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Hey market watchers
Old 11-16-2005, 09:54 PM   #1
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Hey market watchers

Do you track your investments on software such as Quicken or Microsoft Money.

What type of flucations do you see in your portfolio's on good days vs bad days vs OK days?
A big up day in the market may bring a portfolio up $5-10K, a down day ($5k or more).

What types of swings to you experience and how do you feel about them?


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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-16-2005, 09:59 PM   #2
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Re: Hey market watchers

a big swing - $1k-$2k. Haven't seen 2k gain or loss in a day yet, but very close. All stock portfolio, but diversified with int'l and indexes.

Swings don't matter. 20-40 yr horizon.

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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-16-2005, 10:33 PM   #3
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM
Do you track your investments on software such as Quicken or Microsoft Money.

What type of flucations do you see in your portfolio's on good days vs bad days vs OK days?
A big up day in the market may bring a portfolio up $5-10K, a down day ($5k or more).

What types of swings to you experience and how do you feel about them?
Don't you really have to talk percentages? a $5 -10k swing is much scarier on $100,000 than it is on $1,000,000.

I see my "number" fluctuate 1-2% fairly regularly, up to 3-4% when things are jumping around a lot. I always look (it's the first thing on my homepage, I HAVE to look) but I don't really sweat it. When numbers are down I try to find something to buy, when numbers are up, I bask in the glory.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-16-2005, 11:14 PM   #4
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
Don't you really have to talk percentages?* a $5 -10k swing is much scarier on $100,000 than it is on $1,000,000.

I see my "number" fluctuate 1-2% fairly regularly, up to 3-4% when things are jumping around a lot.* I always look (it's the first thing on my homepage, I HAVE to look) but I don't really sweat it.* * When numbers are down I try to find something to buy, when numbers are up, I bask in the glory.* *
I caught a $6500 pop in one stock today. (20%) Unfortunately, I have seen a silmilar moves to the downside all too often.
Ha
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: Hey market watchers

I will not infrequently see 1 to 2% moves in my portfolio from day to day. This is a lot less than it used to be, since I have diversified as my portfolio has grown. Lately, I have been buying less volatile stuff, like bonds, preferreds, etc., so total portfolio volatility has dropped. Still, yesterday I had a 4% drop in my largest position. The total portfolio only dropped roughly 1/2%.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 07:40 AM   #6
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Re: Hey market watchers

% is probably a better measure since some of us have smaller eggs. October I was down around 4%. Not a big deal. It all depends on your tolerance.

I tried Quicken and it was a pain in the a!!. Just ask TboneAl.

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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 07:52 AM   #7
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Re: Hey market watchers

brewer: I've been on the prowl for a CEF filled with long-term treasuries. Any ideas?

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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 08:01 AM   #8
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
brewer:* I've been on the prowl for a CEF filled with long-term treasuries.* Any ideas?

--Greg
Well, there's TLT, but you won't get it at a discount to NAV. There are numerous CEFs loaded with AAA-rated insured munis that are quite long term and trading at a discount, but most of them are leveraged. Not sure if that's what you had in mind.

I've tip-toed into some exchange-traded preferreds lately: MFA and ANH. The market is spooked on them, but I can't imagine a scenario under which they would ever be impaired barring fraud. I'm also looking at PFX, SCT preferred, and ANH preferred.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 08:05 AM   #9
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Re: Hey market watchers

I'll modify my response above. On a percentage basis, I see a 1% gain/loss at least monthly I'd guess. I haven't seen a 2% gain or loss in the last few years (since 9/11/2001 maybe?). Almost 100% of my portfolio in stock mutual funds and almost zero individual stocks.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 08:52 AM   #10
 
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Re: Hey market watchers

I use Quicken. As Wildcat mentioned, I absolutely hate it, but there's no reasonable alternative. From online forum searches, it looks like Money is just as bad, and there's no easy way to transfer my existing data.

I check the value of my investments every day, though I try not to. Ideally, I'd check once a quarter or so, but it's not going to happen.

