Investment Portfolio Project

Monday, April 13, 2009


Portfolio Objective

My investment portfolio strategy is designed for someone who can afford some risk. A young person (e.g. myself), is an ideal investor. My portfolio includes investments that can obtain high market returns under the correct market conditions. Generally, my portfolio objective is to conquer the major indexes in both the short and intermediate term. I currently expect the major indexes to continue their fluctuation over the next few months, so I hope to make a profit of at least 1% over that time.


Portfolio Allocation

My portfolio’s asset allocation consists of 50% stocks, 20% mutual funds, 20% index funds, and 10% bond funds. The stock portion of my portfolio consists of five stocks. This portion is not highly diversified; it contains three technology-based stocks, as well as oil ETF and one gold mining industry. This portfolio’s mutual funds consist of Fairholme and the American Funds Growth Funds of America, representing approximately 10% each of the entire portfolio. While the American Fund is a large growth mutual fund, Fairholme is a large blend mutual fund. Representing another 10% of my portfolio is an intermediate term bond fund called Pimco Total Return Fund. Finally, my portfolio possesses two index funds (iShares Russell 2000 Index and the iShares S&P 100 Index). These make up about 10% each of my total portfolio. My $1 million will be distributed in harmony with these percentages.


Asset Justification

Below, I offer reasons for the purchase of each security in the investment portfolio. These securities are not highly diversified, as I felt obligated to invest safely due to the current economic conditions.

Google (GOOG) – Google possesses the best search engine technology, as well as the reputation of being the largest search engine on the internet. The stock has rebounded a small amount after the state of the economy plummeted over the past year. However, this decline is also in part due to a slowing internet advertising industry and a history of underperformed averages from February through September.

Verizon (VZ) – I decided to buy Verizon simply because it seems that everyone I know has a Verizon cell phone and their service. While looking at this stocks financials, I concluded that Verizon may be undervalued. I have decided to write Warren Buffet and let him know I think so.

Apple (AAPL) – Recently, Apple has posted record numbers for the first quarter of 2009. However, they may have some legal battles surfacing, which could reduce the value of the stock. However, I am a firm believer in the products Apple offers, so I have decided to invest in the company.

Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) – Newmont Mining Corp. mines gold in and out of the United States. Their stock has been steadily rising over the past few months. They have recently announced a $1 billion deal to purchase AngloGold Ashenti’s 33% stake in a Boddington Mine joint venture in Western Australia. Hopefully this announcement will be the basis for a performance boost.

United States Oil (USO) – They are oil ETF. They invest in crude oil, heating oil, gasoline, natural gas, and other petroleum based-fuels.  This stock has been falling recently, so I hope to buy it at its lowest point. Gas prices have been steadily increasing.

Fairholme Mutual Fund (FAIRX) – Over the past few years, Fairholme has done very well. Based on this, I have decided it would be a good portfolio choice. AGTHX has proven to be one of the more consistent, better-than-average, reputation-building conservative issues.

American Funds Growth Fund of America (AGTHX) – Recently, this fund has struggled. However, they have a positive history. I am hopeful that the market will bounce back and that this fund will outperform the market.

Pimco Total Return Bond Fund (PTTAX) – I came across a persuasive article that recommended investing in this bond fund, so I followed their advice. ETFs are more prevalent for stock investments. Conventional Treasuries offer little reward and increasing risk.

iShares Russell 2000 Index (IWM) – If the market begins to improve as I have forecasted, I believe small cap stocks will outperform the larger stocks. Following this logic, I have decided to add this index to my portfolio, as it consists of smaller companies.

iShares S&P 100 Index (OEF) – This simply diversifies my portfolio.  It is a large blend index with a beta of one. OEF has topped a list for buying on weakness, which tracks stocks that fell in price but had the largest inflow of money.


History and Product Information for Google Inc.

