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My Personal Portfolio: These Are the Stocks I Own

If you're an investment manager and you tout the stocks you own, it's called talking your book. I try not to do too much of it in this column. But once a year I write about the stocks I own personally and for most of my clients.

Here we go with the 2024 version. To begin with, I'm naked in two of the 11 industry sectors recognized by Standard & Poor's -- real estate and utilities. I believe that the problems in commercial real estate will take at least another year to work out, and I can't find any utilities I like.

Here are my holdings in the remaining nine sectors.

Communications

I have only one holding here: Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)(NASDAQ:GOOGL). It falls into this sector because it owns Google and You Tube. In addition it owns Waymo, a leader in self-driving cars, and Deep Mind, a firm specializing in artificial intelligence.

Consumer Discretionary

I own Meritage Homes Corp. (NYSE:MTH). I believe that the demand for single-family houses is at least a million units higher than the supply, which will become clear if and when mortgage rates come down a peg.

Consumer Staples

Two holdings here: Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ:CALM) and Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST). The former is the largest U.S. egg producer. The latter was the pioneer in big-box retailing with a membership structure.

Cal-Maine is debt free and pays a rich dividend in good years. Costco has grown profits at better than a 12% annual clip over the past decade.

Energy

Energy was the star sector in 2022. It also roared in the early 2000s, and I did so well in the sector then that I'm probably more emotionally attached to it than I should be. I own Diamondback Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:FANG) and TotalEnergies SE (NYSE:TTE). Total is based in France and is active in solar and wind as well as oil.

Financials

On the large end, I own shares in Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.B), Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio)'s redoubt. I agree with the consensus opinion that Buffett is a genius. In addition, I think he's assembled a good succession team.

On the small end, I hold International Money Express Inc. (NASDAQ:IMXI), which helps Latin Americans working in the U.S. to send money to their relatives back home.

Industrials

Over the years, I've often been partial to industrial stocks, and right now I have seven in my model portfolio. General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE:GD), a leading defense contractor, appeals to me because of the palpable threats from China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Sterling infrastructure Inc. (NASDAQ:STRL) has been my biggest success in recent years. It has quintupled. I don't expect such dramatic gains from here on, but I do think some further advance is likely, since the U.S. needs better bridges and tunnels.

Matson Inc. (NYSE:MATX), an ocean shipper based in Hawaii, is up 61% in the 12 months through June 14. Again, I expect future gains to be more moderate.

Snap On Inc. (NYSE:SNA) provides tools to car repair shops. I bought it a little over two years ago. I still like it, but am considering a possible sale, since electric cars require less maintenance than traditional gasoline-fueled cars.

I've made small allocations to a trio of agricultural stocks. Agco Corp. (NYSE:AGCO) make tractors and sells all sorts of farming supplies. FMC Corp. (NYSE:FMC) produces fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. Lindsay Corp. (NYSE:LNN) does irrigation systems.

Materials

Primarily because of high international tensions, I own a little gold in the form of SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD), an exchange-traded fund that represents ownership of the physical metal.

Technology

The tech sector has led the market for most of the past five years. Here my clients and I carry six stocks: Apple Inc. (AAPL), Arista Networks Inc. (ANET), Jabil Inc. (JBL), KLA Corp. (KLAC), Lam Research (LRCX) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSM).

As a value investor, it's always been hard for me to find cheap stocks among the tech names. But I am willing to pay a little extra for good companies in this sector.

Correction

In my 2023-24 stock picking contest, Dorfman's Three-Stock Derby, I overlooked one entry. Richard La Chapelle, a retired English teacher from Escanaba, Michigan, should have placed second with an 81.60% return.

He picked Nvidia Corp. (NVDA), up 144%, Palantir Technologies Inc. (PLTR), up 75%, and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), up 26%. Currently he says he is lighter than usual in stocks, partly because the market often struggles during Presidential election years.

Disclosure: Katharine Davidge, my wife and a portfolio manager at my firm, owns Nvidia and Microsoft personally and for her clients.

John Dorfman is chairman of Dorfman Value Investments LLC in Boston, and a syndicated columnist. His firm or clients may own or trade securities discussed in this column. He can be reached at jdorfman@dorfmanvalue.com.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.