2009 Investment Returns For My Portfolio

by Mike Holman

2009 was an interesting year for the markets.  Following a bad 2008 the equity markets took a dive in March that made everyone nervous and some people even gave up on the markets.

However, following the rapid descent was a very quick climb back to respectability.  While the stock markets around the world are still down from their all time highs, the gains since March have been huge.

Here are the 2009 total returns (including dividends) for TSX and S&P in 2009

  • TSX  34.7%
  • S&P 26.5%.

It was also an interesting year for investors outside of Canada because of the exchange rate volatility with the US dollar.

  • On Jan 2, 2009, one Canadian dollar was worth $0.83 US dollars.
  • On Dec 31, 2009, one Cdn$ was worth $0.96 US$.

This increase of almost 16% meant that any returns from a US investment was reduced by almost 16% because of the currency swing.

How did my portfolio do?

We did ok – according to my calculations the total return for 2009 was 20.2%.  Our portfolio is 20% bonds, 80% equities and only a minority of the equities are in Canada.  While the Canadian equities did extremely well, our US equities were reduced by the strong Canadian dollar.  However, that is the point of diversification so I’m fine with that.

One interesting fact is that our 2008 investment return was -17%.  If someone had invested $100,000 at the beginning of 2008, lost 17% and then gained 20.2% in 2009 they would then be only about $40 short of their original $100k investment.  Not bad for a couple of crazy years in the markets.

Here are my portfolio investment returns for the last 4 years

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How did your portfolio do in 2009?

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