Google Inc. is a technology company which maintains an index of websites and other online information for users, advertisers, members, and other information providers. Google’s automated search technology aids users in obtaining instant access to desired information from its online index. They offer internet search solutions, targeted advertising, and intranet solutions via an enterprise search appliance. Google mainly earns revenue from advertising related to internet searching, e-mail, online mapping, office productivity, social networking, and video sharing services. Googleplex, Google’s headquarters, is located in Mountain View, California. As of the end of 2008, Google has 20,222 full-time employees.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin co-founded Google while they were students at Stanford University. The company was first incorporated as a privately held company on September 4, 1998. On August 19, 2004, the initial public offering occurred, raising $1.67 billion, entailing a value of $23 billion for the entire company. Google continues their exponential growth through new developments, partnerships, and acquisitions. Fortune Magazine labeled Google the #1 Best Place to Work. This was due to the philanthropy, environmentalism, and positive employee relations tenets that have been present during the growth of Google. Though the unofficial company slogan is “don’t be evil”, there are criticisms including concerns of the privacy of personal information, copyright, and censorship of services. Some consider Google the most powerful brand in the world.


SWOT Analysis of Google Inc.


  • Reputation and familiarity of having a brand logo and name
  • Relevance ranking based on citations
  • Multi-services such as iGoogle and Google Ads
  • Multi-disciplinary
  • Speed and user-friendliness


  • Diversification of the material
  • Arbitrary content; not all content is a credible source
  • Dead-end risk (e.g. user can’t access the full text when information is accessed)
  • No expert searches in case a user wants to narrow their search
  • Diversification of language offerings; focus on just English


  • Easy starting points
  • Reachable new user groups and content
  • Easy and expert search fully integrated using OpenURL
  • Higher usage of valuable and expensive content


  • Lost control of indexing policy
  • Possible censorship
  • Lost and/or confused users due to any complexity
  • Users end up at wrong copy (e.g. a users doesn’t receive the correct subscription)
  • Less visible print collection
  • Information skills and uses disappear
  • Less visible library services


I chose earnings per share (EPS) and market value statistics to get an idea of Google’s size compared to the industry. Google made $13.31 per share in the year ending December 31st of 2008, while the industry average was $3.00, so on an earnings per share basis Google is outperforming the industry. Google also has a market value of a little above $117 billion, while the median market value in the industry is much less at almost $24 billion. The market value figure tells us that Google is a substantial company and a competitive player in the industry.

Google’s liquidity ratios are better than the industry averages. Google’s current and quick ratios are 8.8 compared to an industry average of 4.2. Its cash ratio is 688.3 compared to 346.2 for the industry. Since Google’s liquidity ratios far exceed the industry averages, investors should not worry about the company’s ability to meet their short term obligations.

By analyzing the days in receivables turnover and total asset turnover ratios, it is evident that Google is approximately as efficient as the industry. Google collects on their receivables 43.4 times per year, while the industry average is 51.9. Google and the industry’s high receivables ratio is advantageous for the company because it means they are operating on a cash basis and its extension of credit and collection of accounts receivable is efficient. This ratio is also an activity ratio, indicating that Google is efficiently using their assets. The total asset turnover ratio for Google is slightly higher for Google compared to the industry. Google has a total asset turnover of 0.8 compared to the industry at 0.7. This means Google’s management has been more effective in using investments in assets to generate sales compared to other companies in the industry. 

By looking at the profitability ratios, Google has a higher net return on assets and a higher return on equity than the industry, but their gross margins are less than the industry average. As an investor, you want a high return on assets and return on equity. Google has a return on equity of 16.6% compared to an industry average of 13.9%. This indicates that Google makes more profit for each dollar invested by shareholders compared to the industry. Google generates approximately 3% more profit for each dollar invested into assets compared to the industry. Google’s return on assets is 14.8% compared to 11.7% for the industry. Google’s gross margin is less than the industry with a gross margin of 60.4% compared to an industry average of 66.1%. As an investor, low profit margins are a warning sign because it means there is increasing competition and the company is competing more on price. It could also mean that the company is not run as well as the other companies in the industry. 

Google is overvalued compared to the industry. Their price to book ratio is 4.2 compared to an industry average of 3.3. The price to earnings ratio is 28.0 compared to an industry average of 24.6. Also, Google’s price to sales ratio is 6.7 compared to an industry average of 5.0. However, their price to cash flow is 18.7 compared to and industry average of 22.0. In all of the valuation categories, except for price to cash flow, it appears that Google is grossly overvalued. This could either be seen by an investor as an opportunity to sell a stock that is overvalued compared to its peers in the hope that in the future it will be valued less competitively to its peers. On the contrary, this could also be seen as a very healthy company, and going forward investors expect the company to perform wonderfully. 

