Saturday, November 18, 2006

Schwab Weighs in on Our Porfolio, and it’s not Pretty

It’s report card time again for millions of students, and we thought it appropriate to review our grades again, that is, your Cheap Stocks editor's portfolio as graded by Charles Schwab. We ran a similar column 2/3/06, and our grades were miserable.

We were prompted to do the exercise again by a piece of mail we received from Schwab yesterday, a four page post-card size piece which states:

You’ve been working so hard you haven’t had time to plan for not working
Start today with your Get On Track portfolio Counsultation

The fact is, we'd be afraid to ever make that phone call. The analyst on the other line would no doubt be shocked by our portfolio. He/she would probably not even recognize 90% of the names. Which is just fine with us. We still see opportunity where few others do. Sometimes to our detriment.

This is not to denigrate Schwab, or their rating system. We've had a Charles Schwab account for years, and their service has been outstanding. Plus it's natural that their stock rating system would cater to the more common names, where there's actually data available, and liquidity (unlike some of the names in our portfolio)

Our Report Card

Avoca Inc (AVOA): NC
Bactolac Pharmaceuticals (BTCP): NC
Biloxi Marsh Lands Corp (BLMC): NC
JG Boswell (BWEL): NC
Gallery of History (HIST): NC
Jones Soda (JSDA): D
Lazare Kaplan Intl (LKI): NC
Maui Land and Pineapple (MLP): F
PICO Holdings (PICO): NC
Plum Creek Timber (PCL): NC
Southwest Water (SWWC): D
St. Joes (JOE): F
Tejon Ranch (TRC): D
Tootsie Roll (TR): C
Vermont Pure Holdings (VPS): NC

Names in italics: Research in previous postings
Names bolded: New to Portfolio since previous report card

In Summary, our grade point average is a solid D, with 9 incompletes (NC). Our grades continue to slip. Last time, we had a C- and 9 incompletes. What hurt was the fact that we closed positions in some well-known, widely held large cap names.

Positions Closed Since Last Report Card:
Abbot Labs (ABT)
BHP Billiton (BHP)
McDonald's (MCD)
Merck (MRK)
Northern Orion Resources (NTO)
Temper Pedic Intl (TPX)
Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI)(formerly Discovery Partners)

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