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I normally don’t write about investing and finances too much since I am not a subject matter expert.
But, since it is a major part of our journeys to great, I think it’s important we check in from time to time and inspire each other.
So with that said, I will note that I am not a fiduciary nor anyone’s financial manager. I have taken no classes in investments and I have no degree in anything related.
But I am an investor and I do make money.
And you can too.
After learning some very simple investing tools, I was able to formulate my own investment plan that works beautifully for me.
And I probably make more than any financial manager that has ever approached me.
The reason I tell you this is not to toot my own horn. I don’t even regularly write about this topic so who cares?
The reason I tell you this is because we can all educate ourselves on investments and the markets to the point where we can at least speak the language and understand what is or is not happening with our money.
And it is our money, that we are earning right now, that will give us the right to retire later on. So we better learn that language.
The purpose of today’s article, now that we’re in 2021, is to take a look back and see how my asset allocation model performed in 2021.
It’s about the simplest model one can possibly come up with. Like I said, I am not an expert in the field. This model has broken no new ground and I can not say that books will be written about it.
But that’s because they already have.
So without further adieu, let’s take a look.
For those who do not know, my asset allocation model is a simple 50/50 blend of the S&P 500 (stock symbol VOO) and long term US treasuries (stock symbol VGLT).
You can read about how I arrived at that decision, if you are interested, by clicking here.
For the purpose of this analysis, we are just going to look at how this portfolio performed from January 1 to December 31, 2020.
I did not check the numbers before I sat down to write this article and, let me tell you, I didn’t realize how well it performed.
If you invested your money in a 50/50 split at the beginning of 2020, you would have experienced a 17.93% CAGR (compound annual growth rate), assuming you reinvested your dividends. (data courtesy of portfoliovisualizer.com)
If you are like many personal investors and invest a certain amount each month, you would have done even better as you would have been able to take advantage of the low stock prices during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.
That gets further into the weeds than we are going to get here, however it should be noted.
That was a pretty good year (for investments at least).
I’m going to leave the analysis there for today. Like I said, I am not an investing expert, but I have taken the time to learn the ins and outs for myself and it will set me up well for the future, whether I continue to invest for myself or choose to hand the reins over to someone else later on.
If you’re interested in learning the ins and outs for yourself as well, these are the two must-read books (in my opinion) if you are interested in taking control of your personal finances or looking to retire early.
The first is Money: Master the Game by Tony Robbins (yes Tony Robbins wrote an amazing, definitive book on investing).
Money is an amazingly easy read for those of all levels of financial knowledge. It is inspirational and makes the concept easily accessible for everyone. Plus, the insight from the world’s most successful investors and statistics are top of the line.
This book is required reading as far as I’m concerned.
The second book is the seminal The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham.
Originally published in 1949, The Intelligent Investor remains the gold standard of investment books. After reading Robbins’ Money, this is the book that helped me solidify the knowledge I had gained up to that point.
A much more technical book, it may not appeal to everybody. But if your research has given you the itch to go further, this might be the book for you.
It was for me, at least.
I hope this information was helpful today! Please remember that I am not a fiduciary nor a financial adviser. Nothing here is financial advice. This is simply a recap to provide some information.
Your own money is serious business and you have to be okay with the risk of losing some or all of it when you start investing. That’s why education is so important and why I believe, even if we do not invest our own money, we need to be fluent in the language of money as it has made or broken many over the course of human history.
The last thing you want to do is hand your hard-earned money over to someone else to manage and have no idea what they’re up to.
So don’t be afraid to get in there and learn! If others can, you can too.
And as always, thanks for being here today!
Books referenced in this article:
*As always, this article is not meant to give financial advice. Past results are not a guarantee of future returns. Everyone must do their own due diligence and determine the money managing and wealth building strategies that work best for them. Information provided here is meant to provoke thoughts, not provide recommendations. This is not personal legal or investment advice and may not be appropriate for all readers. If personal advice is needed, readers should seek the services of a qualified legal, investment or tax professional.