Google has experienced much better EPS growth, but less asset and sales growth compared to the industry. Their sales growth is 31.3% compared to an industry average of 42.8%, EPS growth is 0.2% compared to an industry average of -12.9%, and assets growth is 25.4% compared to an industry average of 25.9%. Google’s growth numbers and their valuation ratios above seem to support each other. A company growing at this pace should have valuation numbers that exceeds the industry. Currently higher than the industry, Google’s price to earnings ratio of is both above the industry average and higher in number. 


Google Valuation

Google is a relatively easy company to value because of their fast growth and stability. However, like any other company, there is uncertainty about the future; especially due to the current state of the economy. The market seems confident in Google’s current growth rate and is valuing the company with a P/E ratio of 28. To better understand the most accurate growth rates to use in my valuations, I looked at how their net income has grown in the past. From 2007 to 2008 net income grew 2.7% ([4,322,000,000 – 4,208,500,000] / 4,208,500,000). To see if this was an abnormal year I looked at net income growth from 2006 to 2007, which grew 37.38% ([4,208,500,000 – 3,063,400,000] / 3,063,400,000). This indicates that Google’s new income growth has slowed over the past year. Before 2008, Google’s net income growth was very high. Thus, Google is currently trading at a P/E ratio of 28. It is clear that the market thinks Google’s growth is relatively sustainable. From here I decided to look at what analysts are projecting for revenue growth. Annual revenue growth has averaged 120% per year since 2001. Analysts are projecting annual revenue to grow at a rate of 15% over the next 5 years, driven by a slowdown in 2009.

I calculated free cash flow for the firm in the current year as -$14,516,364,688. Then after discounting it using the assumptions above I calculated the total free cash flow for the firm to be -$16,693,819,391 (calculations attached). The fact that the free cash flow to the firm number is a large negative number means that the firm does not have money left over after paying its expenses, which you do not necessarily want as an investor.

I calculated free cash flow to equity holders in the current year as -$13,626,249,688. Then, after discounting it using the assumptions above, I calculated the total free cash flow to equity holders as -$15,670,187,141. I then divided this number by 315,100,000, which is the total shares outstanding, to get a value of -$49.73 per share. Google’s stock currently trades at $377.41 as of 4/12, so it trades at a value extremely higher than the value calculated. In the last 52 weeks, Google’s stock has traded as high as $594.00 per share. Some reasons for the disparity in the actual value and the calculated value could be that investors are confident in the company’s future or the future of the industry, so they are willing to price the stock at a premium. Another observation is that Google’s P/E ratio allows the stock to be valued so high. It is my opinion that the current market conditions are also contributing to Google’s valuation.


Portfolio Performance – Overall


My portfolio started with a value of $999,993.95 and ended with a value of $1,078,783.42, which represents an overall gain of 7.88%. On an annualized basis my portfolio return was 40.98% (See Calculation #1). The average beta calculated for my portfolio was 1.09 (See Calculation #2). When calculating alpha for my portfolio I used a risk free rate of 3.59%, which is the current rate on the 30-year T-bond. I also used 1.09% for the expected market return, which is equal to the market return over the last 10 weeks (0.21%) multiplied by 5.2 to annualize the market return. My overall calculation of alpha on my portfolio came out to be .225 (See Calculation #3), which indicates that on a risk adjusted annualized basis, my portfolio outperformed by .225%.



Portfolio Performance – Individual Assets

My two mutual funds performed a bit differently compared to the overall major indexes. Over the last 10 weeks the Fairholme mutual fund was down 2.41% and the Growth Funds of America mutual fund was up 7.08%. Over that same period the Dow was up .21%, the NASDAQ was up .99%, and the S&P500 was up 2.01%. Also, in a time of low interest rates and stock prices, the Pimco Total Return bond fun performed slightly lower than par, down .60%/ The Russell 2000 iShare, which is made up of small cap stocks, outperformed the market; ending up 2.59%. The S&P100 iShares performed about as well as the market did; up 1.20%. By looking at the performance of the Dow, the Russell 2000, and the S&P100, it is clear that small cap stocks have been outperforming large cap stocks in this market environment over the allotted time period.

