What a coincidence! S&P 500 ended the year of 2011 within 0.01% of where it was at the beginning of the year.
What it means for our household financial life is that while we had our fair share of the rollercoaster financial ride of the year, we barely received any return from our $1M-strong investment portfolio at year end (but fortunately we didn't lose either). Still, we saved our way toward a year-end net worth tally of $1,212,450 with an annual increase of $90,083, or 8.0%.
And another view of our annual net worth changes -- it is a much choppier ride as we managed thru the financial market ups and downs in recent years.
Admittedly, we missed our original 2011 net worth goal of $1.27M by a handsome margin. The original planning, of course, assumes a 5% return from our investment, which didn't happen. But we have been taking a long-term view toward investment and retirement planning. As long as we continuously feed more savings into our portfolio, and we prudently invest by taking measured risks, our long-term financial security can be expected.
One more chart of year-end balance sheet comparison:
Obviously, there are a lot of position movements during the course of the year. One major change I need to call out is the rapidly expanded "Fixed Income" line -- we invested over $300,000 into a guaranteed return pseudo-fixed income fund in China. (I've done thorough modeling on the issue and I'm convinced that we have very little downside but are guaranteed ~6.5% annual dividend plus modest capital appreciated opportunities.) Compounded with over 30% in cash (in money market accounts mostly), our portfolio still reflects a very conservative stand given the uncertainty of the market.
So, how did 2011 treat you?