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Couch potato investing for the last 12 years - tracking my progress

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Feb 5, 2017
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Our dollar is higher = buy more of foreign (US, Intl, etc.)
TSX is down compared to others = buy more of it

and respect your allocations through that

it's that simple, really.
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Germack wrote:
Jun 6th, 2014 4:19 pm
Hi RFD,

After reading several articles, forums, blogs and academic studies, I came to the conclusion that the best way to invest my money is in a low cost diversified portfolio.

I have been applying this investment strategy for the last 12 years and would like to share my progress with you. With this post I hope to inspire others who are thinking about following a similar approach.
@ Germack, first off the OP chart is impressive of what appears the CCP has been a huge success ... well done.

On the CCP from your OP, would appreciate if you are able to answer a couple of things on the account balance of your CCP, as follows ...

Would also appreciate any link detailing this if covered some place else?

From the starting point in 2007, what was the initial start amount?

Without DRIP's or portfolio gains how much was contributed or added to the portfolio of investments from day one till now to get to the current total portfolio value of approx $1.15 million?

From day one till that if there hadn't been any additional funds/contributions to the portfolio - what would the portfolio value be?

How many of the initial holdings are still in the portfolio today?

What were the total number of 'investment classes' such as stocks, bonds, mutfunds, EFT's, other when the portfolio was created and how many are there in it today?

Thanks
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Oct 19, 2016
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Im curious to know Germacks actual percentage returns.

The net worth chart he posted does not reflect his true investment returns as he was adding capital to it monthly.
porticoman wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 10:20 am

From day one till that if there hadn't been any additional funds/contributions to the portfolio - what would the portfolio value be?
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mrtrump wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 12:28 pm
Im curious to know Germacks actual percentage returns.

The net worth chart he posted does not reflect his true investment returns as he was adding capital to it monthly.
does it make any difference? You can go to google/finance, portfolio123 etc tools and project any portfolio you want.

With Google finance you actually can "model" his actual portfolio e.g. starting 30k, adding e.g. 30k (10k tfsa, 20k rrsp) yearly to mimic HIS experience. It will even calculate dividends and even would track returns with them reinvested (but with quite a manual work).
But does it make any difference to YOU? it would be HIS experience in the PAST. CCP returns are well known, but we all know that the most dangerous enemy of investing and most unknown variable is in the mirror ;)
Make the Trudeau drama teacher again!
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Yes it makes a difference because he shows a very nice chart showing his Net Worth increase of 4000% over the last 12 years.

However probably a big chunk of the NetWorth increase was from addition of new capital (monthly contributions).

Yes I know google finance and how to calculate gains... but when the market crashed during 2008-2009, do you really think he just continued contributing as usual... Google finance will not show how humans react during market extremes.
asa1973 wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 12:58 pm
does it make any difference? You can go to google/finance, portfolio123 etc tools and project any portfolio you want.

With Google finance you actually can "model" his actual portfolio e.g. starting 30k, adding e.g. 30k (10k tfsa, 20k rrsp) yearly to mimic HIS experience. It will even calculate dividends and even would track returns with them reinvested (but with quite a manual work).
But does it make any difference to YOU? it would be HIS experience in the PAST. CCP returns are well known, but we all know that the most dangerous enemy of investing and most unknown variable is in the mirror ;)
Last edited by mrtrump on Sep 13th, 2017 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mrtrump wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 3:32 pm
Yes it makes a difference because he shows a very nice chart showing his Net Worth increase of 4000% over the last 12 years.

However probably a big chunk of the NetWorth increase was from addition of new capital (monthly contributions).
@ post #1712 where the OP posted mentions adding $50k/yr... resolved

Plus the fact in the OP it mentions 'net worth' which might suggest other not just his ETF portfolio 'net worth' to also include a partner/spouse/other, or other investments, such as REI/personal property (see post #1725) or maybe other investment strategies such as leverage/margin in non-registered account, that the $1.15 million is not simply the model CCP ETF portfolio alone?

I looked at each of the positions the OP mentioned, some have been around only a few years, others longer, some have made small increases, a couple have done really well, one ETF symbol VTI stock split 2:1 in June 2008

When it all comes to the bottom line it's $1.15 million, how the OP got there belongs to them & well done Germack, thanks for the thread.
[OP]
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Hi porticoman and mrtrump,

Thank you for posting in this thread. Here are the answers to your questions:

Question #1: From the starting point in 2007, what was the initial start amount?
Answer #1: The initial starting amount on 15MAY2005 was $15,312

Question #2: Without DRIP's or portfolio gains how much was contributed or added to the portfolio of investments from day one till now to get to the current total portfolio value of approx $1.15 million?
Answer #2: I only have exact numbers since 2010. Since 2010 I contributed $446,997 and my investment gains were $409,244. My contributions have been around 50k/year. See Table below for more information.
Contributions and Investment Gains.png

Question #3: From day one till that if there hadn't been any additional funds/contributions to the portfolio - what would the portfolio value be?
Answer #3: I do not know the exact number of this. Based on some numbers from Moneysense (http://www.moneysense.ca/save/investing ... rformance/) I would estimate the portfolio value would have increased by around 30% without any additional contributions

Question #4: How many of the initial holdings are still in the portfolio today?
Answer #4: I liquidated around 200k of my portfolio 2.5 years ago to have money for a downpayment on a house. Aside from this I have never sold any of my investments.

