Author Topic: Help me understand/improve my portfolio!  (Read 2676 times)

VioletVixen

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Help me understand/improve my portfolio!
« on: November 01, 2015, 11:57:21 PM »
Hello,

I started learning about investing this past Spring and thought I had my ducks in a row. I am aiming for an 80/20 allocation. Based on a previous Q&A thread, I determined I was on the right track. So why does Mint say I am down by almost half of what I paid? Please help me understand why I seem to be losing money instead of gaining it...

Details are in the attachments.

Thank you!


Making Cents

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Re: Help me understand/improve my portfolio!
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2015, 12:11:21 AM »
I can't tell you whether or not you are actually losing or gaining, but I can say for sure that Mint's Investment tab is FULL of known bugs and should not be trusted. Go to the source it is pulling and verify the info is correct. If it doesn't match up, then Mint is wrong, not Fidelity, for example.

I have been told before on Mint that my brand new Betterment IRA account had lost over a million!

I have also noticed that if you've only recently linked an investment account in Mint, then it screws up any view that is longer than the data it has access to. So for example if it has 3 months of data and you click to see a year's performance, it will show crazy red losses regardless of what's actually happening.

Use Mint for everything else, including reliable investment totals on the Overview tab, but don't ever look at their investment tab. Go to Vanguard or whoever's page instead...and don't peek too often anyway ;-) .

Lookilu

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Re: Help me understand/improve my portfolio!
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2015, 10:07:43 AM »

Use Mint for everything else, including reliable investment totals on the Overview tab, but don't ever look at their investment tab. Go to Vanguard or whoever's page instead...and don't peek too often anyway ;-) .

+1 Good advice from Making Cents on both counts. :)


VioletVixen

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Re: Help me understand/improve my portfolio!
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2015, 12:57:37 AM »
I can't tell you whether or not you are actually losing or gaining, but I can say for sure that Mint's Investment tab is FULL of known bugs and should not be trusted. Go to the source it is pulling and verify the info is correct. If it doesn't match up, then Mint is wrong, not Fidelity, for example.

I have been told before on Mint that my brand new Betterment IRA account had lost over a million!

I have also noticed that if you've only recently linked an investment account in Mint, then it screws up any view that is longer than the data it has access to. So for example if it has 3 months of data and you click to see a year's performance, it will show crazy red losses regardless of what's actually happening.

Use Mint for everything else, including reliable investment totals on the Overview tab, but don't ever look at their investment tab. Go to Vanguard or whoever's page instead...and don't peek too often anyway ;-) .

Thank you!! It's too bad the investment tab can't be trusted. Is Personal Capital any better in that regard? I really just want to know how I'm doing without logging into each account. I don't peek often, but I want to be sure I'm at least making progress. :)

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Help me understand/improve my portfolio!
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2015, 06:03:48 AM »
Yes, Personal Capital's is better for that. Mint's unrealized gain/loss is absolute nonsense. It tells me I have a $500 loss on cash.

Kaspian

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Re: Help me understand/improve my portfolio!
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2015, 12:27:11 PM »
don't peek often, but I want to be sure I'm at least making progress. :)

Some years, even with a properly diversified portfolio, you won't make progress.  Things don't always go up in the short-term.  A year's worth of data also shouldn't be used to calculate how well your portfolio will perform in the future.  This is the primary reason folks end up bailing on a solid strategy--it fails in the short-term and they abandon ship or try to move money to that years' (temporary) "winners".  Stick with the plan--rebalance by counter-intuitively buying more of the underperformers and don't tinker or try and "improve" your portfolio.  That's the way it's done.

dcozad999

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Re: Help me understand/improve my portfolio!
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2015, 12:33:13 PM »
I use Mint for everything else, but I have always been afraid to link my investment accounts.