2017 Fourth Quarter and Financial Year in Review

Goodbye 2017, and welcome 2018! I hope everyone is have a great start to the new year. Now that the fourth quarter has come and gone, it’s time to review our portfolio’s performance during the last three months of the year. We’ll also take a look at our finances for the entire year and check out some of the goals we set for 2017.

 

Portfolio Update

Not much has changed in regards to our portfolio. We remain invested primarily in index funds with a side collection of individual stocks. In terms of our asset allocation, here’s where we stand:

  • Overall:  77% stocks, 23% bonds (target 75/25)
  • International:  21% of stocks (target 20%-30%)
  • Small cap value:  3% of portfolio (target 5%)
  • REIT:  5% of portfolio (target 5%)

We’re starting to veer away from our desired stock-to-bond allocation. Given how equities performed last year, this isn’t all that surprising. Things are okay for now, but I may have to rebalance this year if stocks continue to do well.

 

2017 Fourth Quarter Performance

The last quarter of the year was a great one for our portfolio, which saw a return of 6%. Not too bad for investments that are essentially on autopilot.

Some other tidbits for the past quarter:

  • Our international holdings had another solid quarter with returns of 4.2%
  • Small cap value showed gains of 4.6%
  • REITs were a bit lackluster at 1.4%
  • Our portfolio saw a quarter over quarter growth of 9.2%

 

2017 Financial Year in Review

Our investments had a great year with a return of 17% and an overall growth of 40%. As for our 2017 financial goals, let’s take a closer look.

 

Pay Off My Student Loans by December – WIN!

I officially paid off my student loans in October, beating my goal by two months. In total, I was able to pay off over $400,000 in student loan debt in a little over three years. I haven’t gone into the specifics of my loan payoff strategy. But we were essentially living on half of our household income as I was putting my entire paycheck toward my loans. Now that they are off the books, we have a lot more cash flow available for other financial endeavors.

 

Continue to Fully Our Tax-Advantaged Accounts – WIN!

This was pretty straightforward as contributions to our 401k and my HSA are on autopilot. Additionally, we fully funded our Backdoor Roth’s in January.

 

Continue to Fund Little Random Guy’s 529 – WIN!

LRG’s college savings plan just keeps chugging along. We actually surpassed our annual savings goal thanks to a nice birthday gift from the grandparents.

 

Be More Consistent With Our Taxable Account Investments – Meh.

As with 2016, we were a bit inconsistent with our investments. Looking back at our records, we purchased investments just four times during the year (February, March, April, November). What’s more, we contributed less to our taxable account in 2017 as compared to the previous year. Paying off my student loans aggressively did factor into, but not having a specific investment plan didn’t help either.

Set Up a Living Trust – FAIL!

Yeah, that didn’t go well at all. I actually have a book about estate planning sitting on my desk at this very moment. Obviously in pristine, minimally read condition. To be honest, I don’t find estate planning all that interesting. But it is an important aspect of personal finance that should not be overlooked.

 

Plans for 2018

Make Consistent Taxable Account Investments, Part 2

Let’s try this again, but this time I’m going to be specific so you guys can hold me accountable. My goal will be to put $1,000 into our taxable account on a monthly basis.

 

Set Up A Living Trust, Part 2

I guess the theme for 2018 will be “second chances”. That being said, my goal will be to not only start (and finish) that estate planning book collecting dust on my desk, but to set up a revocable living trust by the end of the year.

 

Invest in Other Asset Classes

Specifically, I want to branch out and invest in real estate. I don’t see us purchasing a rental property any time soon, so the next best option I think would be crowdfunding real estate platforms. This will be the year that I dive head first into RealtyShares.

 

2017 was a great year financially for the SRGO household. Our investments performed well, and our portfolio grew by a sizable amount. Most importantly, we were able to get rid of one of our biggest financial liabilities – my student loans. While I did miss on some of the goals I set, all in all I’m happy with how things turned out. Thanks for stopping by, and may 2018 be a great year for all of us!

 

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10 thoughts on “2017 Fourth Quarter and Financial Year in Review

  • January 11, 2018 at 2:33 pm
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    Sounds like a great year! Congrats, again, on paying off those pesky student loans. That is huge. Best wishes for an awesome 2018!

    Reply
    • January 11, 2018 at 11:04 pm
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      Thanks for stopping by, Cody. Overall I think it was a great year for us, punctuated by the fact that my loans are gone. Definitely feels like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. Best wishes to you as well for 2018!

      Reply
  • January 11, 2018 at 2:35 pm
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    Very impressive paying off those student loans. Wow, I’m gonna forward this to my friends who think 400k in loans is impossible without IBR. It can be done!

    Reply
    • January 11, 2018 at 11:06 pm
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      I did have the benefit of a two-doc income. $400k is a lot of crap… it helps to have a big shovel, though.

      Reply
    • January 11, 2018 at 11:13 pm
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      Thanks for the comment, Erik. In theory, it would be possible if I fully invest what I had been putting toward my loans. But we may pre-pay our mortgage using some of that additional cash flow.

      Reply
  • January 11, 2018 at 5:37 pm
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    Congratulations on knocking out your loans in three years! I can’t imagine how nice that has to feel. Some day soon would you please share with us your secrets!?!? I look forward to reading it!

    Reply
    • January 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm
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      Thanks for visiting, Life of FI. It does feel great. Frees up a lot of money to tackle other financial goals. My big secret was having a physician spouse. Oh and living on less than half of our household income. I might write a post about it in the future. Thanks for the comment!

      Reply
  • January 12, 2018 at 9:59 am
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    So long, student loans. Congrats!

    Put that money into taxable as you plan, and let that money start working for you.

    Cheers!
    -PoF

    Reply
    • January 12, 2018 at 9:25 pm
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      Yes, CYA student loans! Next step as you mentioned is to build up my taxable account. Gotta create a bridge between early retirement and retirement-retirement. Thanks for stopping by, PoF!

      Reply

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