The Grow Your Dough Throw-Down is starting to heat up.

The later part of 2013, I challenged 15 other personal finance bloggers to see who could grow $1000 the most at the end of this year and named it the Grow Your Dough Throwdown.

Every blogger is giving me a month-by-month update, which I’m going to be tracking here on the blog.

Grow Your Dough Recap copy

Thus far, the throw-down has been pretty much what I would imagine it to be, smack-talking, showboating and a whole lot of action. If you recall, I went a little above and beyond the $1000 with one online broker.

I opened accounts with seven other online investing platforms. These were your traditional online brokerages, a few peer-to-peer lending companies and a few niche players. To make it even more fun, I gave my wife free reign to choose some stocks for one of those brokers, which was Scottrade.

You can read the original recap post here as well as my original stock picks here.

Let’s see how we’re doing.

1. My picks

I used TD Ameritrade as my online broker. The stocks I picked were Fidelity and Guaranty Life, Dunkin’ Donuts, Yahoo, Bank of New York, Mellon and eHealthInsurance. Thus far, after transaction costs and my stocks not doing the greatest, I’m currently down. At the end of February, my total dollar value is $973.20. I guess it could be worse but I’m not making money yet.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 2.58.00 PM

2. The Wifey’s Picks

The real question is how am I doing compared to my wife. My wife was set up on Scottrade. I’m a big fan of Scottrade but the reason I chose Scottrade for my wife is because I knew that she would like purple over green. Yes, I’m being serious. Her picks included Facebook, Coca-Cola, Lululemon, Starbucks and Target. Even though she is a full-blown supporter of LULU and has to imagine that she’s one of their top customers, the stock has taken a dive. Because of that, her current total portfolio value is $955.45. In a nutshell, yes, I’m beating my wife. Even if I don’t win the Grow Your Dough Throw-Down challenge, as long as I beat my wife, I consider that to be a win. Ha-ha.

Mandy's Portfolio

3. The dividend portfolio

I decided to use TradeKing to build a blue chip stock portfolio. Those stocks were General Electric, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Microsoft and Verizon. Surprisingly, that portfolio is doing the worst out of all of them. Total portfolio value there is $940.38. So far, not so good. Don’t worry. It gets better.

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4. The newbie platform

A platform that I had little knowledge of before starting the Grow Your Dough Throw-Down was Motif. The concept with Motif is that you choose a certain style of investing and then they’ll go out and find the stocks for you.

For example, one of my motifs was ObamaCare. Inside that ObamaCare motif, you’ll find several companies that are poised to do well under the ObamaCare legislation.

Another example was my “onward online ads” motif. Since I’m a blogger and love social media, I thought this was a perfect fit. Each motif does come with a $9.95 transaction charge so having purchased three, that was $30 in the hole immediately.

Thus far, all three motifs have been up and I’m currently sitting at $1030.05. I’ll take it.

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5. Better(ment) way to invest?

Betterment by far has to be one of the easiest and slickest platforms for anyone wanting to get started investing. Betterment uses low cost ETFs and manages the portfolio for you. All you have to do is choose your goal and your timeframe and they’ll determine where you need to be.

I deposited $1000 with Betterment and I’ve never slipped below that initial investment. Currently, Betterment stands at $1021.77. Another win.

Betterment recap

6. The peer-to-peer lending giants

I also opened up an account with both Lending Club and Prosper. I’ve already conducted the Prosper versus Lending Club experiment, which you can read here.

I thought this would be fun because now I’m going to deposit $1000 into each account, go with the most aggressive strategy possible and see who comes out ahead. Currently, it’s a neck-and-neck race with Lending Club being current value of $1009.20 and Prosper being $1007.41.

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Lending Club


 How’s the competition doing?

Here’s a quick look at how the other bloggers are doing. Thus far it’s anyone’s throwdown to win.

One interesting blogger to point out is Sandy from Yes, I am Cheap. She invested half of her money in traditional fashion which is up some. The other half she invested into her side business which has yielded her a $1,078.10 profit since January (read more here).

This throwdown had some pretty loose rules so the jury is out if we’ll still allow this for the remainder of the contest.

