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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

minus 35 percent

Well, last year I had a positive 74 percent return. After the best year ever, I suppose it's not surprising to have my worst year ever: a negative 35%. The net result is a positive 13% return for the last two years combined, which lags the market. According to wikipedia, the S&P 500 return for 2006 was 15.8% and 2007 was 3.53% for a total gain of about 20% for the two years [(1.158 * 1.0353) - 1].

For my own results, the story for both years is actually fairly simple. The 74% gain in 2006 was mostly due to CXTI and Strathmore Minerals. I dumped CXTI at the start of 2007, but then bought back in only to sell it not much later at a serious loss and the management has essentially walked away: the company has apparently ceased to exist. Holding stock in a company which ends up doing that is a mistake regardless of whether you make money or lose money. Overall, I made money on CXTI, but I consider it dumb luck. Meanwhile, CFRI has dropped by over 50%. Strathmore Minerals fell 11%. And the investment in NICK has dropped by 20%.

CEDA: significant realized gain for the year. However, I sold part of the stock for almost a 50% loss early in 2007. Big mistake. Overall, I had a 35% gain. It would've been way better if I hadn't bailed early in 2007 and if I had waited before selling the last of it. This really should have been a 3-bagger. The year was so bad that this is actually in the "good news" section. Sigh.

CVU: small realized gain for the year but overall I'm at a small loss (I dumped some in a prior year at a loss). The average selling price was about the same as the current price. Like CEDA, this one really isn't such "good news".

SDTH: small realized gain and since re-investing late 2007, the stock is up around 97%. The downside (and it seems like everything in 2007 had a downside) is that this is a fairly small investment. I don't even list it on the sidebar.

BKBO: small realized gain for the year. The stock has dropped about 30% since then. I don't get a warm-fuzzy feeling from having invested in this one.

CXTI: nearly half the massive CXTI gains I had in 2006 were wiped out by re-investing in it. This stock was a total mistake in hindsight, despite making money overall on it.

CFRI: I'm currently down 52% on this one. I started buying at 54 to 66 cents. Bought more at 43, 35, 34, and 20 cents. It now sits at 22 cents. I expect significant dilution if they get any serious orders, but it would still be a major net win.

NICK: Down 20%.

EPLN: very small realized loss for the year.

Strathmore / Fission Energy: This has dropped 10% since the end of 2006. It's my biggest investment and I do have an unrealized 44% gain on the stock. But the stock has dropped 50% since mid-2007.

The chart below shows the damage.


The story for 2007 is that the tangible measures of my investment performance were downright terrible, and even if you take into account the huge gain I had in 2006, that merely raises it to mediocre at best.

That being said, when I look at Strathmore, Fission Energy, CFRI, NICK, CVU, and SDTH, I'm actually quite happy with how the business results are playing out: pretty much everything across the board is being set up for success. It appears this way even though I'm probably looking through pessimistic colored glasses (whatever the opposite of rose is).

Note that until the actual results show good performance, you can safely ignore that second paragraph.

Bruce - don't be too down on yourself. Microcaps had a tough year in '07, with exceptions being in China and Solars. Your style won't pick up on sectors like solars due to valuations being so forward looking instead of current. But your style is certainly one to be emulated. Keep up the good work even if the 2-year return isn't up to your standards.
I've lost a little money in NICK too.

Have you ever taken a look at WRLD? They're in a similar but slightly better business.

If your up to it let me know what you think.
Anon, thanks for the ganbette [cheer up, go for it, good luck]. I don't need to be down on myself; the numbers do that all by themselves. :-)

mjohn707, I might have looked at them briefly at some point. Seeing the price, I might look at them this weekend. I looked at a few companies in the industry a while back.

I'm not the least bit worried about NICK and figured it might drop even more when I bought it.
do you think that sdth will jump again ? Its at about 10 and it was at 15.50.
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