2019-2020 Investment Chart

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Investing charts can only show what happened in the past. Predicting the impact of future events is difficult, if not impossible. But, it is always interesting to look back and see how your investments did over time. The chart above shows how my investments did over a two year period. In mid-2019 I was the victim of a layoff and had to roll my 401k from that job to my IRA. I had to do this one other time back in 2004. I was able to pay expenses with severance money and put about 20 weeks worth of unemployment checks into investments. As you can see by the chart, everything was going well, until the pandemic hit in March 2020. I remember wondering “how low can this go?” as I watched my investments drop. I was especially disappointed in a low volatility ETF by Invesco (SPHD) that I put money into in January, thinking that it would be less volatile. The monthly dividend was another feature that I liked. I held on to it until October and finally sold it for a 35% loss. Other investments recovered much faster, and made up for that one, as the Fed applied stimulus to the economy. What happens next is unclear. We have a new guy in the white house, vaccines are slowly starting to get distributed, new strains of the virus are emerging, there are lots of businesses going under, and we still have many people out of work. I didn’t even bother putting up a tree this year. I’ll have to enjoy looking at my investment chart instead. Who knows what it will look like 6 months from now!

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