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Shadow Stock Portfolio Rules

> PURCHASE & SALES RULES
> STOCK ORDER RULES
> MANAGEMENT RULES

Purchase & Sales Rules

Stock purchases must meet these criteria:

  • No bulletin board or pink sheet stocks will be purchased.

  • Price-to-book-value ratio must be less than 0.80. If the price-to-book-value moved up a bit since the stock was included in the portfolio, it is still OK to purchase the stock unless this ratio goes above 0.90.(This figure will change gradually with changes in overall market values.)

  • Market capitalization must be between $30 million and $300 million. (This figure will change gradually with changes in overall market values.)

  • The firm's last quarter and last 12 months' earnings from continuing operations must be positive.

  • No financial stocks or limited partnerships will be purchased.

  • No stock on foreign exchanges or ADRs will be purchased because of different accounting and/or withholding tax on dividends.

  • The share price must be greater than $4.

  • In order to reduce trading by avoiding stocks that are forever marginal, any stock that was sold within two years will not be rebought.

  • Note second item under Stock Order Guidance concerning spreads when buying shares.

  • Price-to-sales ratio must be less than 1.2. (This figure may change gradually with changes in overall market values.)

  • Eliminate any company that failed to file a 10-Q (quarterly) report in the last six months.
Stocks are sold if any of the following occur:

  • If last 12 months' earnings from continuing operations are negative, the stock is put on probation; if a subsequent quarter has negative earnings prior to 12-month earnings from continuing operations becoming positive, the stock is sold.

  • The stock's price-to-book-value ratio goes above three times the initial criterion.

  • Market capitalization goes above three times the initial maximum criterion.

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Stock Order Guidance

  • These rules are for general guidance. Your own experience, market conditions and the size of the position will impact your own decisions. The results in the model portfolio were obtained while sometimes paying more.

  • Market orders are not used. Instead, if the quoted bid-ask spread is less than 2% (ask price minus bid price, divided by ask price), place a limit order at the ask price for a buy and at the bid price for a sell. If the bid-ask spread is more than 2%, try to place a limit order between the bid and ask prices to keep transaction costs low. If necessary, build a position gradually. With low commissions, it is often better to place partial orders than to try to establish a large position all at once. Be patient.

  • The average daily dollar volume should be at least four times the amount needed for your position. This will ensure liquidity to get in and out of the position, even if you need to grow the position gradually and sell gradually. This will result in a varying number of qualifying stocks for each investor.

  • For Nasdaq stocks, it appears to be better to use day orders. If the order is not filled, it is placed again with a slight adjustment. For NYSE and Amex stocks, good-till-canceled (GTC) orders are used to keep a place in line in the specialists' books. If the market isn't close to the desired price, the price is adjusted in a few days with a new GTC order.

  • If price changes cause a stock to become ineligible (due to changes in price-to-book-value ratio or market capitalization) when only part of the order has been filled, stocks already purchased are kept but the balance of the order is canceled.

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Management Rules

  • Equal dollar amounts are invested in each stock initially.

  • Decisions are made only at the end of each quarter. In order to react to the majority of earnings reports as soon as possible, quarterly reviews are made early in February, May, August, and November.

  • Best judgment is used for tenders or mergers, but all criteria must be obeyed.

  • At the end of a quarter, if receipts from stocks sold exceed requirements for new purchases, the excess receipts—up to 5% of the portfolio's value—are kept in cash until the next quarter. If the excess receipts are greater than 5% of the total portfolio value, the amount above 5% is distributed to smaller holdings that still qualify as buys. Efficient quantities are purchased: If over 10% of the portfolio is in cash, the price-to-book value ratio can be moved up, but never over 0.90.

  • At the end of a quarter, if receipts from stock sales are insufficient to buy all newly qualifying stocks, purchases are made in order of lowest bid/ask spreads.

  • Note that if you are managing your own portfolio, it should consist of at least 10 stocks. If you are developing the portfolio gradually, you can do it stock by stock, but don't put more than 10% of your funds in each additional stock. More than 20 stocks is not needed until the portfolio exceeds $1 million.

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