Investment Performance January 2009(-4.98%)

This is an ongoing monthly update on how our equity investments are performing. Please see this background on the investment tool I developed and how I am using it to track our performance against a benchmark to measure our progress or lack thereof.

Its still a work in progress, any feedback is appreciated and may be incorporated into future monthly reports. The only equity investments not covered are:
1) my 401k which is invested in institutional index funds through my employer that I haven't found a tracking symbol for.
2) investments roughly worth less than $500, simply because I don't have the time and energy to keep up with them. I am thinking I will sell these off at some point and add the proceeds to my current investment portfolio because they are too much work to track.

Once we get settled in a bit more I will work on making this report more comprehensive.

January Highlights:

    Another tough month for the market with our benchmark declining over 8%. However our portfolio decline was just under 5% so we signficantly beat our benchmark! Yes - at least that is something to feel pretty good about.
  • Part of our better than average performance was the large holding of IBM stock which rose signficantly after it reported quarterly earnings.
  • We also made several investments this month including $4,100 in our KBW banking index etf (KBE), $2,600 in the SPDR Healthcare as part of our tax harvesting plans from last month, and $1,700 in Rohm & Haas in an arbitrage opportunity that does not look nearly attractive now as it did a few weeks ago, but still has a decent possibility of working out.
  • We also contributed $1,400 to our Roth & SEP IRAs. Regular contributions to these accounts are going to become much more difficult with the additional cash flow impacts from our new mortgage/living expenses.
  • I suspect going forward we will be investing less in our taxable stock investments and concentrating on maintaining our Roth IRA contributions at least till our cash flow improves.
  • Right now a new priority is to rebuild our cash reserves.

January 2009 Investment Report:

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Comments (4)

Heard IBM had some significant layoffs that they are trying to keep a secret. How are those impacting you?

Similar comment to a new manager, did you have to lay people off on your team last week? Can you share your thoughts on how you approached it...especially within the context of this blog...which is about building your net worth assuming via a job (or jobs) and investments. Assuming you had to lay some people off, was it tough taking the income producing job away from people? i realize this is all a part of business...curious what your thoughts were if you had to have the talk.

On a less serious note then the prior two commentators, how about using Quicken to track your investments? You can customize their reports to show the monthly changes. And since you hold your benchmark VTI, its swings would be captured.

I apologize if you have addressed this in an earlier post I have not seen.

Having laid people off before I can say it is not fun. It's also not that big of a deal. There is no approach. You just call people into your office and tell them they are no longer employed and that HR will send them a package in the mail. We easily picked off the less productive employees or those who were over paid. When I laid people off I also was looking for a new job myself because I knew I was next. As a manager you usually have the burden of having eyes on the budget and money figures.

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,938,393


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