My stocks: A relatively good 2011

The stock market treated me well last year, but I’m not doing hand-stands.  No chest-thumping here.

My portfolio of four diversified stocks grew by 3.6 percent.  That’s much better than any safe CD you can find.  And I beat the S&P 500 which was flat for the year.   The 500 is far the better barometer of what’s happening in the market than the Dow.  The latter was up 5.5 percent.  The markets’ only loser was NASDAQ, 1.8% in the red.

I own varying shares in Apple, General Electric, GOLD and Exxon Mobil.  I was most pleased with Apple, a stock I purchased in November.  It’s risen 6.8 percent in that short time.  At that pace it would rise 40 percent in a year.  In the several years I’ve owned XOM, it rose a heart-warming 35 percent.  Lethargic GE did well late in the year, and I’m up 11.8 percent there.

GLD, once my champion, fell on relatively bad times the last part of 2011.  But I have faith in physical gold, which is what GLD is all about.  So I increased my shares  in the stock by 20 percent, my first and only trade of the new year.

The storm in Europe has not gone away, although it is quiet now.  I’m sure there will be more turbulence this year with the region’s fiscal issues.  But I think I’m positioned to weather whatever comes without taking a big hurt.

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