The Katana: Performance, Income Poll, Winners, Good Reads 1/10

The S&P showed five consecutive days of gains in the first week of 2010 to close up 2.68%.  Meanwhile, The Samurai Fund (TSF) outperformed by 200 basis points to close up 4.77%! For an actual fund of 17 positions, this is absolutely huge!  We are up almost $80,000,000 this week, and if we keep this up, the team is going to get paid like rock stars come year-end!

I’ve put up a permanent tab to track our names to facilitate accountability.  If you are one of the 17 contributors, please provide periodic updates in the page to keep this as realistic as possible.  There will be a review of the bottom performers end of the quarter, to potentially make room for 3 new entrants.  Nobody is safe in this meritocracy!

INCOME POLL: There’s a new poll on the south-right side bar, asking how much money you made in 2009.  The poll is totally anonymous, so feel free to contribute.  It’ll be interesting to see the income distribution of our community, to help me help you discuss more pertinent things.

FREEDOM FUND: To answer a common question, the Freedom Fund is simply a $1 million cash goal (invested in CD’s or other safer instruments) by year-end 2019.  As far as I’m concerned, the Freedom Fund is my “net worth” since the  birth of this site in 2009.  Current nut size, $96,000.

FAVORITE OVERLOOKED SAMURAI ARTICLE: “Everything Is Rational – The Answer To All Things Irrational” was written over the holidays that sums up the key to all things that don’t make sense.  We shouldn’t impose our will on others.  Let others be.  Also stop feeling sorry for others, they are probably happy just the way they are!

TWITTER: Added a Twitter update widget on the right, which highlights more links and provides further activity if you would like to follow.

COMMENTS: The javasript:void(0) error is fixed so you can click ‘reply,’ ‘quotes’, ‘trackbacks’ in the comments section again.  Also, never hesitate to provide links in the comments.  It helps us read new stuff, and why I installed the Comment Luv plug-in.  Heads up on typos and grammatical errors appreciated.

WHAT’S UPCOMING: Refocusing on some money saving issues.  Before you consider converting to a ROTH IRA, please read Monday’s article.  We’ll also feature another solid guest post, and a book review and giveaway.

BOOK WINNERS: ThriftyGal and MBA Briefs!  Runner up new reader George, MoneyReasons, @RCThinkWealth and a very distant last, Investor Junkie because giving this book to him is like giving Bill Gates a fresh copy of Windows 7. :)  Winners e-mail me your mailing addresses, so I can pass along to the publisher.


Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

Follow on Twitter @FinancialSamura and subscribe to our RSS feed.

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. says

    hmmm only 1.9% for TM, guess that’s to be expected from a less than glamorous business in the current climate. Especially considering recent turmoil you may have a dim outlook but consider TM has a history of overcoming challenges and doing what it takes to fix things through their business leading philosophy of Kaizen (continuous improvement). They also continue to grow as a global force with reports of a push in India hiring 2000 more workers and they have recently announced entry to South Korea. Plus, you can’t sneeze at a 32% increase in Dec sales year over year when the industry average was only 15.1%!
    .-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..If You Believe You Can Achieve! =-.

  2. says

    I’m hopeful man. At least it’s a postivie 1.9% instead of a negative 1.9%! Just wish they could get a better design for their Corollas and Camrys! So plain compared to the Civic and Accord!

    @Bytta @151 Days Off
    Stet, as the analyst on Steris, it’s up to you to tell us! :) Yes, your pick is dragging us down. What do you have to say for yourself?
    .-= admin´s last blog ..Let “Freement” Reign! Spending Paralysis, Material Lust And Obsession =-.

  3. says

    Can I just remove myself from the honorable Samurai Fund now and retire an “all-star” before the ship rights itself? Most rational people who experience an increase of 24% in one week would pull their money off the table and call it a day.

    As Frost said, “The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep…”

    I still expect LEN to be sleeping with the fishes by summer.


    Len Penzo dot Com
    .-= Len Penzo´s last blog ..Black Coffee: My Favorite Blogs, Money News & Opinions #28 =-.

  4. says

    @Len Penzo
    Love the optimism Len! It is tempting to take profits and sell your name isn’t it? You’re right, a 25% (not 24%, stop selling yourself short) is quite a run so soon, but we are a long term fund! Maybe we’re just in the nascent period of a massive housing recovery as people get P-A-I-D this year and for last year!

    Let me think about taking profits. It is a valid question since I don’t think the S&P500 will return greater than 15% this year, and since your stock is up 10% over that, hmmm. Hard though. People sell their winners way too soon, way too often.

    May too to hear from our other team members first.

  5. says

    OH NO! My pick lost $1.7 MILLION! Glad you enjoyed my Wife’s Craziness
    .-= Evan´s last blog ..Start 2010 Right! Free Money and Prizes =-.

  6. says

    Don’t worry Evan, you only lost $1.7 mil on Friday. You are still up 7.5 million for the year, and up 7.5% (look at right column)! Pls keep us updated on JNY periodically if you can. This is a learning experience.

