For many beginning investors, building out a portfolio on your own can be a daunting task. When I started investing, I needed someone to hold my hand. I found that guidance through my subscriptions to the Motley Fool's various paid services.
In an effort to help the world invest better, I'll be spending the next two months explaining exactly how I'm going to be building out the growth part of my personal portfolio. Read below to see exactly what I'm doing, and at the end I'll offer up access to a special free report on the one industry that has our growth investors very excited.
Setting down some ground rules
Before diving in too deep, it's important to define what I'm trying to do here. The line between "growth" stocks and "value" stocks is a gray one, at best. That said, every investor should be able to balance their portfolio to match their own level of comfort.
Growth stocks tend to be riskier and more volatile, and many investors like to balance out such holdings with more stable businesses. If you'd like to see one way to balance growth with value, take a look at the composition and performance of my retirement portfolio.
This will be the second year that I'll be running the "World's Greatest Growth Portfolio." Through almost 10 months so far, the portfolio has returned 24%, beating the S&P 500 by almost 10 percentage points!
Defining what we're looking for
I can't promise results like that every year, but I do have a process that I'm comfortable working with. First, the thesis that I'll be working with is succinct and purposeful: "Invest first and foremost in companies that demonstrate exceptional levels of innovation, with special emphasis given to those that I believe will be around decades from now."
Of course, deciding whether a company is innovative and whether it will be around decades from now is a very subjective exercise, but then again, so is investing. Because I recognized that "special emphasis" was needed for those with staying power, I created three levels for companies I would invest in.
- "Core" companies were those with exceptional levels of innovation that I was almost certain would be leading their fields 10 years from now. There were four Core companies, with each being allocated 11% of the portfolio's funds. To see 2012's Core companies, click here.
- "Tier One" companies were those that I thought were innovative, and that I thought would be around in a decade, but with less certainty that they'd be leading their respective industries by then. There were four Tier One companies, with each being allocated 7.5% of the portfolio's funds. To see 2012's Tier One companies, click here.
- "Tier Two" companies were those that were surely innovative, but had yet to prove they had the staying power to fulfill their potential over the coming years. There were five Tier Two companies, with each receiving 5% of the portfolio's funds. To see 2012's Tier Two companies, click here.
Some companies, like Stratasys (NASDAQ:SSYS) have performed remarkably well, returning over 100% this year, while others -- like Zipcar (UNKNOWN:ZIP.DL2), which has lost over 50% of its value in 2012 -- have floundered.
Though I seek to revisit each and every one of these companies over the course of the next two months, that doesn't mean that I have a one-year time horizon for these investments. Instead, I simply reevaluate which companies show the most promise to continue being the innovative leaders in their fields.
You already have access to the names of the companies that I've invested in for this year. They will all be considered for 2013, too. In addition, I've got the names of 14 other candidates to join The World's Greatest Retirement Portfolio. To give you a taste for three of these candidates, consider:
- Dangdang (NYSE:DANG) is aspiring to be the e-commerce king in China. So far, the company has doubled revenue in 2012.
- 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), along with Stratasys, is revolutionizing how the world may look at the process of manufacturing.
- Cummins (NYSE:CMI), an engine maker, might not seem like an innovative company, but if it can score success with its natural-gas engine, that could all change.
Stay tuned to get my evaluation of each and every company I'm considering. Also, feel free to suggest companies that I should be looking into. In late December, I'll reveal what the portfolio will look like.
Check out the other articles in this series here:
- Here's Why This Tech Titan Is Still a Core Growth Stock
- This Hot Medical Stock May Have More Risk Than I Think
- Why This Tech Company Won't Be Joining the World's Greatest Growth Portfolio
- This Company Remains a Conviction Holding
- Could This Be More Than Just a Fad?
- I'm Hitching My Growth Portfolio to This Stock
- Here's Why I'll Be Booting This Company From My Portfolio
- Why I'm Remaining Cautious With Apple
- I Still Want to Own This Natural Gas Company, Just Not as Much of It
- This Company Is Still Getting Started
- This Biofuel Company Continues to Impress, but Is It Investment-Worthy?
- Is 3D Systems the 3-D Printer for Your Growth Portfolio?
- Is Stratasys the 3-D Printer for Your Growth Portfolio?
- Is It Crazy to Invest in This Super-Expensive Stock?
- Is Starbucks Still a Growth Company?
- A Hot Yoga Company for 2013's Growth Portfolio
- The Best Stock for 2013
- Why MAKO Won't Be in My 2013 Portfolio
And in the meantime, also check out this special free report on one of the most innovative industries in the world right now: 3-D printing. "3 Stocks to Own for the New Industrial Revolution" details some of the biggest industry disrupters we've seen since the personal computer, and you can read more about them in our free analyst report. Click here to get your copy now.
Fool contributor Brian Stoffel owns shares of Zipcar and Stratasys. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cummins, 3D Systems, and Zipcar and has the following options: short NOV 2012 $35.00 calls on 3D Systems. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Cummins, 3D Systems, Stratasys, and Zipcar. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.