10 Lessons Learned From Peter Lynch

One Up On Wall StreetPeter Lynch is one of the greatest fund managers ever. Though, it’s been over two decades since he managed money, the lessons he learned are timeless.

Lynch ran the Fidelity Magellan Fund from 1977 to 1990. During that time, he beat the pants off the market. He outpaced the S&P 500 11 out of 13 years, averaging a 29% annual return. From start to finish, that’s a 2700% return!

Lynch documented his experience in two books: One Up on Wall Street and Beating the Street. The lessons you’ll take away from both books far exceeds the ten below.

10. There is always something to worry about.

Every day brings something different to worry about – inflation, recession, depression, natural disaster, war, market crash, and that bus when you cross the street. In the last 100 years, the market has seen it all and recovered. You can wait for the sky to fall or you can invest knowing it will happen, you’ll get through it, and the market will too. Continue Reading…

How a Fed Rate Hike Affects Stocks

The hints of a Fed rate hike have been fairly constant since before the year started. The earliest guesses wrongly put the hike in June. Some have said September. The reality is nobody knows. It’s that uncertainty that gets people worrying about how it will impact their portfolio.

The funny part about all this is people have complained about low rates for six years. Now people are worried about getting what they wanted. But at what cost? Continue Reading…

60/40 Portfolio Performance During Economic Cycles

Last week I broke down a 60/40 portfolio’s performance by decade. I was curious what drove performance in a diversified portfolio – stocks or bonds – and decades were a quick way to find out. But not the best way. It was pointed out that using economic cycles was a better way to break it down.

Thanks to some help finding the dates to changes in the economic cycle, and scrounging up monthly performance data, I was able to get a 60/40 portfolio’s performance during recessions and expansions. Continue Reading…

What Drives Returns In A 60/40 Portfolio

How much does each stock and bond allocation actually contribute to the total return of a portfolio? The easy assumption is that stocks do most of the work, since stocks outperform bonds historically.

To find out, I used the S&P 500 returns for stocks, 10 year Treasury returns for bonds, and rebalanced annually.

I threw all the data into a spreadsheet to get results for every allocation. To keep things simple, I’m only showing the 60/40 portfolio since that’s the typical allocation cited in most examples. Continue Reading…

What Dollar Cost Averaging Did In The Lost Decade

Bear MarketsThe U.S. stock market went nowhere for 12 years. Two bear markets that saw the S&P 500 fall by almost 50% – twice – produced this Lost Decade, where the market produced no return. Or did it?

While the Lost Decade makes for great headlines it ignores several realities from an investor’s perspective.

First, the S&P 500 was one of many asset classes you could have owned during the period. This chart shows how a diversified portfolio performed against U.S. stocks and other asset classes.

Second, if capital gains is the only return you’re focused on, you’re ignoring total return. Dividends were paid quarterly by S&P 500 index funds during the entire period. I used SPY, an S&P 500 ETF, to show this below. Continue Reading…