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Friday, January 9, 2009

My Investment Return in 2008 - Part 3 - IRA

In this little series of article I'd like to take the opportunity to review the investment return of my portfolios.

In part 1 and part 2 I mentioned my disappointing return on both of my 401K and Roth IRA which are both invested in mutual fund.  The next portfolio I'd like to go over is IRA.

Instead of like most people who put IRA in mutual fund, my IRA brokerage firm allow me to invest in stocks.  So instead of letting the professionals help me manage my money, I manage the money myself.  And how did it work out?  Losing even more money?  Well, as of 12/31, my return on IRA is actually 26%.  Yes. 26% gain for the year.  I actually had everything in mutual fund at first.  Yet later in the year I switch my holding to stocks.  Although I actually got huge loss in the beginning, I was able to fight back in the last month and turn it around to a respectable 26% for the year.  And compare to Roth IRA which is only about 1% of my total holding and 401K which is about 5% of my total holding, IRA is 21% of my total holding and the gain really help my overall performance.   
Overall Return 2008: +26%

Next One Coming Up - Stock

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

My Investment Return 2008 - Part 2 - 401K

In this little series of article I'd like to take the opportunity to review the investment return of my portfolios.

In part 1 I mentioned my disappointing return on my supposedly "safe" index fund.  The next portfoio I'd like to look at is my 401K account.  

So I guess it is better to diversify my mutual fund.  So to make sure I am well covered, I tried to pick mutul funds in different category for my 401K - Social Responsibility, Large Growth, Global Stock, Mid-Cap, Equity-Income, Small Cap and Bond.  So I guess I am well covered?  Well, except the Bond fund which is a winner with "only" 1.25% loss, all others have lost at least 25%.  And the worst one is the mid-cap with a 43% loss!!  Wait a minute.  Why am I paying someone money to manage my account and lost tons of money?Aren't they suppose to be professionals?  Well, I guess I have to look at the bright side that at least I didn't lose all my money in the Ponzi scheme.  So hopefully by keep putting in money every money I would be able to break even within a year or 2. 
Overall Return 2008: -30%

Next One Coming Up - IRA

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Investment Return In 2008 - Part 1

The year 2008 is the one that many people like to forget - especially the investors.  Because no matter what kind of investor you are: aggressive, conservative, fundamental, technical, diversify, index-only... etc., you probably lost tons of money during the equity market tsunami.  If you did end up making money this year, a standing ovation to you.  Or if you did listen to Mr. Crammer's "get out of stock" warning and lost very little money, lucky you.

So as a stock blogger, how did I do?  Like many financially sensitive middle working class, I have couple of places to invest the equity markets - IRA, Roth IRA, 401K and Stock.  And here are the returns of my investment in these accounts

Roth IRA
I heard people say the best and safetest long term investment is to invest in index.  So all my money in Roth IRA is in the S&P 500 index fund.   A safe investment?  At least not for 2008.  Not only the return was so bad that it wiped out all the gains for 5 years, I actually got negative return on this account since I opened the account back in 2002.
Return 2008: -33.45%

Next One Coming Up - 401K