But in the spirit of Operation: #investNOW where I’m encouraging 1 million people to invest in themselves, I love everything about this!

While Sandy might not win this throwdown, we’re definitely keep track of her progress to see how well she grows her dough with her side hustle.

Blog NamePortfolio NameAnnouncement PostRolling Returns:February MarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember
Good Financial CentsNot-a-stock-picker portfolioGrow Your Dough: Revealing My Stock Picks$973.20$980.36919.89$906.58$961.12$886.97$926.07$917.38$567.41
House of RosePurple Passion$955.45$961.99934.30$939.15$970.93$986.36$1,012.72$1,025.19
Consumerism CommentaryFeemageddonGrow Your Dough: My Investing Results as of February$947.87$937.13$962.12$988.01$1,000.16$1,031,81$1,025.59
Yes I Am CheapThrowdown Hustle Grow Your Own Dough Challenge 2 Months In*$1,079.68 profit
Working to LiveJulie's Investment ExperimentsUpdate on Grow Your Dough Throwdown: Julie’s Investment Experiments$1,016.96$1,016.00949.22$1,049.59$1,205.79$1043.25 $1,057.58
Young FinancesGemini PortfolioFebruary Investing Challenge Results- Gemini Portfolio$1,008.72$1007.71$1018.031,047.29$1,067.95$1089.17$1,058.87$1,077.04$1,117.06
Investor JunkieGrow your..Doh!The Grow Your Dough Showdown – Update (February 2014)$953.66$961.04$1,018.03 $938.49$1043.04$1021.31$1110.69$945.05$769.16$754.40
The College InvestorGrow Your Dough Investor Challenge$985.84$1,010.84$1,027.54$994.84$941.64962.42 $833.06$921.17$952.36
Planting Money SeedsSuper Boring DividendsGrow Your Dough: February Update$1,035.40$1,055.15$1090.47$1,112.74$1,099.28$1,115.79$1,047.55$1,079.46 $1,051.78
Stacking Benjamins STILL CAN HEAR A HEARTBEAT! (MY GROW YOUR DOUGH UPDATE)$1,055.44$1,105.64$1,039.24$1,054$1,095$1,153.27$944$915.60
The Military GuideBoring Investment Portfolio I’m A Boring Investment Competitor.$1,001.23$1034.04$1018.92$978.97$972$965
PT MoneySignal SpeculatorSignal Speculator Portfolio Update (-0.7%) ADEP Flatlines [Grow Your Dough Throwdown Part 2].7% loss$1,086.75$1138.27$1258.51 1258.51$1,262.24$1334
Dough RollerBuy it Like Buffet$1,073.20$1,065.47$1,129.54$1,181.97$1,226.22$1,326.68$1,295.20$1,336.40$1,381.89
Frugal RulesGrow Your Dough Throwdown: February Update$1,017 $1029.53$1022.53$1043.03$1069.13$1,089.33$1068.48$1096.28$1122.08
Afford AnythingBlindfolded Monkey Experiment Could a Blindfolded Monkey — Throwing Darts at Stocks — Beat the Experts?
Canadian Finance BlogCanadian DividendsThe Grow Your Dough Throwdown: My Investments1071.09$1,081.57$1,079.85$1093.031,061.41$1,054.19$1125.75$1020.03$960.31
Free From BrokeGrow Your Dough Throwdown Update – February End – It’s Growing!$958.50$935.43915.43$940.81$933.34$985.32$981.76$972.05$1020.57


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Comments | 2 Responses

  1. says

    Hey Jeff,

    I really like this game. Its a bit like fantasy football. However, more importantly, I think it will demonstrate at the end of the 12 months how not to invest.

    * Share picks for small amounts => high percentage fees.
    * High volatility in poorly diversified holdings, etc.

    It will be good to see the real working examples of bad investment strategies to show to new investors that dollar average investing in index funds/ETFs is the way to invest in the long-term.

    Also, I’m very interested to see about Sandy’s results. I definitely think you should leave that in to show how investing in your passion and hard work can be a good investment!

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