2017 Third Quarter Update

The third quarter has come and gone, which means it’s time for another quarterly update. I can’t believe how quickly this year is going by. Pretty soon it will be time to do another annual report. But until then, here’s how we did for the months of July through September.


Portfolio Update

Our portfolio hasn’t changed over the past three months as most of our investments are on auto-pilot. I also haven’t made any drastic changes to our specific holdings.

As of the end of September, here is where we stand:

  • Overall asset allocation:  77% stocks, 23% bonds
  • International:  22% of stocks
  • Small cap value:  5% of stocks, 3% of overall portfolio
  • REIT:  6% of stocks, 5% of overall portfolio


Our asset allocation is starting to deviate a bit from our 75/25 target. Given the performance of stocks this year, both domestic and foreign, that’s not surprising at all. We’re not at a rebalancing point quite yet. Should equities continue to perform well, however, I may adjust our portfolio early next year.


2017 Third Quarter Performance

Another three months, another 3% gain. I’ll take it. I don’t like to compare my returns with those of the market, but I tend to do so in these posts for informational purposes. The S&P 500 saw returns of 3.96%, which was higher than the 2.57% returns seen in the second quarter.

International stocks continued to do well. The FTSE Global All Cap ex US index, for example, returned 6.02% in the third quarter and is up 20.93% year to date. Naturally, our international holdings performed well with a return of 5.32%.

Here are some other performance tidbits from the past quarter:

  • Small Cap Value fared a little bit better this time around with returns of 4.48% compared with 0.39% last quarter.
  • REITs had another lackluster three months, returning just 0.86%.
  • Our Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF did pretty well with a 4.5% return.


The Other Guys

I touched on these holdings in a previous post about our portfolio. Basically, they are old investments (circa 2010) from my wife’s brokerage account. As of today, we have a collection of individual stocks, a mid cap value fund, and a large cap value fund. We reinvest the dividends but don’t add any new money to our positions. Here’s how they performed during the last quarter:

Third quarter performance of our other investments.


Little Random Guy’s Third Quarter Performance

We have a 529 plan for our son through Vanguard that is currently 100% invested in Vanguard Aggressive Growth Portfolio. It is an all equity portfolio with a 60/40 split between domestic stocks and international. Given this, it’s not surprising that Little Random Guy outperformed us with a 4.8% return during the last quarter. Way to go, son!


In Conclusion

The third quarter was another good one for investors. How long will this ride last? Nobody knows. I certainly don’t. What I do know is that I’ll keep saving and investing according to my plan, not based on what the market does in the short-term.


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4 thoughts on “2017 Third Quarter Update

    • October 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Ms99to1percent! Yes it was another solid quarter, especially for our little guy. I guess I should take some lessons from him as well. Haha! 😀

  • October 17, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    I’ll take 3% quarterly gains forever! We are pretty much on auto-pilot also, although we did open up a PeerStreet account to give real estate crowdfunding a try. First interest payments were deposited today.

    You may have mentioned it before, but I’m curious on what influenced your target 75/25 stock-to-bond asset allocation. I consider ourselves to be pretty conservative, but I think our bond allocation is only around 10% to 15%.

    • October 20, 2017 at 10:24 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Mr. N2S! I will also take 3% every quarter as well. In terms of our asset allocation, 75/25 is a combination of my risk tolerance and my wife’s. I think I have a high risk tolerance, but I’ve never experience a bear market or recession as an investor. So I opted to underestimate my risk tolerance. So I started with a 90/10 and brought it down to 80/20. My wife estimated her allocation at 70/30, so combined we would be 75/25.

      I think it works well for us. It’s a higher bond allocation than we may need, but I think it’s balanced out by not having a lot of idle cash (outside of our emergency fund) sitting on the sidelines.

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