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Old 01-09-2016, 09:28 AM   #681
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Originally Posted by FIREd_2015 View Post
According to an article on marketwatch.com, the average investor lost 3.1% in 2015. Looks like my 100% cash portfolio did better than most in 2015 and also 2016 YTD.


This is how much the average American investor made last year - MarketWatch
Don't you think that's unscientific and possibly misleading? I expect lots of people, dare I say "most Americans", did not share their information on that site.

Quoting from the article

"But, judging from this Visual Capitalist chart based on data collected by Openfolio, a site on which investors share information about themselves and their investments, most Americans didnít meet that low threshold. Only one-third of investors made money on the year, according to Openfolio, and the average American lost 3.1%. "
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:50 AM   #682
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEC-1982 View Post
Don't you think that's unscientific and possibly misleading? I expect lots of people, dare I say "most Americans", did not share their information on that site.

Quoting from the article

"But, judging from this Visual Capitalist chart based on data collected by Openfolio, a site on which investors share information about themselves and their investments, most Americans didnít meet that low threshold. Only one-third of investors made money on the year, according to Openfolio, and the average American lost 3.1%. "
I would agree that it's not accurate to 2 decimal points but the results are consistent with what I've read and heard - low single digit losses. I met with a wealth manager in early December who told me his performance YTD was -3% and that is consistent with the chart. I realize that is only one data point but that along with other results I follow suggest it's in the ballpark. Considering the S&P500 (without dividends) ended negative for the year and most emerging market funds also ended negative in 2015, I'd say low single digit loses is probably correct. We'll know more once the results of various active and passive funds are published in the next month or two. Median data would be more useful since averages can be skewed by outliers.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:14 PM   #683
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*************************
Investments (w/o operating cash)

+4.50% - 2015 total balance
-1.60% - 2015 total performance
*************************

Unexpected earned income helped quite a bit.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:01 AM   #684
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Originally Posted by FIREd_2015 View Post
I would agree that it's not accurate to 2 decimal points but the results are consistent with what I've read and heard - low single digit losses. I met with a wealth manager in early December who told me his performance YTD was -3% and that is consistent with the chart. I realize that is only one data point but that along with other results I follow suggest it's in the ballpark. Considering the S&P500 (without dividends) ended negative for the year and most emerging market funds also ended negative in 2015, I'd say low single digit loses is probably correct. We'll know more once the results of various active and passive funds are published in the next month or two. Median data would be more useful since averages can be skewed by outliers.
You are probably right about the results. There is a large body of evidence that says the average investor does significantly worse (3-4%) than the average US stock market returns. What I was questioning was the data source and drawing conclusions from that.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:36 PM   #685
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Finally, I have enough data to be able to contribute to this thread. STLYX* returned 0.27% in 2015.

Since I'm the kind of guy who always wants to get right to the swimsuit competition, here's what it's got:

Ticker
Name2015 %2016 %
FSTVXTotal Market Index7.387.41
FSEVXExtended Market Index19.5718.23
FCNTXContrafund18.4217.12
FSIVXInternational Index13.1212.25
FEMKXEmerging Markets6.696.14
FSITXUS Bond Index14.7317.11
FINPXInflation-Protected Bond4.905.88
FAGIXCapitol & Income2.482.87
FNMIXNew Markets Income2.532.90
FRESXReal Estate Investment10.1810.09
Attached is a Quicken-generated graph that shows STLYX* return (Growth of $10,000) vs. various market indexes in 2015. The reason why it's dated from 12/14-12/15 is that Quicken seems to want to plot its points at month-end, so if I start from January 2015, it misses the required distribution that I have withdrawn automatically as early as possible each year (because the point would be January 31), so this graph begins December 31, 2014.

Background: this is not my full portfolio, but an inherited IRA that came into existence in early 2013. That makes it super-easy to track returns, since there is a known starting date/value, no additions, only the IRS-required distributions each year.

I started calling it STLYX (to amuse myself, mainly), but then discovered that ticker was already taken by a (much more boring) fund, so I decided to do what they did for Roger Maris and add the asterisk.

I like several things about the pattern shown in the $10K graph, not the least of which is that STLYX* didn't take quite the nosedive as the indexes in August and September (remember that? Wasn't that China-induced also?). If that kind of pattern were to persist for the balance of my retirement (highly unlikely), I'd call it fine with me.

STLYX* is steered by the top-level stock/bond allocation determined by Vanguard's 2025 target-date fund (VTTVX, which returned -0.85% in 2015). I decided to let the "pros" dictate that split and chose Vanguard due to a comparison of similar funds a while ago. Instead of dumping it into VTTVX, I dollar-cost averaged all the initial cash over a period of two years, which ended with investing the final chunk of cash in early February 2015. Although I follow a Vanguard top-level allocation, I implement it using Fidelity fund choices that I picked, most of which I am familiar with through my former employer-sponsored retirement plans. It's not a vote for or against either, I have a separate Roth in Vanguard that's great.

