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Portfolio Update

May 31st, 2008 at 02:41 pm

Yesterday I analyzed my portfolio, which consists mostly of individual stocks and a few mutual funds. So far for 2008, I am seriously in the red:

January = down - $25,676
February = down - $7,764
March = up + $7,109
April = up + $11,674
May = up + $6,817

Calendar YTD = down - $7,840

I bought most of my stocks around 1996-2000 and then stopped when the market started going haywire. To date, Iíve never sold anything but know I should do some culling... if only I had more understanding and confidence about what to do and why.

Since January of Ď06, when I started keeping a spreadsheet I update on the last day of the month, my portfolio increased by 9.37% a year. Iím not sure how this compares to indices like the Dow or NasdaqÖ all I know is that my portfolioís produced a better return than anything Iíve gotten from a CD or money fund. To be honest, I do not review my statements from Schwab that are available online. I like to keep track using my own spreadsheet.

While the mutual funds have done OK overall, I have tech stocks that dropped significantly, have never recovered, and possibly never will. Some of these dropped as much as 50-60%, yet I hang on to them. I did get lucky with a couple of stocks bought solely because I liked/used their products or did business with the company (e.g., Apple and Walmart).

My plan is to educate myself more about intelligent investment strategies once I retire and actually have more time, but Iíll probably stick to mutual fundsÖand maybe Iíll even sell some of my dogs of the Dow. Can anyone recommend a good book/web site on mutual fund investing or portfolio management? I want to get more actively involved in managing my portfolio but don't want to obsess over it, either. There's got to be a better strategy than "ignore and check once a month."

6 Responses to “Portfolio Update”

  1. threebeansalad Says:

    I recommend "The Bogleheads Guide to Investing". It's written by Vanguard enthusiasts, but the information is applicable for everyone.

    Regarding Pandora registration: I think you need to register if you want to save your stations and preferences. I would recommend registering.

  2. tripods68 Says:

    Great job! The market has bounce back a little bit.

    Few suggestion I'd used over the years. I also started investing in ETFs in the past 4 or 5 years which highly efficient products and low cost

  3. Analise Says:

    3BeanSalad ~ Thanks for the suggestion... I've reserved Bogleheads Guide at our local library.

  4. Analise Says:

    Thanks tripod68... I will check out EFTconnect. BTW, you are doing great for only 39. I predict you will exceed your goals.

    As far when to retire, you will know when the time comes. If you keep up the pace of saving aggressively for your retirement, you will have lots of options... you can retire early because want to and can afford it, or work longer because you love your job.

  5. tripods68 Says:

    Thanks Analisse for the compliment. All we can do it 'try' and do it. We're just taking one day at time. Again great job on your endSmile

  6. scfr Says:

    Scott Burns' Couch Potato strategy for investing in mutual funds is interesting:

    It has been awhile since I read Jane Bryant Quinn's
    "Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People" but it was well-written and promoted a simple approach to mutual fund investing.

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