United States Oil ended up 5.85%, as did Newmont Mining Corp with an increase of 10.33%. United States Oil tracks the movements of light, sweet crude oil. They have seen the price of oil drop from $140 per barrel range into the $50 per barrel range, causing a decline. However, there has recently been increasing confidence in the market. 

Newmont Mining Corp is a gold company which recently has been hurt by the price of gold falling from a high of over $1,000 per ounce to the low $700 range. There are still some people that believe that as the credit crisis starts to improve that the U.S. economy will see higher inflation rates. This would be bullish for gold, but I believe this will not happen until later in the year. In the short term investors are selling gold, however, Newmont was up 5.85% over the 10 week period.

Technology stocks have been some of the better performers over the last 10 weeks. Google’s stock price increased 9.23% and Apple’s increased 28.69%. Google’s stock has recently declined because investors fear that as the U.S. economy slows that advertisers will spend less on online advertising. Also, their deal to serve Yahoo’s advertising inventory didn’t get finalized. However, as the economy becomes healthier, so do investor’s confidence that advertisers will spend on advertising. Apple’s stock soared over the 10 week period. The iPhone is still surging, and Apple shows no signs of slowing down while Steve Jobs remains alive. He is scheduled to return some time in the near future.

Verizon performed well over the last 10 weeks, ending up 9.81%. There has been no major news about Verizon over the past 10 weeks. I think one reason they have been performing well is that in a bad economy the last expenses that consumers are going to cut are communication devices.


Portfolio Performance in the Future

Global Recession

There are now clear signs that we are entering into a global recession. If this occurs, I would expect declines in the U.S. and foreign stock markets, as well poor performance by my portfolio. Before the last two weeks of the 10 week period, my portfolio was down over 10%, but a boost in investing kicked in just in time. Stocks that would be significantly hurt by a global recession are those companies with an international presence or those which rely on overseas consumer demand.

An example from my portfolio would be Newmont Mining Corp, a gold miner. As the economy contracts, demand for gold will decline. This causes excess supply and large price declines in the underlying commodities. Gold prices have fared under the current economic conditions, but have decline from highs of $1,000 an ounce to less than $700 an ounce over the past few months.

Another company that would be impacted by the global recession is United States Oil. The demand for oil and gas products will decline and cause drilling companies to cut back on capital expenditures as the economy worsens. As these drillers and exploration companies cut back on their expenses, it will hurt United States Oil.

These stocks above are the one that will experience the worst of a global recession. The U.S. economy is so tied into the global economy that if we enter a global recession, I would expect all the stocks in my portfolio to be negatively affected in one way or another. Technology stocks such as Apple and Google would not be as affected, as they rely heavily on advertising.


The Obama administration could both hurt and help some stocks in my portfolio. President Obama wants to invest heavily in alternative energy and sustainable business practices. This means some companies will benefit from tax credits, low interest loans, and grants provided by the Obama administration; with the goal of promoting the development of the solar industry. Also, Obama wants more investment into hybrid and electric cars. These types of cars use about twice as much copper as a normal car, so if a substantial amount of hybrid and electric cars begin production, then an increase in demand for copper could benefit copper mining companies.

United States Oil may be hurt by future actions of the Obama administration. If Obama invests in alternative energy, it may reduce the demand for oil and gas. Another reason United States Oil may be impacted negatively is because the Obama administration may now renew any contract ties that linked to the Bush administration, impacting numerous companies around the U.S.

Credit Issue

The credit crisis must be solved in a timely manner. If it is not, it will continue to cause problems in domestic and global economies. Every company needs readily available credit at reasonable interest rates in order to expand and grow their business. If the credit markets remain tight and no credit is available in time of need, it will impact the financial performance of all the stocks in my portfolio and the economy will falter.

Two companies in my portfolio that have not been directly affected by the credit crisis are Google and Apple. Neither company currently has debt in their respective business’ capital structure. This means that in time of need they could acquire funds for an investment project or issue within the business. As for other stocks, the Obama administration is the in the process of correcting the credit issue, so if some companies can manage to hold on while we are struggling through tough times, they may have access to funds sooner than later.

