The Year End Return Thread

Discuss all general (i.e. non-personal) investing questions and issues, investing news, and theory.
Posts: 3779
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 5:00 pm
Location: USA

Post by Gekko »

Code: Select all

asset	allocation	return	allocation return
cash	20%	3%	0.60%
bonds	20%	-3.50%	-0.70%
health care	20%	-18.50%	-3.70%
index 500	40%	-37%	-14.80%
total	100%		-18.60%
User avatar
Posts: 2789
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:13 am
Location: New Mexico

Post by Christine_NM »

Down 9%.

Switched from 40% equity to 25% equity, and 60% bond to 50% bond in September.

What bothered me most was not the crash in stocks but the flight from corporate bonds.
Posts: 9185
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Post by stan1 »

For those interested in Internal Rate of Return calculations and the Excel XIRR function, Gummy (who posts here occasionally) has a writeup on his web site:
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:04 pm

Post by bac573 »

25 years to retirement.

Portfolio was - 30.37%

Target funds with an 82/18 ratio.

Thanks stan1 for Gummy's link. Great site. Thanks to Gummy's tutorial, I learned a ton about Excel.

Happy New Year!
One thing to know about this town; not a person doesn't want me underground.
User avatar
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:48 am
Location: New York City

Post by seugene »

My XIRR = -36%. 85/15% stock/bond ratio. My annualized average return since 2000 when I started investing is 1.4% in before-inflation terms, or about -1.4% after-inflation. OUCH!

I am 35 though, so I am not panicking.

See here for a chart. (Hmm, I thought we could insert an image right into the post...)
Posts: 824
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Near SF...

Post by RTR2006 »

Total portfolio was down about 16% in 2008. AA is roughly 50:50...

Posts: 42248
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:56 pm

Post by retiredjg »

EmergDoc, I sure am glad you posted this. Otherwise, I probably would not have done any calculations. I'm happy to say I'm only down by 21%! I had thought it was higher.

Right now, I'm at 53% stocks/47% fixed. It was higher earlier in the year -before I became a B'head investor.
Posts: 13774
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:04 pm
Location: Biscayne Bay

Re: The Year End Return Thread

Post by YDNAL »

EmergDoc wrote:My retirement portfolio lost 31.62% for the year (I kept a pretty constant 75% equity throughout the year.) (my emphasis)

Overall, counting my emergency funds, ESAs, UGMAs etc I'm down 22.24%.

The good news? I was able to contribute what I lost plus a little more.

You didn't lose anything, you hold the original shares plus new ones that were added. This becomes a very crucial issue when discussing portfolios for accumulators vs. decumulators. There are current threads in progress addressing those same issues and you see many making the mistake to group all investors into this one BIG Boglehead pool.
Landy | Be yourself, everyone else is already taken -- Oscar Wilde
Posts: 4610
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:41 pm

Post by MnD »

IRR on entire portfolio (40% US equity, 40% international equity, 15% fixed income, 5% cash)

By account:
401K -27.7%
Taxable -43.0%
Rollover IRA -41.4%
Her IRA -43.0%
Her 401-K -23.3%
Kids ESA's -26.1%
Kid's 529's -17.2%
Bank savings +3.0%

A hypothetical portfolio of 40% total stock market, 40% total international stock market, 15% total bond market and 5% money market indicates -31.6% so I got beaten by the indexes for the first time in several years.

Overweighted in financials at the start of the year and positions in high yield and emerging markets didn't help matters in 2008.
User avatar
Posts: 9845
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:10 pm
Location: Two left turns from Larry

Post by Doc »

stan1 wrote:For those interested in Internal Rate of Return calculations and the Excel XIRR function, Gummy (who posts here occasionally) has a writeup on his web site:
IRR (Internal Rate of Return) is the correct metric.

There are some financial programs that claim to calculate IRR but don't do a very good job sometimes. These need to be checked with Excel's XIRR or equivalent rigorous program at least once to make sure they are doing what you expect.
A scientist looks for THE answer to a problem, an engineer looks for AN answer and lawyers ONLY have opinions. Investing is not a science.
User avatar
Posts: 9845
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 1:10 pm
Location: Two left turns from Larry

Post by Doc »

Our IRR was -19% with a 45/55 AA. Our treasury allocation is predominantly TIPS which I had expected to perform like nominal treasuries. :( Interesting the funds that were predominately mortgage backed did better than TIPS. You figure.
A scientist looks for THE answer to a problem, an engineer looks for AN answer and lawyers ONLY have opinions. Investing is not a science.
Posts: 846
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:18 pm

Post by Puakinekine »

Down 5.4%, 20% Equity (60/40 US/INT) and 80% Fixed Income (50/50 Inflation/Nominal Treasuries).

