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Old 01-04-2015, 06:23 PM   #21
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Definitely not a good idea to chase last year's winners unless youeven if you think there's a good reason those wins will continue.
At least that's what I'd say. The ability to reliably predict what the market will do, or keep doing, is very rare.
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Old 01-04-2015, 07:07 PM   #22
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+1 International equity was a drag on overall returns last year, but the tide will turn and that portion of your portfolio will ultimately be a top performer. Stay diversified and gauge your success over the longer term

I don't think international will turn in '15 b/c the US $ will likely continue to strengthen. I added to small caps and reduced my international exposure.


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Old 01-04-2015, 08:19 PM   #23
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VSS International, Small Cap 3%
VWO International, Emerging Markets 2%
Right now these are a tiny slice of your portfolio and i would either drop them (to simplify) or double down and increase them to a meaningful percentage. In my AA they are each 10% of equities.
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Old 01-04-2015, 08:23 PM   #24
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International and some madcap and smallcap stocks also underperformed. The objective is to select funds that do better than the overall In That Category. So my international dragged me down but not as much as the average. Still it hurt this year and you just have to be philosophical. Most of us started out 2014 feeling pretty pessimistic about the year after the performance most had in 2013. So it is kind of a "all gravy" situation.
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:25 PM   #25
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I'll have to do some research on madcap stocks. Invest in what you know, and all that...
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Old 01-04-2015, 09:26 PM   #26
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It's those madcap stocks that can really give you heartburn.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:40 PM   #27
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You have all Vanguard stock index funds in the form of ETFs, so you did great. The idea of 7% not being a good return is ludicrous. Since you used index funds, you get the average market return. And the average market is NOT just the S&P500, so get that out of your head right now.

The 2014 hotspots were REITs (you have no specific REIT index fund) and US large-caps (you have more than half your portfolio in these). International funds were negative for the year. US small-caps were in the middle.

So I guess I am asking what did you expect?

More feedback: For US equities you have VUG, VTV, VOO, VO and VB in rough proportions that when added together just are the same at Vanguard Total Stock Market Index fund VTI. So why have five separate ETFs when you can have just one?

On the international side, you do use a Total Int'l fund and then overweight int'l small-caps and emerging markets. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:14 PM   #28
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Yes International was terrible this year and we all hurt for it. However, I also bought two ETF's in late 2012, the Vanguard Healthcare ETF and the Vanguard Utilities ETF, they both did 25 to 27% last year, quite a nice little kicker to add to anyone's portfolio. I did not expect Utilities to do all that well, bought it to add a bit of stability but it surprised very nicely. Something to consider. And of course I always love buying more O, the Realty Income company which just keeps delivering steady returns.
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:16 PM   #29
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HAHA, Madcap, I meant Midcap, damn you autocorrect!
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:32 PM   #30
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My returns (as calculated by Vanguard in the personal performance/portfolio analysis section of their website) for 2014 were only about 7%, and I believe the market (S&P 500) churned out about 12%...
Well, you can hope that in 2015, the situation will reverse and the S&P will be up 7% while you are up 12%.

Or perhaps the S&P will be down -10% and you still beat it by being down only -5%.

Making this joke, I remember what I read back in late 1999 or early 2000 during the market heyday, and a lot of people were investing in equities for the 1st time. A writer of a now defunct magazine wrote the following in jest. I liked it so much that I remember till this day.

"I have many mutual funds. Here's how they work. If the market goes down, they go down a lot. If the market goes up, they go down a little."
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