The Grow Your Dough Throwdown is almost over (sigh).
It’s been a fun challenge, and it’s been exciting to see how my different portfolios have held up.
What hasn’t been exciting is seeing the other personal finance bloggers that are kicking my butt.
Like, serious butt kicking.
Either way, it’s been fun, and I’m looking forward to announcing that the Grow Your Dough Throwdown 2.0 will be happening next year.
This one should be bigger and better, and I can’t wait to share the details. Until then, let’s take a look at how my portfolios are doing.
So you would think with the market having another banner year that my individual stock portfolio would be killing it. Well, three of my five positions are doing decently. Unfortunately, I have one bad apple that is ruining everything. That apple is eHealthInsurance.com. For the year, I’m down 49.94%. Ouch. That one stock is killing my portfolio.
This perfectly illustrates how trying to build an individual stock portfolio can be dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. I tell clients who want to build their own personal stock portfolio that you have to have at least 20 to 25 different stocks to be somewhat diversified.
If you only have five stocks, like in my case, and if you have one bad pick, it can eat away at the returns of your entire portfolio. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to make any drastic changes, just for the fun of the competition. Time will tell.
Scottrade is the account that was put together by my wife. She picked the five companies that she frequents the most. Those are Facebook, Coke, Lulu, Starbucks, and Target. How’s her portfolio doing? It’s crushing me. Her total balance is $1025.19, which is beating me by more than a grand.
The embarrassing thing is I don’t think she even knows where her balance is. Figures. I don’t see that there’s anyway I’m going to beat her unless I go completely speculative. I may have to try it, just so I don’t lose too much of my man pride.
For TradeKing, I picked five stocks that I felt were your traditional Blue Chip dividend-paying stocks. Blue Chip stocks tend to be the most attractive in down markets, just because of the dividend that you receive. It’s even sweeter in upward markets because not only do you get the appreciation, but you also get that dividend on top. This is what we like to say is having your cake and eating it, too. Most of the stocks are actually down, but with a nice gain in Microsoft, the current portfolio value is $1024.14.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again; The Betterment investment platform has been one of the easiest online brokers to get my money invested. Overall, I’m up and continue to go up, and Betterment does all the heavy lifting for me. There’s not much to say other than I like Betterment.
The more I learn about Motif, the more excited I am. The concept with how Motif Investing works is that you pick an investment strategy, which they refer to as a motif, and then either they or an outside stock picker will put together a portfolio of individual stocks that best matches whatever that theme may be.
For example, one of the themes that I’ve owned through the entire Grow Your Dough Throwdown is the Onward Online Ads motif. Within that motif, you’ll find stocks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, etc. Once you buy a motif, you’re going to buy fractional shares of all the stocks in that motif.
If there are any updates to that motif, meaning if they either buy or sell stocks or change the allocation, then you can log in and quickly press their trade button and the motif will rebalance whatever the new positions may be. There is additional cost for this, but it’s only $9.99. Not bad, considering that you’re making small changes to sometimes more than 10 to 15 individual stocks.
In any other online broker, you can expect to at least pay $5 per trade, so this is definitely cheaper. It’s also nice because somebody’s done all the research for you based on whatever investing theme that you’re most comfortable with. I’m in the process of potentially adding more money to Motif, just because I like what they have going on.
Lending Club and Prosper
Lending Club and Prosper seem to be neck-and-neck on their overall returns. Prosper currently has a slight edge of $1063.53 over Lending Club, which is $1057.89. I think the biggest difference between the two is that Prosper allowed an automatic investing strategy. That means that you rarely, rarely had any cash in your account because Prosper would go ahead and buy notes on your behalf based on whatever your risk tolerance was.
For the longest time, Lending Club would not do this, at least that I was aware of. You’d have to log in on occasion to see if you had any available cash, and then click a few buttons to get that invested. On the screen shot above, you’ll see that I had currently $327 of cash that was sitting idle in my Lending Club account. When you’re sitting idle, that means you’re not making anything.
I did notice, however, that Lending Club offered their automated investing option that now allows you to do just that: automatically invest your cash. I went ahead and set that up, so now everything will be automatically invested going forward.
How’s the competition doing?
Well, I’m excited to announce that currently I’m not last. Yeah!!! That position goes to Robert from The College Investor. Thanks for helping a man out. Ha! 🙂
Julie, Rob (from Dough Roller) and PT Money have a tight race going on. It will be an exciting finish until the end.
|Blog Name||Portfolio Name||Announcement Post||Rolling Returns:||February||March||April||May||June||July||August||September||October||November|
|Good Financial Cents||Not-a-stock-picker portfolio||Grow Your Dough: Revealing My Stock Picks||$973.20||$980.36||919.89||$906.58||$961.12||$886.97||$926.07||$917.38||$567.41|
|House of Rose||Purple Passion||$955.45||$961.99||934.30||$939.15||$970.93||$986.36||$1,012.72||$1,025.19|
|Consumerism Commentary||Feemageddon||Grow 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 Cheap||Throwdown Hustle||Grow Your Own Dough Challenge 2 Months In||*$1,079.68 profit<|