You cannot turn on the TV this last few days, without hearing that the current bull market has reached its five year mark. Not sure about readers of my blog, but "ah yes, I remember it well".
We met at nine.
We met at eight
I was on time
No, you were late.
Ah yes, I remember it well...
And I do remember it well. I remember Jim Cramer on Mad Money making the case for Dow 5,000 (we were at about 7,000 then). "Sell, sell, sell!"
As my fearless readers know, I do keep pretty detailed records. Feel free and go back and read some of my blogs. At one point, near the end of February I mentioned that even Larry Kudlow had turned bearish, and that was a definite sign of the bottom. Five years ago, with my multiplier, my portfolio was worth about $678,000. Today it stands at $2,618,000 (with multiplier). Now all of that gain is not just from stocks going up. I have added significant money from savings to my brokerage account over the five years. Fidelity has a cool feature that tracks performance. For my brokerage account (so excludes IRA and my more recent Merrill Lynch account), I have gained (with multipler) $1,093,000 in past five years. My annualized return is 17.2%. While that sounds good, I have actually lagged the S&P 500 and Russell 3000 (they are 19% and 20%) respectively (over ten years I beat them both by about three points).
I suspect I have underperformed a bit due to some poor stock picking in 2010 and 2011 (even a bit in 2012) when I got enamored with some reverse Chinese stocks that ended up being fraudulent. It was an expensive lesson. I also got crushed on Ideararc, a yellow pages company that went bankrupt and I lost 100%. Part of it could be that the brokerage account also acts as my checking account, so I do keep a fair amount just in cash.