Although the Beginners Portfolio is based on a long-term strategy, its important to keep an eye on short-term happenings. That includes looking back on the recent past and thinking about the near future, and trying to be as honest about our winners as our losers. Ill take a look at three shares that have performed badly over the past year in a later update, but today Im going to indulge myself with a look at three recent winners:
If youre after that elusive stock that always goes up, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL.US) must be about the closest there is today. Even though the share price has soared by more then 20,000% since 1980, it still managed a 41% rise in the past 12 months and the portfolio is up 87% since purchase.
As well as Apples ability to just get things right, a big attraction is its huge cash pile and even though the company has finally started paying dividends, at a share price of $127 were still looking at a trailing P/E of only 16.
In the next 12 months attention will be focused on the second generation of the Apple Watch, and despite much criticism of its limited abilities, the first generation has already sold millions. Will Apple pull ahead in the wearables market? I wouldnt bet against it.
Buying Barclays (LSE: BARC)(NYSE: BCS.US) was always a risk with the timing. Although I was convinced it was undervalued with a long-term view, we still had investigations into misbehaviour going on and hefty fines coming. And sure enough, since I plumped for Barclays in February 2014 weve only gained 4% (accounting for all costs) as the price fell further after my buy date.
But in the decades Ive been investing in shares Ive never been any good at timing the market, and Im not going to change that now.
Over the past 12 months Barclays shares have actually gained 17% to todays 275p, and are still on a forecast P/E for 2016 of under 10 with predicted dividend yields heading for 4%. I didnt pick the bottom, but Im happy it was a good long-term buy.
When I added Persimmon (LSE: PSN) to the portfolio back in July 2012, I was firmly convinced that housebuilders were crazily undervalued but I confess I wasnt expecting to see the share price triple in less than three years. Even over the past 12 months theres been a 68% gain, to 2,003p, so is there any value left now?
I think there is. The earnings-per-share growth of the past few years is set to slow, but were still seeing 18% and 14% forecast for this year and next, and that drops the P/E to 12 by December 2016. Thats lower than the FTSE 100 average, but on top of that we have dividend yields in excess of 5% predicted.
Although Persimmon is not the screaming bargain it was after the price has soared, it still looks very good value today.
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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Apple. We Fools don’t all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.