How Real Fools Invest: Anders Bylund

Have you hugged your favorite Fool writer today?

We really are a motley gang of Fools over here. Have a look at our personal holdings, and you'll find everything from deep-value freaks to hypergrowth addicts. Alyce Lomax keeps a laser-like focus on just three stocks, while Christopher Barker could start his own mutual fund with his 82 holdings. Our holdings are public knowledge thanks to the ever-watchful Foolish disclosure policy. Each portfolio has stories to tell -- and lessons to teach.

Exhibit A: Yours Truly
For example, my own portfolio contains 27 stocks, one ETF, and one mutual fund. There are five stocks from the Pink Sheets and Bulletin Boards. Seven come from the venerable NYSE, and a whopping 16 from the NASDAQ. You might be able to guess which way I'm swinging already.

If not, here's the clincher: My holdings span across eight different Foolish newsletters, so I'm drinking plenty of the Foolish Kool-Aid. More specifically, I love the stuff David Gardner is brewing up. Four of my five Stock Advisor picks (past and present) come from Dave's side of the scorecard. Then there are those seven Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations ...

So yeah, you got me. I'm a high-growth fiend. Here, have a sample of some of my highest and lowest points:

Company

1-year Return

5-year Return

CAPS Rating

 

Buffalo Wild Wings (Nasdaq: BWLD  )

69%

153%

***

 

Marvel Entertainment (NYSE: MVL  )

(4%)

19%

*****

 

Hansen Natural (Nasdaq: HANS  )

(3%)

1,991%

****

 

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD  )

(61%)

(84%)

**

 

Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG  )

(64%)

466%

****

 

Source: Yahoo! Finance, Motley Fool CAPS.

Welcome to my nightmare
You're looking straight at my inner sanctum right now, amigo. These stocks represent the true core of who I am as an investor. Some, like Buffalo Wild Wings, have truly served me well with great returns in good times and in bad. There's some magic in a casual restaurant chain with disciplined management.

That management team is what got me interested in B-Dub to begin with. At a time when everyone else seemed dead-set on borrowing as much as possible to build as many stores as they could, Buffalo stayed debt-free and restrained, growing in phases according to a well-defined strategy. That restraint is serving the company well in the recession, and it works fine in good times, too.

Don't let me be misunderstood
On the other hand, I still get hate mail for believing in AMD. Looking at recent "returns," it's easy to see where all the skeptics are coming from. But the stock is far too cheap today, in my view. AMD has flirted with low single-digit share prices before, back in 2002 and 2003. Then came the Athlon and four years in the double-digit share prices, with a quick sniff at the $40s. One great product is all it takes to do it again.

That moment is always just one well-timed strike away, or one misstep from the massive competitor across the street. Biding my time is easy for two reasons:

  • AMD has years of experience when it comes to making do with meager resources. It's been the underdog for more than 30 years, and I'm convinced it won't up and die on us.
  • Half in jest (but only half), I think that even if AMD should stumble badly, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) can't afford to let its only real competitor die. Given the ever-present antitrust issues, Intel won't be buying AMD -- but someone else might buy the company to protect the competitive balance. So in my eyes, the company is essentially bulletproof.

The real value of high growth
So there you have it. It's not that I mind buying stocks at deep discounts, but it's not my thing until you can show me future growth. In my world, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) gets to play the part of large-cap diversification for the next decade or so. My only mutual fund is built on growth stocks. If you cut me, I'll bleed broken rules and large percentages -- red and black. One or two huge gainers can wipe out a handful of total losses. I'm also young enough and patient enough to see my puppies through some hard times and back to the ultra-growth corner where they belong.

Buying $1,000 of each of my holdings and holding on for dear life would have kept you apace with the S&P 500 benchmark over the past year, and the last two. The way I've weighted my holdings, though, I'm beating the market by 10 percentage points this year after lagging the market by five points during the Panic of 2008. That's life as a growth addict -- you win some and you lose some. In the long run, I believe that I'll do more than all right -- and so can you.

Further Foolishness:

Buffalo Wild Wings is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. Google, Hansen Natural, and Intuitive Surgical are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Marvel Entertainment is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value stock. The Fool owns shares of Intel and Buffalo Wild Wings, along with covered calls of Intel. Whew! Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns every stock mentioned in this article, except Intel. This is for real, folks. You can check out Anders' holdings or a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


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  • Report this Comment On March 17, 2009, at 5:58 PM, EvilCamaroSS wrote:

    You hit the nail on the head with AMD, I'll be laughing my way to the bank when it goes back to double digits; thinking of all the nay- sayers i've encountered.

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