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Latest Issue

More Personal Portfolio: Biotech, Commodities, and Gold

September 22, 2023

Last week we began exploring the details of my personal portfolio. This week we will finish and then move back to our discussion of various cycles. You might want to read the first part of this letter if you missed it.

Again, let me caution that this is not a portfolio anyone should try to duplicate. Last week I described some “core” investments, but nearly everything I’ll mention below should be classified as speculative to very, very speculative. While some of them have grown to consequential size, none really started out being overweight. Contrary to what it looks like, I am somewhat conservative.

Normally, people do not share their portfolios in such detail. I do this because I think of my readers as friends and many of you have been with me 10‒15‒20 years. I hope you find this interesting. Next week we will get back to cycles.

I must also admit to a “survivorship bias.” I’m not including all my failures, of which there were sadly more than a few over the last 40 years. I will describe one of them today, though, because it has some useful lessons.

It will become readily apparent below that I'm overweight in biotech, and specifically, smaller startups (or they were when I initially got in). I approach investing in biotech like many of my friends approach private investing in gold stocks. If they make 10 small investments, they expect five will go to zero and hope for two or three out-of-the-park home runs. The problem is you don't know in advance which ones will be the...

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