Friday, January 02, 2009

The Cohan Letter +15% in 2008

My investment newsletter, The Cohan Letter, outperformed the S&P 500 in 2008. Specifically, the average stock mentioned in The Cohan Letter rose 15% in 2008. This compares favorably to the performance of the S&P 500 which fell 38.5% in 2008.

The three top performing stocks mentioned in The Cohan Letter were:
  • URS Corp (NYSE: URS) rose 22% from $33.41 at the end of November 2008 to $40.77 by year end. URS -- a design and construction firm, did win a $3.3 billion contract in December and may be perceived as well positioned to take advantage of an infrastructure stimulus package expected in early 2009;
  • AAR Corp (NYSE: AIR) rose 15% from $15.99 at the end of October 2008 to $18.41. AAR -- which supplies aviation parts -- saw its sales rise 14%, fully-diluted earnings climbed 21% and its backlog increased 28% in a December report; and
  • Plexus (NYSE: PLXS) increased 11% from $15.21 at the end of November 2008 to $16.95. Plexus develops and manufactures electronics telecommunications, medical, industrial, and computer companies.

Each month The Cohan Letter mentions three stocks. If a stock mentioned declines 2% after it's mentioned, the stock is "sold" from the portfolio. This 2% stop loss rule contributes to the relatively high average return of The Cohan Letter.

Now in its seventh year of publication, The Cohan Letter's average annual return of 20% since 2004 compares favorably to the -2% average return of the S&P 500 during that period.