- Part Deux
by David Forrest (DavidF@fool.com)
***Note - This week's rankings will be up Monday morning before 9:30am.
Gray, ME (Feb. 26, 1999) -- First things first this week -- I need to right a wrong. After penning the column last week, several folks pointed out to me that other Fools have been doing similar work to the "Most Appearances" port. Most notably, Jonathan Jackel (JJackel) and Ron Boris (Rabelais) has been working on something called the Screen of Screens (SoS). While I think the Most Appearances port is different in its implementation and rules, I want to give these Fools credit for their work and avoid any appearance of impropriety. They've worked hard and deserve kudos. Check out their web page.
For those now curious, last week I talked about the Most Appearances mock portfolio that I've set up. On the first week of each month, and based on the Workshop screen rankings, we pick those stocks that appear the most times in the rankings. Quite literally, we comb through each of the screens (Keystone, IFG, etc.) and see how many times a given stock shows up. That stock that shows up the most often gets added to the mock portfolio.
I also likened the model to a pseudo-Dozens approach. Many folks didn't know what we meant by Dozens, and I promise that a full-bodied explanation will soon live on the Explanations screen. In the meantime, I direct you to the following articles about the Dozens approach.
09/17/98, The "Good" Dozens
07/30/98, Dozens Holding Up Well
The problem I was having was with the new purchases for this year. In my report last week, I laid out two criteria:
1. In order for there to be any buy at all in a given month, a stock would have to appear on at least half of the screens we follow in the Workshop. Last year there were 8 screens, this year there are 10. So, for this current year, a stock would have to appear on 5 of the 10 screens to even be considered.
2. I said that we wouldn't buy a stock that already existed in the portfolio. I'm going to have to modify that to say this: Within a calendar year, we won't buy the same stock twice. The rationale was that we don't want to have the mock portfolio too heavily weighted in any one stock. Sometimes, like last year, a stock has the most appearances for months on end.
The problem was that when we looked at January of this year, Dell Computer (Nasdaq: DELL) was once again in the top spot. [EMC (NYSE: EMC) took the honors at the end of December, but Dell pulled ahead in the first week of January.] On top of this, we had to replace the old stock from last January, which was... Dell.
So, I decided that we'd just add an extra $1000 worth of Dell stock and keep the old. After all, if Dell is indeed the best bet now, we should stick with it. Thanks to Rayvt and others on the Workshop folder who helped me decide what to do.
Given this, we should have added 13 shares of Dell at $77 13/16 on January 8th, with no sell of the previous year's Dell. In February, we did the following:
Added -- $1000 fake Fool bucks
Sold -- ICN Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: ICN) and Alaska Air (NYSE: ALK)
Bought -- 8 shares of EMC at $97 1/2 and 15 shares of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) AT $56 3/16
To date, the "Most Appearances" portfolio has risen 54.24%, versus a Standard & Poor's 500 Index up just 14.68%. The nice thing about the portfolio is that it's also diversified across multiple industries, including hi-tech, retail, drugs, and insurance. We'll continue to monitor the performance of this portfolio several times a month, so stay tuned!