2008 Portfolio Returns

by Mike Holman

I know this is a bit late but I finally got around to calculating my 2008 portfolio return. For some reason this year I was not as motivated to know how much money I made..lost.

Given that most markets went down at least 30% we did quite well with only a 17% drop.

Canadian Capitalist has listed all the 2008 asset class returns for comparison.

My asset allocation at the beginning of the year was as follows:

  • Bonds – 20%
  • Real return bonds 5%
  • Canadian equity – 19%
  • US equity – 27%
  • International equity 29%

Part way through the year I converted about 5% of the bonds to REITS which was not a good move!  🙂

You might be wondering how I only had a 17% drop with this allocation – I’d like to claim some sort of market timing skill but the reality is that a good part of our equity was out of the market for most of September and October (ie the bad months) because they were being moved to RBC.  Once at RBC, we took our sweet time buying back in.  This probably added about 5% to our return for the year.

Does anyone else have any “lucky” investment stories from last year?

Here are some returns from other bloggers

Pinyo from Moolanomy.com was down about 35% – his portfolio is pretty close to the S&P500.

Canadian Capitalist was down 22% for the year.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James

Although in the long run… it will come out in the wash, in January I moved the majority of my non Canadian Index ETFs (85% of portfolio) to Vanguard on the NYSE, which of course is traded in Canadian dollars. The move was motivated by the significantly lower MERs. Because of the weakened CAD, the paper loss is significantly lower (21% vs. 40%).

2 Dividend Growth Investor

I have gotten “lucky” before as well. However any time I get lucky twice in a row and start believing that I am the best investor in the world, third time my luck evaporates into stock market losses.

So I keep a simple allocation, diversification and dollar cost averaging..

Dividend Growth stocks did well in 2008overall , so the fact that I had a slighlty worse return than you is not because I am the best stock market investor in the world. 🙂

3 Canadian Capitalist

I owned E*Trade and AIG and sold out of them as part of a move to mostly passive portfolio. Glad I did. Both are down more than 90%.

4 Four Pillars

James – yes, the currency changes often outweigh any investment decisions.

DGI – you’re right – good moves are just luck!

CC – wow, that’s some good trading! 🙂

5 MoneyEnergy

I haven’t been keeping track of such year-to-year fluctuations in market value. The numbers I look at more often are simply networth (ok, that is partly based on MV) and cashflow: is the cashflow growing. But judging from my RRSP numbers alone, my RRSP is still down about 25%. It’s mostly in Canadian dividend income.

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