Will work part time rather then the full retirement that had been planned for 2009.

No illnesses, no deaths in the family, a wedding, and a new grandchild with another on the way.

Knock on wood for 2009

Happy New Year to All!

User avatar
Posts: 4662
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 4:29 pm

Me too!

Post by iceport »

ziggy29 wrote:In my current employer's 401K:

Wow, that's a coincidence. My IRR (Excel XIRR) was -28.00% also.

In absolute terms, the year-end portfolio value was just under 20% below where it began the year.

I began 2008 with about 74%/26% Equity/Fixed income. Through a tedious consolidation of all taxable funds at Vanguard (from Fido and TRP), in conjunction with new contributions, I completed a long-planned transition to exactly 70%/30% in June 2008. The portfolio now stands at 61%/39%, with no rebalancing and no adjustments to the AA of new contributions (:oops:). Time to rebalance and/or adjust where the new money goes (go off auto-pilot).

User avatar
Posts: 337
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 1:28 am
Location: Journeying to the center of my mind...

Repeat after me; I am not a market timer...

Post by Jethro2007 »

Hey all,

Prompted by the OP, I sat down and resolved to calculate my own retirement fund performance...

80 equity/20 cash...-28%... I bailed 1/3 out of market, previous mid September, and nibbled at positions throughout the year to little effect...

Good thing I don't need this investment anytime soon...Looking for bargains...
Still hopeful for the long term...

Please don't stone me...It didn't look good last fall, I should have gone out by 50%...But, I can live with this life lesson...
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:07 pm
Location: Florida

Post by Rajsx »

Presently the Vanguard Site shows 21%(rounded) for the year.

I started out with a 60% equity / 40% bonds + MM, which I thought will be reasonable for a 52 yr old.

I was feeling uncomfortable with every day slaughter on wall street, & fraud in billions & what not. I was thinking of reducing it to 50/50 to suit my comfort level, but too late, the market did that for me & then some.

I am down to 46% Stocks / 54% Fixed. Lately I have started contributing my 401k monies into Total Stock Market & intend to do the same with my after tax portfolio.

I hope I stay comfortable with 50% stocks, because going any less may risk survival with no portfolio in the later years of my life.

Good & a timely thread
We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!
Posts: 531
Joined: Tue May 08, 2007 10:04 am

Post by Norris »

-27.6% ouch!

I lost big on Capital Opportunity, Precious Metals and Mining and International Explorer.

Tax loss harvested the lot of them 8)

May we all have a better 2009; at least from an investing perspective.

Posts: 546
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:07 pm
Location: Florida

A silver lining among huge losses

Post by Rajsx »

As mentioned above I am down 21% from today's performance, on the Vanguard site.

I suppose it is not accurate as this figure also takes into account the contributions & the dividends during the year, but am too lazy for the effort to calculate the exact figure, I guess it gives me an approximate figure which is good enough for me at this point.

Now the good thing was, I could exchange out of the Target Retirement 2035 into Total Stock Market in my taxable portfolio, as I was carrying Bonds of that fund in the taxable section.

I also tax harvested, so this year Uncle Sam is not getting any from my investments.

So I am content in a way, that I did what I could.

We do not stop laughing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop laughing !!
User avatar
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:16 am
Location: PA

Post by ascenzm »

My portfolio value (various Vanguard Index funds, Series I bonds, 401K stable value fund) dropped by -21.4% in 2008 per Excel's XIRR function.

My equity/fixed income percentages changed from 58%/42% to ~ 43%/57%. I plan to rebalance by multiple dollar cost average transfers from fixed income to equities throughout 2009 to get my equity percentage up to ~ 53%. My first rebalancing installment was started on 12/31/08.

Posts: 51
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:38 pm
Location: San Diego

Post by PatrickS »

70/30 allocation

Rebalanced once back to target during the year when tolerance bands were exceeded.
User avatar
Posts: 860
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:37 pm
Location: Spring, TX

Post by tdhg566 »

Down 13.85%. AA evolved during the year as all 401k money was moved to IRA upon retirement. Currently AA is 45% equity, 55% fixed.

