NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As another year-end approaches, it's time to take stock of some of the best and worst calls made in my column over the past year.
While it's fine to point out successes, the failures are equally as important. They help you grow as an investor and avoid repeats. One well-known fund manager once told me that he kept a bulletin board outside his office on which he hung stock certificates of his biggest mistakes. Those constant reminders were helpful to him.
Cresud (CRESY) had an interesting year; I spent the first half of 2013 avoiding it due to concerns with the Argentine government's approach to economics, and the company's inability to pay foreign shareholders a dividend that they were entitled to. These issues helped to send shares down 35% between April and June.
With shares in the $7 range and the dividend finally paid, several months later some of the doubt was removed and I took a new position. Shares are up nearly 60% since then. A new dividend of 40.5 cents a share was declared last month, and I hope it will be paid without fanfare this year, but we'll see.
Shares of Career Education (CECO) represented a rarity in mid-June, when the company traded for less than the cash and cash equivalents on its balance sheet. That rarely happens, especially in this market environment, and while representative of the disdain that investors have for Career Education and for-profit education companies in general, it represented an interesting opportunity, and shares are up about 64% since June.