Performing Your Own Portfolio Review

Where do I start

  1. Get a copy of your most recent brokerage, 401k or Roth statement or look at your account online and make a note of each investment's ticker symbol and percentage allocated to each.
  2. Enter the tickers and percentage into a blank version of the Backtest Portfolio Asset Allocation. For comparison I use a benchmark as portfolio 2 and 3  (eg. SPY-100%) or use a 60/40 stock/bond, or anything that represents the level of risk that you are comfortable with. Alternatively, use a target date fund from Fidelity, Vanguard or your preferred provider, or a combination of these. 
  3. Analyze the results. The graphs are great to visualize any major variance from the benchmarks. The picture below represents a hypothetical 3 portfolio comparison

  4. Drill down into each of the tabs and look at the fees and drawdowns and compare them between the portfolios. Portfolio Visualizer providers and amazing amount of data for comparison. 

There is no perfect answer for everyone. Hopefully, this is a starting point to understanding your portfolio performance and risk. 

How do I interpret the data

Every situation is different. Ask yourself 
 - are my returns significantly above or below the market benchmarks ?
 - would I loose sleep knowing that a -60% has occurred in the past and most likely in the future.

 - Am I paying fees that are significantly higher than the comparison portfolios ? If so, do my returns justify the higher fees ?

Things to consider

Notice that the backtest is limited by the ticker's data history. In this example, we are not really getting the full picture of the dot com bubble or other significant events in the past. 

ETF have only been round for the past 20 year. Mutual funds have existed for much longer. In order to get a longer time comparison, use a proxy mutual fund. Here's an example that goes back as far as 1997 and compares a conservative, moderate and growth portfolio
Drawdown graph - Portfolio Visualizer

Portfolio growth graph - Portfolio Visualizer

Links and Resources