress here. I now have my monthly updates and I do expect my passive income to continue to increase over time. The USDP has performed very well in my opinion, it has more or less matched the S&P500. In a rising market as we witnessed this year, that is an excellent performance.
Tech Stock Long & Short Trading: There wasn’t that much positive out of this part in 2012 but my call on Apple was one. It has not done as well in the last few months but overall, Apple remains a big performer in 2012 and I had selected it as one of my 4 stock picks, at the top of my power rankings, as a stock you’d be crazy not to own and went long on a few occasions.
Facebook: I had been VERY bullish on Facebook and it’s a good thing that I try to avoid buying on IPO’s. Why? The stock crashed.. they are just so unpredictable on and right after an IPO. I finally did buy a while later at $19.99. It’s been a great trade and I’m still a big believer.
Stayed Away From Groupon and RIMM: Both names looked highly unstable to me and I feared trading them on either side. In retrospect, I’m glad I did.
What Did Not Go Well:
Passive Income (USDP, etc): I really should have started using the DRIP and reinvesting on a monthly basis from the very start. It made no sense to wait a year. Better late than never but still.
Tech Stock Long & Short Trading: Wow..after 2 very solid years, 2012 is a year to be forgotten. I honestly did poorly here. AOL was a huge part of my failure and overall I just missed more than what is acceptable. It’s a great thing in years like this that such trading is not the core of my retirement. I also did have some hits and misses in my first Tech Stock Power Rankings which I will go over in the next few days. I will be closing off the final 2 trades this morning but my yearly return stands at a disappointing -6,56%…almost 90% lower than last year
Got Zynga (ZNGA) Way Wrong: I can live with some bad picks and not predicting that AOL would double is something I can easily live with. I should have seen through Zynga though and that turned out to be my worst call.
Stock Picking Competition: Results will be released next week but after being in 2nd spot for most of the year, I took a drop thanks in large part to Apple’s collapse in recent months.2013 Focus And Objectives:
-Outperform the S&P500 in the USDP
-Reach 15% of my passive income objective (I currently stand at 8.68%)
Blog Review And ObjectivesWhat Went Well:
-Have a minimum 7% return on my long and short stock picks
-Finish in the top 3 of the stock picking competition
-Improve my performance significantly in my 2013 Power Rankings (to be published soon)
-Overall interaction: Thanks largely to the mailing lists, I now get several interesting emails from readers almost every single day. I feel incredibly blessed and I’m learning a ton from talking with all of you. Thank you for your continued feedback, it’s very valuable to me.
-Content Quality: I do think that I’ve been able to improve the general quality of posting here and hopefully you agree. I did end up cutting one post per week which seems like a good compromise. Better focus on quality than quantity right?:)What Did Not Go Well:
-The overall traffic was barely up this year. A few reasons can explain this. First, IntelligentSpeculator got hit by a Google update and saw much less traffic from search engines. We reached over 130,000 unique visitors this year, still fairly good right?:)2013 Focus And Objectives:
-Content: I do feel like I can still produce higher quality content and will work on doing just that. I do want you to make me accountable if you don’t feel like some of the stuff lives up to expectations,
-Reach: In the coming year, I want to continue publishing on the blog and the mailing lists but also be more active on Twitter, on our Facebook page, write directly on third party sites such as SeekingAlpha! It should be a great year!
-Traffic: The objective is fairly ambitious, I want to double the 2012 numbers..!!
-Social Media: I want to make Facebook, Twitter and other social networks a much bigger part of IntelligentSpeculator
-eBook: I do expect to release my first ebook, at some point in the first quarter, it will be offered for free to all readers so stay tuned!Overall Thoughts
Certainly, I’m being ambitious about the coming year but I feel like there is a lot of momentum following a great 2012 year, I truly appreciate writing on this blog:) Thanks again for everything and best wishes for 2013 to all of you!:)