Saturday, August 04, 2007

July 2007 Returns For My Model Long-Term Portfolio

My Hypothetical Model Portfolio performed very poorly during July as the overall market swooned. As of the market close on July 31, 2007, the Hypothetical Model Portfolio was down $5,560.57, or about 3.55% during July. July 2007 was the worst month for the Hypothetical Model Portfolio since last May, 2006 when the Hypothetical Model Portfolio dropped 4.92%. Despite the awful July results, the Hypothetical Model Portfolio is still up about $5432 in 2007, a gain of 3.73%, as shown on the table below (click for a larger image of the table). Morever, the Hypothetical Model Portfolio is still outperforming the 3.58% return of the benchmark Vanguard S&P 500 Index fund (VFINX).

Financials experienced their second consecutive awful month, with the SPDR Financial components ETF (XLF) plummeting 9.07% and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index Fund (DVY) dropping 5.02%. Financials are still performing poorly due to the overhang from problems in the subprime lending market. Another poor performer with a large amount of financial exposure was the Vanguard Small Cap Value Index (VISVX), which dropped 7.21%. Other small cap issues also underperformed, resulting in the Vanguard Small Cap Index mutual fund (NAESX) dropping 5.76% during the month.

The only moderately impressive returns were registered by the iShares Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), which rose 0.70%, the Templeton Russia closed-end fund (TRF), which rose 0.46%, and the Nasdaq 100 ETF (QQQQ), which only fell by 0.07% in a weak market. This marks the second consective month during which TRF has registered a gain, following five months of declines from January - May 2007.

As of the end of July, two of the portfolio holdings are up in double digits so far in 2007 - EEM, which is up just over 16%, and QQQQ, which is up just over 10%. The performance of QQQQ has really surprised me, as I had not anticipated tech stocks to outperform this year.

Two of the holdings in my Hypothetical Model Portfolio paid dividends in July. As I mentioned in a previous post, the dividends from mutual fund holdings are reinvested, but the dividends from ETFs or a closed end fund (i.e., the Templeton Russia closed-end fund (TRF)) are not reinvested - instead, they will accumulate as "CASH" on the performance table below until at least $100 has accrued, at which point that money will be reinvested in one of the mutual fund holdings. The reason I am doing this is because the index mutual funds in this portfolio do not charge a transaction fee for reinvesting dividends. To reinvent dividends for any of the ETFs or TRF, on the other hand, would cause me to incur transaction fees for the trading commissions.

QQQQ paid a dividend of $0.037/share (a total of $7.76) on July 31st, which was moved to "CASH" on the table shown below. DVY paid a dividend of $0.58298 on July 5th (a total of $58.29), which was also moved to "CASH" on the table shown below.

The stock market's performance recently is somewhat disconcerting. However, I do not see any cause for alarm. The pullback during May and June 2006 was far worse than this one, and everything turned out well by the end of 2006. I think we are merely experiencing a correction right now. Corrections are absolutely necessary to maintain an orderly market with manageable levels of risk.

*The Hypothetical Model Portfolio was created with an investment of $100,000 in securities as of the closing values on December 30, 2005 and an additional $25,000 was invested n securities as of the closing values on December 29, 2006. The reason why the total cost in the chart is greater than $125,000 is because the total cost accounts for the value of distributions reinvested into the mutual funds in the portfolio.

June 2007 Returns

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