Annual Financial Performance Review
It’s the beginning of a new year and new decade and therefore time to update the Mr. and Mrs. ToughMoneyLove financial performance metrics.
Our best performing investments over the past year have been the Vanguard International Emerging Markets ETF (+74%), the T. Rowe Price New Era Mutual Fund (+47.5%), and the Vanguard Total International Stock Market Index Fund (33.6%). Of course, these investments had a long way to go to recover from their previous declines. Our inflation-protection investments continued to anchor things: Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities Fund (+8.99%), Lehman International Treasury Bond ETF (+5.2%), and I-Bonds (+5.8%).
Our only losing investment was a regional bank stock (SYBT) at -20.2% but I did not sell it because it still pays a decent dividend.
Our net worth increased by 5.4% in the 4th quarter and is up 16.2% compared to a year ago. We continue to reach new highs in the net worth department which, in these times, is so important to baby boomers like us.
I checked our credit reports for any unusual activity. All is good. I did not check our credit scores – still don’t see a need.
On the retirement planning checklist, this is what we accomplished in 2009:
2. We created a plan for guaranteed retirement income.
3. We maxed out our HSA contributions (and didn’t spend any HSA funds) as part of our plan to use our Health Savings Account for tax-free retirement investing.
4. We started a condo purchase. We discovered in an equestrian community (Long Branch Lakes) on the Cumberland Plateau, liked it, and put some money down on a condo that should be finished some time this year. That will give us a pre-retirement opportunity to experiment with condo living.
CNBC has produced a video documentary about the financial bubbles of the past decade. Take a look if you are interested, courtesy of Hulu TV.
So how did things end up for you in 2009? Do you conduct self-reviews of your annual financial performance?