Dividend/Income Account Update

I wrote in July about the performance of my dividend/income account, the one that I have setup in my father’s stretch IRA. The concept was to see what I could do with an income-oriented account (dividends, etc.). Could we get the growth and income necessary to meet our retirement goals, and how did it do in comparison to the Vanguard account I had with the simple allocation?

The base allocation for the income account was 25% dividend paying stocks, 25% REITs (paying good dividends) and 50% Bonds. This was all based on the information in the book “Yes, you can be an income investor” by Ben Stein.

For the year, the account returned a healthy 3.51% dividend return, and growth of around 9.7%. Not too shabby! However, this is in comparison to my Vanguard IRA account, which had a 2.86% dividend, and a 16.51% growth rate. Obviously, the Vanguard account, with its higher weighting of stocks (52.5% stocks, 17.5% REITs, 30% bonds) did better in 2019.

One of the things I noticed, however, was that the income account didn’t drop as precipitously as the Vanguard account in the bear market of 2018. How have the two different accounts done over the last three years?

The Vanguard numbers are a little “screwy” as I have had to add back in the $90K of Roth-IRA conversions that I did in 2018 and 2019, and the Stretch IRA I have to take about $5K out each year for tax purposes. I’ve adjusted the totals and percentages to reflect this.

For comparison, I did the math for if you had invested $1000K in 2016, what would that be at the end of 2019. As of Jan 1, 2020, the Stretch IRA would have $1,232, while the Vanguard account would have $1,321 – the Vanguard account’s return was better. It wasn’t like that at the end of 2018, due to the stock drop.

My intention is to continue to keep the money in my father’s stretch IRA oriented on income, as a learning tool. Should be interesting.

Mr. 39 Months

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