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Old 12-23-2014, 12:27 PM   #101
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Looks like barring a meteor strike, I am going to close the year with gains...

If I RE'd last year, the gain would have almost covered my yearly expense.
A meteor may spare most of us, but a real asteroid will render everything moot. Else, I will also close with a gain, and even after heavier expenses than planned due to work on the two homes, but it was not much.

But, but, but if I matched the S&P with my 70% equity AA, I would have so much left over after expenses. Oh well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose...

PS. I need to add the following to my signature lines: "Capital gain + Dividend - Inflation = WR, result Meh!"
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:41 PM   #102
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That said, I will admit that I am not among those lucky ones this year. International and energy stocks let me down; I am holding them waiting for a better time. I am refraining from being greedy and piling on more. That hurt me in 2000-2002 when I kept buying semiconductor stocks on dips.
I've added a little more to international fund, moved a large cap (with too much yearly capital gain) to an S&P500 index fund, and am considering adding to energy fund. No big changes - just a few tweaks.

Currently digging a huge underground bunker to withstand a meteor/asteroid strike, will fill it with 200 lbs of gold, and go into hibernation.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:44 PM   #103
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M* portfolio manager tells me I'm at 8.15% total return YTD

AA 40/56/4 stocks/bonds/cash

VGENX and BHP are my sea anchors.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:56 PM   #104
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I have no need to 'beat the market' in the current upswing, just keeping up is good enough. As I am now in the MRD phase I want to 'beat the market' when it hits a downdraft.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:25 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
I've added a little more to international fund, moved a large cap (with too much yearly capital gain) to an S&P500 index fund, and am considering adding to energy fund. No big changes - just a few tweaks.

Currently digging a huge underground bunker to withstand a meteor/asteroid strike, will fill it with 200 lbs of gold, and go into hibernation.
If you still have some stocks after buying 200 lbs of gold, you are doing really really well.

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I have no need to 'beat the market' in the current upswing, just keeping up is good enough. As I am now in the MRD phase I want to 'beat the market' when it hits a downdraft.
There's nothing wrong with beating the market as often and as much as one can is lucky. That builds up reserve for the inevitable and unpredictable downturns.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:47 PM   #106
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Including DW's company stock (1/3 of portfolio), we are up 57% this year (IRR). Not including it, the rest of our portfolio is very stodgy and returned 5.6%.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:55 PM   #107
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In spite of a 'bunker' portfolio, 40/55/5 I expect (barring a end of year meltdown) to do 8%. After 15 yrs. of retirement I don't swing for the fence anymore, just a well placed single to the shallow outfield between right and center field.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:12 PM   #108
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Through yesterday (12/22), the S&P500 was up around 14.6% YTD including dividends.

Our retirement fund is up about 5.2% YTD on a 53% equities portfolio. We only have about 1/4 of the equities portion allocated to US Large Cap funds, so I'm not surprised that we lag. We have mid-cap, small-cap, international, and REIT funds.

Our best asset class by far has been the REIT funds - up 27.5% YTD!

Intermediate bond funds have done quite well also (for bond funds). And our muni bond fund that is a bit longish (7 year average duration), is up almost 10.5% YTD!

We have a couple of balanced funds that we as a benchmark for the portfolio, and this are up 7.5% YTD. They are running higher than 60% allocation to equities at the moment and tend to be US large cap centric.

Overall we are quite happy, especially after the strong performance last year (16.7%).

We don't ever expect to beat the S&P500 but amazingly some years we do, either because the S&P500 was down for the year, or because other categories like small cap or international or value way outperformed the S&P.

AAPL, which is the largest S&P500 holding, has had a stellar year.
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Old 12-23-2014, 02:55 PM   #109
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I am not beating the S&P totally, but Fidelity says this as of 11/30/14. 11.04% vs. 13.98%.

I am guessing most money managers can't go that after fees. It includes dividends.

S&P YTD 13.98%
Individual 10.12% (I had a lot of cash for a while, now mostly IVW and IVV)
IRA 16.15% (100% IVW)
Roth 11.46% (IVW, IWM, QQQ, GLD)

Total 11.04%

My 401K return was 9.83%. It includes lg cap 44%, small cap 43% and International 8%, company stock 5%.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:02 PM   #110
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Including DW's company stock (1/3 of portfolio), we are up 57% this year (IRR). Not including it, the rest of our portfolio is very stodgy and returned 5.6%.
A position only 1/3 of portfolio (must be at the start of the year) propelling the total up 57%! It must have nearly doubled.