Question #5: What were the total number of 'investment classes' such as stocks, bonds, mutfunds, EFT's, other when the portfolio was created and how many are there in it today?
Answer #5: Total number of investment classes never changed. My money is invested in the following classes: bonds, canadian equity, US equities, international equities, emerging markets and real estate.

Question #6: I am curious to know Germacks actual percentage returns.
Answer #6: I do not have exact numbers for the whole time period. From 10JAN2011 - 12SEP2017 my annualized return has been 9.2% per year, according to TD Waterhouse.

Statement #1: However probably a big chunk of the NetWorth increase was from addition of new capital (monthly contributions).
Answer S#1: Yes, this is correct. See Answer #2 for more information.

Statement #2: ,but when the market crashed during 2008-2009, do you really think he just continued contributing as usual?
Answer S#2: Yes, I did continue contributing as usual. It was tough, but I did it.

Statement #3: Plus the fact in the OP it mentions 'net worth' which might suggest other not just his ETF portfolio 'net worth' to also include a partner/spouse/other, or other investments, such as REI/personal property (see post #1725) or maybe other investment strategies such as leverage/margin in non-registered account, that the $1.15 million is not simply the model CCP ETF portfolio alone?
Answer S#3: This is my networth only. Family networth is around 1.8 million. I do own a single family house. It is valued in my networth using its purchase price. The $1.15 million is from saving around 50k per year and investing the savings in a CCP portfolio. No leverage.
Last edited by Germack on Sep 13th, 2017 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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How did you manage over 100k of savings in 2012 and 2016?? Smiling Face With Sunglasses
[OP]
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blahraptors wrote:
Sep 13th, 2017 10:04 pm
How did you manage over 100k of savings in 2012 and 2016?? Smiling Face With Sunglasses
Stock options from my employer that vest every 4 years.
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Because I'm with TDDI, would it be a viable option to contribute only once a year in a lump sum since the fees on each transaction aren't cheap. In addition, is there a difference in the CAD$ vanguard funds and the US$ vanguard funds? Seems like the US$ vanguard funds have better returns? But the exchange rate kind of kills the deal no?
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@ Germack post #1828...thanks for that

It's now more clearer that the 'net worth' is not simply total investment couch potato ETF investment returns that the OP achieved $1.15 million net worth

Starting with $15k in 2005

Added approx $50k/yr = $600k

Company stock options ?

Purchased a home (value) - taking out $200k from the investments ?

Savings & other ?

Net worth $1.15 million, comprised of - in percentages ?

House at net market value - any mortgage
Cash savings/term deposits
Registered accounts
Trading/non-registered account
Company stock options
Crowdfunding
REI - investment property
Company pension plan
Paid up life insurance to date
Other investments

I'm not posting to try to debunk the CCP yet want to see how Germack actual ETF investment portfolio returns over 12 years was achieved.

I also want to state that case by case how folks get to their final destination is not as simple 'couch potato investing' in the stock market - stocks, ETF, Bonds, Mutfunds etc - there are other factors.

Not knowing from the start how the total ETF portfolio has performed, considering many of the ETF's in the OP have only been around a short while & that the OP survived the 2008/9 meltdown.

I looked at the listed companies/ETF's in the OP & compared their performance over 10 years to the S&P 500, SPY, AMZN, AAPL in the following link

https://www.stocksplithistory.com/?symbol=vti
[OP]
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porticoman wrote:
Sep 14th, 2017 9:13 am

Not knowing from the start how the total ETF portfolio has performed, considering many of the ETF's in the OP have only been around a short while & that the OP survived the 2008/9 meltdown.
This is incorrect. All ETFs listed in OP have been around for >=12 years, except XEM. XEM inception date is 2009.

High savings rate plus investing your savings in a Couch Potato Portfolio will make you very rich. It is simple as this, but it is not easy to do.
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May 31, 2007
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Very impressive keep up the good work!! 1.8m household networth exceptional.
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Hi all,

Need some help on ETFs. Looking to invest with Vanguard Canada funds but I'm wondering about the allocation. I know the CCP aggressive model puts 10% bonds, 30% CDN equities and 60% International equities. But I'm wondering if I should focus more on International equities and less on Canadian equity? For example, 10% VAB, 20% VCN, 70% (VUN, VFV, VIU, VEE, VXC) As to which accounts to put it in, I believe bonds are always in the RRSP but I'm wondering what else should go in RRSP/TFSA/Non-Reg account?

Thanks in advance.
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bubak wrote:
Sep 12th, 2017 7:50 pm
I'm not seeing red. Anyone who started their CPP anytime before the beginning of 2017 is almost guaranteed to be in the black right now.
Very true. And even if someone is 'red,' don't let that drift you off-course.
My YTD:
My portfolio (RSP, spRSP, TFSA, LIRA + taxable acct) @ 30%FI (GICs+VAB), 20% Can (VCN), 50% everywhere else (VXC) (hybrid balanced/assertive) is +3.6% YTD. Late last week it was +2.32%
Kids RESP @ 80%FI (GICs), 7% Can, 13% world (ultra conservative as heading quickly toward withdrawal) is +2.24% YTD. Late last week it was +1.95%

Yes, I'm lazy and just stick with Vanguard funds.

*I did a check in with portfolios last week due to a GIC renewing, and just checked now again to show that returns can fluctuate so much in such a short time period. Don't actually do this! Take the long, broad view and just set it and forget it.

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