This year certainly taught me something about taking on too much risk.
As an Enrolled Agent I advise clients about taxes and investments. My work is retiree friendly, geographically portable, mentally stimulating, personally profitable and emotionally rewarding.
User avatar
Posts: 392
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:49 pm

Post by Zander »

ramsfan wrote:
Zander wrote:I don't keep track - I never have and probably never will. Am I odd? :shock: :lol:

Truthfully, I just don't see the value of tracking minutiae like this. I have no control over the market and I am busy working, playing, and thoroughly enjoying my life. So why bother? I figure, I have an investment plan. I spent many hours formulating the plan. I follow the plan. It's pretty simple. The rest of the time (apart from the 5 minutes a day I scan the threads here) I live my life. :lol:

Best of luck to everyone in '09!

PS - I am in no way judging folks who choose to measure their portfolio performance. To each his own!
Zander, interesting post.

Would you mind going into a bit more detail on the tupe of investment plan you put in place that allows you to spend so little time on your investments?

I am very interested in this topic, and would guess that "freedom from effort" played a role in your investment plan, and would be curious what your plan is that enables this.

Thanks in advance!
It is so simple that I can explain it in one paragraph!! I follow a rule I call the 40/30/30 rule. I live on 40% of my income, invest 30% (fully automated - I never see the money), and pay taxes with the remaining 30%. It fluctuates a bit year over year, but you get the idea. Then I invest in (mostly) index funds in accordance with previously determined Asset Allocation (60/40). I use new money to keep myself in balance. And that's all there is to it! For me, the secret is living below my means. Knowing that I have 30% saved automatically allows me the freedom (and courage!) to 'spend baby spend' the rest! I enjoy nice dinners out, vacations, etc... Life is short, so I am determined to enjoy the journey. I hope that helps!! Happy New Year!! :lol:
Posts: 277
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:01 pm
Location: Chicagoland

Post by savermike »

Retirement IRR -25.8%. Other, taxable savings: -20.6%. This is on an overall 75/25 AA.

What is more significant to me is that my big ol' spreadsheet now says I'll be working four years longer than it did at the end of 2007.

User avatar
Posts: 515
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 5:01 pm

Post by Ducks »

We are down 29% for the year. I calculated 1/1/09 balance divided by 1/1/08 balance - not sure how to do this XIRR thing?

Worst investment - a single stock that is down 78%. :shock: I'll let you guess the industry. Well, that is the worst one we still hold. We sold WAMU for about a 50% loss the day before they went under.

Best investment - Hrm. Not a whole lot. We have not a single investment that has a positive return this year besides CDs & MM's.
Getting our Ducks in a row since 2008.
Easy Rhino
Posts: 3268
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:13 am
Location: San Diego

Post by Easy Rhino »

Using MS Money's "Average % Return" function, I'm down -29%. I take that math with a grain of salt, but it's in the ballpark.

85/15 stocks/bonds. This year had a lot of firsts for me. First exposure to reits, tips, and SV, first substantial rebalancing. A few account transfers. Signifcant savings rate during the year. Kind of hard to keep track of the moving parts.

Emerging markets, reits, intl stocks, and US stocks all got mauled. The bond fund in my 401k lost a few bucks. One trivial small cap stock I own had a gain for the year.

To be honest, -29% is a lot better than I had expected.
Posts: 215
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2007 7:13 pm

Post by markh »

Started the year 65%/35%

Down 20.5%

Now at 54/46%; committed the misdemeanor of not rebalancing.

Not sure how much I contributed, at least 80 K

Distributions were HIGHER than 2007, 88,000 vs. 83,000.

User avatar
Posts: 927
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 3:39 pm
Location: Taxable

2008 Portfolio Return

Post by docneil88 »

During 2008 I averaged about a 115% investment (95% in global equities and an additional 10% each in US REITs and in an agriculture commodity index fund, DBA), and my return was -43%. :oops:

I calculate that TSM (Total Stock Market)/VTSMX 2008 return was -37%, and International TSM/VGTSX was -44%
User avatar
Posts: 1590
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:04 pm
Location: Fairbury, Illinois

Post by DaleMaley »


Started year with 60:40.

About what you would expect with S&P declining 38% in 2008, and a 60:40 portfolio with a slight tilt to emerging markets.

I had trouble with the XIRR bug, kept giving me 0% return with a 10% initial guess. Googled and found that using -10% initial guess gives reasonable result.

Looking forward to a better 2009 :)
Last edited by DaleMaley on Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
Most investors, both institutional and individual, will find that the best way to own common stocks is through an index fund that charges minimal fees. – Warren Buffett
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:39 pm

Post by ardrum »

Down about 29.5% in retirement accounts.

