Friday, January 4, 2013

Rescue My IRA 2012 Results - in Black and White

The calendar year 2012 was the first full year of the Rescue My IRA account.  As I’ve posted in this recap series already, it was a year with some good learning experiences – and some losses.  Still, the end of the year saw a gain overall on the account’s value – which increased from $127,606 on December 31, 2011 to $132,852 on December 31, 2012.  That’s better than my retirement accounts have done under professional management for the last few years, so I’m signing up for another year.

In keeping with how I reported the annual reports last year, this post will provide a very short summuary – that’s mainly to ensure that it is not redundant with the monthly results posts.  It is meant to be read alongside the other recap posts I’ve been putting up this week, a series that will conclude with my next post – about the most successful trades I had last year.  That one is meant to be a companion to the one I wrote yesterday about my three worst trades.

Speaking of which – those big hits I took on ACM, ADM, and HPQ added up to more than $9K.  Perhaps if I had avoided the mistakes I made with those positions the results would have been better, but it’s not likely that a year is going to pass without a few mistakes.  The one of that lot that I am pretty sure I can avoid is what happened with ACM, because those shares weren’t purchased through the Rescue My IRA account, and they wouldn’t have passed the trading plan criteria.  It’s reasonable to think that I could have avoided that loss, which was about $5K and would have effectively doubled the account returns.

Here’s a quick summary of the results:

12/31/2011 Account Value:  $127,606.44
12/31/2012 Account Value:  $132,850.69
Net increase in account value:  $5,244.25
Annual percentage return:  4.11%

The goal for this account is to make 12% annually, and I fell short this year.  But I know where I went wrong on the approach, and I am convinced that a 12% goal is within reach for calendar 2013.  So we forge ahead.

My next post will close out this series on the 2012 annual recap.  I have a list of five trades to take a retrospective look at – five trades that went well, and which offered their own lessons learned, just as the big hits and others have.

Plus, with the great positive market action this week in the wake of the “fiscal cliff” legislation, I already have six or so adjustment trades that I need to write catch-up posts on, so those will be coming along next week.

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