I typically look at my investments every 3 months to see how they are doing. I also take the opportunity at the six-month point to rebalance if things have gotten way out of whack. This lets me get a good idea of how I am progressing and make adjustments. I don’t like to rebalance more than that – I think it would drive you nuts to do it more frequently.
If you remember my investment strategy, Mrs. 39 months and I each have an IRA (money we transferred from our company 401Ks when we left them) and a Roth IRA (which we’ve been investing in fairly regularly since 2001). For each of these, we have it split like this:
- Bonds: 30% (was 20%, but we bumped it up at the start of 2017, as we are closing in on retirement)
- S&P500 Index: 17.5%
- REIT Index: 17.5%
- International Index : 17.5%
- US small cap: 17.5%
For these, we are up about 6.6% total (capital gains + dividends), with International, Small Cap and S&P500 leading the way. REITs and bonds didn’t do very well (rising interest rates, anyone?). I will need to do a little rebalancing, but not much.
For my 401K and deferred account, I don’t have a REIT option, so it’s split up as
- Bonds: 30%
- S&P500 Index: 23.3%
- International Index : 23.3%
- US small cap: 23.3%
For these, we are up about 9.2% total (capital gains + dividends), with International, Small Cap and S&P500 leading the way. With only bonds not doing well, the 401K did better. However, I will also have to do some rebalancing.
Finally, I have two brokerage accounts that I have setup with Bond index funds and my own stock and REIT picks. I tried to set them up to maximize dividends, as an attempt to research how I might invest to get the most passive income out (see earlier post on this).
- Pop’s Inherited IRA (50% bonds/25% stocks/25% REITs): 3.6% gain, mostly from dividends
- Personal investments (41% REITs/29% bonds/30% stocks): 2.6% gain, again mostly from dividends
I put in $1,376 into personal investments each month, and I try to use that to get it to the 50/25/25 level of the inherited IRA. Still working to get there.
For rebalancing purposes, the mutual fund and 401K companies (Vanguard, TRowePrice) make it fairly easy to sell off funds and reinvest in others. I will just sell enough and buy enough to get somewhat close to the split that I want.
Overall, I am fairly happy with what I’ve got so far. I’m coming in around 5.6% gain at the mid-year point, so baring any major disasters, it should be a good year!
I hope your midway points are equally good!
Mr. 39 Months