Updating the numbers
In January, I said my 2007 return was 12.21%. Turns out that's not exactly right. It was more like 16%.
Here's what changed. For years, I've been calculating returns by hand because:
a) Quicken has a lousy portfolio manager.
b) Other portfolio tracking software I've tried is either clunky, imcomplete, or expensive.
Thus I've decided that I need to get smarter about spreadsheets, Excel specifically. Earlier today, I toyed around with the calculation for Internal Return of Return with both Excel and the simple-yet-still-elegant spreadsheet at Google Docs. (The XIRR function works quite well in both.)
More about XIRR and spreadsheets can be found here.
The avg. IRR for my primary stock picking account -- a SEP-IRA -- is 11.22% since Sept. of 2003. Not bad, but I can do better. I know because my annual IRR has risen every year:
* 7.16% in 2004
* 7.82% in 2005
* 12.92% in 2006
* 15.91% in 2007.
I'm on track for an 11.43% return in 2008. Here's to hoping your returns, and mine, are even better.