The news cycle appears to be churning ever faster. Whether as a reaction to events, an attempt to manage the narrative or obscure the message is a debate that will occur for some time with the real answer becoming apparent in the hindsight of history. Not to minimize the Charlottesville tragedy or the headline grabbing Bannon ouster, but these stories are playing out in several flavors depending on the source. As one who attempts to discern the impact of issues on my investments, two (possible) financial headlines crossed my desk amid the other events that intrigued me.
Every now and again events are thrown our direction which necessitate a change. Being one who abhors change, I tend to procrastinate until the absolute last minute. I knew the drive in my laptop was on its’ last legs a year ago when I bought a new one. Last week it bit the dust. I did perform regular backups so data loss was minimal. What loss exists is not due to Wanna Cry but their evil twin, Micosoft (MSFT). Though I have an Office license, my use (legally) of an upgraded version resulted in the inability to perform a backward migration. It appears my best recourse is to purchase an upgrade. My frugal nature has an issue with this solution (being held hostage?). Meanwhile, seeing if Google fills the void. I did add a sheet to my Dividends spreadsheet (Div Dates) which – assuming I get the hang of conditional formatting – has the potential of automating my watch list.
One year ago I embarked on a mission to determine whether Primerica stock (PRI) was a better investment then the sum of its’ parts – well at least most of the parts. SEC filings were scoured to identify their investments as insurance companies are required to maintain reserves (the float). A portfolio was established (3Q 2015) , funded (4Q 2015) and tracked (Oct 2015 to Sep 2016) to be able to declare a winner.
And the winner is … Primerica by 16.15%. Now I realize that a single snapshot in time may not be reflective of reality, but to my surprise Primerica outperformed the basket through this snapshot in time.
Falling in the dead of winter between the end of football season and baseball’s opening day, the most anticipated spectator sport is upon us. Berkshire’s annual letter. There will likely be hundreds of articles parsing Warren’s every word between now and the annual meeting and mine is not the first. But – as always – there are nuggets of wisdom to be gleaned from his experience.
Yes, I know you want me to get to the end of year results and 2016 goals already. Those will be my next two posts. Promise.
Meanwhile, it’s time for a review of the first quarter of my Primerica analysis. Here’s my initial write up. On Christmas Eve, I used my remaining free cash to purchase this group of companies. I did make a few changes to the original selection: