Fund of the Week: BPTRX Baron Partners

The top performing fund last week from my mutual fund experiment was BPTRX Baron Partners My Post, up 3.02%. This fund was added to the WylieMoney Slowly Portfolio a few months back.

The worst one week performance was -2.19% by PNRZX Jennison Natural Resources which is a fund I own in my brokerage account. PNRZX is the single top performing fund in my experiment since last May earning 40.32% 1st, so I won't sweat a tough week. Last week's best performing fund PRNEX T. Rowe Price New Era made this week's worst 10 funds list.


Portfolio Update 4/25/08: Jump Around

A couple of portfolios decided to jump around this week. Last week I mocked the ETF portfolio but noted that it was outperforming my IRA. Well my IRA did not like that one bit and almost doubled the 1 week return of the ETF portfolio to jump ahead of it on the list. The Three Fund index portfolio also jumped ahead of the struggling Lazy 20 Mostly Index portfolio.

With less than a week to go until the one year anniversary of my mutual fund portfolio experiment, I'm pleased that several of the portfolios have managed to pull into positive territory, despite a rough 12 months.

I'll dive into the 1 year results next week

WylieMoney 20 Mostly Managed

WylieMoney Slowly

Three Fund Index

Lazy 20 Mostly Index

ETF 20

S&P 500


2008 Walk for Hunger

Spring is upon us and once again, I'm doing the Walk for Hunger!

The Walk for Hunger raises money to fight hunger across Massachusetts.

The route is 20 miles long. It starts and finishes in the Boston Common and goes out to Newton and back. Over 40,000 people participate so we get up very early to beat the crowd which is why my pictures don't have a ton of other people in them!

I plan to take my new camera and take pictures along the way so I'll post some photos after the walk, like I did last year.

If you want to make a donation, click here to donate directly to Project Bread in support of team WylieMoney!


Portfolio Update: 4/18/08: Lovely Day

Friday was a lovely day at the end of a lovely week.

I'm adding a new feature to the weekly update. I loaded the 100 or so funds (and a few stocks) that I track in the 8 portfolios I compare, into one list at Morningstar. Now I can easily show the best and worst performing funds from the previous week.

This week, PRNEX T. Rowe Price New Era, a fund I own in an IRA was up 8.14%. This fund has been on a tear since last may, up 37.17% since then.

The worst performing funds were all bond funds. The worst performing fund was BTTRX American Century Target 2025 My Post. I own this in My Brokerage where is has been among the best performing funds since May 1st and have it in both WylieMoney portfolios.

All the portfolios showed solid gains last week.

Last week, My Brokerage and the WylieMoney Slowly Portfolio were tied. WylieMoney Slowly broke away to secure second place. The ETF portfolio had been making up ground this year but lagged this week and still kinda stinks, although it is beating my IRA.

WylieMoney 20 Mostly Managed

WylieMoney Slowly

Lazy 20 Mostly Index

Three Fund Index

ETF 20

S&P 500


Happy Tax Day!

Today is the last day to send the government your money so they can turn around and give me my apology check!

If you have not filed yet, don't forget, if you use Turbotax, you can get a discount by clicking here. I railed before about how absurd it was for Turbotax to charge for its free version so it could then provide a 'discount.'

A WylieMoney reader noted that the Free Edition is not the same as the Basic Edition. This appears true despite the fact that both editions describe themselves as for "Simple" returns and are listed in the same ad format as the far left option which is deceptive and misleading.

Regardless, the Discount page does not even note that a free option is available which is poor form so if you have a very simple return and have not filed yet, go find the free version!

Also note that if you plan to waste money on (I mean treat yourself to) a coffee at Duncan Donuts today, you can get a donut for free (Thanks for the tip Marian and Sheryl!).

If someone tries to offer you a discounted donut, well, don't be suprised, but don't pay...


