Slow and Steady winds the race – Update for Aug 1, 2019

The standard story of the tortoise and the hare talks about “slow and steady wins the race.” In it, the hare runs fast, but then takes a lot of sleep breaks, while the tortoise just keeps plugging away. For the financial markets, the comment most often made is “Its not market timing, its time in the market.” The idea behind this is that you shouldn’t wait for the best time to invest, you should just invest.

There has been a lot of talk of an impending recession and market correction. We’ve been hearing that now for 6-8 years, and other than the slight “bump” in December 2018 (which the market has already moved beyond) we seem to be moving forward. My intention, like so many other folks in the FIRE community, is to stick with the plan and not deviate just because some “chicken littles” claim the sky is falling.

July was an OK month, with my investments going up 0.64% for the month (equivalent of 7.68% for the year). For the year, I’m up 13.77% overall, and this with 30% of my investments in bonds! I’m pleased overall. Down to eleven months before my FI date, if I don’t include Social Security. If I added in Social Security, we would already be at FI

Retirement Accounts: Remember, my allocation for these is:

  • 30% Bond Index Fund
  • 17.5% S&P500 Index Fund
  • 17.5% International Index Fund
  • 17.5% Small Cap Index Fund
  • 17.5% REIT Index Fund

For the month, I am up about +0.5%, slow and steady. International investments took a pounding, and bonds didn’t really move, but the REITS, S&P5000 and small caps did well. Remember that in June, International was up a lot, so its balancing out.

  • S&P500: +1.4%
  • Small Cap: +1.3%
  • International: -1.9%
  • Bonds: +0.2%
  • REITs: +1.6%

My 401K/Deferred account at work is up a similar amount, with similar returns

Dividend Income Account: Allocation:

  • 25% Dividend Stocks
  • 25% REITs
  • 50% Bond Index Funds

This is up 0.6%, so it was similar to my other investments. Some of my dividend stocks (Chevron, Verizon) were down a little, but overall not bad. I posted a study earlier where I compared my dividend portfolio vs. my vanguard IRA – and the dividend portfolio did better over the last 3 years. I’ll keep track and keep posting on the comparison, so folks can compare.

Value Investing Account: My value investing portfolio is up around 1.0% for July, probably because it doesn’t have any bonds in it. My new ETF, Pawz, is doing about that. I’ve got 55 shares, and expect to get another 25 in August.

Again, I’m up 13.77% for the year, which equals about $133K in returns – for just the first seven months. Its more than Mrs. 39 Months and I made in salary for the first seven months, which is a good sign. We are on track and moving forward – as I hope all of you are.

Mr. 39 Months

2 thoughts on “Slow and Steady winds the race – Update for Aug 1, 2019”

  1. My stock heavy Personal Capital account is up almost the same as yours which makes sense because it is also approx 70-30 split between stocks+REITS and bonds. My Betterment account is also about the same. My Vanguard account is much lower because I have more cash and bonds in that one than equities but I’m already retired and longer in the tooth than you so I keep about a 50-50 overall split when all the accounts are added together. 70-30 is a little too aggressive since I already have passed my FI target and preservation is more important than growth for me.

    1. Congrats on passing your FI number. I assume once I hit mine I’ll back it down a bit, but probably only to a 60/40 split. I have not been impressed with bonds over the last 20+ years, so I don’t intend to go 50/50.

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