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Old 10-04-2011, 09:58 AM   #21
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Looks like we have a WINNUH!

Using adjusted closes from Yahoo (for consistency with previous numbers), I got a 78.6% return for Wellington, from 08/16/02 - 09/23/11. Not sure why the difference, but it appears to beat the OPs numbers in either case.

-ERD50
Right. I said 08/16/02 but the chart reads 08/31/02. M* charts does that sometimes... Going back and plugging in your dates I get $10K grows to $17789. That's 77.9% and that's close enough for me.
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:15 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Looks like we have a WINNUH!

Using adjusted closes from Yahoo (for consistency with previous numbers), I got a 78.6% return for Wellington, from 08/16/02 - 09/23/11. Not sure why the difference, but it appears to beat the OPs numbers in either case.

-ERD50
May well be a winner but I'm down 8.5% from my 6/20/11 purchase of the poor boy's version of Wellington (VWELX)
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:29 AM   #23
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May well be a winner but I'm down 8.5% from my 6/20/11 purchase of the poor boy's version of Wellington (VWELX)
How does that compare to your self-managed portfolio over the same time period?
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Old 10-04-2011, 11:35 AM   #24
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I also use Yahoo. My original question was prompted by the possibility that sometime in the future Yahoo's information might cease to be freely available.
I've done the same thing with Microsoft and Google finance web pages when Yahoo looked flakey. Load the web data on one tab, use a second to format it into a standard table for your spreadsheet, and then the rest of the spreadsheet uses the standard table. If you need to switch, you just need to change the standard table's references to the web data. The rest stays the same.

As to your original question then, I have used Google and Microsoft, though Yahoo has remained the most useful for me. Google had some real-time data for some ETF's but didn't have all the data I wanted. It was also more complex dealing with some real-time data and some delayed data. Microsoft was similarly data poor or hard to load I think, though it's been a while.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:13 PM   #25
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How does that compare to your self-managed portfolio over the same time period?
-10.16%
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Old 10-04-2011, 04:59 PM   #26
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-10.16%
So now you can calculate the hourly cost of all your data entry and tracking relative to the performance of Vanguard's funds, and you can decide whether the activity still holds value for you.

Or, as William Bernstein has said, "I'd rather live my life"...
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:26 AM   #27
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So now you can calculate the hourly cost of all your data entry and tracking relative to the performance of Vanguard's funds, and you can decide whether the activity still holds value for you.

Or, as William Bernstein has said, "I'd rather live my life"...
Since I use FIFO, the lion's share of my data entry time is consumed by entering mutual fund dividend reinvestments. Other than that, the only other regularly occurring manual entries are to record purchases and sales and a monthly cash reconciliation.
All in all it's not too burdensome for someone like me who still prefers to use a fountain pen.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:07 AM   #28
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All in all it's not too burdensome for someone like me who still prefers to use a fountain pen.
While that might be the case, the return comparisons posted here would have me asking myself, "Is my time spent time well spent?"
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:47 AM   #29
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Since I use FIFO, the lion's share of my data entry time is consumed by entering mutual fund dividend reinvestments.
Why have them re-invested? I agree that becomes a major paperwork job. Have them dropped into a cash account, and apply the proceeds to your next purchases. Zero added paperwork.

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All in all it's not too burdensome for someone like me who still prefers to use a fountain pen.
While that might be the case, the return comparisons posted here would have me asking myself, "Is my time spent time well spent?"
+1. What exactly is the point of all this if it isn't providing excess returns?

-ERD50
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Old 10-05-2011, 08:58 AM   #30
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Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
When I get burned, I like to know the what and why.
If I relied solely on VWELX type investments, I would have forgone holdings like ED and XOM with cost bases of $5.63 and $4.24 respectively.
Thanks again for all the helpful feedback.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:12 AM   #31
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C'mon folks, leave him alone. He's happy playing with his numbers. It's a free country. I'm sure many of us waste our time in ways that would confuse (or even appall) others of us. Just ask my DW.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:18 AM   #32
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-10.16%
This has been an interesting thread, JPB--and I love that you (a) admit your results and (b) don't try to qualify or rationalize them. Why not track 300 stocks yourself if that's what you enjoy doing with your time?
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:27 AM   #33
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This has been an interesting thread, JPB--and I love that you (a) admit your results and (b) don't try to qualify or rationalize them. Why not track 300 stocks yourself if that's what you enjoy doing with your time?
+1. Very refreshing.

Thanks for the thread, I enjoyed reading it.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:35 AM   #34
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C'mon folks, leave him alone. He's happy playing with his numbers. It's a free country. I'm sure many of us waste our time in ways that would confuse (or even appall) others of us. Just ask my DW.
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... Why not track 300 stocks yourself if that's what you enjoy doing with your time?
I hope none of my comments were interpreted as negative or judgmental. I prefaced one with that caveat, to try to avoid that view.

