April was friendly for the markets fortunately, however as the old Wall St saying./adage goes “Sell in May and go away” meaning that equities are fairly volatile during the months of May - October and it's far profitable for you to sell during May and avoid the markets in entirety during those months and repurchase equities in November. Nonetheless, we’ll just continue holding and repurchasing shares of the same companies since that is what this game is all about.
Last month, April 2018
We held Cintas, American Express, Apple, and Visa. This month... VISA AND APPLE SWAPPED AROUND HOLY COW... only because Visa reported phenomenal earnings prior and bringing it to a 52 week high, Apple on the other hand, while it did report great quarterly earnings, it was so close, yet so far, from reaching a 52 week high (how boring, I might throw in a fifth stock to make this series a bit more interesting and less bland since all it seems I ever talk about is Cintas, Amex, Apple, and Visa. Who knows, I might throw in some Bitcoin.)
Nothing interesting has been reported from the uniform rental giant. How about a bit of history and a few fun facts? I evaluate companies not just by their management team, balance sheet, financial statement, economic moat, and market share. I also evaluate them on how they perform during financial hardships and economic slowdowns.
The great recession is a great way for me to evaluate how well companies, such as Cintas, perform under pressure. While Cintas does rely heavily on employment trends, something that was drastically decreasing during 2008 and 2009, with a concerning unemployment rate of 10%, Cintas managed to cut back on labor costs and manipulate their uniform delivery route. Hence why I am absolutely bullish on this company, even when unemployment seems to be reaching the sky.
American Express released a marketing campaign showcasing the integration of a life/work balance and the important role American Express plays. The slogan
"Powerful backing: don't do business/don't live life without it"
"Powerful backing" hinting that American Express has your back in your business or your life.
They are also changing their logo slightly.
It gives this basic, but still a well-known look
Lastly, American Express beat first-quarter estimates.
Visa and Mastercard are both teaming up to create their own payment button/tab. Think of it as a merger between "Visa Checkout" and Mastercard Masterpass." A way to compete against PayPal and receive market share in the online checkout realm/platforms. Both companies agree that having separate checkout buttons is confusing to the consumer and is tedious if the consumer only utilizes just Visa Checkout or just Mastercard Masterpass.
The executives behind this initiative agree that it's far easier to only have one platform/software that is in charge of processing online/retail payments. They expect to have their own button at the end of 2018.
American Express and Discover financial services will also be behind this initiative.
Berkshire Hathaway is loading up on Apple shares, it's a bit terrifying if you ask me. It managed to become Berkshire's top 5 holdings in less than 2 years and it now owns more than 5%. Buffett, according to his annual shareholder meeting, mentioned that he wants to buy more shares, while also waiting for the company to have a pullback in share price.
It's inching towards a trillion dollar market capitalization, at $935 billion.
Not much has changed, I'm starting to showcase the estimated dividends for 2019 and place them into comparison from 2018. As soon as the month is done, I showcase the actual dividend I received all under the live portfolio category.
Up by 3.4% Year To Date
Portfolio YTD versus the S&P
Of course, in comparison to the S&P, we are up. Yes, I am the green figure.