Following a year that saw market gains through three quarters and then a drop across the market over the last 3 months, we begin 2019 with a fresh start. We will practice stock trading with a new portfolio for 2019.
For stock simulator apps, we are using the Virtual Stock Market Game App for the hand-picked stocks and Best Brokers Stock Market Game App for the mutual fund. Turns out the Best Brokers App only tracks in Euros … but this app does give you the opportunity to also buy Bitcoin and many other types of investments. We will track the mutual funds starting with 25,000 Euros … and the comparison should be close enough.
For our practice stock investments, we are looking at stocks that have the potential to either recoup losses over the last quarter of 2018 or have shown the ability to stay strong in a weaker market, with one flier stock. Since the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2018, concerns about rising interest rates and the US-China trade war took a toll on the broader market. In December the US market sell-off intensified with the major US indexes erasing all of their gains through the first three quarters of 2018.
We have the following in our 2019 portfolio:
Apple (AAPL): We purchased 40 of shares at $157.74 price per share, an investment of $X. With Warren Buffet continuing to invest in Apple, who doesn’t want to go along for the ride? In 2018, Apple started at $167 and had dropped to $152 by February 8. But a strong year backed by the continued success of iPhones let Apple stock to increase throughout the year to about $232 on October 3. But as the overall markets went down during the last quarter of 2018, so did Apple’s stock, dropping to $150 per share on December 21, a 35% decrease in about two and a half months, wiping out all of its gains between February and October.
Exxon (XOM): We purchased 100 shares at $68.19 price per share, an investment of $6,819. Energy stocks are forecast not to perform well during the first half of 2019, but with dividend earnings and a more positive long-term outlook, Exxon should hold strong the latter half of 2019. Exxon started 2018 at $81, rose to $85 by February 1, but then saw a 14% decline in one week to $73 on February 8. During the year, Exxon’s stock recovered, back up to $85 by October 9, only to see it decline with the rest of the overall market to $69 on December 23, a 19% decline over the last quarter.
Bank of America (BAC): We purchased 200 shares at $24.64 price per share, an investment of $4,928. Bank stocks are a wildcard in 2019, especially Bank of America. In 2018, BAC started at $29 per share and was up and down throughout the year until the beginning of December. On December 3, Bank of America closed at $28.38. By December 21, the stock had fallen to $23.37, an 18% drop in less than 3 weeks.
United Health Care (UNH): We purchased 15 shares at $249.12 price per share, an investment of $3,736.80. Health Care stocks should stay strong through what is forecast to be a down then up year. United Health Care started 2018 at $218 per share, steadily rising to $286 per share on December 3, a 31% gain. The UNH stock was up through October and November while the overall markets were starting to decline. However, sellers took over in December and UNH fell to $238 by December 21.
Tesla (TSLA): We purchased 9 shares at $332.80 price per share, an investment of $2,995.20. We chose a smaller percentage for Tesla as the company could hit it big in 2019 or suffer a drastic decline – especially if Tesla does not see quarterly profits. In 2018, Tesla started at around $312 per share, fell to $260 at the end of March, and then was up and down over the next 6 months. However, from October 22 to October 29, the Tesla stock increased from $260 to $334, a 28% increase in just one week!
So as of January 1, 2019, our stock portfolio has a net worth of $24,975.00, with $24,788.60 invested in stocks, $186.40 in cash, and we spent $25 in commissions at $5 per trade.
For our comparison simulation, we will invest in a mutual fund. We have selected Vanguard S&P 500 U.ETF DL. We purchased 600 shares at 41.51 Euro (€) price per share, an investment of €24,943.20. This Vanguard 500 Index Fund started 2018 at €42.46 per share, and was at €46.48 on December 3rd before the final month’s selloff began, dropping to €41.12 on December 21, a 12% decline in under 3 weeks.
So as of January 1, 2019, our mutual fund portfolio has a net worth of €24,943.20.
We will give monthly updates to our practice stock trading portfolio throughout the year, so please check in and see how we are doing. If you are also practicing your stock trading, we would love to hear about your experience.