Friday May 28, 2010
Neil Macneale III was born in Ohio in 1945, attended Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, and graduated from Stanford in 1969.
Married while in college, he and his wife, Ellen, served as VISTA volunteers in rural Maryland for 2 1/2 years, and then returned to California. Neil obtained his General Contractors License and went into the remodeling business.
In 1974, he joined a large commercial builder as a project manager and field superintendent, managing multi-million dollar office building construction projects.
In 1987, Neil Macneale Inc. was incorporated and Neil developed a successful home inspection business in the San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Macneale now is retired and he and his wife buy and renovate old homes "just for fun".
Stock market investing has been a passion of Mr. Macneale for over 25 years. However, during the busy years of starting a family and a business at the same time, the family's retirement account was put in the hands of a very capable money manager who is a "value" investor of the Buffet and Graham school.
The account did well, and for the 80s and 90s so far, has kept just about even with the market. In early 1996, Mr. Macneale acted on a desire to get back into the active management of his IRA account.
Studying a theory of stock picking involving companies that had announced 2 for 1 splits, a procedure was developed for picking and managing stocks that showed great promise.
Numerous test portfolios were tried and, at the end of July 1996, $50,000 was invested in a real IRA account that reflected the best of the test portfolios.
Each month, a statement of that account is published on the last page of our 2 for 1 newsletter. Publishing and distributing this newsletter is simply a natural extension of the excitement and pride derived from the development of an investment procedure that could help many toward their goal of financial independence.
Mr. Macneale has qualified as a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of California.
The original idea for the 2 for 1 portfolio and newsletter came from an article entitled "A Strong Signal" that appeared in the April 22, 1996 of Forbes magazine.
This piece discusses a study undertaken at Rice University where the performance of stocks split 2 for 1 is measured in relation to performance of the market as a whole.
The final results of the study are published in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis and would indicate that there is a measurable difference in the performance, for up to three years, of stocks that have split 2 for 1 as opposed to those that have not.
Laddering is the technique of regularly buying and selling securities in a portfolio so as to always maintain a constant number of securities as the portfolio moves through time.
The theory, for 2 for 1, is that our stocks statistically do better than the market for 2 to 3 years, based on a Rice University study. We keep 30 stocks in the portfolio (30 months = 2 1/2 years).
Each month we sell the oldest "at the top of the ladder" and buy a new stock to put "at the bottom of the ladder." This procedure eliminates the problems associated with trying to time the market and agonizing over when to sell a stock.
The entire 2 for 1 strategy and procedure relies on David Ikenbery's Rice University original study and follow-up study on stock splits. The studies show that the group of stocks that had announced splits had a better overall performance, over two to three years, than a group of similar stocks that had not split.
For our purposes, the number of stocks splitting 2 for 1 or higher is more than enough to provide several good companies to choose from each month. Remember, we only need one!
Doing the research and sifting through the 20 to 50 stocks that split 2 for 1 or 3 for 1 each month is time consuming enough.
Why would one want to make the list any longer? To this some might say, "but what if the most promising stock splits 3 for 2 instead of 2 for 1?"
You can only know this after the fact, and one need only look at the many very successful stocks that we have passed up to realize that our odds would not have improved by simply making the pool we picked from larger.
The success of our portfolio does not depend so much on the selection of individual winners as it does on assembling a group of stocks that has a slightly better than even chance of beating the market.
The most common question about 2 for 1 is "What are your results?" Since inception, the 2 for 1 portfolio has returned over 9.1% annualized, well over two times the retun of the S&P 500 (4.0%).
This is a real portfolio of real stocks in the author's own IRA account. The monthly newsletter describes, in detail, how the 2 for 1 strategy works, so you can duplicate these results with only a few minutes of effort each month.