For anyone who cares I can give some info that would allow for figuring out how it has done but I also had what I think it a more interesting bigger picture reaffirmation.
So this article was published on April 9, 2007. If the portfolio would have been implemented with $100,000 on that date it would have owned;
- 409 WisdomTree Earnings ETF (EXT)
- 236 Rydex SCV (RZV)
- 228 WT Asia Ex Japan Hi Yield (DNH) some clients own this one
- 153 Claymore BRIC (EEB)
- 45 iShares Global Energy (IXC) some clients own this one
- 265 PowerShares Water (PHO) a lot of clients own this one
- 75 SPDR Foreign REIT (RWX)
- 193 PowerShares Gold (DGL)
- 856 PowerShares Prefered Stock (PGF)
- 195 Advent Claymore Convert (AVK) a CEF and some clients own this one
- 63 Rydex Aussie Dollar (FXA) some clients own this one
On April 9, 2007 the S&P 500 closed at 1444.61 and yesterday it closed at 1396.37. On a price basis SPX was down 3.33%. If you add in roughly 2% for SPX' dividend (anyone inclined to leave the exact trailing div should feel free) means the total return for SPX would have been a drop of 1.33%.
Candidly I did not remember the article before the reader asked, the portfolio was never rebalanced (I don't know if I would have rebalanced nor do I know if rebalancing would have helped or hurt returns).
I was really struck by the extent to which so many of the components were either up a lot or down a lot. In a down 3% world, seven of the eleven components moved by more than 10%. If you actually do the math to see how this thing did you'll notice the result was far from dramatic which makes a very important point.
It does not matter what the portfolio components are doing (assuming they are adequate proxies for what they are intended), the thing that matters is what they bring to the overall portfolio. If you have a bunch of things that are up or down 20%, and are each good proxies, and the portfolio nets out to do exactly what you hope it will do then I would say you are in great shape.
I would add that anyone who cares to figure the result might be missing the bigger point of the article which is that tools like ETFs can be used to create a pretty specific effect, nowhere near as narrow as using individual stocks though.
The drawback of these types of portfolios is that I think value can be added by making decisions about all the sectors, selecting countries and several other factors. The broader a portfolio goes the further it moves from being able to add that sort of value. I know from past posts and reader feedback that some feel these sorts of decisions are beyond them and some feel at home with this; eye of the beholder sort of thing.
If you are going to use ETFs to build a portfolio (or as one reader said he puts almost all of it in ETFs but owns a few stocks with an explore portion) I would urge you to try explore everything that is out there and to stay current with new products that come out. While staying current is getting more difficult to do it is worthwhile.