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Think you can't do better than the markets? I say you can.

I'm no whiz, but here's how I have done in my IRA vs the markets YTD to 3/31 and for the past year, per my Fidelity info:

My IRA investments: YTD 3/31: +19.58% 1 year: +31.99%

Dow Jones: YTD 3/31: -0.15% 1 year: +15.66%

NAS: YTD 3/31: +0.83% 1 year: +30.18%

Russell 3000: YTD 3/31: +1.97% 1 year: +22.61%

S & P: YTD 3/31: +1.81% 1 year: +21.86%


Not bad, I'd say, for an amateur!

How are you doing?

Retired Vermonter
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Everyone can hit the dart board once in a while.

What's your record in 2012? 2011? 2010? Over last 5 years? Over last 10 years?

PSU
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PSU:

I don't toss darts.

I watch my investments, do research, and change or adjust them as seems prudent -- sometimes even twice in a week, sometimes once in a month or so, and sometimes never.

I keep some in dividend paying equities (usually not changing those), and also try to have a few growth ones, and also a couple of "Yes -- let's see if this goes where analysis suggests!" for fun and profit. In other words, a mix.

My goal is to manage my IRA such that I can take what I/we need periodically, while keeping it at that same level or better. Like many, I got whacked in 2008, but managed to come back fairly well now.

Again, not saying I'm the best, but it seems like I'm not doing too badly.

Vermonter
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I don't toss darts.

You missed my point. Picking one year of data doesn't say much. Great, you beat the market last year, but what is your returns other years and your long term returns. Without the other data, one can't determine if it was luck or skill last year.

PSU
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PSU:

How over 3 years? A fair question, so I checked.

My returns per Fidelity for 3 years: 12.5%

Per my Fidelity numbers:

DJI: 13.05%

NAS: 16.14%

Russell: 14.61%

S&P: 14.6%

Maybe I didn't hit a home run, but I wouldn't say I did that bad for 3 years, either.

Keep in mind, I do NOT just stick my money in there and "let it ride". I make changes in some areas, while letting things like AT&T, for example, just pay me 5% or so.

I'm just saying that people MAY be able to do better if they do their homework and monitor what their money is doing.

Vermonter
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Think you can't do better than the markets? I say you can.

I'm no whiz, but here's how I have done in my IRA vs the markets YTD to 3/31 and for the past year, per my Fidelity info:


You know, these returns are always a lot more impressive when you list the investments first and post the results later.
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alchook:

"You know, these returns are always a lot more impressive when you list the investments first and post the results later."

???

I have no crystal ball, so I cannot predict which ones will necessarily do well, depending on your objective, be that growth, dividends or what. As I said, too, I change and adjust my investments as time goes by, and as circumstances change, so I have no way of predicting up front which ones will go up or down.

Again, if people want to maximize their returns they have to do the work of looking into equities or funds or whatever, and then follow these as time goes by, perhaps changing them if it seems appropriate.

They should NOT make changes willy-nilly, obviously, not the least because there are usually commissions, and those can add up!

Vermonter
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So, are you willing to say what you're holding now?
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My returns per Fidelity for 3 years: 12.5%

Per my Fidelity numbers:

DJI: 13.05%

NAS: 16.14%

Russell: 14.61%

S&P: 14.6%


So you underperformed the S&P, Russell 3000 (?), Dow and NASDAQ...the only way you beat the market is to take more risk.

b
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Retired Vermonter

From someone who used to do this stuff for a living....

Quoting a single year's total return and comparing this to broad indexes is interesting, and return is return. But how much market risk did you take to get the return? Volatility? How did your mix of holdings compare with an equivalent mix of index ETFs? Have you been able to reproduce this kind of annual-return-to-broad-market-return over the past several years or decades?

We all, at some point, outperform broad indexes, and it certainly feels good to do so. Unfortunately, this usually has more to do with having our investment boat in the water when the tide comes in....and typically has little to do with our investment acumen.

BruceM
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BruceM:

I have said that I make no claims that I can or have consistently beaten anyone. All I can say is that I have managed my own IRA effectively for several years and have been able to withdraw what I/we need and still keep it steady or even improving despite those withdrawals.

Not dealing with any agent or investment firm, as such, I also charge myself no commissions, of course. Just what I pay for a trade ($7.95 per trade).

