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October 2012 Performance Review

November 2, 2012

The good times for stocks came to an end in October, though not too abruptly. The S&P 500 was down 1.86% for the month, but is still up an impressive 14.16% for the year. The recent storm hitting the financial epicenter of America and the world had no negative impact on stocks other than a historic closing of the exchange. Surprisingly, foreign stocks did well while emerging market stocks declined. Bonds were essentially flat for the month, as were both Powerfund Portfolios. 

We had a good month relative to the stock and bond markets and closed in on the S&P’s returns for the year – at a lower risk profile. Our Conservative portfolio was down 0.10%. Our Aggressive portfolio was up 0.09%. Benchmark Vanguard index funds for October: Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX) down 1.86%, Vanguard Total Bond Market (VBMFX) up 0.11%, Vanguard International Index (VTMGX) up 1.14%. Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX) down 0.42%.

Many of the worst performing stock fund categories were the best areas recently – Technology was down 5.70%, commodities funds were down 4% on economic fears, India focused emerging market funds were down 3.20%, healthcare funds were down just over 3%. The best broader categories were Europe funds up 1.17%, financials up 1.16%, and utilities up 0.97%.

We were helped along largely by owning funds in these three areas that were up the most. Our European ETF climbed 4.16% followed by a 3.16% move in our EuroPacific ETF. Royce Financial Services rose 1.06%. Value and healthcare stocks also beat the market. Shorting oil worked though this small stake doesn’t have a big impact on total portfolio returns. Just four of our stock funds underperformed the S&P 500. In bonds only our government bond fund underperformed the total bond market index fund. 

Stock Funds1mo %
PowerShares DB Crude Oil Dble Short (DTO)9.70%
Vanguard Telecom Serv ETF (VOX)5.96%
Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index (VEIEX)5.32%
Scout International Discovery (UMBDX)4.88%
Satuit Capital Micro Cap (SATMX)4.69%
Royce Financial Services Fund (RYFSX)3.94%
Health Care Select SPDR (XLV)3.30%
Vanguard International Index (VTMGX)2.82%
Vanguard 500 Index (VFINX)2.58%
American Century Utility Income (BULIX)2.38%
Jensen Value J (JNVSX)2.32%
Vanguard Value ETF (VTV)2.23%
Homestead Value Fund (HOVLX)1.78%
iShares MSCI Japan Index (EWJ)1.21%
PRIMECAP Odyssey Growth (POGRX)1.18%
Vanguard European ETF (VGK)0.62%
Vanguard Europe Pacific ETF (VEA)0.58%
PowerShares DB US Dollar Index (UUP)-1.70%
Bond Funds1mo %
Metropolitan West Total Return (MWTRX)0.56%
Vanguard Long-Term Bond Index ETF (BLV)0.48%
Vanguard Extended Duration Treasury (EDV)0.35%
Doubleline Total Return Bond (DLTNX)0.18%
American Century Core Plus (ACCNX)0.18%
Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)0.11%
American Century Government Bond (CPTNX)-0.28%