September 2016 Performance Review
September was one of the dullest months in quite some time in the markets. The only broader fund categories up more than 3% where China and Japan funds. Most fund categories were within plus or minus 1%. Even in sector funds no category gained or lost over 5%.
While relatively decent returns in foreign funds helped, our exposure to longer-term government bonds, which were down around 1% for the month after recent strong returns, kept the Powerfund Portfolios a little under benchmarks in September.
Our Conservative portfolio declined 0.07%. Our Aggressive portfolio fell 0.43%. Benchmark Vanguard funds for September 2016 were as follows: Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX) up 0.01%; Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBMFX) down 0.07%; Vanguard Developed Markets Index Fund (VTMGX) up 1.40%; Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX) up 1.27%; Vanguard Star Fund (VGSTX), a total global balanced portfolio, up 0.53%.
Other drags included shorting oil, with PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO) down 16% as Texas Tea rebounded fairly strongly in September, Italy, with iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI) down 3.08% on continued fears over Europe's shakier economies, and shorting biotech stocks, with Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS) down just over 8% as healthcare and biotech stocks continued to rebound. Our only real winners in September were iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF) in stocks, up 2.12% on strength in emerging markets and SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX) in bonds, up 0.70%.
|Stock Funds||1mo %|
|iShares MSCI BRIC Index (BKF)||2.12%|
|[Benchmark] Vanguard Tax-Managed Intl Adm (VTMGX)||1.40%|
|[Benchmark] Vanguard Emerging Mkts Stock Idx (VEIEX)||1.27%|
|Vanguard Utilities (VPU)||0.94%|
|Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)||0.80%|
|Artisan Global Equity (ARTHX)||0.79%|
|Vanguard Telecom Services ETF (VOX)||0.59%|
|Homestead Value (HOVLX)||0.30%|
|[Benchmark] Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)||0.01%|
|Vanguard European ETF (VGK)||-0.01%|
|Vanguard Value (VTV)||-0.34%|
|Gold Short (DZZ)||-0.93%|
|iShares Mortgage REIT (REM)||-1.78%|
|ETRACS 1xMonthly Short Alerian MLP (MLPS)||-2.10%|
|Proshares Ultrashort Russel2000 (TWM)||-2.77%|
|iShares MSCI Italy Capped (EWI)||-3.08%|
|Proshares Ultrashort NASDAQ Biotech (BIS)||-6.53%|
|PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)||-16.02%|
|Bond Funds||1mo %|
|SPDR Barclays Intl. Treasury (BWX)||0.70%|
|Vanguard Mortgage-Backed Securities (VMBS)||0.54%|
|Artisan High Income Fund (ARTFX)||0.10%|
|[Benchmark] Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)||-0.07%|
|Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)||-0.59%|
|Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)||-2.50%|