September 17, 2012

Transitioning to More Passive Investments in my Roth IRA

I recently sold off four of the individual stocks that I held in my Roth IRA account.   I had shares of Verizon, AT&T, Merck and Johnson & Johnson.   All but JNJ had performed pretty well overall.   The V and T were up >10% annually during the time I held them, so not bad.  

A bigger reason that I'm selling is that I haven't spent much time managing and actively watching my Roth IRA investments.    It takes time to keep track of stocks and I haven't been dedicating any time to my Roth IRA investments.  So for now at least I think it makes more sense to invest in board index funds if I'm going to set it on 'auto pilot'.  

Overall this year my Roth IRA is up about 15.4%.  Thats not bad at all, but if I'd bought the S&P 500 index (VOO) I'd be up 17.9% in the same period.   So my +15.4% didn't beat a basic index. 

I did have one setback when my shares in the BP oil trust (BPT) dropped significantly.   From what I gather the Wall Street Journal ran an article pointing out that oil trusts are depleting resources and that caused the trust to drop significantly.  Apparently many investors weren't really aware of what they'd bought.   Right now BPT is pretty fairly valued, so I'm holding it for the moment.  Its still paying a healthy dividend and its a good hedge against oil prices.

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