As promised I cashed out exactly one year after investing $12,275 and 202,000 Membership rewards points as well as receiving the $200 bonus in my Charles Schwab Derp Report Portfolio. Keep in mind I took out the free $200 new account bonus from the cost, and then I considered the 202,000 at the 1.25 cent valuation I got for it in using the AmEx Schwab transfer. The numbers are kind of bleak:
|Ticker||Quantity||Price Bought||Price Sold||Dividends||Gain/Loss||Fees||Net Profit|
|% ROI||7.96%||Total Invested||$14,783.95||Total Returns||$1,177.00|
You can see if I had just put it all into SPY (S&P 500) or VTI (Total Market Index) I would of greatly outperformed myself in the same period:
Even worse is the fact that I could of used the 202,000 MR points for $4,040 in flights since I had the AmEx business Platinum card at the time which was offering a 50% points back when used to book on the airline of choice. In the end the $200 bonus was not even worth it to tie up $12,275 for a year. I did get $200 in Uber credit (one year) and then another $400 for AA Gift cards ($200 in 2017 and another $200 in 2018) from my new AmEx Schwab Platinum
At the 6 month mark I was getting exactly the same return as you can see the dividends and year end capitol gains made up for the devaluation of share prices! I never did sell at 6 months, because I decided to wait one year in order to capture the long term capitol gains tax treatment. So this is a rare event where a blogger shows proof that they suck at this whole investing thing and should just stick with filling teeth.
My wife on the other hand deposited $1,000 and got $100 in Schwab bonus and spent 40,000 MR points to buy 70 shares of DSUM at $22 a share costing her $1,540. If she was to sell today she would get $1,703.80 at $24.34 a share.
Too bad the market is closed for Good Friday! If we include her $163.80 in dividend as well as subtract her $100 bonus we get $218.92 in profit at a cost of $1,440 for a sweet 15% return!
Her single ETF portfolio had outperformed me and Morgan Stanley! She had picked it because of its very cute name for the Hong Kong Breakfast of Dim Sum as the RMB bonds are traded off shore in Hong Kong.
Meb Faber’s 99th podcast touched on this subject about how investing time is more important that investing money. At my current age I should be investing time in family, working out, and working on the next step in my education. This will allow me to improve myself and increase earning potential. It takes a shit ton of work to beat the index, and I should of done the set it and forget it thing with Vanguard indexing.
I should just not seek alpha (excess returns above indexing) because it takes so much time, and just be happy with beta (expected returns on the index). The time it took to make less money than SPY or VTI, I could of studied for the GRE and gotten into residency. I hope that is a better investment in the future!