I have more stocks than MFs, and my best 3 stocks went up nearly 50%. However, each of them are only 1% of portfolio, and got nearly canceled out by stinkers that went down -40%. Then, the rest are spread out in between these two extremes. And the other 30% of portfolio sitting in cash and I-bonds does not help much.

Oh well, here's looking to another exciting year in 2015. And it's only money. I will just RV on.

PS. My best MF is up 27%, while the stinkiest is down -8%. Again, I do not have enough of the "good ones". My MFs are up 5% as a group, not that great.
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With our ING (VOYA) 401(k)? You must be joking!
Old 12-23-2014, 04:07 PM   #111
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With our ING (VOYA) 401(k)? You must be joking!

Our limited ING (VOYA) funds are a bunch of losers! Small Cap, Large Cap and every where in between. A dartboard could replace most of their fund advisors!
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:11 PM   #112
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A position only 1/3 of portfolio (must be at the start of the year) propelling the total up 57%! It must have nearly doubled.
The company won regulatory approval for one of its products this year, which sent the stock rocketing.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:18 PM   #113
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The company won regulatory approval for one of its products this year, which sent the stock rocketing.

And you haven't shared this insider info with not so fired folks in here? Where's your generosity, friendship, and camaraderie? I am shocked, disappointed, and, and, waaaaaaaah!
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:21 PM   #114
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I could have held my biotech ETF, which went up 56% YTD, but I sold too early. And it might not have helped much, being only a few percent of portfolio. But every $10K helps. Why do I keep selling my winners and retain the losers?

My entire portfolio was tracking the S&P even though I was only 70% in equities up until August. Then, bad things started to happen while I was out RV'ing. However, I might not have done any better if I stayed home to watch the stocks daily.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:22 PM   #115
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And you haven't shared this insider info with not so fired folks in here? Where's your generosity, friendship, and camaraderie? I am shocked, disappointed, and, and, waaaaaaaah!
I wonder how much the stock kept on climbing after the news became public. It would not be "insider info" at that point.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:50 PM   #116
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I wonder how much the stock kept on climbing after the news became public. It would not be "insider info" at that point.
The stock climbed for several months in anticipation of a positive decision and then was flat for several weeks after approval.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:54 PM   #117
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The stock climbed in anticipation of a positive decision response to inside info, and then was flat for several weeks afterwards.
FIFY. And I would think there's as much potential for leaks at the regulating agency as at the company.

Note that I say "potential" because it would be so tempting, even though there's severe penalty for trading on inside info.

I remember reading about a company's stock dropping big when the news came out about one of its drugs being failed. Apparently, that bad news was not at all anticipated.
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:01 PM   #118
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Going back to the OP made me wonder where I stand with our investments. Earlier in the year we were doing reasonably well but I don't recall the numbers I posted.

Now, as we approach the end of year, Fidelity indicates the S&P 500 is up 13.98% and DOW is up 9.92%. Our accounts are up 10.61% and we are very much in line with the DOW according to FIDO's analysis of our holdings.

DW and I definitely focus on blue chip, and other dividend payers. We know that we're missing out on some of the small and mid-cap companies although we have an S&P index fund to capture a portion of that segment.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:07 AM   #119
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Didn't notice this post was started in July. Good time for someone to bump it.

Another benchmark is a market capitalization weighted all world index, might be a better comparison for those with a heavy international concentration - up ~5.4% over the past year

My overall return: 2.8%

Plan for 2015:
1. better tracking of my investments so it will be easier to calculate overall return than it was this year
2. avoid funds that are heavily concentrated and stick with broad-based indices. Lost a lot with a US large cap value fund that was too much weighted in energy and other stocks that did poorly
3. lower my bond concentration
4. had a lot in cash - invest it in diversified equities
5. invest in lower expense ratio funds
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:00 AM   #120
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Up 8.2 percent all in Vanguard, same holdings as a year ago.
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