December, 2011: 11 29
Disclaimer - IMPORTANT - Read this first!
Investor's Journal is a diary focused strictly on investments and personal finance issues, primarily from a contrarian and retiree point of view. Follow along with an average guy's failures and successes as he learns, by trial and error, the fine art of value investing.

12/11/11-There have been no new sales or sell signals among stocks followed here since the last entry, except that once again PCCC, purchased just several weeks ago, has briefly been up over 50%. Once more, though, before I could sell it the market moved downward and it is now a few percentage points shy of my preferred sell point.

I have a new asset of interest, TICC, in mind for the Selective Six Percent Portfolio. TICC Capital Corp. (TICC) (recent price $9.16) is a Ben Graham type asset with a reasonably low P/E (9.18) and D/E (0.33) and a projected dividend of 10.92%, with a dividend payout, however, of 0.51. It is ex-dividend on 12/14/11. Recall that I had as one of my criteria for this portfolio that the dividend payout should not be above 0.50. However, this has a relatively low debt level and a price below the $9.34 book value, so I think I can make a minor exception in this case and add TICC to the Selective Six Percent Portfolio ranks. It will be purchased for our nest egg at the early market price tomorrow, 12/12/11.

My current top-five low price to book value stocks are: AIZ; HMN; LM; NTT; and TX.

My favorite from among them is Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) (recent price $24.93). It meets Benjamin Graham's bargain stock safety and value criteria as well.

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. will also be added to our nest egg at its market price in early trading on Monday, 12/12/11.

12/29/11-The second half of 2011 has seen numerous purchases of bargain assets for our nest egg but relatively few sales. Recently, though, on 12/22/11, one of our Low Price to Book Value assets, PCCC, purchased about 4 months earlier, on 8/19/11, was sold for a net gain of 53.78%. Info on both its cost basis and its performance from 8/19/11 through 12/22/11 has been added to the Low P/Bk closed positions spreadsheet, and PCCC has also been deleted from the record of Low P/Bk open position holdings.

There has been an unscheduled change in the Jim's 10 for 10 portfolio. I had a surprise warning from a brokerage company regarding my margin assets, indicating that one company in the Jim's 10 for 10 portfolio, NOOF, had fallen below its margin requirement level and so might be subject to forced sale by the account company if I did not take appropriate action. I reluctantly sold off the asset on 12/22/11. NOOF had been purchased on 5/14/10. The net proceeds, $1313, reflected a 45.97% loss in value from the cost basis of $2430.

Consistent with our approach with these Jim's or Phil's 10 for 10 portfolios, to sell off the lowest performer each year (till the portfolio has thus been whittled down to the top 5 performers) and use the proceeds to buy added shares in the then highest gainer, I am treating this more or less forced sale as if it were the one scheduled for May, 2012. The net proceeds were thus used to buy 127 additional shares of Jim's current portfolio winner, PDS.

I have today also added more shares of VOD to our Selective Six Percent Portfolio.

Please note that I have given up on the Earn. Estimate Up 5%+ portfolio as too volatile for my rest-well-at-night stress test and so have sold off its assets with modest overall losses.

My current top-five low price to book value stocks are: AEL; AWH; KMPR; PLFE; and SYA.

My favorite from among them is Kemper Corp. (KMPR) (recent price $29.67). It meets Benjamin Graham's bargain stock safety and value criteria as well.

Kemper Corp. will be added to our nest egg at its market price in early trading tomorrow, 12/30/11.

Ordinarily, at the end of each quarter I do a summary of performance in our various real or hypothetical portfolios. At the end of the 4th quarter, I make it an annual summary. I intend (and hope) to do the same once again in just a few days, for the period through 12/31/11. However, due to exposure to chemicals after a fire at a relative's house, I am experiencing a bout of reactive airway disease. This has meant bothersome asthma-like symptoms, which in turn make the completion of ordinary activities more difficult than usual. So, in case that quarterly/annual report is somewhat later than is typical, please bear with me. It will be posted as soon as this can be managed.

To biggest hurdle is a mental one. To assure accuracy, the calculations for the quarterly or annual reports require good concentration. There are, to be processed in the mix, a number of sales and buys each quarter, diverse portfolios, different amounts and timeframes, final performance as of close of trading at the end of the three-month period, annualized figures, etc. Unfortunately, at the moment my awareness is challenged by the medications I need to be on.

Disclaimer and Disclosure Statement
Much as I'd love it to be otherwise, I receive no payment of any kind for disseminating investment information unless, by some fluke, millions of folks, on the strength of these entries, start buying shares of stock I own, a possibility only slightly less likely than our being destroyed by a large meteorite. Do not follow any suggestions made in Investor's Journal as if I were a professional.

Neither I nor Investor's Journal will be responsible for losses by anyone who obtained ideas from this site.

This diary is intended for personal interest and general information only. You are advised to do your own research (as well as to consult highly compensated professionals) before spending money on anything.

I know of no reason anyone should take my financial musings seriously. At best I am a dedicated amateur providing a bit of investment-related insight and entertainment, at worst an amusing diversion.

My wife, Fran, and I may at times own shares of some of the assets mentioned here. But neither of us receive any benefit from reference to them, unless you count the mutual misery when we get it wrong, or the opportunity to gloat when we get it right.

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