• Portfolio Review – December 2018 – Negative Stock Returns

    [This portfolio review about negative stock returns may contain affiliate links at no cost to you] Negative stock returns and volatility are at the forefront of the conversation lately. At the time of the last update, the monthly return for the S&P 500 was -3.62%. This month, we see an even bigger drop with a -5.32% return for the month. Luckily, my portfolio held up a bit better as shown by the below graphic from Personal Capital. My exposure to foreign stocks actually hurt less than domestic this month! International still had a negative return but that loss trailed the domestic counterparts. My You Index, the results of my own…

  • Portfolio Review – November 2018 – Risk Tolerance

    [This portfolio review about risk tolerance may contain affiliate links at no cost to you] Guys, it’s time to test your risk tolerance! The test is easy and it’s only one question! Did you seriously consider selling anything in the past month? The market did have one the worst months in quite some time and there was a tiny bit of panic in the air. It’s not outrageous that those who haven’t been tested with a big paper loss might get scared. How about you? Did you panic or were you calm as a cucumber? A month like October can certainly be a good test of your risk tolerance. If…

  • Portfolio Review – October 2018 – Rising Rates and Falling Stocks

    [This portfolio review about rising rates may contain affiliate links at no cost to you] Rising rates were the story this month as America’s strong economy kept barreling on. That meant bad things for high dividend payers like REITs, bonds and some riskier assets like small caps. It may seem counter intuitive that a strong economy would be bad for stocks. The problem comes from the prospect of rising inflation and the concern of a peak economic cycle. The flight to safety that may create combined with rising rates pushing equity valuations down led to mediocre results in the month. The reality is that rates have been low for quite…

  • stocks

    Portfolio Review – September 2018 – Domestic Stocks reign supreme

    [This portfolio review about domestic stocks may contain affiliate links at no cost to you] Domestic stocks continue to kill it this year leaving everything else in the dust. That was no different this month as domestic stocks outperformed foreign equities again. The information below from Personal Capital shows what I’m talking about. Since the last update, both the S&P 500 and Dow were in positive territory while foreign stocks lagged again. That’s no different from what I saw last update when I finally started lagging the market for the year. Having a 20% allocation to a struggling foreign stock base will do that to an investor. Still, the You…

  • Portfolio Review – August 2018 – Lagging the Market

    [This portfolio review about lagging the market may contain affiliate links at no cost to you] It’s official. August is here and I’m lagging the market for the first time this year. The S&P 500 kicked butt since the last update and my portfolio didn’t keep up due to my exposure to bonds and international stocks. Here are the results since then according to Personal Capital. It’s natural that my portfolio which has some bonds and foreign stocks fell behind. My individual holdings, especially UNH and AAPL did well but my international stocks continued to suffer. One thing to remember is that lagging the market doesn’t mean anything in a…

  • international stocks

    Portfolio Review – July 2018 – International Stock Market Struggles

    [This portfolio review about the international stock market may contain affiliate links at no cost to you] The international stock market hasn’t been the best place for investors in the past few years. That trend has continued this year. It was especially clear this month as foreign stocks lagged domestic by quite a bit. That’s sure to cause a stir with my portfolio. It might force my international allocation down despite the fact that I’ve been dipping my toes in the international stock market. Recent purchases have skewed towards bonds and international stocks and that trend may have to continue. The YTD graphic below from Personal Capital tells the story…