Any start-up company requires capital to build their business and act on growth strategies. If capital is not readily available, a delay in their growth process will be imminent. Companies like Google or Apple may also need capital in order to invest in research and development for their next generation of Web 2.0. New search-based companies like Twitter pose a threat to the future of technology based companies.


Domestic housing issues in the market are related to the credit crisis and decline in stock market. Individuals who could afford a home a year ago can’t currently afford said home. To make issue worse, these individuals can’t get a mortgage because banks have tightened their credit standard. It’s becoming increasingly tough even as a student with great credit to receive a school-related loan. The high rate of foreclosures has also affected the housing market. This floods the market with homes for sale and decreases the property value of the homes these surround. Housing interjects into many industries, but my portfolio has minimal exposure to housing. The credit crisis must be resolved in order for the housing market to improve. The credit crisis is in the process of being handled by the Obama administration, so I expect the housing market may remain depressed until deep into 2009. Troubles in the housing market are already priced into housing-related stocks, so I don’t see them making any significant gains or losses over the next year.


Currently, there is some hope, but not much. We’ve seen some 10% rallies over the previous couple months, but I think they are bear market rallies. Overall, I expect the market to perform poorly over the rest of the year. If we go out a year from now, we may begin to see improvement as the credit and housing markets correct. I would project my bond fund to perform better than the stock market over the next year, while my mutual funds fluctuate in accordance with the overall market. I don’t believe my portfolio will continue to gain value any time soon, as I believe I caught the wave of a bear market rally. I would expect my portfolio to underperform the stock market by a low percentage. However, if the market continues to rally and improve, then I would expect my portfolio to outperform the market by at least 10% as small cap and technology stocks outperform large cap stocks.


Calculation #1 - Annualized Return on Portfolio = (10 week portfolio return)(5.2) Annualized Return on Portfolio = (7.88)(5.2) Annualized Return on Portfolio = 40.98%

Calculation #2 - Average Beta Calculation:


Calculation #3 - Alpha Calculation

Risk Free Rate:  3.59% (30-year T-bond rate)

Beta:  1.09

Market Rate:  1.09% (Given: 10 week market performance annualized)

Annualized Portfolio Return:  40.98%


Alpha = 1.09 – [3.59 + 1.09(1.09 – 3.59)]

Alpha = 1.09 – [.865]

Alpha = .225


Calculation #4 - Calculation for K

MRP = 6.682% (given)

β = 1.09 (Calculation #3)

rf = 3.59 (30-year T-bond rate)


K = rf + β(MRP)

K = rf + β(rm – rf)

K = 3.59 + 1.09(6.682)

K = 10.87


Calculation #5

Cost of Debt = interest expense / (total short term + long term debt)

Cost of Debt = 0 / (0)

Cost of Debt = 0%


Calculation #6

Tax Rate = tax expense / pretax income

Tax Rate = 1,626,738,000 / 5,853,596,000

Tax Rate = .27790 = 27.8%


Calculation #7

Weight of Debt = (medium debt + long term debt) / (medium debt + long term debt + equity)

Weight of Debt = (0+0) / (0+0+28,238,900,000)

Weight of Debt = 0%


Calculation #8

Weight of Equity = (equity) / (medium debt + long term debt + equity)

Weight of Equity = 28,238,900,000 / (0 + 0+28,238,900,000)

Weight of Equity = 100%


Calculation #9

WACC = (Weight of Stock)(Cost of Stock) + (Weight of Debt)(Cost of Debt)(1 – tc)

WACC = (1.00)(10.87) + (0.00)(0.00)(1-.278)

WACC = 10.87 + 0

WACC = 10.87%


Calculation #10 – Free Cash Flow for the Firm

FCFF = EBIT(1 – tc) + Depreciation – Capital Expenditures – Increase in NWC

FCFF = 5,853,596,000(1-.278) + 1,491,900,000 – 2,358,461,000 – 17,876,100,000

FCFF = -($14,516,364,688)


Calculation #11 – Free Cash Flow to Equity Holders

FCFE = FCFF – Interest Expense(1 – tc) + Increase in Net Debt

FCFE = -14,516,364,688– 0(1 - .278) + 890,115,000

FCFE = ($13,626,249,688)




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Monday, April 13, 2009
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