My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.

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Portfolio Update - May 2008 (Up 0.12%)

Contributed by mm | June 1, 2008 12:52 AM PST


May is a pretty stable month for my portfolio in terms of absolute gains -- my stable of mutual funds, stocks and cash inched higher 0.12%. But on a relatively basis, my portfolio lagged the benchmark by 1.3% in this month. Certainly not a good month for relative performance!


I made a further $7,000 commitment to Dodge & Cox's domestic stock offering (DODGX). Also, I started a new (yet admittedly tiny $500) position at T. Rowe Price New Era (PRNEX), as an effort to beef up my energy exposure. I have enrolled in


My individual stock positions have been lagged the market for a few months in a row now -- the huge concentration on financial stocks has been proven untimely, but at this price level, it can be argued that opportunities and risks are relatively balanced. Anyway, I'm intentionally controlling the relative share of my individual stock exposure now -- individual stock positions now represents only 28% of my portfolio, vs. 34% at the end of 2007.

With another series of reports on worsening housing market, it doesn't look like I need to eagerly commit more money to the market now. I do plan to sit in the side line of the equity market, and move more money to China for some currency bets.


This Post Has Received 55 Comments. Share Your Opinions Too.

Sankar Commented on June 3, 2008

I am a keen follower of your blog. I have a quick question. When you say that your portfolio has registered a growth of 0.12% for the month, how do you arrive at that especially when you perform transactions during the month.
If there are no transactions during the month, we can easily arrive by comparing the last month's total with current month's total. But if there are transactions during the month, it would definitely affect the total of your portfolio between the months. In such a case, how do you arrive at the growth %.

Jason Commented on June 3, 2008

Do not be fooled by this mystery blogger who seems to disappear quite often.


2million Commented on June 3, 2008

What China account do you have setup to hold your RMB? Is it through a large bank like Bank of China? How competitive have you found the exchange rates/fees to be? My Capital One credit card by far gives me the best exchange rate - I can't find a China bank that can offer me anything within .1% of the actual exchange rate.

MM Commented on June 4, 2008

2 million - My account is in China Merchant Bank ( and I ill be happy to recommend ICBC or Bank of China too. The spread between buy and sell rate is about 0.4%, which is quite reasonable.

But of course this won't beat CapitalOne which doesn't charge the FX fee. I used it to pay things in China too, but just cannot use it to move hot money in the '000s.

MM Commented on June 4, 2008

Jason, i have no idea how you draw the conclusion. If what you said were true, this blog will be the most laborious yet inefficient way to collect intelligence.

MM Commented on June 4, 2008

Sankar, I did the quick and dirty way. i just divide last month's portfolio value by the monthly dollar value appreciation.

Jason Commented on June 18, 2008

MM...come have been discovered. You are a chinese spy and you know it. Set your lies free.

drchunger Commented on July 4, 2008

this month's (june)'s update ought to be quite ugly.

stocktrading Commented on July 8, 2008

Hi,I am a new investor in share market,want to share market condition with interesting people.Presently following market with the help of Guiness Securities ,for any stock trading related matters please visit

Dividend Growth Investor Commented on July 9, 2008

You might have mentioned this before, but why don't you invest in index funds instead of holding others that seem more active? Wouldn't you save from management fees over time?
In addition, since you want to achieve financial freedom, have you considered investing in dividend stocks, which could provide you with a growing stream of income over time?

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