Finally, my whole point is that far too many people ignore the potential for doing better on their own than just sticking their money someplace and riding along, paying whatever their investment advisor(s) charge, and trusting that all will be well, and that they can pull whatever they like, whenever they like.

To each is or her own.

Vermonter
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Buzman:

"...the only way you beat the market is to take more risk."

Of course. However, ALL investing is a "risk" to one extent or another.

I do take some risks, but they are calculated risks, and I check my accounts daily, so I can sometimes modify (buy more, sell some or all, etc.) as I deem prudent.

While my results for three years may appear to be less than the stated ones for DJI, etc., remember that I have also been switching things over those years, taking money out, etc.

I'm only saying that, rather than just dumping money into one place, or blindly trusting somebody else to manage it all, why not pay attention and oversee it in various buckets to see if you can maybe do better? If folks choose not to do that, fine. I like doing it this way.

Good luck!

Vermonter
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Finally, my whole point is that far too many people ignore the potential for doing better on their own than just sticking their money someplace and riding along, paying whatever their investment advisor(s) charge, and trusting that all will be well, and that they can pull whatever they like, whenever they like.

To each is or her own.


Far too many people ignore the potential for doing better on their own than taking their car to the shop and paying whatever their mechanic(s) charge, and trusting that all will be well, and that they can drive wherever they like, whenever they like.

To each his or her own.

Good luck!

-murray
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How are you doing?

I'm satisfied. Do you really care ?
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Vermonter,
Thanks for the OP.

There will always be Percentage/Precision Nazi's proclaiming, "I'm more precise than you."

Keep starting conversations. It's what makes a board like this work.



"NO GAINS FOR YOU! ONE YEAR!!!"
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reallyalldone:

Do I really care? Gee, not really, I guess. It was just a rhetorical question. However, I'm glad you're happy!

Good luck in the future!

Vermonter
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NozRydr:

Thanks for understanding.

Heck, I just figure the topic is worth posting about.

Not a boast, because I'll never be rich, and a lot of people, obviously, are!

Keep smiling!

Vermonter
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MisterFungi:

What am I holding now? My IRA includes several equities (for dividends) like AT&T, GE, Intel, B&G Foods. Others, for growth potential, vary, but my favorite right now is GTAT, which I hope will do well in a year or so, but which has already doubled from what I paid for it, anyway.

Okay?

Vermonter
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My returns per Fidelity for 3 years: 12.5%

Per my Fidelity numbers:

DJI: 13.05%

NAS: 16.14%

Russell: 14.61%

S&P: 14.6%

Maybe I didn't hit a home run, but I wouldn't say I did that bad for 3 years, either.



It looks like you underperformed every major index over the last 3 years. And how much time did you put into that under-performance? What else could you have done with that time, if you had just put your money in an index fund?
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What else could you have done with that time, if you had just put your money in an index fund?

I suggest not reading the Sex and Relationships board.

PSU
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whafa:

It looks like you underperformed every major index over the last 3 years.

Yes, indeed -- IF I had left my money sitting there for three years! However, as I have tried to point out, I tweak and adjust my money among various things quite often, AND also withdraw money fairly often, too, so what appears to be poor "performance" really also includes several thousand dollars withdrawn here and there each year, as needed and wanted.

As for my time, well, I suppose I could have sat in front of the idiot box and watched TV shows or something, but I rather enjoy dabbling, anyway, so it's not all "work".

We all do as we choose, eh?

Vermonter
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As for my time, well, I suppose I could have sat in front of the idiot box and watched TV shows or something, but I rather enjoy dabbling, anyway, so it's not all "work".

We all do as we choose, eh?


If the only two choices in your life are "Watch television" or "Spend time researching investments", then I suppose you made the right choice.
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whafa writes re: RetiredVermonter,

<<As for my time, well, I suppose I could have sat in front of the idiot box and watched TV shows or something, but I rather enjoy dabbling, anyway, so it's not all "work".

We all do as we choose, eh?>>

If the only two choices in your life are "Watch television" or "Spend time researching investments", then I suppose you made the right choice.

</snip>


Most people who actively manage their portfolios under perform the index. There's probably a higher investment return in just "watching TV".

intercst
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Most people who actively manage their portfolios under perform the index. There's probably a higher investment return in just "watching TV".


Not if you assign a negative hedonic adjustment to the utility of watching meaningless TV. His brain may be staying sharper enough from researching investments that the market underperformance is worth the benefit!
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