It is a free country, and even if I wanted to be judgmental, I wouldn't see any 'problem' with what he's doing, if that is how he wants to spend his time. In fact, one side benefit that I saw when I tracked a couple dozen stocks was that it kept me 'invloved' in those industries as I followed the news on them. I was surprised how often it was an 'ice-breaker' - I'd meet someone, and be able to converse about the industry they were in, I knew something about their company and/or competitors.

However, when the OP is making claims that he does this to improve performance, I think it is totally reasonable to offer up evaluations of that performance against the alternatives. Heck, I was hoping he was consistently doing better than the alternatives - I'm open to new approaches. I'd hope to learn something (regardless how slight the odds).

With that in mind:

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
When I get burned, I like to know the what and why.
If I relied solely on VWELX type investments, I would have forgone holdings like ED and XOM with cost bases of $5.63 and $4.24 respectively.
Thanks again for all the helpful feedback.
What good is cherry-picking a few winners? It is your overall average performance that matters.

Let me put it another way, just to recap - what exactly are you trying to achieve? Higher returns, lower volatility, a combination, higher returns regardless of volatility? If this is just a 'hobby', with no specific financial goal, just say so - nothing wrong with that.

-ERD50
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:43 AM   #35
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However, when the OP is making claims that he does this to improve performance, I think it is totally reasonable to offer up evaluations of that performance against the alternatives.
Let me put it another way, just to recap - what exactly are you trying to achieve? Higher returns, lower volatility, a combination, higher returns regardless of volatility? If this is just a 'hobby', with no specific financial goal, just say so - nothing wrong with that.

-ERD50
I don't see that he said he was doing it to improve performance; his OP:

Quote:
For the last 10 or so years, I've been downloading the symbols, closing prices, ttm earnings per share, annualized dividends per share, and ex-div dates for all (some 200+) of my equity and mutual fund holdings on a more or less daily basis from Yahoo-Finance. Because these positions are held in over a half dozen accounts, I find it helpful to generate a consolidated position recap report.
What might be some alternative sources for accessing and downloading the above described data to a delimited text file for upwards of 300 equity issues and mutual funds?
I think he's just doing it for his own analysis and interest. Sort of how I like knitting, which is horrendously expensive in materials and time vs. going to Target and buying a perfectly serviceable sweater.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:53 AM   #36
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I don't see that he said he was doing it to improve performance; his OP:
I used 'OP' as 'Original Poster' in that context, not as 'Original Post'. I thought his subsequent posts were driving towards improved performance, though he didn't say it in those exact words, so maybe I'm reading into it a bit.

Maybe he will elaborate.


Quote:
I think he's just doing it for his own analysis and interest.
Perhaps. And I would think (but could be wrong) that he would be interested in how alternatives compare as part of that analysis.

That said, a friend of mine does a lot of trading. He is often trying to run ideas by me and get an opinion, play devil's advocate and such on an individual trade. Yet, every time I talk about measuring his overall performance against some kind of standard, he has a billion excuses, none of which make sense to me. I've come to the conclusion (again, maybe wrongly) that he doesn't want to measure against a standard, he wants to believe that his work is paying off for him. The " don't confuse me with the facts " approach. I'm not saying this applies to the OP, it might not even apply to my friend, but it is an aspect of human nature that I've observed quite often. And that interests me.


-ERD50
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Old 10-05-2011, 02:12 PM   #37
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The limited wiggle room for controlling the timing of taxable events can make funds like VWIAX less attractive for non-tax sheltered holdings.
The relative predictability of the income stream from some dividend paying equities can be attractive.
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Old 10-05-2011, 09:13 PM   #38
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The limited wiggle room for controlling the timing of taxable events can make funds like VWIAX less attractive for non-tax sheltered holdings.
True, a MF can issue an annual cap gain distribution, but I have to wonder if this is significant overall. It's been pretty small for VWENX (the Wellington fund that is closer to 60% eq). You have to take the gains sometime - if you try to defer them, you could be hit with higher future tax rates also. Could be a wash.


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The relative predictability of the income stream from some dividend paying equities can be attractive.
Are the VWENX dividends significantly less predictable than a group of dividend paying equities? After all, that's exactly where the divs come from in VWENX (plus some from fixed).


-ERD50
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:22 AM   #39
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The relative predictability of the income stream from some dividend paying equities can be attractive.








Are the VWENX dividends significantly less predictable than a group of dividend paying equities? After all, that's exactly where the divs come from in VWENX (plus some from fixed).
So what's likely to be VWENX's December dividend?
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:55 AM   #40
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You might try using Quicken for a small subset of your portfolio to see if it will provide for your needs.

While I'm not sure if it will get you all the information you are looking for, it may get you a huge chunk of it and you can link Quicken to your stockbroker accounts and automatically download transactions. The reporting is quite flexible and you can always import the data into Excel if you want a particular format for a report and the raw data is available but Quicken reports won't do the trick.

Also, since you seem to be a sophisticated user, there may well be specific investment tracking and reporting software out there that would work better for you.

But even if you could link your stockbroker accounts to Quicken to use Quicken to handle the drudgery of tracking transaction (including dividend reinvestments) and then import the data to Excel for reporting it sounds like you would be ahead of the game.

Good luck.
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