This blog is almost a year old. A year ago I was starting to focus my attention on the stock exchange and managing a bit more actively my savings. Some ideas had reached my conciousness up to the point that I wrote them down in the blog, such as real estate stocks like Gazit Globe were becoming world wonders and possibly great investments for 2006, and that Makhteshim was a dog, important analysts were advising to sell it while insiders were selling it. But I did not transform knowledge into action, so I was stuck all year with Makhteshim, losing money. Another signal that I should have obeyed was about Teva, having its main competitor sold out to Perrigo saying that the generic business was finished. I am also losing on Teva.
On the other hand, I selected 5 - 6 small cap stocks and sold mutual funds. My stocks all went up over 25% except one: Bank Igud, which is down 25%. My mistake on Igud was to calculate that it would be sold, but its owner, Binno Zadik, is holding it out.
Tower Semi was a highly speculative investment, which is not the success I expected, but made some 15% in the year. It is now falling and I am thinking of finishing it off.
My best investment was, doubtlessly, Israel Chemicals, a potash company. It suffered all the year because of Mr Doyle's strategy of holding up sales and building up stores, to improve prices, which succeeded spectacularly. Since I suffered the prolonged period while there were little sales and the stock price was down, I got to know Doyle and watch his speeches and announcement, and I had the privilege of learning how a real business leader operates.
I also made five or six small speculative operations, sivuvim, with warrants and illiquid stocks, and in all I made money.
All in all, my portfolio went up 35% which about a quarter was fresh savings and the rest stock exchange profits. Taking into 20% tax on profits and a 10% appreciation of the Israeli shekel, my estimate is that the portfolio made 25% this first year.
On other fronts, I failed to finish my book and to sell it. The reason is that I am so busy with my activities as consulting and designing water engineer. I have learned the ropes (including autocad and regulations) and have made about ten successful small projects. I worked very hard, but sold my work very cheap, about half of the market price, and only now I am starting to learn the business and getting better projects and better prices. Till now I did not register myself with large suppliers of good work, like the Army and the Ministry of Housing, but I had no time.
I keep teaching in the university and got another course. Teaching is a prestige building activity, brings no money in. I love it, it is very good for my ego during hard times.
My Mother went through two operations and almost died. She was interned in geriatric hospital almost 4 months. I am healthy and content, but feeling heavy. I am not making a new year plegde of losing weight, because I always failed. But that is another area where I need to take action.
Next year's program is more of the same, only much improved. Hoy mejor que ayer.