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Our Funds Boat, week -.17%, YTD +3.98%, 12-17-11, I Triple Dog Dare, Ya !!!

edited December 2011 in Fund Discussions

Again, a thank you to all who post the links and also start and participate in the many fine commentaries woven into the message threads.
For those who don't know; I ramble away about this and that, at least once each week.

NOTE: For those who visit MFO, this portfolio is designed for retirement, capital preservation and to stay ahead of inflation creep; if and when it returns. This is not a buy and hold portfolio, and is subject to change on any given day; based upon perceptions of market directions. All assets in this portfolio are in tax-sheltered accounts; and any fund distributions are reinvested in the funds. Gains or losses are computed from actual account values.

While looking around.....Triple Dog Dare Ya ! Ah, the ultimate challenge words brought to life again with the movie, "Christmas Story". The phrase is one from my childhood period; as well as are many of the "stories" within the movie. One may suppose this phrase could also be a challenge statement that is self-directed towards one's investments, too.
This house is pretty much tired from the continued challenges for the past two years coming from the EuroZone. Our bond portfolio, overall; has offered support to positive returns for the past two years, as the equity and equity related HY bond sectors have been getting head slaps. The EU challenge will continue, as there remains legal structures in place which preclude a fix (temporary); as is available here in the U.S. The Euro Central Bank can not monetary support the numerous, independent country banks. Methods are being reviewed to become creative and use a "by-pass" to help resolve the situation; as with some Euro countries providing monies directly to the IMF, which in turn could loan the money back to other Euro countries that need the support. Ah, the game is in play. EuroZone banks apparently have been notified to raise capital in order to increase their money reserves. But just what they are supposed to sell, and to whom; to raise reservses remains the question. One may also suspect that lending/loans (revenus generation) would be only to the most highly qualified; which continues to spell the words, "tight money supply". The Basel III accord, which sets new standards for bank reserves will also come into play in 2013; if my recall is correct. Looks like a continued tough road ahead for Europe.
Between the EuroZone and a spellbound/get elected in 2012 for our country; I remain a bit skeptical as to where the economic growth will emerge in 2012; and continue to find strong headwinds for the old investment dollars.

I Triple Dog Dare You !

I have retained the following links for those who may choose to do their own holdings comparison against the fund types noted.

This 1st link to Bloomberg is for their list of balanced funds; although I don't always agree with the placement of fund styles in their categories.

These next two links are for conservative and moderate fund leaders YTD, per MSN.$HF&Category=CA$HF

Such are the numerous battles with investments attempting to capture a decent return and minimize the risk.

We live and invest in interesting times, eh?

Hey, I probably forgot something; and hopefully the words make some sense.

Comments and questions always welcomed.

Good fortune to you, yours and the investments.

Take care,



It appears, that without a most wonderful equity rally before year's end, that we won't obtain a full 5% return for the year. That may cover inflation and taxes going forward; but at the very least allows the magic of "compounding" going forward, versus working the catchup game from a negative position. As with others, this house finds many year end distributions among our fund holdings over the past two weeks. A reflection upon the links above; we attempt to establish a "benchmark" for our portfolio to help us "see" how our funds are performing. Aside from viewing many funds within the balanced/flexible funds rankings (the above links), a quick and dirty group of 3 funds we watch for benchmarking are the following:
***Note: these YTD's per M*

VWINX ....YTD = + 8%
PRPFX ....YTD = + 1.7%
SIRRX .....YTD = +2.4% (appears to be sitting upon cash)

None of these 3 are twins to our holdings, but we do watch these as a type of rough guage. Ironically, if we had 1/3 of our total portfolio in each of these funds, the average YTD would be similar to our current YTD. Perhaps we should do this very investment with these 3. A "set it and forget it" model. I have not pushed these 3 through the M* asset allocation, but plan to do this, as time allows; to find the end mix.

Portfolio Thoughts:

Our holdings had a -.17 % move this past week. And yes, we are satisfied with our risk adjusted returns YTD. If the portfolio can pull a +10 to 12% for the year; you will not hear any whining from this house. (This sentence was from an April write; and I/we suppose a +5% for the year may now look good, too !)
I expect some rough waters, changing winds and opposing currents; causing the most serious attention being given to a firm hand upon the rudder control. (April report text)

The immediate below % of holdings are only determined by a "fund" name, NO M* profile this week

CASH = 0%
Mixed bond funds = 91.9%
Equity funds = 8.1%

-Investment grade bond funds 26.8%
-Diversified bond funds 19.8%
-HY/HI bond funds 23.2%
-Total bond funds 17.8%
-Foreign EM/debt bond funds 4.3%
-U.S./Int'l equity/speciality funds 8.1%

This is our current list: (NOTE: I have added a speciality grouping below for a few of fund types)

---High Yield/High Income Bond funds

FAGIX Fid Capital & Income
SPHIX Fid High Income
FHIIX Fed High Income
DIHYX TransAmerica HY

---Total Bond funds

FTBFX Fid Total
PTTRX Pimco Total

---Investment Grade Bonds

APOIX Amer. Cent. TIPS Bond
DGCIX Delaware Corp. Bd
FBNDX Fid Invest Grade
FINPX Fidelity TIPS Bond
OPBYX Oppenheimer Core Bond

---Global/Diversified Bonds

FSICX Fid Strategic Income
FNMIX Fid New Markets
DPFFX Delaware Diversified
TEGBX Templeton Global (load waived)
LSBDX Loomis Sayles

---Speciality Funds (sectors or mixed allocation)

FCVSX Fidelity Convertible Securities (bond/equity mix)
FRIFX Fidelity Real Estate Income (bond/equity mix)
FFGCX Fidelity Global Commodity
FDLSX Fidelity Select Leisure
FSAGX Fidelity Select Precious Metals
RNCOX RiverNorth Core Opportunity (bond/equity)


FDVLX Fidelity Value
FSLVX Fidelity Lg. Cap Value
FLPSX Fidelity Low Price Stock
MACSX Matthews Asia Growth-Income


  • hi catch....just one small comment, it sounds like your portfolio presently is holding the most 'stock' compared to the past 2 yrs... do you think we'll get more upswing from now on?
  • johnN,

    My recall is that we were at about 30% equity funds for part of 2010; until the Euro thing and then, Greece; messed with the equity markets performance.

    Take care,
  • "Ah, the game is in play. EuroZone banks apparently have been notified to raise capital in order to increase their money reserves. But just what they are supposed to sell, and to whom; to raise reservses remains the question. "

    Did you notice Gold and Silver has been rather volatile recently. I guess they are now selling their gold reserves to raise cash and when multiple big players start selling Gold gets hit.
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