It has been just over a year since I started the Transparent RRSP challenge. It was an experiment in which I started with $1000. I didn’t have much of a plan going in – the only thing I could say with certainty is that I would deposit $150 a month. I also said that I would discuss my investment choices and decisions, which I have faithfully done.
In my heart, I was hoping for through-the-roof results. However, I knew it wasn’t going to be one of those markets where I could easily get a significant mid-to-long-term move like there was in 2016. My main challenge was to beat the market. If I couldn’t, then my ultimate advice for my readers would be to buy the market via index ETFs.
Since many of us don’t have the time to make such decisions, it’s still my recommendation to buy a market ETF such as the XIU or XIC. Last year, the total return for the XIU was 9.57% and the total return for the XIC last year was 9.05%. It was a lot less than the US market returns, but that’s still not bad. If you had only invested in either of these and regularly deposited money each month, you’d be much further ahead.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I am not a financial expert. I’m just a trader – a super lazy one! You know how some people like shopping but they don’t put their stuff away or take care of what they have? That’s me. I like buying stocks. I like selling them at a profit or watching them grow. I also ignore them when they’re in the negative. I even ignore them when they’re in the positive because I have other stuff going on. Lazy!
Okay, so where am I getting at? I don’t do math of any sort, not even financial math. I tried to figure out the ideal way to calculate my RRSP’s portfolio performance. I looked at the time-weighted rate of return, the Modified Dietz method, and a few other methods. It’s been a frustrating odyssey. In the end, I simply input my numbers into the Investment Performance Calculator available on moneychimp.com/.
The numbers that I used are the following:
- Starting balance: $1000.00
- Ending balance: $3319.89
- Months elapsed: 12
- Total additions: $2100
- Total withdrawals & dividends: $92.04 (there were only dividends and no withdrawals – it gets taxed as income!)
The calculation gave me 15.57%. This looks amazing, but this is not an accurate comparison to the market ETFs as we don’t have the same inputs.
If I were to do a simple ROI calculation where I divide the gains of $219.89 by the cost of the investment $3100, I get 7.09%. This is closer to how the portfolio performance feels like. It’s great that most of the stocks in the portfolio pay a dividend. In the long-term, this is a good thing. It goes to show you that even with unimpressive to mediocre stock performance, you can still make money in your portfolio.
Do I have any regrets? Yes. One of my readers made a strong point about adding weed stocks to my retirement account. I even blogged about buying ACB.TO. But I didn’t buy it! A part of me wanted the portfolio to be more conservative and less aggressive. In other words, boring. I bought a number of weed stocks for my TFSA and it’s been an exciting time for my TFSA. Boy, I love logging an watching it grow like a proud mama. I might have to revisit my strategies for the RRSP.
It’s currently just over a year’s time by a couple of weeks and the RRSP portfolio is actually looking pretty good compared to how it was a couple of weeks ago. It will be interesting to review these numbers in 6 months to a year.
I deposited $150 and there is currently $180.51. I am checking out CRH.TO. I love the chart setup and I love the price. This could be good for a mid to long-term trade. We’ll see how it opens tomorrow.