I think it’s fairly safe to say that 2019 has ended with the markets banking one of its biggest yearly gains in recent times. The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO) has recorded a gain of around 25% (including dividends) for 2019.
That’s a pretty high benchmark for… well, a benchmark. Since the ASX 200 has a long-term average return around 8-10%, I think almost anyone who had capital invested in the markets this year would be very pleased with their portfolio’s performance.
So with that in mind, here’s a snapshot into my own portfolio and some of my personal ASX winners from 2019.
I’m slightly ashamed to say that my two-best performing stocks have been US shares – Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB).
But since we mostly stick with good old ASX shares here on the Fool.com.au, my top ASX stock for 2019 has been MFF Capital Investments Ltd (ASX: MFF)
MFF is a Listed Investment company (LIC) that primarily invests in top-quality US shares such as Mastercard, Visa, Alphabet and Coca-Cola. I’m up on MFF a total of 43.7% this year (including MFF’s small dividend).
Another strong performer has been VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF (ASX: MOAT).
This ETF invests in US companies (I’m sensing a theme here) that are identified as having a strong and durable competitive advantage (or moat). Some of its current holdings include Nike, Amazon.com and Charles Schwab. I’m up a pleasing 37% on my MOAT position in 2019 and plan on holding this one for the long-term, along with MFF.
Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) has been an ASX favourite of mine and I’ve been very pleased with my 34.5% 2019 return with Telstra shares (including dividends). As confidence in Telstra has improved after a horror 2018, I’ve been very pleased with the company’s moves into the 5G space. I fully expect Telstra’s dividend to be maintained at its current level as well, which gives out some nice yield as I wait for Telstra’s 5G plans to come to fruition.
WAM Global Ltd (ASX: WGB) is another success for my portfolio. I bought some WAM Global shares late last year and it has been pleasing to see Wilson Asset Management’s newest LIC start to book some big gains as well as pay an inaugural dividend. I think WAM global will continue to raise its shareholder payouts in the years to come – making this one of my favourite ASX dividend growth stocks.
Some other worthy mentions include my recent position in Pact Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: PGH) – which I’m happy to have enjoyed a 13% gain on since September. Also coming in has been Magellan High Conviction Trust (ASX: MHH), which has seen a 9% gain for me since its IPO in October.
Meanwhile, my most ho-hum stocks have been National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB), which I hold mostly for dividend income, and my perennial loser Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) – which I still can’t bring myself to sell.
Although I’m extremely pleased with my portfolio during the last year, it is worth noting that bullish sentiment and a charging market makes it easier to bank serious gains without too much real skill. I hold shares for the long-term, so I’m hoping that my portfolio will hold up just as well in 2020.
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Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Sebastian Bowen owns shares of Facebook, Magellan Flagship Fund Ltd, Magellan High Conviction Trust, National Australia Bank Limited, Pact Group Holdings Limited, Slater & Gordon Limited, Telstra Limited, Tesla, VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF, and WAMGLOBAL FPO. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Facebook and Tesla. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Telstra Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Facebook and VanEck Vectors Morningstar Wide Moat ETF. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.