2017 Q1 PoF Portfolio, Spending, and Blog Performance Update
PoF Portfolio Update
I haven’t made any significant changes to my investment portfolio. I have added a solo 401(k), which gets a portion of website profits. The account represents 0.15% of the overall portfolio.
My taxable account has TLH (tax loss harvest) trading partners VFIAX (S&P 500) and VTSAX (total stock market).
The international funds are also TLH partners, although not ideal, since one has emerging markets (VFWAX) and the other does not. If I ever see an opportunity to TLH out of VTMGX, I might use VTIAX (total international), which I have owned in the past.
I bought BRK-B because I like the zero dividend, and I hope to make it to an annual meeting while Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger are still kicking it. Unfortunately, I’ll be working that weekend this year.
I’ve got a little more dry powder than normal (2.7% cash). I recently received a sizable tax refund (which happens when you donate $100,000) and haven’t decided where to put it, or if I should just give it to Mr. 1500, as he politely suggested.
PoF Asset Allocation
I’m not too far off my targets, and I’m intentionally allowing the REIT portion to drift smaller for a couple reasons.
First, REITs are included in most US stock index funds. If I owned none of the REIT index fund, I would still have about 3% of my money in REITs via the other index funds I own.
Second, I would like to have 10% of my portfolio in REIT & “alternatives.” Currently my alternatives include a couple small brewery investments, and I may add crowdfunded real estate (CAPFUNDR, RealtyShares, EquityMultiple, Fundrise, etc..) or make investments in additional small businesses in the future.
For more information on my chosen allocation and rationale, please see The PoF Portfolio.
PoF Portfolio Performance
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Like last year, we’re tracking pretty darned close to the S&P 500 so far this year. The S&P 500 has returned 5.21% and the PoF Portfolio is up 4.99%.
There was a decent gap there for awhile, but the gap has closed in the last 30 days, with the PoF Porftolio up 0.79% while the S&P 500 dropped 0.72%.
The top performer so far this year has been Emerging Markets, with VEMAX returning nearly 11% already in 2017.
Bonds have been rather flat, and have been the poorest performing class in the portfolio, eking out a miniscule gain year-to-date.
Quarterly Market Performance
Morningstar has a very complete list of market index performances, with returns in the last week, month, quarter, year-to-date, one-year, three-year, and five-year timeframes.
A number of sites offer quarterly market reviews. Here are a few:
Fidelity and T. Rowe Price also share quarterly market reviews, but they don’t release them until a few weeks after the quarter’s end. Truthfully, if you’re a buy and hold investor, these reports are largely noise, but you might feel a little smarter (or a lot dumber) after reading a few of them.
First Quarter Spending
Last year, we spent $62,000 out of pocket, as detailed here.
In the first quarter of 2017, we burned through $14,000, compared to nearly $18,000 by this time last year. We saved significant money by hitting zero deer so far (a decrease from one last year) and having zero surgeries in the family (again, a decrease of one).
The most expensive categories were Food & Dining (& Drink), followed by Travel. Although the airfare was purchased last year, the expenses of a week in Punta Cana for my wife and 9 days in Europe for the family were incurred this year.
Here is the breakdown, courtesy of Mint.com.
The Auto category included a year’s worth of insurance at $857 and $175 in Public Transportation for numerous Metro passes in Paris. The latter perhaps belongs in the Travel category; the same could be said for meals purchased on vacation, but you’ve got to eat no matter where you are, so those costs landed in the Food category.
Other significant expenses this first quarter were some football tickets purchased now for the upcoming fall and tuition for two in a summer STEM camp.
I predicted about $60,000 in spending this year. This does not include health insurance premiums, nor does it account for eventual replacement of big ticket items, like our cars. I use the figure of $80,000 as our anticipated early retirement spending needs.
E-mail subscribers have already seen the following figures. They also saw the revenue data from this site, which I reserve only for e-mail subscribers. I am happy to report that the site brought in more money in the last quarter than it did in the entire first year.
If you’d like to join the nearly 1,600 strong, you can subscribe right here!
The site now has 195 posts and 29 pages, including a new Student Loan Resource Page.
Numbers! I heart numbers:
- 739,000 all-time pageviews with 314,000 in the last quarter
- Viewed from 195 countries. Still none from Greenland or Madagascar
- 1,570 e-mail subscribers (930 new in the last quarter)
- 538 Feedly subscribers
- 167 RSS Feedburner subscribers
- 3,227 Twitter followers
- 275 Facebook Page Likes & 96 Friends.
The big news from the last quarter is the creation of the WCI Network, with Physician on FIRE being the first network site. After meeting up with Dr. Dahle and the WCI crew in February, we made it official in March, announcing our partnership in this post on my site and this one @ WCI.
As you can see from the numbers above, the affiliation has been quite beneficial, and I’m happy to be reaching more readers — most of you on the receiving end of this e-mail are reading one of my newsletters for the first time.
I like to write Top 5 posts, so it seems appropriate to share the top 5 viewed posts of all-time. They are:
- Stealth Wealth: I’m Just an Ordinary Average Guy(13,432 views)
- He Has Read Over 250 Investing Books. He Recommends These Three Funds. (9,350 views)
- My Path to Financial Independence (9,127 views)
- Financial Independence versus Financial Freedom (8,952 views)
- A Tale of 4 Physicians: The Impact of Lifestyle (8,939 views)
The second post is new to the list. In sixth place is a post in which I describe my investment portfolio, The PoF Portfolio.
Where is my traffic coming from? Top 5 referring sites:
- White Coat Investor (30,433 sessions)
- Twitter (12,433 sessions)
- Rockstar Finance (10,955 sessions)
- Retireby40 (6,631 sessions)
- Facebook (4,688 sessions)
1500days.com fell off the list, but registers as number 6. He deserves mention because his retirement is imminent (it’s official this week), and I plan to visit him to celebrate next week!
I frequently send readers away to different sites. Unfortunately, not every site registers, so while I know the White Coat Investor would top this list, my current setup with JetPack doesn’t track links to that particular site. I may configure Google Analytics to work with Google Tag Manager to get better data.
- The Happy Philosopher (3,427 clicks)
- ESI Money (3,064 clicks)
- Early Retirement Now (3,036 clicks)
- Bogleheads (2,924 clicks)
- KevinMD (2,757)
Thanks for reading, and for being a part of this site’s success! Cheers to the beginning of another successful quarter!