Portfolio construction: a self-critique

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Portfolio construction: a self-critique

Post by IronHorse1928 » Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:04 pm

Just reflecting on our journey to Dublin and the route we have taken so far.

Things we do or did right:

-Contributed consistently to our tax advantaged accounts on a regular basis over an extended period of time with an appropriate allocation. We were bogleheadish and we didn’t even know it.
-We understood early on the importance of home ownership and building up equity.
-Pay extra to our current mortgage on a monthly basis (15 yr. mortgage).
-Pay our credit cards in full on a monthly basis and maximize points for cash back purposes.
-We maintain adequate term life insurance.
-We have access to adequate emergency funds.
-Ensure wife takes advantage and contributes the maximum allowed to her company’s 401k and thus take advantage of maximum company retirement (match) contribution annually.
-We contribute to our Roth IRA’s to the allowable maximum.
-As the steward of our financial ship, I rebalance when necessary. (Her 401k and my 457)
-We consolidated our investments over time to reflect TSM, Total International and Total Bond with some TIPS Fund and Wellington. We also include a stable value fund and an emerging markets bond fund. Our allocation is currently 60% equity funds (approximately 25% international) and 40% bond funds.
-I learned to remain cognizant of tax efficiency and portfolio costs.
-We have fully rebounded from the meltdown of 2008-2009.
-Read this forum daily and stay on track. I avail myself to learn every day.
-I have read many of the recommended books and keep myself informed.
-We are on the path to adding a second comma to our investable assets.

Things we do or did wrong:

-We accumulated too much credit card debt during our earlier years. We paid them off only to build them back up.
-We did not save enough early on.
-In our earlier years, we invested in individual stocks around 1999 and bailed on them when the market went down (2000-2002?).
-Took a chance and carried two mortgages during the housing market meltdown 2007 - 2008. (For the average family (us), I would try to avoid this scenario, if possible. Thankfully it worked out for us).
-I tweaked investments too much in an effort to construct the perfect portfolio.
-I check our accounts too often. (Although I do monitor how our investments correlate with each other on good days, flat days and bad days. I find it interesting).
-I follow the market on a daily basis.
-I watch Fox Business daily. Too much noise, but I do find it interesting. Our investments have not been adjusted as a result of this. Following this forum can also be too much noise at times, but I am thankful for the information I have garnered from it.
-Reacted to the market downturn in 2008 and pulled out our investments for approximately 6 months, fortunately we got back in, adjusted our allocation and invested appropriately. We learned a lot during this time.

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Re: Portfolio construction: a self-critique

Post by nedsaid » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:50 pm

I am impressed that you admitted your mistakes. There are a lot of big egos out there that brag about their successes and never mention their failures. Learning from from mistakes and learning humility are very important to being successful as an investor.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: Portfolio construction: a self-critique

Post by ofcmetz » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:14 am

Thanks for sharing OP. Your road is very similar to mine. I was very blessed to hear Dave Ramsey in 2005 and to pick up a John Bogle book a few years later. Much luck with staying the course.

Never underestimate the power of the force of low cost index funds.

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