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Many Fools like to pick a certain date for annual portfolio analysis and rebalancing. I usually have available time in May, so I use my Fool balloon day as the annual benchmark. :) Last year's update was here:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=25501044

Well, this had to happen eventually, and now it did: I lost money over a year of investing. Microsoft Money reports my investment return for the past year (5/16/2007 to present) as $ -2,834, or -1.69%. The snowball can roll backwards too.

However, that's still a fine performance, as compared to the S&P 500 return of -6.11% over the same time period. Most of the outperformance is thanks to the 30% international allocation, which returned 3.33% for me (that's 9.44% over the US benchmark!) I'd like to say I saw the weak US dollar coming, though I'd also admit that maybe I just got lucky on that. Anyway, the point is that one can indeed achieve double-digit returns above the S&P index, even without chasing individual stocks.

And also however, that's a small blip as compared to my overall savings. My total net worth reached $200K this week, up from $148K last year despite the negative investment return. (The account breakdown like I posted last year isn't so meaningful anymore - I had a 401k rollover that skews all the numbers.) That's all cash and liquid investments - I still rent with no house or car in the net worth picture. Maybe my salary is high enough to go travel some more and move up a bit from the college student lifestyle. :)

FIRE's definitely within reach - at this rate I'll hit $1M by age 40.

- Erik
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