Starting with the VTTVX stock/bond allocation, I subtract 5% off the top of both (10% total) and give that over to real estate, and the reason for that is from reading what I think is an excellent book: Burton Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street (one of e-r.org's recommended reading list), in which he suggests treating real estate as a separate asset class.

Additional data from Morningstar's Porfolio X-Ray tool regarding STLYX*: the overall exoense ratio is 0.37% and the top 5 individual stock holdings (in order) are FB, AAPL, PSA, BRK.A, and SPG (as of 11/30/15).

That's my contribution to this thread for 2015. I only know a few things with certainty about 2016: first, I haven't the slightest idea what any of the returns will look like in 2016; second, I'm all done with messing with STLYX* for the rest of the year as I've received the distribution and have rebalanced to the percentages shown in the table so now I can spend the rest of the year getting more practice with the thing called early retirement; and third, the probability of me turning into a Market Timing Winged Monkey = zero.

One more thing: I got a Wait, Wait... question: what fund (that I don't own) returned 1.35% in 2015? Hint: "Pssst...."
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:51 PM   #686
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Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
Finally, I have enough data to be able to contribute to this thread. STLYX* returned 0.27% in 2015.

Since I'm the kind of guy who always wants to get right to the swimsuit competition, here's what it's got:

Ticker
Name2015 %2016 %
FSTVXTotal Market Index7.387.41
FSEVXExtended Market Index19.5718.23
FCNTXContrafund18.4217.12
FSIVXInternational Index13.1212.25
FEMKXEmerging Markets6.696.14
FSITXUS Bond Index14.7317.11
FINPXInflation-Protected Bond4.905.88
FAGIXCapitol & Income2.482.87
FNMIXNew Markets Income2.532.90
FRESXReal Estate Investment10.1810.09
Sorry but I think you need to re-check those calculations. I looked up the NAV on yahoo finance and it says the NAV on 12/31/15 FSTVX=58.67, FSEVX=50.2, NAV on 12/31/14 FSTVX=59.87, FSEVX=55.18 so both funds had negative returns in 2015 before dividends. FSTVX paid dividends of 1.45 and FSEVX paid dividends of 3.17. Including dividends FSTVX was barely positive for the year and FSEVX returned -3% in 2015.
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Old 01-10-2016, 01:57 PM   #687
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Originally Posted by FIREd_2015 View Post
Sorry but I think you need to re-check those calculations. I looked up the NAV on yahoo finance and it says the NAV on 12/31/15 FSTVX=58.67, FSEVX=50.2, NAV on 12/31/14 FSTVX=59.87, FSEVX=55.18 so both funds had negative returns in 2015 before dividends. FSTVX paid dividends of 1.45 and FSEVX paid dividends of 3.17. Including dividends FSTVX was barely positive for the year and FSEVX returned -3% in 2015.
There's no need to be sorry. Those are percentages of each fund contained within the portfolio in 2015 and 2016.
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:50 PM   #688
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There's no need to be sorry. Those are percentages of each fund contained within the portfolio in 2015 and 2016.
My mistake. Note to self: Re-read posts carefully before replying.
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2015 YTD investment performance thread
Old 01-10-2016, 03:00 PM   #689
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2015 YTD investment performance thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by FIREd_2015 View Post
My mistake. Note to self: Re-read posts carefully before replying.



S'ok. That's a lotta numbers up there, one reason I don't do it often. But I think it's good to try to be complete and transparent if possible.

A 0.27% return is hardly something for anyone to be flapping their wings about but hey, if ya gonna talk the talk...

Now I think it's good to watch those NFL playoffs. The thing called ER!
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:28 AM   #690
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Buried amidst the screeching of the Market Timing Winged Monkeys lately (or if someone posted, I missed it) was the announcement from the BLS that the CPI-U less food and energy for the 12 months ended December 2015 was 2.1%.

Occasionally people ask what numbers others use for planning purposes for returns in their ER planning spreadsheets (you know, the ones that just keep growing every time you think, "Oh wait! But what about THAT?"). In my case, I used 7% nominal return while still working and 6% afterwards. For both, I factored 3% inflation. So, to use a sports metaphor, I hoped (but as a wise man sang, "you can't always get what you want") to sink a three-point shot (real) annually. But, looking from a nominal return perspective, it bounced off the rim in 2015 (if the nominal return were negative, then I'd figure I missed the barn completely).
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