The first quarter of 2015 is in the books, and that means itâ€™s time to do something that you should be doing every quarter at the very least. That something is taking a critical look at your portfolio to make sure itâ€™s serving your goals.
Are you generating enough income from your existing assets to fund your retirement? Are you producing the kind of growth you want so that you can build up that nest egg for when you need it years down the road? Are you overweight in one market sector while not having enough exposure —Â and enough diversification —Â to weather inevitable market storms?
These are the kinds of questions that you need to ask yourself at least every quarter and, preferably, on a monthly basis. In this market, knowing what to do is a must, as circumstances such as when the next Fed rate hike actually will happen; what global growth metrics will tell us; and how the strong U.S. dollar and weak oil prices may determine the fate of your money during the second quarter.
So, what should you do now that Q1 is over?
Here are a few tips on what every investor needs to do right now:
- Act like a professional. All of the pros review asset allocation, positions and cash holdings at the end of every quarter. Follow that example with your money.
- Take inventory of your accounts. Know where your money is and where your accounts are, and think about how you can consolidate things to make it easier.
- Look at each position and how it performed. It may sound simple, but knowing how each holding performed in Q1 is the first step to making sure your money is in the right place for Q2.
- Think ETFs. Ask yourself, â€śHow can I transfer my mutual fund or equity holdings into a better investment vehicle using exchange-traded funds (ETFs)?â€ť
- Research new ideas. Always be on the lookout for new ideas, new market sectors and new areas to put money to work.
One good way to begin your research on new ideas is to take a look at our Q1 ETF Scorecard at ETFU.com. This is where youâ€™ll find the Top 10 list for a number of market sectors, including equity, fixed income, international, commodity and many other segments.
The table below shows the Top 10 U.S. Equity ETFs during Q1:
|Ticker||Name||Category||2015 Q1 %|
|RZG||Rydex S&P Smallcap 600 Pure Gr||Small Cap Domestic||9.79%|
|FV||FIRST TRUST DW FOCUS 5||Large Cap||8.99%|
|RFG||Rydex S&P Midcap 400 Pure Gro||Mid Cap Domestic||8.84%|
|DWAQ||PowerShares Dynamic OTC||Mid Cap Domestic||7.75%|
|VO||Vanguard Mid Cap ETF||Mid Cap Domestic||7.42%|
|IJK||iShares S&P MidCap 400 Growth||Mid Cap Domestic||7.42%|
|IVOG||VANGUARD S&P MID-CAP 400||Mid Cap Domestic||7.29%|
|FPX||First Trust IPOX||Small Cap Domestic||7.02%|
|IPO||RENAISSANCE IPO ETF||Small Cap Domestic||7.01%|
|MDYG||SPDR S&P 400 MID CAPGROWTH E||Mid Cap||6.75%|
If you are looking for domestic equity ETFs with strong track records, the Q1 ETF Scorecard at ETFU.com is a great place to begin your quest.
Donâ€™t Be Afraid of the Light
â€śWe can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.â€ť
Truth, or what Plato refers to as â€śthe light,â€ť is often something men fear. Whatever the reason, fearing reality is never a good strategy for happiness. Unfortunately, fearing reality when it comes to your investments also is a good way to go broke.
Wisdom about money, investing and life can be found anywhere. If you have a good quote youâ€™d like me to share with your fellow Weekly ETF Report readers, send it to me, along with any comments, questions and suggestions you have about my audio podcast, newsletters, seminars or anything else. Ask Doug.
In case you missed it, I encourage you to read my e-letter column from last week on Eagle Daily Investor about what an investment icon gets wrong about ETFs. I also invite you to comment in the space provided below my Eagle Daily Investor commentary.
I invite you to join me at the MoneyShow Las Vegas, May 12-14, 2015. With stock picking taking on renewed importance as the market shows signs of volatility, this event offers an opportunity to hear from a number of experts, including my Eagle Financial Publications colleagues Mark Skousen, Chris Versace and Bryan Perry.
Be a guest of Eagle Financial Publications and register for FREE by using priority code 038656 and calling 800-970-4355 (toll free in the United States and Canada) or signing up online.