Category Archives: Stock Analysis

Losing the Lottery and Updated March Goals

This morning after I awoke to my alarm, as my ritual, I checked my email as my blurry eyes adjusted to the new day, and there it was much earlier than expected. The official results to my lottery entry from The Chicago Marathon. My heart jumped as I opened the file, but alas, it was bad news, I did not make it in to the event. Now my only chance is through my good friend M. M works for a non-profit and when I told her that I was trying to get an entry to the Chicago Marathon through the Lottery, she said her non-profit has a few entries available. I am waiting to hear what that involves.

It seems kind of funny that I am just now listing Updated March Goals, because I never posted initial March Goals. I guess they were just in my head. So here we are almost ½ way through the month and I’m getting around to posting them, oops! Better late than never, right?

1. Run/Walk 60 miles (originally this was 90, but I know that’s just not doable, given I only ran about 20 last month)
2. Read the Bible every week (daily is still a goal, but doesn’t always happen, I have a set schedule, and as long as I keep to the weekly schedule, I should finish the Bible in 3 years, kind of a snail’s pace)
3. Lose weight! Get back in the 140s, how did I get so off track! (Running should really help, also trying the 5:2 diet)
4. Organize portfolio and figure when to sell a couple stocks that just haven’t been performing for me (they lowered their dividends, but I just didn’t pull the trigger and sell them, now I regret it. Regret to the tune of about 6K in loss, ouch, that’s a big oops!)
5. Research some new more stable dividend stocks (don’t get greedy, that is my downfall, steady, long term 3-4%, nothing too crazy)

B is traveling a lot this month, so I will have quite a bit of time to myself. I should be able to eat pretty light and have plenty of time to exercise. Right now he is gone until 3-22, so my mini goal is to lose 5# by the time he comes home.

Recent Buy – Heska Corp. (HSKA)

D When I first look at purchasing a stock, I make sure I at least understand what the company is doing, making or selling. I thank Buffett for that little tip.

This is a little company background from Scottrade.

Heska Corporation, incorporated in 1988, develops, manufactures, markets, sells and supports veterinary products. The Company is focused on the canine and feline companion animal health markets. It operates in two segments: Core Companion Animal Health and Other Vaccines, Pharmaceuticals and Products. The Core Companion Animal Health segment (CCA) includes diagnostic instruments and supplies, as well as single use diagnostic and other tests, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, primarily for canine and feline use. These products are sold directly to veterinarians by the Company, as well as through distribution relationships. The Other Vaccines, Pharmaceuticals and Products segment (OVP) includes private label vaccine and pharmaceutical production, primarily for cattle but also for other animals, including small mammals and fish. All OVP products are sold by third parties under third-party labels.
I’m a pet lover, and I know in a down economy people stay in more, focus more on family and pets. People love their pets.  My picture for this post is my dog, isn’t he the cutest! 
This company just started giving a modest dividend 3.35% and from an article on SeekingAlpha could make some significant gains this year. I am excited to watch and am pleased to have purchased 430 shares at $11.90. Of course I would have loved to have purchased in the single digits, but well, I was a little slow on the trigger.
I really want to analyze companies and not just chase dividends. I know that is not a good long-term strategy. But for the short-term, it’s just so enticing! What can I say, I’m young and impetuous! Easily excitable, prone to optimism. Currently my dividend portfolio is about half long-term holds (dividend rate of 5% or less) and about half short-term watching (probably too high but just so darn exciting). Hopefully by watching closely I won’t get burned. I know as I get closer to FI, I will be less risky. But honestly, if I wasn’t saving this money in this after tax investment account, I would probably be buying frivolous things like overpriced trips to Europe or a sports car to drive in the summer.
How you determine stock picks? What are your strategies? I’m always interested in hearing what my readers have to say, even if it’s critical, I appreciate the feedback.

TJMaxx and McDonalds, Thank you friends!

I sold two stocks this week, TJX-(100-after split originally purchased 50 shares) and MCD (30 shares). I had purchased them both in May of 2010. They both did wonderful for me, TJX stock just split, and gave me a gain of about 50%, and MCD was always going up until it danced around $100/share, then I decided I just didn’t need to be greedy and sold it for $99.75, and a total gain of around 40%.

I have to admit, I feel that I had a good run with these stocks, but I feel like I am losing two good friends. I no longer obsessively check their prices, when I purchase items from their stores, I no longer feel like I am contributing the well being of my portfolio. I just thought it was time to part ways.

A few years ago, I had a distasteful experience with a bank stock, oh sure she gave me a good increase on paper, but I didn’t know when to say good-bye and just take the gain and walk away. I have learned my lesson. Now I know what gain I’m happy with, usually around 30% is great for me, unless it has a huge dividend then I might keep hanging on. It’s a case by case scenario, but I’m not going to be greedy.

What are your indicators that it’s time to sell?