I just started saving this year. I feel that if I could survive last year without being too bothered by that figure, then I am comfortable with my asset allocation. I'm still quite young, so it matters very little.
User avatar
Posts: 982
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2007 3:26 pm

Post by madsinger »

madsinger for 2008:

down -28.85% (XIRR)

portfolio is roughly 74/26 (stock/bond), with the breakdown:

66/5/3/26 (stock/REIT/PM stock/bond)

User avatar
Posts: 9102
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Post by tadamsmar »

Our retirement fund lost 17% in spite of the fact that we added about 6% to it via DCA.

I noticed the OP uses the G Fund. I also use it for most of my bond allocation. The market was not kind to us. Real bonds with principal risk tend to provide more negative corellation, I think.
Posts: 3102
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 4:57 am

Post by Chip »

-23.7% for the year, calculated via XIRR.

I started the year with a 72/28 allocation, ended at 68/32. I rebalanced two ways; adding to equity positions and taking all of our retirement spending from fixed income. I chickened out on one last rebalancing.

Here's the breakdown:

Equities: -32.5% This was a little better than the time-weighted return of -33.4%, guess I had some lucky purchase/sale timing. I have mostly individual stocks, with a decent helping of VTI, VEU and FSMAX. My O'Shaughnessy Cornerstone portfolio was a big loser this year, down 50.1%.

Fixed: +1.5% This is mostly TIPS, with a sprinkling of nominal Treasuries and CDs. I sold the nominal Treasuries too early in the year, and lengthened TIPS maturities too early as well.
Posts: 7034
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by gkaplan »

I'll post my returns on Madsinger's thread.
User avatar
Posts: 533
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: California

Post by runner26 »

Started the year 50/50

Down 17.6%

Now at 41/59 with a bit of additions along the way.

Retired for 2 years and am almost 59 years old and living fine off a pension, not quite spending all of the pension income yet. Made no withdrawals from investments. Will probably now keep stocks at 45% now that I am comfortable with my level of pension income.
User avatar
Posts: 19711
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Post by ruralavalon »

Minus 18% overall.

Best performance--Treasury STRIPS
Worst performance-Precious Metals and Mining, Total International

Allocation 60/40 at start of year
50/50 at end of year
Last edited by ruralavalon on Fri Jan 02, 2009 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Posts: 9102
Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 12:33 pm

Post by tadamsmar »

tadamsmar wrote:Our retirement fund lost 17% in spite of the fact that we added about 6% to it via DCA.

I noticed the OP uses the G Fund. I also use it for most of my bond allocation. The market was not kind to us. Real bonds with principal risk tend to provide more negative corellation, I think.
You idiot!

The F Fund did worse than the G Fund, due to corporate exposure I guess.
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Feb 19, 2007 9:34 pm

Post by MariaT »

Down 26.5

Portfolio was 69/31 (S/B) in January and ended 60/40. Did not rebalance.

With warm regards,
User avatar
Posts: 5651
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:05 pm
Location: Midwest, retired 1998 at age 65

Post by Sheepdog »

binarysemaphore wrote:How do you folks find out yearly return ? I logged into Vanguard and it shows me returns till 11/30/2008. :?:
I have used Microsoft Money for over 10 years. My total return is always up to is my budget, spending, banking, etc. .

My total return for 2008 was -9.6% with a portfolio of 30 to 32% stocks for 10 months. I reduced it to 25% for the future....I am aged 75.
Time is the school in which we learn, time is the fire in which we burn.~ Delmore Schwartz
User avatar
Posts: 950
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:38 pm
Location: Goodyear, AZ

Post by Sbashore »

Overall my portfolio was -22.58. My basic AA target was 65/35. Individual equity asset classes performed as follows:

Large Cap Growth (Vanguard ETF - VUG) - (38.83)

Large Cap Value (Vanguard - VTV) - (37.87)

Extended Market (TSP 'S') - (32.31)

Small Cap Value (Vanguard VBR) - (34.88 )

EAFE (TSP 'I') - (33.92)

Emerging Markets (Vanguard VWO) - (42.97)

REIT (Vanguard VNQ) - (34.39)

My 25% bonds and 10 % cash pulled the overall return up to a negative 22.58.

I'm retired and given the performance of the broad markets I couldn't be happier with how my AA performed.
Steve | Semper Fi
User avatar
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:15 pm

Post by binarysemaphore »

I am down -31.6% :( I have 80/20 stock/bond split
User avatar
Robert T
Posts: 2740
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:40 pm
Location: 1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.5

Post by Robert T »

Preliminary 2008 return estimate: -28.7%

75:25 stock:bond

Still up over 8.5% annualized since start of IPS in 2003, which is above my long-term expected return of about 7.5%.
User avatar
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 9:21 pm

Post by Soaker »

With a 70/30 portfolio I finished down 27.35%. One-third of equities are in foreign stocks so that hurt a little bit.

