Early February is one of my favorite times of year. The bitter cold of a Midwest winter has settled in, the holidays are over and did I mention here in Chicago we are a good 2-3 months away from consistently warm weather?!?! So why am I so chipper this time of year? Because in early February of every year I take a bird’s eye view of my investments for a thorough performance evaluation.
A big part of going from $0 to a million is demonstrating that Dave Ramsey’s principles work in real life. Sure, a lot of his suggestions come across as common sense to the masses: get an emergency fund, pay off debt and live on less than you make. But the most contentious issue on everything that is Dave Ramsey is, “Can you really make 12% investing in the stock market?”
Some naysayers say REIT’s get good returns and that mutual funds aren’t the only way to go. But the majority of the “anti-Dave” crowd asserts that 12% just can’t be done. And my super fund annual checkups put the Ramsey way of investing to the test.
For those new I’ll bring you up to speed. I follow Dave Ramsey’s style of investing, and in some regards use an even stricter criteria. I spread my mutual fund investments across 4 types: aggressive growth, growth, growth and income and international. I invest in mutual funds that have averaged at least 12% average annualized returns since inception, and those funds have to have portfolio managers that have lead the fund for at least 5 years. In my superfund annual assessment I look at my average annualized returns across our Roth IRAs, our taxable brokerage account and my 401K. A disclaimer on my 401K though: The equity options suck through my program, so in my 401K I am currently invested in a bond fund and include my employer’s 50% (newly reinstated by the way) match as growth on my contribution.
I know you’ve been on pins and needles, so let’s get to assessing! My Roth IRA is currently returning 8.45%, and my wife’s Roth is bringing in 12.36%. My 401K, even with instant 50% growth through the match, is currently bringing in 16.26%. And lastly, our taxable brokerage account is swinging in at 27.95%. So across our reported investment vehicles, we are earning 16.255% average annualized returns investing the way Dave Ramsey teaches.
This is quite the change from last year’s 9%! For one, I found some better tools through our broker to get more accurate calculations, but mostly our mutual funds did a great job of riding the wave that was the bull market of 2012 that spilled into early 2013. So I encourage you to not only follow Dave’s advice on investing, but to please share this post with anyone who says 12% is unattainable or does not believe “the little man” CAN build wealth through the stock market. The market is not rigged; you just have to make informed and well researched decisions when investing. J