How we did in 2017?

How we did in 2017:

Here’s how the markets did:

The S&P total return was up 21.8%.

For those who prefer alternates to stocks:

The Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF was up all of 3.5%
The Vanguard REIT ETF was up 4.9%
The Powershares Commodity Index was up 4.9%

Was this a wildly speculative market with the smallest caps outperforming? Actually it was the opposite, a conservative, safety-seeking market with the largest caps doing best:

The S&P (Large Cap) returned 21.8%
The V. Mid-Cap ETF returned 19.3%
The V. Small Cap ETF was up 16.3%
The iShares Micro-Cap was up 12.8%

Many on our board were up 50% to 90% during the same year. The message? A concentrated portfolio and intelligent stock picking pays off. By intelligent stock picking I mean actually learning about the company, and using a number of the criteria described in the Knowledgebase, like:

Rapid growing revenue
Recurring revenue
Insider ownership
A long runway

Also admitting mistakes, or changes in circumstances, and exiting when appropriate is crucial (you avoid holding on forever, and thus you can re-deploy your funds).
Avoiding price anchoring is very important. The stock is where it is now. It doesn’t know or care where you bought it, or should have bought it.

Hope this helps


For Knowledgebase for this board,
please go to Post #17774, 17775 and 17776.
We had to post it in three parts this time.

A link to the Knowledgebase is also at the top of the Announcements column
that is on the right side of every page on this board


Saul, your post made me curious how my high tech ETFs did. Part way through the year I sold PSCT Small CAP IT because it was not performing and added BOTZ and ROBO. “Norm.” is the return of the four ETFs had I bought exact same dollar amounts of each.

**Ticker ETF                12/29/17   12/30/16    Gain**
BOTZ   Robots & AI           23.70      15.00   58.0%
ROBO   Robots & Automation   41.32      28.65   44.2%
FDN    Internet             109.88      79.83   37.6%
XSD    Semiconductors        69.81      55.86   25.0%
**Norm.  High tech ETFs       450.91     319.32   41.2%**

PSCT   Small CAP IT          76.44      69.64    9.8%

The same applies to ETFs as to stocks, you have to pick the right ones!

Denny Schlesinger


A large portion of this post seems coincidentally cribbed from Rober Brokamp’s recent email. One thing missing is his assertion that…

… we’re not concerned about trailing the S&P 500 in any given year. There have been several one-, three-, and even five-year periods when asset mixes similar to the Model Portfolios in my Rule Your Retirement service have not kept up with the overall U.S. stock market. But there have been more periods when one or more of my three model portfolios beat the S&P 500 — and many more periods when the S&P 500 underperformed all three over five-year periods from 1972 to 2015. Plus, they achieve these returns with lower volatility. Your portfolio can do the same if it’s diversified across asset classes.