Revisiting “10 Funds Without a Single Losing Year in a Decade”

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Just over two years ago, I read an article in Financial-Planning.com entitled “10 Funds Without a Single Losing Year in a Decade“. This particular article worried readers with the thought of continuing to lose money.

With volatility underlying the markets these days, you and your clients may wonder if there are any funds that at least won’t lose money.

Although the stub of the article is still online, the accompanying slideshow and list of ten funds is no longer available. Fortunately I made a list of the ten funds two years ago in order to see how they did over the next two years compared with the general markets.

The article had been published on September 28, 2015, and if you remember 2015 it was a bad year for just about everything except bonds, which is why the list of funds without losses over a decade mentioned in the article included mostly short term bond funds.

Fund Two Year Return
1 HGVSX 0.09%
2 MXSDX 3.29%
3 PBSMX 4.25%
4 TGLMX 4.28%
5 LKFIX 5.60%
6 BRASX 5.76%
7 SDGIX 6.11%
8 FXICX 9.04%
9 HICOX 9.17%
10 BTFAX 15.30%
Comparison S&P 500 39.53%

Rebalancing would suggest that a bad year in the stock market is a good year to sell these bond funds and put the money into stocks.

I’ve created a table of the two year returns for each of these 10 funds along with the total return of the S&P 500 over the same time period.

From this table, you can see how so-called “funds that at least won’t lose money” also may not gain enough to meet your financial goals. That’s why you need a priceless asset allocation which will support your future dreams not just dispel some present fears.

I understand why financial media gravitates toward articles aimed at the emotions of the moment. It is difficult to write the same article every week: “Diversify, Rebalance, Repeat.” The media thrives on troubling your emotions and making you click on a story so that they can sell advertisers your attention.

You will notice that we don’t have any advertising on our site.

Most of the financial news is just noise. Even worse, it pushes investors into making the wrong moves with their money, and succumb to the emotions that would push them to make wrong decisions.

In retrospect, Financial-Planning’s slide show was another bit of distraction from the real work of building brilliant portfolios for long term investing. I’m glad it is in the archive.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

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David John Marotta is the Founder and President of Marotta Wealth Management. He played for the State Department chess team at age 11, graduated from Stanford, taught Computer and Information Science, and still loves math and strategy games. Favorite number: e (2.7182818…)