Portfolio Update 4/11/08: Contrarian

Last Friday, as the Dow collapsed, led by GE's 12.79% decline, I decided to be a contrarian. Most everyone was selling, but not me:

"Volume on the New York Stock Exchange topped 3.6 billion shares, with decliners outpacing advancing stocks more than 3 to 1. On the Nasdaq, more than 1.8 billion shares were exchanged, and declining issues outnumbered advancers roughly 4 to 1."

Not only did I add HIINX Harbor International to the hypothetical WylieMoney Slowly portfolio, I finally invested my 2007 Roth IRA contribution. I also added to some funds in my brokerage account.

The DOW, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 were all down 2% or more on Friday but the WylieMoney Mostly Managed portfolio was down less than 1%. This portfolio has outperformed all the portfolios I track during a volatile market trending downward over the last 11 1/2 months.

Adding $2500 to the WylieMoney Slowly portfolio on Friday brought that portfolio into a tie for second place with My Brokerage account since the $2500 I added has yet to decline!

WylieMoney 20 Mostly Managed
WylieMoney Slowly
Lazy 20 Mostly Index
Three Fund Index
ETF 20
S&P 500


Etrade Banking is Not Really Banking

"Etrade Banking is Not Really Banking"

What the heck does that mean?

I'm going to go out on a limb and make the claim that part of the banking experience is being able to access your cash. I opened an Etrade Checking account in December of last year. I have yet to be able to go to an ATM machine and withdraw cash from this account.

Last year I offered this advice to others who might try and change banks:

"Don't close your old bank until your new one is active and you have used it. If issues arise- your ATM PIN does not work for example, and you have already closed your old account, you will create undue stress for yourself."

Thankfully, I followed this advice, but I could not have known then that I picked an example I would actually face and how unbelievably bad the experience of opening a bank account with Etrade would be.

I did not get the $25 signup bonus as promised until I pestered them.

They did not send me an ATM card until I pestered them many many times.

How many times, you ask?

Sure, I could have hounded Etrade in February, but I was preoccupied with my emergency appendectomy.

So in mid March, I got my ATM and I got instructions concerning how to set the PIN. I called the number provided and set my PIN to be the same as my Citibank PIN so I would not have to remember 2 numbers. Today I went to an ATM, actually excited that I was all set and would finally be able to start using this account so I can close the other one and I got a message.

A little love message from Etrade:

"Invalid PIN"

So I pulled out my Citibank card and withdrew some cash.

Perhaps one could forgive Etrade for being unable to adequately support the banking services they are offering given the troubles they've had as a company.

But my other account is with Citibank who has shown you can dramatically run your company into the ground...

...and still provide basic banking functionality to your customers.

So far Etrade Banking has provided me with a place to park my savings that is better than the sweep account in my Etrade brokerage, but at this point, Etrade Bank's savings rates are no longer competitive.

You have to scroll wayyyyy down the list on Bank Deal's recent summary to find Etrade since there are still several banks offering over 4% and etrade is down to 3.10%.

So maybe I'll close this account and look for a better option. The bar has been set pretty low. I'll keep you posted.

I hope Donald Layton, Etrade's new CEO reads this. He has a long way to go to turn things around.

In January, I changed the mutual funds in my brokerage account to no longer automatically reinvest dividends and capital gains. At least I tried to. I noticed last week that one of my funds reinvested. Once again, I notified Etrade's customer service. They saw the error and are working to fix it... Those poor reps. They reply very quickly, but the business they are trying to support appears to be in chaos.

Donald, help me!!!!!



Portfolio Update 4/04/08: Up

Given the title of my update from 1/1/08 and this one, you might think I'm an REM fan. Don't be fooled. The title of today's update is a Peter Gabriel reference.

All the portfolios I track were up last week. They were all up more than the annual interest rate of my savings account. Etrade Complete Savings now yields 3.01% and the smallest increase in any portfolio was 3.55%,

WylieMoney 20 Mostly Managed is back in positive territory since last May 1st. That despite it having the least successful week:

Only a few more weeks until the one year anniversary of this experiment.

WylieMoney 20 Mostly Managed

WylieMoney Slowly

Lazy Mostly Index

Three Fund Index

ETF 20

S&P 500