Today, we continue to construct your “core portfolio.” As a reminder, the concept of the core portfolio is to create a diversified list of holdings that are designed to last for years.
Of course, you should still rebalance your portfolio — which you can see below, along with hyperlinks to the parts of the core portfolio I’ve already covered — every six months or so, particularly as stocks shift into a different asset class. One example: When a small-cap pick becomes a ten-bagger!
And that brings us to my favorite asset class: small-cap value stocks. These stocks should make up around 4% of your holdings.
|Large-Cap Value||15%||Midcap Growth||4%|
|International/Emerging Market||15%||Midcap Value||4%|
|Special Situations||10%||Small-Cap Value||4%|
I’m partial to small-cap value stocks because they tend to be in businesses that people don’t like or don’t understand, and they have the best chance of becoming multi-baggers.
Of course, there’s two sides to that coin. A common tale of woe for small-cap value stocks is selling too soon. The classic example is Jos. A Bank Clothiers (JOSB), which I discovered while walking in Manhattan one day in early 2001. I bought the stock at $5 and sold it at $8, thinking I was a genius. But when a story is good, it’s good. Had I held, I would have made far more.
Anyways, what’s past is past … and now it’s time to pick some new names. The two main things I like in small-cap value stocks are a market cap under $3 billion and a PEG Ratio under 1.
To start, I’m anchoring this asset class with an exchange-traded fund … as always. I like the iShares Russell 2000 Value Index (IWN). The top 10 holdings, which make up about 4% of the ETF, are mostly obscure names like the bank Firstmerit Corp. (FMER) and specialty chemical company Axaill Corp. (AXLL).
Next up, I always turbocharge each asset class with additional holdings. Anyone who follows my columns even relatively regularly already know my three favorite stocks at the moment are pawn-shop owner EZCorp (EZPW) and debt collection stocks Portfolio Recovery Associates (PRAA) and Encore Capital Group (ECPG).
Another good pick is the small-cap value space is actually in the hotel REIT sector. I’ve followed Ashford Hospitality Trust (AHT) since its 2003 IPO. Three things to like: Ashford dividend yields 4.1%, its CEO has 23 years experience in hotels and the company has always deployed its capital prudently and with solid returns.
Last but not least, I also like Dorman Products (DORM) — a nice, boring company that operates in the high-margin field of automotive replacement parts. It’s PEG ratio is a bit over 1, but I forgive it because it has solid cash flow and no debt.
That’s all for this week, folks … but stay tuned! Next week, I’ll get into income plays.
As of this writing, Lawrence Meyers owned shares of IWN, EZPW, PRAA, ECPG and AHT.