February 2014 Picks

It’s another big month for Plan 5, with lots to recap and two new sets of picks. Let’s begin by looking back at how Plan 5 Monthly has performed since last time:

Plan 5 Monthly: January 2014 Results

Jan 2 Open Jan 31 Close % Change
3D Systems (DDD) 93.31 78.07 -16.33%
Illumina (ILMN) 110.48 151.47 +37.10%
Netflix (NFLX) 366.81 409.25 +11.57%
Sierra Wireless (SWIR) 24.82 20.37 -17.93%
Tesla Motors (TSLA) 149.80 181.99 +21.49%
Plan 5 Monthly: January 2014 +7.18%
S&P 500 1845.86 1782.59 -3.43%

A lot of movement with this set of picks — they all either gained or lost percentages in the double digits. 3D Systems and Sierra Wireless lost quite a bit, but this was more than balanced out by the strong performance of the other three picks, most notably Illumina’s 37% gain. Overall a very active set of picks, shaking out to a total 7.18% gain.

Two substitutions in this month’s set of picks, with Cognex and Caesarstone taking the place of Netflix and Sierra Wireless. Here’s the latest set of Plan 5 Monthly picks:

Plan 5 Monthly: February 2014 Picks

Company Symbol
3D Systems DDD
Caesarstone CSTE
Cognex CGNX
Illumina ILMN
Tesla Motors TSLA

If you’re following along with Plan 5 Monthly, it’s time to rebalance your portfolio. If you’re new to Plan 5 or would like a quick refresher on how to do this, you can take a look at this new page I put together that will step you through the process.

If you’re following Plan 5 Quarterly, it will also be time to rebalance your portfolio this month. But first let’s take a look at how Plan 5 Quarterly has performed with its last set of picks over the past three months.

Plan 5 Quarterly: November 2013 – January 2014 Results

Nov 1 Open Jan 31 Close % Change
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) 143.28 142.10 -0.82%
Caesarstone (CSTE) 42.31 45.39 +7.28%
Dreamworks Animation (DWA) 34.15 33.78 -1.08%
Illumina (ILMN) 93.48 151.47 +62.03%
Tesla Motors (TSLA) 163.00 181.99 +11.65%
Plan 5 Quarterly: Nov 2013 – Jan 2014 +15.81%
S&P 500 1758.70 1782.59 +1.36%

Excellent results over this past quarter, with a return of 15.81% versus the S&P 500’s 1.36%!

Now here’s the new set of Plan 5 Quarterly picks:

Plan 5 Quarterly: February 2014 Picks

Company Symbol
Cognex CGNX
Illumina ILMN
Netflix NFLX
Sierra Wireless SWIR
Tesla Motors TSLA

This quarter’s picks see three substitutions, with Buffalo Wild Wings, Caesarstone and Dreamworks Animation being replaced by newcomers Cognex, Netflix and Sierra Wireless.

Again, it’s time for you followers of Plan 5 Quarterly to rebalance your portfolios, and a step-by-step guide for doing this can be found here.

Finally, let’s step back and take a look at Plan 5’s overall progress so far, with a little help from this nifty chart:

As you can see, Plan 5 has had a very successful first six months. Plan 5 Monthly has risen a total of 33.88% since it began back on August 1st, only to be outdone by Plan 5 Quarterly’s 36.93% hike. Both versions of Plan 5 unequivocally trounced the S&P 500, which gained only 4.44% over the same period. What a start!

It’s valuable to be able to look back and see how we’re doing, so I’m planning to publish an updated version of this chart with each month’s picks. Positive results like these can incite feelings of elation and the motivation to charge ahead. But it’s also important not to get swept up in the emotions of the moment — not every month’s results will look as good as these, but it pays to stick with the plan over the long haul rather than changing course at the first sign of a downturn. Looking at this chart, we see that at the end of November we’d just gone through two months of losses in a row, for both Plan 5 Monthly and Plan 5 Quarterly. That’s down more than six percent in the same two months that the S&P was rising steadily… a certain recipe for doubts and second thoughts. But then we see how it paid off to refuse to be driven by those doubts, and to stick with Plan 5 through to today.

That’s all for this month. I’ll be back at the end of February with the latest picks. Until then…


Mike Ferrier