The Great Portfolio Pummeling of 2008

A New Year is upon us. At the end of a year, I normally have feelings of pensiveness and of reflective nostalgia about the year past and the inexhaustible marching forward of time.

This time, not so much. Sure, I still have those nostalgic feelings on a personal level, but economically, I’m ready to kick 2008 to the curb. As painful as it is, here is how my meager portfolio fared for 2008. Suffice to say, it got pummeled.

All of my mutual funds are held at Vanguard. I like them for their simplicity, consistently low expense ratios, and selection of no-load index funds.

Retirement – Roth IRA

Here’s an overview of my Roth IRA. I started contributing to it in 2007, so there’s not a ton of money in it yet, and there’s even less after the brutal beating of 2008.

The yellow line is what I have contributed, while the blue line show its actual value. That huge dip in late 2008 is depressing, but perhaps the upward curl at the end is a foretaste of the feast to come? Maybe I’m just optimistic….

Here’s a comparison of year-end values:

At the end of 2007, my Roth IRA had just over $9,000 in it. Fast-forward one year, and my Roth IRA has… just over $9,000 in it. Had I not maxed out my contributions for the year, this would not be so depressing. As it currently stands, all my contributions for the year disappeared. That’s okay. This is long-term money, right? RIGHT?

Taxable Mutual Funds

In addition to my Roth IRA, I also have a meager selection of mutual funds in a taxable account at Vanguard. These funds are not quite as aggressive, but they have still taken a nice pummeling.

Once again, the yellow line represents my contributions, while the blue line represents the current value. Things were going pretty well until the bottom fell out in mid-2008. Phooey.

Here’s a comparison of year-end values:

Yet again, the value of my taxable portfolio ended slightly up, but when one considers the contributions that I made, depression sets in.

All together, my Roth IRA is about -41% into the red for the year, while my taxable funds are about -24% into negative territory. Ouch.

Care to share how much your portfolio has been bruised by the Great Portfolio Pummeling of 2008? Misery loves company, so I’d love to hear that I’m not alone.

Here’s to a better 2009!

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