Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Brooklyn Portfolio: Investing in Brooklyn

Isn't this stock market just crazy?

We at McBrooklyn decided we wanted in -- so we're setting up The Brooklyn Portfolio.

The Brooklyn Portfolio includes shares in companies that have a strong Brooklyn presence, started in Brooklyn or have some other significant connection to Brooklyn. We'll carefully screen each company (that might even include looking them up somewhere). We can add a stock (for example, if someone points out a Brooklyn-based company that we didn't know about, and it seems like a good buy), or drop a stock (for example, if it's sinking like a rock thrown into the waters off Coney Island).

Some famous companies which began in Brooklyn (like Cumberland Packing Co., makers of Sweet'N Low) are privately owned so we can't buy their stock. But others, like the drug company Pfizer, producers of Viagra, are fair game.

Every once in a while we'll check how the portfolio is doing. (We might even create a fancy bar chart.) If the portfolio is up, that will be good news for Brooklyn. If it's down we'll cry and pound the table.

Here are our initial stock considerations:

Pfizer (PFE) -- Is a global pharmaceutical company which started in Brooklyn. It was selling for $17.48 yesterday. It's down 1.7% year to date. PE=15.8; yields 3.66*

Dime Community Bancshares, Inc.(DCOM) -- The parent company of The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh. It was selling for $11.59 yesterday, and is down almost 13% year to date. PE= 16.33, and it yields 4.83%.

National Grid (NGG) -- Is an international electricity and gas corporation based in great Britian that bought KeySpan, which started out as Brooklyn Union Gas. Its shares were selling for $49.42 yesterday, down roughly 2% year to date. PE=16.2; yields 7.06

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) -- Makes pharmaceuticals and nutritionals. Bristol-Meyers merged with Brooklyn's ER Squibb (as in Squibb Park in Brooklyn Heights). It was selling for $22.69 yesterday. It's down 2.4% year to date. PE=13.24; yields 5.46

Corning Incorporated (GLW) -- Used to be known as Corning Glass. They started as the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works. Now they're big in liquid crystal flat panel displays, fiber optics, ceramics, glass and plastics for scientific applications. It was selling for 15.51 yesterday. It's up 63% year to date. PE=14.84; yields 1.29%

Nathan's Famous (NATH) -- Started at their famous Coney Island hotdog outlet, now they own restaurants and sell doggies nationwide. It was selling for 14.46 yesterday. It's up 14% year to date. PE=16.96; no yield.

That gives us exposure to pharma, financials, industrials, restaurants, and energy. Any other quality investments we've forgotten about?

UPDATE: Suggestions so far include Berkshire Hathaway, which bought Brooklyn's Benjamin Moore paint company; Novartis, which took over Brooklyn's Ex-Lax (which, as our commenter pointed out, has a history on Atlantic Ave. like Benjamin Moore); and Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank. We like all of these companies, but we agree with commenter 1 that Berkshire Hathaway "is a bit rich for our blood." At almost $100,000 a share for the class A shares and $3,292 for the B shares, Berkshire would overwhelm our other holdings.

UPDATE 2: The Brooklyn Portfolio takes shape here.

UPDATE 3: The Brooklyn Portfolio: Fully Funded and Ready for Business

* Yields as reported by Google Finance; may vary

Photo by Don Hankins, Creative Commons license

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

Benjamin Moore began in Brooklyn. It is now part of Berkshire Hathaway, which is a bit rich for my blood.

Anonymous said...

Ex-Lax also began in Brooklyn. Now part of Novartis. Like Benjamin Moore, it has a history on Atlantic Ave.

Anonymous said...

BFSB - Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank

Anonymous said...

See how pathetic Brooklyn has become. All the major companies listed are long gone.

What's left and un-mentioned is our good friend Bruce Ratner.


Anonymous said...

I meant gone from Brooklyn!