Yes, looking in percentage terms is smarter, but there's nothing like the fun of seeing that you lost or made $8,000 in one day.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 09:10 AM   #11
 
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
I use Quicken. As Wildcat mentioned, I absolutely hate it, but there's no reasonable alternative. From online forum searches, it looks like Money is just as bad, and there's no easy way to transfer my existing data.
I've also used Quicken for about 12 years. It started out great and has ended up pretty sorry. The basic of bugs don't get fixed.

I did try Microsoft Money on their 'Trial Basis'. I used their Conversion Program from Quicken to Money. It picked up about 1/3 of my data and just 'skipped' most of it! - No thanks!
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 09:14 AM   #12
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM
Do you track your investments on software such as Quicken or Microsoft Money.
Search the older threads for the word "Quicken" and you get a lot of hits. *We'd all love to change to something that had the same tracking capabilities without the conversion/upgrade hassles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM
What type of flucations do you see in your portfolio's on good days vs bad days vs OK days?
IMO good days fluctuate up and bad days fluctuate down. *OK days should go up too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTM
What types of swings to you experience and how do you feel about them?
Swings of 1-2% either direction are fairly frequent-- a couple times per week. *Occasionally, over a quarter or two, we'll be down 5-10% and think "Hmmm." *When subsequent quarters put us back in the black by 5-10% my spouse's usual comment is "Sell!" but I think she's just basking in the warm glow of accomplishment afforded by avoiding yet another day of real work.

Every once in a great while we'll see a series of swings that puts us in a new position-- up or down-- where I'll realize "Hey, that's more than a year of my old salary!" But neither direction makes me want to go back to work.

We don't pay as much attention to the portfolio as we do to individual holdings. *When something goes up 10-15% in less than a year I'm mildly interested in whether we should be buying more, rebalancing, or selling. *It depends on our level of interest (which admittedly fluctuates with the surf or home-improvement projects) and whether our cash needs replenishing.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 10:04 AM   #13
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Re: Hey market watchers

I use Money but only because I have not found any thing better. I have used it for almost 10 years and upgrade about every 3 years so there is a ton of stuff in the database that I would hate to try to convert to anything else. It works enough for me but there are a number of irritating programing items that make the experience frustrating.

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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 10:22 AM   #14
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Well, there's TLT, but you won't get it at a discount to NAV. There are numerous CEFs loaded with AAA-rated insured munis that are quite long term and trading at a discount, but most of them are leveraged. Not sure if that's what you had in mind.

I've tip-toed into some exchange-traded preferreds lately: MFA and ANH. The market is spooked on them, but I can't imagine a scenario under which they would ever be impaired barring fraud. I'm also looking at PFX, SCT preferred, and ANH preferred.
I'm sort of looking for a smaller, highly volatile interest rate play. My ONLY thought is treasuries. If things really start to crumble, I don't want anything to do with insured munis (who the heck pays if all the insurers are in trouble with their other things--like mortgages? Triple AAA bonds insured by potentially B rated insurers are B rated to my mind) I'm currently ready to pounce on MXA in Minnesota because they're mostly general obligations. They should hold up better when EVERYONE revisits risk as an important factor in investment decisions. I also need/want current income which rules out zeros (dang, if I want to pay taxes on money I don't get right now). I'm just trying to do better than TLT which has no leverage. Preferreds? Pfft, not safe enough for me. Thanks.

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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 10:23 AM   #15
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Re: Hey market watchers

I have found nothing to beat plain old Excel. I can set up whatever forms I
want, and know exactly what the underlying equations are. This includes
income tax calculations.

