A friend writes: “About 18 months ago, I compiled a list of stocks for a buy-and-hold portfolio. As of today, it’s down 3.2% (excluding dividends). Going back further, my “sure-thing” portfolio is down 9.7% (excluding dividends).
Rocky notes that since December, 2008, the S&P500 has risen about 42%, and the “average” (non-market-cap-weighted) stock has gained about 75%. Interestingly, however, 57 stocks in the S&P500 have declined in price during this period!
Losing money during one of the biggest rallies in history is like walking around with a black cloud over one’s head. (A meteorological phenomonen with which Rocky is very familiar.)
In the spirit of the TV game show with-the-same-name, “The Biggest Loser” turns out to be Dean Foods Company (DF) which produces private label dairy products. Dean Foods has lost about 55% of its value during the past two years. The CEO of Dean Foods surely wishes that instead of “milking” his company dry, he had invested in the poultry business — and raised a few “golden” geese, which could have flown above the black clouds.
[Disclosure: Rocky has never invested in Dean Foods. He welcomes bad puns that involve milk companies that turn sour, but acknowledges the futility of crying over spilled milk. He also notes that investing in a "boring" S&P500 Index Fund can makes tons of hay when the sun shines.]