It’s recommended that you visit your physician annually to get checked out and to make sure that things come back as expected. The same rules apply to your investments.  Since its inception, IFTF has reported back on in its financial health at least once a year, and gives its diagnosis for actions in the future. Let’s go to our yearly review. Below is a chart of IFTF’s portfolio:

PATIENT PORTFOLIO: INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE

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THE DIAGNOSIS

The Good

road-dollar-signUpon review of the IFTF portfolio, there is clearly a ton of good. Facebook, Tesla, Apple, Bank of America, MasterCard, and Starbucks all have delivered monster gains of 50% or better since their recommendations. Facebook, with its 257% return, has absolutely destroyed the returns of the S&P 500, and has reached levels quicker than even IFTF expected. Tesla’s momentum has picked up as the excitement behind the company’s future ventures — cars, solar, etc. — gain steam. Apple and Bank of America are right where we thought they would be, and will continue to steady the ship going forward. MasterCard and Starbucks present both stability as well as solid future growth.

Dividends can really help a stock and portfolio. You’ve read our article on dividends. Looking at the chart, you can see how they come into play. Since first recommending Apple, you’ve been able to add over $6 in dividends to your gains in the stock. Now, on other end of the spectrum, we recommended AT&T (T) at $38.30. Today the stock is sitting at $36.51, with a loss of $1.81. Because AT&T pays a massive dividend of 5%, you have made $2.91 since our recommendation, and a 5.2% loss (without a dividend) becomes a 2.9% gain. This is the power of dividends on full display.

When we told you in March to “Get Netflix and Chill”, we didn’t expect a 25% increase in such a short period of time. Even with this huge gain, we believe that we are still in the beginning stages of the Netflix story and the long term story for this company is still intact.

The Bad

525574657General Electric (GE), Disney (DIS), Ford (F): These 3 recommendations have been disappointments for a variety of reasons, but the dividends that each of these companies pays out have kept the losses contained. Disney is being plagued by loss of subscribers at ESPN but is buoyed by the success on the big screens and its theme parks. Ford’s dividend return has been spectacular, but its share price not as much. General Electric has been slowly restructuring its company but the stock market has not rewarded it as such. We still believe in these companies and continue to think the long term share price, in addition to the dividends, will make ownership in this trio worthwhile.

The Ugly

100-dollar-bill-731282Looking at the chart, there is no disputing or denying the “sick stock” in this portfolio. It’s Under Armour (UA). After soaring shortly after our first recommendation of the stock, several issues hit the stock. The closing of Sports Authority stores that carry the UA line, unrealistic expectations by Wall Street analyst, and the re-emergence of rivals in the sports arena. Despite this, IFTF says “stay the course.” Having been in this game for years, we’ve seen stocks have down periods only to emerge as winners long term. The overall story for Under Armour is still intact, and now that expectations have been reset, the company and stock can hopefully begin to recover.

THE PROGNOSIS

7f1585fef04cfc9eb2621373e18061ffOur conclusion is the following: the IFTF portfolio is pretty strong and has delivered outsized profits overall to the investor. If you have bought a share of every single stock that IFTF recommended in its inception, you would have spent $945.62. Today that number would be valued at $1458.51 — that is, you would be up 54%. To put it in simplest terms, for each dollar that you invested, you would have made 54 cents. IFTF turned 4 years old this month. We believe a 54% return in 4 years is a winner. We also believe the story isn’t done yet for these companies. Happy Anniversary, IFTF!!!