My portfolio swings up or down 1 or 2% several days each month. In
April 2004 it dropped 20% (about $220K) in around 2 weeks, then
within 6 months had recovered it all plus 20% more. I find this fun to
watch, but as long as the underlying companies (mostly individual
REITs) keep doing their job, increasing income and dividends, it does
not bother (or excite) me.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 10:33 AM   #16
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
I'm sort of looking for a smaller, highly volatile interest rate play.* My ONLY thought is treasuries.* If things really start to crumble, I don't want anything to do with insured munis (who the heck pays if all the insurers are in trouble with their other things--like mortgages?* Triple AAA bonds insured by potentially B rated insurers are B rated to my mind)* I'm currently ready to pounce on MXA in Minnesota because they're mostly general obligations.* They should hold up better when EVERYONE revisits risk as an important factor in investment decisions.* I also need/want current income which rules out zeros (dang, if I want to pay taxes on money I don't get right now).* I'm just trying to do better than TLT which has no leverage.* Preferreds?* Pfft, not safe enough for me.* Thanks.

--Greg
What interest rate bet are ou looking to make? You think rates will fall, I presume? Or that the yield curve will become steep again? Easy. Look at mortgage REITs. There are several trading at a discount to book that will rocket upwards if the yield curve steepens. MFA and ANH bot invest pretty much strictly in AAA agency MBS, so any defaults in the portfolio are absorbed by the agencies and paid out as cash. These things have essentially no credit risk, but have a big interest rate bet.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 10:55 AM   #17
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
What interest rate bet are ou looking to make? You think rates will fall, I presume? Or that the yield curve will become steep again? Easy. Look at mortgage REITs. There are several trading at a discount to book that will rocket upwards if the yield curve steepens. MFA and ANH bot invest pretty much strictly in AAA agency MBS, so any defaults in the portfolio are absorbed by the agencies and paid out as cash. These things have essentially no credit risk, but have a big interest rate bet.
No, I have to feel safe. That means treasuries only. All I want is a play on these when the Fed starts lowering rates and reliquifying after the recession starts. So the short rates will drop when the Fed figures out we're in a recession and the long rates should drop too--maybe/probably--unless that pesky inflation acts up. That is the only risk I want to deal with: the inflation-deflation connundrum, not whether Fannie May/Freddie Mac will pull a pension fund thingie and only pay out 60% of their implied obligation--or not. Thanks again.

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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 11:26 AM   #18
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Re: Hey market watchers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse . . .um . . .SOON
No, I have to feel safe.* That means treasuries only.* All I want is a play on these when the Fed starts lowering rates and reliquifying after the recession starts.* So the short rates will drop when the Fed figures out we're in a recession and the long rates should drop too--maybe/probably--unless that pesky inflation acts up.* That is the only risk I want to deal with:* the inflation-deflation connundrum, not whether Fannie May/Freddie Mac will pull a pension fund thingie and only pay out 60% of their implied obligation--or not.* *Thanks again.

--Greg
How about a different, roll your own strategy? Take a pile of cash. Buy whatever FI securities you are comfy with with 90% of it, presumably treasuries, T-bills, CDs, whatever. Then take the 10% and buy out of the money call options on TLT. You can buy Jan. '08 calls pretty cheaply.
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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 11:33 AM   #19
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Re: Hey market watchers

Brewer:

I have think about that. Only a couple simple moving parts to that set up. I'll get back to you. Thanks again again.

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Re: Hey market watchers
Old 11-17-2005, 11:37 AM   #20
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Re: Hey market watchers

I track my portfolio in a pretty low-tech way. I have an Excel spreadsheet that has columns for every account I have...mutual funds, the 401ks, Roth IRA, scottrade account, etc. In the morning before the markets open up, I'll go to my various accounts online, get the totals, and type them into the Excel spreadsheet.

I don't do it every morning, but if the market has gone up enough to put me at another new high, I'll record it. Or right after I make a fairly large investment. Or also if the market takes a really big nosedive.

Then, I add them all up and plot that total on a graph. Over time, I'll go back and erase some of the less neccesary data points. For instance, if one day I'm at $100K, then it does to $103K and then $105K, I might get rid of the $103K data.

I'd say typically the total never fluctuates by more than 1% from day to day. 2% is usually a pretty major event.
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