Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Yearly Investment Returns

Fund Name SymbolAllocation Return
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETFVTI6.75%17.42%
Vanguard Value ETFVTV6.75%14.57%
Vanguard Small-Cap ETFVB6.75%28.11%
Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETFVBR25.10%12.02%
Vanguard REIT ETFVNQ3.00%28.44%
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETFVEU5.40%11.82%
iShares MSCI EAFE Value ETFEFV5.40%4.59%
Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US Small Cap ETFVSS5.40%25.61%
WisdomTree International Small Cap Dividend ETFDLS5.40%19.43%
Vanguard Emerging Markets ETFVWO5.40%19.43%
iShares S&P Dev ex-US Property ETFWPS3.00%18.13%
Vanguard Total Bond Market ETFBND20.00%5.73%
iShares S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond ETFMUB5.00%-0.21%
SPDR Barclays Capital High Yield Bond ETFJNK5.00%11.65%
iShares S&P U.S. Preferred Stock Index ETFPFF5.00%13.19%
iShares JPMorgan USD Emerging Markets Bond ETFEMB5.00%10.39%
2010 Yearly Portfolio Return14.41%

For 2010, the sample balanced passive portfolio (60% stocks, 40% income) returned a healthy 14.41%, in spite of a large bond market sell-off in the 4th quarter. Munis were absolutely crushed in the past several weeks after 60 Minutes ran a segment on the financial problems of states and municipalities, featuring Meridith Whitney and Chris Christie (see State Budgets: Day of Reckoning and Meridith Whitney: Wave of Muni Defaults to Spur Layoffs and Social Unrest). This portfolio relies on no star managers, and has much lower fees than the average mutual fund, and few if any capital gains distributions. I'm especially proud it beat perennial mutual fund all-stars such as Dodge and Cox Balanced (12.22%) and Oakmark Equity & Income (9.50%), and just edged out T. Rowe Price Capital Appreciation (14.07%). All performance figures were taken from Morningstar.


  1. Great year for retirees...not so much for accumulators. For my clients in retirement I assume a return of 6%, so they got plenty of gravy this year.

  2. March 2009 was an accumulator's dream come true, but most were too scared to take advantage of the situation.