Investing,  Portfolio Updates

The Time in the Market portfolio – December update

It’s spreadsheet weekend and time to revisit my portfolio again!

Winter has finally arrived and I just spent a good ten minutes digging out our cars from the snow storm that just passed through the state. One of the things I like about living in an apartment is the lack of shoveling as I just have to brush off our cars and move them to a parking spot that’s already been plowed!

It gives me more time to do some of the things I love to do instead like updating my spreadsheets!

I always get more productive during snow storms. It must be the fact that I’m stuck inside surrounded by a blanket of white that makes me want to do some work and I spent most of last night updating my portfolio spreadsheets to be a lot more usable.

The portfolio has had a solid run as of late with 14 consecutive months of growth(8 of those being above a 10k increase) and that looks to continue this month as the stock market showed no signs of stopping its upward ascent.

It’s hard to say whether this will continue as valuations are high. The good thing is that we’re actually starting to see earnings growth and there aren’t that many alternative investments of value so it’s possible the stock market keeps doing its thing. I do expect a correction sometime in the next few years but who knows when it’ll actually happen.

If you read my blog, you know how I feel about timing the market so I’ll keep going through the ups and downs because I’m a long way away from needing the invested money.

The good thing about this great performance is that it has brought me within sniffing distance of my next milestone, 500k.

The last update had my total at $471,818.58 so let’s take a look at where it sits today.

December 2017 portfolio update

My portfolio now sits at $483,999.27!

That’s a pretty nice number and makes for 15 straight consecutive months of growth and 9 out of 15 months of 10k+ growth. That also makes it four months in a row that I’ve seen 10k+ growth.

The increase on a dollar basis is $12,180 versus last month which is a 2.58% growth rate.

Contributions are a big part of this number but it continues to be largely driven by returns.

The S&P 500 actually eclipsed my portfolio for the month with a 2.68% return and U.S. small cap and mid cap had solid returns as well. REITs, international and bonds were a drag this month. One of my largest holdings, UNH had a great month with a 6% return which helped bridge the gap in performance due to the negative returns elsewhere.

My taxable accounts were up 3.9% this month largely driven by UNH and my tax-advantaged accounts were up 2.1% and were held down by REITs and my international funds.

Cash didn’t change much and make up 5.8% of my overall portfolio.

This was another solid month and I’m only a few months away from 500k if the market keeps up this pace. I am already there from a net worth perspective due to my cash and cryptocurrency(yes I have a bit bought a while ago, diversify!) holdings but I don’t plan to depend on those for retirement so I don’t track them in these posts.

The strong performance in the U.S. stock market will drive issues with my asset allocation so it’s time to take a look at where we are in that area.

December 2017 asset allocation

I spent most of last month targeting REITs since they were the furthest behind and also opened small positions in NTES and TCEHY as talked about in my post about investing in video games. I also sold off a small position in a S&P 500 ETF I held in my taxable account to lock in the gains and free up more cash for my purchases. I had some losses on the account that would offset this move. I have an S&P 500 index fund in my tax-advantaged account so the holding was an overlap.

The results are as follows.

December 2017 assets

REITs definitely improved but all other asset classes outside of the U.S. markets moved in the wrong direction.

The strong performance of the U.S. stock market and UNH in particular means I’m pushing my large cap exposure higher at the cost of the other asset classes. That’s despite selling off the S&P 500 ETF even if that was a small holding.

The international fund I hold had a negative return for the month so despite my purchases, those asset classes went in the wrong directions. REITs improved as cash flowed there but that asset class had a negative return as well. Bonds fell behind due to the strong performance in the U.S. market and no additional contributions.

The asset allocation is pretty close to target in all areas with no class being more than 0.9% away from target so I have no plans to make any major changes and will continue to fix this via contributions.

That means the plan for next month is as follows.

  • Contribute towards US Bonds, REITs, International and Small Cap in that order.

If the strong U.S. performance continues and we get a bit further away from target in that area, I may consider selling off some U.S. large caps in my tax-advantaged accounts and put that money into other areas but I’m not quite there yet.

I’ll also likely purchase more TCEHY and NTES if there’s any weakness in those two stocks. I’d be a buyer at $45 for TCEHY and under $300 for NTES and plan to hold both for at least five years.

That’s it for this month. It’s good to see the portfolio keep growing and while I’m concerned about a potential correction sometime in the future, there’s not much I can do about that but weather it when it comes and keep buying.

Thanks for reading and let me know how your portfolio looks this month.


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