My investment portfolio: A no-nonsense look | Economy | -- Your State. Your News.

Jul 02nd
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My investment portfolio: A no-nonsense look

moneylogo040411_optBY WARREN BOROSON

While it’s modest, my own investment portfolio, I have to say, is pretty darned good. After all, I carefully chose what to invest in, after consulting Morningstar and Value Line. I make sure my portfolio is diversified, too. (I even own a little gold.) And I’m usually quick to toss disappointments overboard. No foolish sentiment there; no thinking, “If I sell this, I’ll feel like a jerk for having bought it in he first place.” I simply don’t tolerate losers. If investment A disappoints (it has dared to lose serious money), out it goes – I deduct the loss – and buy Investment B.

Generally I buy mutual funds. Let someone else decide what to buy and when, what to sell and when. But I do own a few stocks – Johnson & Johnson, along with a few very volatile oil stocks that have done very well, like Apache.

I was happy to read that Morningstar has named the manager of Fidelity New Markets Income, John Carlson, as its 2011 fixed-income manager of the year because I own its shares. The fund, which buys bonds in emerging markets, helps mightily in diversifying my portfolio. Its three-year annualized return: 20 percent a year. Morningstar gives it four stars.

Other holdings that have made me a Happy Camper: Vanguard Wellesley Income (five stars), Vanguard Dividend Growth (five stars), Mutual Global Discovery (five stars), PIMCO All Asset (four stars), Fidelity Floating Rate High Income (four stars).

I’m a little disappointed with Dodge & Cox Balanced: only two stars. (Vanguard Balanced Index gets four stars.) Third Avenue Real Estate also gets three stars, but that’s in line with other real-estate funds. T. Rowe Price Spectrum Income, a diversified bond fund, hasn’t shot out any lights, but it has performed decently. (Three stars.)

I also own the Usual Suspects – inflation-protected bonds, a Standard & Poor’s 500 index fund, a target-retirement fund, muni bonds and muni bond funds.

Yes, I have regrets. I sold Sequoia. I sold a Royce fund (I still wonder why). I sold (I cringe to admit it) Apple. And Intel. And Berkshire Hathaway. I keep a Baron fund just to qualify to attend the yearly entertainment gala. And I’d like to lighten up on my JNJ, except for potential taxes. But I no longer reinvest my JNJ distributions. The tax tail should not wag the investment dog, the saying goes, but sometimes it does.


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