Checking the year-end results on Vanguard's site, I see that Target Retirement 2020 finished the year at -27.04% (while TR 2015 was -24.06% and TR 2025 was -30.05%). I'll be 59 in 2020. It certainly has occurred to me that I could KISS and put everything in TR 2020. Eh, the tinkering cost me 31 basis points this year and I learned some things along the way.
User avatar
Random Musings
Posts: 5837
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 4:24 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Post by Random Musings »

Down around 7% for the year (taking into consideration any $ added to 401K) and currently at 30% equities, was down to 22%, but have added back at S&P 1050, 900 and 830.

User avatar
Posts: 1635
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: The Golden State

Post by sergeant »

Started the year at about 65/35 with the intent of going to 60/40 with new contributions. A loss of 22.6% more than took care of it and I am now at 55/45 with majority of new contributions going to equities to get to 60/40.
AA- 20+ Years of Expenses Fixed Income/The remainder in Equities.
User avatar
Posts: 1361
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:17 am

Post by Ariel »

It was the best of times and the worst of times. Certainly this was the worst market I've seen in the 17 years I have invested. However, I still managed a small gain (excluding new money, of course), and so relative to the market averages this was my best year ever by far.

I was up about 4% for the year. My equity exposure varied between about 5 and 40% during 2008.

Since 10/21/08, I've posted my trades in response to a challenge for people to post actionable and trackable predictions about the markets. You can see my end-of-year summary here, with details about trades in earlier posts in that thread. ... d43#366482

Over that tracking period, I've made 3.6% while the total stock market lost 4.9% and the balanced fund lost 0.9%. My drawdown during the November lows was also considerably less than those funds.
Do what you will, the capital is at hazard ... - Justice Samuel Putnam (1830), as quoted by John Bogle (1994)
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:17 pm
Location: Lower Alabama

Post by schwarm »

Depending on how I calculate it, down 23-24% with a 60/40 portfolio.
Rebalanced at the end of the year - also had a large portion freed from 401k to rollover, so I moved to a lot of different funds/ETF's but kept the same asset allocation.
User avatar
Posts: 933
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:03 pm

Post by Rager1 »

oneleaf wrote:
Does anyone know what the CPI-U is for 2008 or know when it will be calculated?
The CPI-U for December will be released on January 16, 2009 at 8:30AM. Through November, 2008, the CPI-U is up 1.1%.

Posts: 424
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Central Ohio

Post by deerhunter »

Our portfolio is almost exactly even in value to the year end of last year. This is after taking $5,000 out for living expenses.

It is composed of 83.20 percent GMNA, 9.25 percent stock index funds and 7.55 percent Cash Reserves. All are Fidelity funds.

In early 2000, I sold off my Fidelity stock mutual funds and went from 80 percent stocks to 20 percent stocks. The Dow I believe was just over 11,000 at the time. Began purchasing GMNA funds and haven't regretted it. We don't have the biggest retirement portfolio but we can live comfortably with it at age 66 and 63.
Living off the land is a family tradition.
retired at 48
Posts: 1726
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:09 pm
Location: Saratoga NY; Port Saint Lucie, FL

Post by retired at 48 »

Hi deerhunter...welcome, and interesting first post.

Do you have a pension and Social Security? Do you require some part of your savings, annually, to live off of?

(aka Pennsylvania deerhunter) :!:
Posts: 424
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:12 pm
Location: Central Ohio

Post by deerhunter »

We only have social security having run our family business for over 40 years. We still work our business part time and as long as we do this we don't need any of our portfolio except for big purchases like a new pickup we bought this year. We own two pieces of property and have no debt. We really do enjoy living off the land. Big garden, canning freezing, butchering our own meat etc. We also have our own natural gas well, which produces all the energy we need to heat our home. This is a big hedge against inflation. No heating bill.javascript:emoticon(':D')
Living off the land is a family tradition.
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:16 am

Post by MrWinky »

-16% for 2008. Eventual goal is 70/30 equities/bonds, but I'm only 50/50 right now, after averaging in monthly since last July. Still have about 5 months to go.

@tadamsmar: my best investment was the TSP F fund. I started tracking my balance in May of last year, and it's over 9.3% up since then! I see the TSP web site only lists it as gaining 1.9% for 2008, perhaps that's only change in NAV and the rest is distributions?

Worst investment: Vanguard emerging markets. Not because it did hugely worse than the rest of my int'l allocation (40% of equities) but because it was dropping the fastest. Every month I shoveled in more, and every month the balance didn't change at all.

Best wishes for 2009...
Post Reply