  7. says

    Yeah! I can’t remember the last time I actually won something. That makes my day.

    Better be careful with the Samurai Fund, rich people may think we know what we’re doing and start throwing money at us to manage for them :-)

    ABM is up 2.76% but just going by the chart it looks like it might be dropping some this week. The MACD just crossed the signal line which historically is a sell signal. But since we’re long on this stock that shouldn’t matter ;-)

    ABM increased its dividend last month by 4% which is a good sign for us; the company has the cash on hand and is giving it back to the investors which is becoming increasingly rare in this economy. Most companies are slashing their dividends.
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..Business Wisdom from Aesop’s Fables: 3 ways to deal with difficult people =-.

  8. says

    I’d like to encourage everyone to “retweet” when visiting each others sites. If just half of us retweeted Sam’s articles on a regular basis he would probably see a pretty healthy spike in traffic.

    I can see 10-20 visitors pop up whenever one of my articles is retweeted.

    I’d compare it to ringing the bell when you’re walking out of Long John Silvers (I assume they still do that). It doesn’t take much effort and gives positive feedback.
    .-= David @ MBA briefs´s last blog ..Business Wisdom from Aesop’s Fables: 3 ways to deal with difficult people =-.

  9. says

    @David @ MBA briefs
    Nice, gotta love it that ABM is increasing their dividend payout ratio! Good for the dividend discount model!

    You know it’s funny, b/c if this fund does well, maybe we’ll raise another billion bucks after our 1 year track record. 1% fee on a $2.7 billion fund is $270 million!

    Regarding Re-tweeting, thanks for your thoughts. I will either always re-tweet or highlight in a Katana if my site is mentioned, as well as re-tweet stuff I really like. I do agree it’s so easy to re-tweet, and it is interesting to see why people don’t if they are highlighted.

    I think the answer is that 1) people treasure their tweets, 2) haven’t necessarily read the post, 3) or simply don’t fully agree/believe/like the post, which is perfectly fine!

  10. Jon says

    looking great- I see a career in the making!! :D.

    As far as LEN goes, I would take profits- maybe could wait till busts through a 52 week high and sell in the midst of the optimism.

    I saw their 4th quarter results early morning on the 7th(before the stock price surged), but I didn’t congratulate you because I wasn’t sure how the market would take those earnings. They were pretty sketchy- they gained $1.34 per share on a one-time tax gain from what I remember.
    .-= Jon´s last blog ..WE HAVE MOVED!!! =-.

  11. Jon says

    Oops- the move was a month ago- forgot to change my link. Thanks for the heads up.
    .-= Jon´s last blog ..Another Foray into Biotech: SciClone Pharma =-.

  12. says

    Sam, I think we’ll see a market turnaround this week after worse-than-expected NFP data. Did you see how AUD and Gold rallied up? Everybody here will be dragged down. We’ll see :)
    But seriously, my parents should have named me “Lenora or Lenka” instead of “Stefani” to turn my luck around in Samurai Fund.
    Good job, everybody else but me!
    .-= Bytta @151 Days Off´s last blog ..Day 6: Four Reasons I’m Not A Diva (And Neither Are You) =-.

  13. says

    Sam, firstly the “Comrade” moniker – most droll.

    I’m a believer in free markets and I fervently hope the closest you get to communist in your life is a blogger who believes that after billions has been re-directed in direct State support and trillions in indirect fiscal policy to clean up their mess (and allow them to repay the TARP, which frankly even I could have repaid with a big bank and 0% interest rates at my disposal) the least the banks can do is not pay themselves the equivalent of 10-100 times the average annual wage in a bonus. For even one year!

    As for the fund and trading, I think you’ll find it unmanageable having us all trading and taking profits. I’ve managed a fun paper portfolio before and if you’re not careful it can turn into a side job. Or maybe allow everyone one trade per year?

    What would be handy is some sort of shared fake trading account where we could all log in and share management of the portfolio (but maybe I’m showing my socialist side again, ha ha! ;) )
    .-= Monevator´s last blog ..Weekend reading: Happiness is a ton of great blog links =-.

  14. says

    @ Monevator – Shoot, you caught my “comrade” moniker! Lol. As I’ve argued on your site, everything is rational. The large majority of Americans condone bonuses, otherwise, why would they allow BOA, Citi, and Wells to raise 60bil from the public? We should tax the homebuyers in the UK and US who decided to buy more house than they could afford, and who decided not to honorably repay their debt obligations!

    Good thoughts on the fund. Most likely gonna let it ride, and maximize return on effort (ROE)!

    Pls provide the occassional update in The Samurai Fund tab about MWW if u don’t mind.

  15. says

    Congrats on the win! I think you demonstrated that you could really benefit from it. You’re lucky, b/c after I read it, I was like wow, this book is SPOT ON and motivational. So easy to read, and fun.

    Thanks for the catch on Gordie teaching English, and not Chinese! lol

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