PoF Portfolio Performance Update

Set For Life

A couple months ago, I shared my portfolio with you. In the previous post, I showed you which funds I hold in which accounts, including the percentage of each fund within the account, and as a percentage of the overall portfolio.

I didn’t share performance. Today, I’ll fill that gap. I like a highly customizable spreadsheet to track the ratios, and I like Personal Capital to track the balances and performance day-to-day and over time.

The current spreadsheet for the PoF Portfolio, as of 5/18/2016:




Not a whole lot has changed in the interim. The taxable account now represents 51% of my portfolio, an excellent proportion for an aspiring early retiree.

A weighted average of the expense ratios comes out to 0.082%, which is below the lowest rate used when we looked at the brutal effect of investment fees.

I have included the asset allocation information that is calculated automatically when I update the balances for each of the funds. This makes it easy to see how far from my desired allocation my investments have strayed, and helps with rebalancing.

You may notice I have set a “% desired” for the overall asset allocation and for the international portion, in which I have an emerging markets tilt.

I don’t set a desired allocation percentage within the U.S. Stocks. I do have a small and value tilt, but I let the ratios drift. I keep U.S. stocks in all account types (taxable, Roth, tax deferred), but I keep large-cap (S&P 500) and total market funds in taxable, and only mid-cap and small-cap in the others. This strategy helps me avoid wash sales when it comes time to do tax loss harvesting.



Performance of the PoF Portfolio

Using Personal Capital’s You Index feature, we can compare the performance of the PoF Portfolio to the S&P 500, DJI, Foreign stocks, or US Bond Index. I chose S&P 500 for this exercise. So far this year, the PoF portfolio is up 1.12%, compared to 0.18% for the S&P 500. Looks like we’re doing alright! My blue line rises up above the turquoise index, but they do track pretty closely.




Maybe we should look back a little further. Going back exactly five years to 5/18/2011, we see the following performance.




Ouch. Turquoise dominates, with returns of 52.8% to my paltry 36.13% (assuming I have held this particular asset allocation for the last 5 years). Is it time to rethink the PoF portfolio? Let’s hit rewind again and take an even longer view, dialing back to 5/18/2006 for a 10-year look in the rearview mirror.




Blue for the win! Over 10 years, the PoF portfolio has trounced the S&P 500, 74.3% to 54.5%. The gap actually widens if you go further back. I haven’t independently verified these results, but the point of this exercise is not to prove a winner. It is to show that a widely diversified portfolio that is mostly invested in stocks is going to move more or less in step with the stock market. It’s also to show you one of the many cool tools Personal Capital offers in hopes that you’ll consider signing up via any of the links on this site (like this one), an action that will help support the site and its charitable mission.

Here’s another fun tool from them, a breakdown of my current asset allocation. One thing I learned from this is that compared to my spreadsheet, I am actually overweight in REIT, displayed here as “alternatives”, since the total market and small-cap funds also contain REIT.




I may have to make a change in the spreadsheet to accommodate for REIT holdings in some of the Vanguard stock index funds. I do like to play around with Excel, which reminds me…

I have been adding Excel based calculators to the calculators page, which now includes:

These are available to download as one Excel file in exchange for subscribing to receive notices of new posts and my quarterly blog progress note. Confirmation of the subscription is not required to complete the download, but I would encourage you to follow through with the subscription. If you change your mind later, you can always opt out with the click of a link. You can also subscribe in many places throughout the site, including at the bottom of this very page.


Exclusive PoF Bonus: Enroll via my referral link and I'll send you a copy of Retire Early with Real Estate or any Bigger Pockets book that you'd like.



My next quarterly progress note will include revenue information that I do not share elsewhere. I should have good news to share, as I am exploring more revenue opportunities.

Speaking of revenue and charity, if you have been considering using Personal Capital, signing up through any of the links on this page will result in a donation of $50 to our donor advised fund, from which we donate to various local and national charities.

A sampling of some of the organizations that benefitted from our charitable giving last year:

  • Salvation Army
  • Local Soup Kitchen
  • Local Food Shelf
  • Bike the US for MS
  • Local No-kill Animal Shelter
  • Hospital Foundation
  • Hospital Auxiliary
  • Local School PTO
  • The Boaz Project (cares for orphans internationally)
  • The Alma Mater “State U”
  • Local Sports Association
  • YMCA


Track your investments for free with Personal Capital. That's how I track the PoF portfolio


I’m up 1.12% this year, at least until the markets open this morning. How is your portfolio doing year-to-date? Do you know the answer? Would you like to?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *