Three Sells as Clouds Gather

Without weeding and pruning, a garden’s just a tangle in the making. Without weeding and pruning, the most promising portfolio will turn into a costly mess soon enough.

This is true even for newsletter model portfolios. Readers rightly expect a steady flow of new ideas, but also continuing coverage of past recommendations. Without culling, the portfolio just keeps expanding while the attention span shrinks and coverage suffers.

This seems like an opportune time to prune a few Breakthrough Tech Profits stragglers. Early fall has historically not been kind to equities, and this market’s overdue for a correction. It’s not a time to own anything out of inertia; make sure every security in your portfolio is there for reasons that still make sense.

To be clear, I’m not calling for an end to the bull market or a September slump. I just think caution’s in order in the near term.

That being the case I’ve reviewed the entire portfolio for potential deletions and identified three sells. Consider what stocks you won’t really miss in your own investment accounts, without going overboard with the selling.

Viavi’s (VIAV) share price has doubled over the last two years as augmented reality applications requiring 3-D sensors moved closer to widespread rollout in smartphones. The stock got a big boost when it emerged that Apple will be using Viavi’s 3-D sensing optical filter in iPhone 8.

But the rally has stalled this year as it became clear that the iPhone orders won’t provide as big a revenue boost as the bulls were counting on, at least initially. This is still a very promising company for the long haul, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we’re able to get back in at $7 or $8 sometime in the not-too-distant future. Sell VIAV.

ABB (ABB) has also underperformed since June after a big rally over the prior 18 months. The robots qualifying ABB as a “tech” play make up a modest share of the business for this diversified industrial conglomerate. And on the last earnings conference call management called 2017 a “reset” year, those rarely work out for shareholders in the near term. And the stock’s not cheap enough for us to suffer through that headwind. Sell ABB.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is a formidable pharmaceutical concern, but hardly a likely source of “breakthrough tech profits.” It’s had a better August than Viavi or ABB, rallying roughly 8% over the last month. I’m taking advantage of the markup to cash out here. Sell BMY.

Stock Talk



Hi Jim, I’m wondering if you’ve ever taken a look at Shopify Inc (SHOP:TSX, CA)? I bought some shares in May and just sold them for an 11% gain, but my sister didn’t sell hers because she read an article somewhere that said it was going to be the next Amazon. Just wondering what you think about this company?

Add New Comments

You must be logged in to post to Stock Talk OR create an account