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The Random Portfolio: April 2009

April 20th, 2009 · Greg Atkinson · 7 Comments

Back in January the Shareswatch Random Portfolio was in bad shape, but in just a few months it has bounced back and is now showing signs of life. If global stock markets continue to crawl up off the turf we may even see the portfolio post gains before the end of this financial year and if so, this may be a good indication that the Australian stock market is recovering.

A number of stocks in the portfolio have made pretty significant gains recently and this shows that there is money to be made if investors are brave enough to venture back into stocks. For example Macmahon Holdings (MAH) was trading at around 32c at the end of January and has since rallied to 60.5c or a gain of 86%.  Another example is Riversdale Mining which was trading around $2.19 at the end of January and last traded at $4.22.

So there might be a lot of gloom and doom out there but it is pretty clear that there are opportunities around for savvy traders and investors. Remember these are ASX 200 stocks, not small caps or stocks that rally on the smell of an oily rag.

The turnaround in stock prices over the recent weeks has helped move the Random Portfolio close to the break-even point, not something to write home about as they say but it is still early days. Maybe at the end of the year I will wish I had put real money into this portfolio!

Anyway let’s have a look at how the portfolio is doing.

Shareswatch Random Portfolio Status (as of 20th Apr 2009)

Portfolio Value $93,008.53  (initial investment $100k)


Although the overall portfolio is in the red there is still some money that could be taken off the top if shares in Riversdale Mining (RIV) were sold. It isn’t a fortune but a return of around 24% in approximately 6 months is not too bad in a bear market. But as I stated when I set up this fictional portfolio, nothing will be sold let’s see how Riversdale holds up in the next few months.

Comments and Notes

  • Current unrealised loss: -$6,968.34. In January the unrealised loss was just over -$23k.
  • Woolworths (WOW) continues to trade in a pretty narrow range considering the ups and downs of the ASX 200.
  • Engineering and mining related stocks (e.g. MAH, MND, OST and RIV) have all come back quite well since the end of January except for Onesteel.
  • Platinum Asset Management (PTM) and Challenger Financial Service Group (CGF) have recovered a lot of lost ground and reflect the wider rally across financial stocks.
  • The ASX 200 has risen around 6.6% since the end of January compared to the Random Portfolio which has risen just over 20%.

So we might be in a sucker rally as they say, but some traders have probably done well for themselves and as the Random Portfolio shows, it is possible to make a dollar or two even in a bear market.

Please note this Portfolio is NOT meant as an endorsement or recommendation of any of the stocks contained within it.

The Shareswatch Random Portfolio is a selection of stocks from the ASX 200 range of companies selected randomly. For further details regarding how it was constructed please see: The Random Portfolio

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Senator13 // Apr 25, 2009 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for the update. It is performing surprisingly well.

  • 2 Greg Atkinson // Apr 25, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Senator the portfolio has certainly bounced back and it is pretty clear to see that people have been buying into quality mining stocks. (probably small caps as well but I do not watch them closely) It will be interesting to see how this portfolio shapes up for the end of the financial year.

  • 3 Greg Atkinson // May 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Just a quick note to say the Random Portfolio closed in the black today!. It is up now $960 or 0.96%. Not a huge amount but a quite turn around from just a few months ago.

  • 4 Senator13 // May 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Wow, that is pretty crazy.

  • 5 Pete // May 7, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Wow PTM is back up even more than on your chart to 4.49. What a rocket.

    I once owned those shares in 2007. Glad I got rid of them when I did though, they were up at $9 then. They give you a nice book of investment phrases or sayings or musings when you buy their shares. I generally like their attitude towards things.

    Held CGF too. Yuck. Sold them in 07 too.

  • 6 Greg Atkinson // May 8, 2009 at 8:42 am

    Yes PTM have had quite a ride. I am still a bit wary of the sector though. I am a little surprised that WOW has remained so flat, I wonder if this is because times might be tougher for them if Wesfarmers can turn Coles around?

  • 7 Pete // May 8, 2009 at 9:27 am

    I personally wouldn’t touch the financial sector with a barge pole at the moment.

    I used to keep a good eye on WOW, but not so much now. It generally seems to fluctuate between about $26 and $29, even in the tough times. Perhaps their shareholders have some resolve, or perhaps something else.

    I still think WOW can drop signifcantly. It ‘had’ a good advantage over Coles, but I feel Coles is doing a bit better now than it was. I actually shop at Coles (preferred quality of products) instead of Woolies now – even though I’m an ex-Woolies employee (longtime ago).

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