Portfolios Are Up How Much?!?!

PUBLISHED Feb 13, 2023, 8:09:36 AM        SHARE

imgBest Interest Blog

As of October 2022, stocks were down 25% from their previous high. Bonds were down 15% over the same period. A “balanced” 60/40 portfolio was down 21%. It was, by some measure, the worst investing year in a lifetime.


January ’22 to October ’22: Stocks in purple, bonds in orange, and a 60/40 portfolio in blue.

But life goes on. What’s happened since October?

The economic news has been grim. Tech layoffs. Rising interest rates. National debt ceilings. Recession?!

Quietly, in spite of the grim economic news, the stock market has risen 16% over those 4 months. The bond market is up 6%. Roughly half the peak-to-trough losses have been recovered.


October ’22 to February ’23: Stocks in purple, bonds in orange, and a 60/40 portfolio in blue.

Zooming in more recently, the 60/40 portfolio’s performance in January ’23 was better than 96% of months over the past 100 years. 96% equals 1 per 25 –> once per 25 months means January was, on average, a once-every-two-years kind of month.

Was the financial or economic news media reflective of that outstanding performance? No.

Were the good financial vibes of January in family with the bad financial vibes from 2022? Not even close.

Do I have my head in the sand? Am I taking crazy pills? I don’t think so


Instead, the past four months are a terrific reminder that most of the time, your investment portfolio progresses upward, and does so quietly. The economy is not the market. The news is not the market. If you allow headlines to inform your investment decisions, you’ll quietly lose out on double-digit gains.

The bad news is loud. Irrationally euphoric news (see: Bitcoin, GameStop, etc.) is loud, too. But the boring, milquetoast, “hey we recovered half our losses” news stays quiet. That’s why long-term investing is hard.

We’re bombarded with horror stories and opulent stories, but not enough boring stories. I get it. The media’s business model is to capture attention and sell ad space. I’m not a “the media is evil” guy – but you can’t argue the facts: they sell ads. Boring doesn’t capture our attention – and sell ads – the way horror and opulence do.

It’s up to us, then, to recognize the positive-but-boring stories when they occur. And to celebrate them!

In my heart-of-hearts, I don’t think we should weep or celebrate such short-term returns. But that’s easier written than done. We’re only human.

I’m not predicting we’re out of the bear market woods completely. I have no idea. I don’t predict economic and financial market futures here. You can find such predictions over at The Worst Interest.

But lest our recent good news is quietly ignored, let me pronounce: January was a great month, the past 4 months were great months, and investors – especially older folks no longer adding to their portfolios – should rejoice in the streets. Their 60/40 investment shares are worth 12% more than in October, and 6% more today than a month ago.

Again, the best course is to be unaffected by both the gains and the losses. But if you lamented 2022, you better be crackin’ champagne now.


For all I know, tomorrow will kick off a terrible week that erases all these recent gains. I’m positive you’d hear about it in the news.

But the odds are in our favor. Life goes on. On average – and quietly – our portfolios progress upwards.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, join 6000+ subscribers who read my 2-minute weekly email, where I send you links to the smartest financial content I find online every week.


Want to learn more about The Best Interest’s back story? Read here.

If you prefer to listen, check out The Best Interest Podcast.

Originally posted in The Best Interest

Sound investments
don't happen alone

Find your crew, build teams, compete in VS MODE, and identify investment trends in our evergrowing investment ecosystem. You aren't on an island anymore, and our community is here to help you make informed decisions in a complex world.

More Reads
United Parcel Service (UPS) – Delivering Dividends in 2023

The year of 2023 has already started in turbulent mode. The S&P 500 is up almost 4%, as inflation appears to have cooled on earlier reports. However, I think the economy is being overlooked, as I predict we are still in for a rude awakening.

Why I’m Investing into Vanguard Dividend Appreciation (VIG) ETF Daily!

By the time of this article release, I have now had a daily investment into Vanguard’s Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG), another wonderful Vanguard ETF. The community knows I buy Vanguard’s S&P 500 (VOO) daily and Vanguard’s High Dividend Yield (VYM) weekly, so what gives?

February 2023 Stock Considerations

With a new trading month already in full swing it is time, once again, to highlight some of my potential stock purchases. While the market had a nice bounce in recent months there is still no shortage of stocks that are becoming fairly valued to undervalued.

Recent Stock Purchase January 2023

It has been a very, very long time since I made two or more separate tranches of buys in a single month but sometimes the market has a flash sale and adding more shares is just too tempting to pass up.

What Is Cryptocurrency, And How Does It Work?

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that uses cryptography to ensure that transactions are secure. Cryptocurrency is not backed by any central authority, and it is used as a medium of exchange online.

What Makes A Good Investor?

Being good at something can mean many things but is generally understood to involve being more skilful than others, however so measured. What makes a good investor?

Break Out with a Back Up

Stock Market Commentary

A Possible "Good Start"

Stock Market Commentary

Which Utility is Most Invested in Renewable Energy. Are They Worth Your Investment?

U.S. utilities are on a path to convert their power generation fleets to renewable energy. But are they worth your investment?

The Top Utility Stocks by Wind Energy, but Should you Invest?

The stock market may be selling renewable energy stocks at a premium. Let’s discuss which utility stock you should invest in that is also a good financial investment.

Break Out or Shake Out ?

Stock Market Commentary

SCHD vs. VIG: Which Dividend Growth ETF Fits in Your Portfolio?

Dividend-yielding ETFs (exchange-traded funds) have become the rage recently as tech stocks on the Nasdaq have plummeted, and people are seeking more income. So it is no surprise that people have been talking about dividend growth ETFs like SCHD and VIG.

Take These 5 Steps to Recession Proof Your Savings

Currently, the economy is in flux. Inflation remains high, but there’s also a strong chance that a recession is on the horizon. Many of the steps that were taken to curb inflation make a recession more likely.

Money Management and Self-Care Relieve Stress

Money is a significant source of stress for many of us. However, with a few tweaks to your spending and saving habits, you can take some of the strain of managing your money off of your mind.

In a New Era of Bonds

Do I need Bonds in my portfolio? We are in a new Era of bonds, so I thought it was time to ask the question do I need bonds in my portfolio?

The Easiest Money That Investors Ignore

Investing is all about risk and reward. When investors take more risk, they demand more reward. One such “risk premium” is the concept of illiquidity. Liquid assets are easily converted to cash. Stocks are liquid. You can buy or sell them five days a week.

US Q4 GDP Nowcasts Project Solid Rise For Thursday’s Report

Recession worries continue to swirl, but the outlook remains upbeat for this week’s initial estimate of fourth-quarter GDP, based on a set of estimates compiled by CapitalSpectator.com.

VOO vs. VYM vs. VIG – The Vanguard ETF Trifecta!

The GOAT of the industry. Vanguard. John Bogle. Bogleheads. The creator of the mutual fund and home of the best exchange traded funds out there.

The Zen Ten – My Top Picks for 2023

I’ve been publishing the Zen Ten list each December since 2008. I pick my favorites and stick with them all year – no trading.

The Productivity Discussion

On the 11th of October 2022, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its growth forecast for 2023 for the euro area to 0.5%, down from 2.5% at the start of the year. Piggy has observed similar downgrades right across different regions and individual countries. In a nutshell, it is envisaged that global power shortages could…

Resources for Publishers
Resources for New Investors