Our 2022 Portfolio – Millennial Revolution

Photograph by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

Joyful 2023, everybody!

Whereas I do not know what 2023 will convey, it might be fairly exhausting for it to match final 12 months’s casserole of loopy. Inflation, battle, spiking fuel costs, and the quickest rate of interest improve in historical past made final 12 months a real head-spinner. Personally, I’m rooting for 2023 to herald in that goddamned “Roaring 20’s” we had been promised when the pandemic ended.

Effectively, as you understand, we right here at Millennial Revolution know methods to celebration. So in fact FIRECracker and I spent New Yr’s Eve knee deep in spreadsheets so we may write this publish.

So with out additional ado, I offer you, our portfolio’s 2022 efficiency evaluation!


The Fairness Bear Market

From an funding perspective, 2022 was a *checks notes* whole shit present.

The affect of all these totally different world-shaking occasions did a quantity to investor confidence. To not point out vitality costs, inflation, and rate of interest coverage. Add all of it up and the US inventory market formally entered bear market territory, declining by a whopping 20%.

2022 was the worst 12 months for the US inventory market since 2008. Worldwide inventory markets did a bit higher, with the MSCI EAFE index sinking by 16.6%.

One shocking space of outperformance was the Canadian inventory market. After the battle in Ukraine made fuel costs shoot by means of the roof, Canada’s inventory market unexpectedly benefitted due to how energy-based our inventory market is. Because of this, the TSX declined by “solely” 8.6%.

And since our fairness publicity is usually divided evenly between Canada, the US, and worldwide inventory markets, our portfolio inadvertently obtained a cushioning impact from this. Nonetheless, I can actually declare zero credit score for this. Whilst I used to be watching with horror because the battle broke out and fuel costs shoot up, I by no means may have predicted that this may have a optimistic impact anyplace, not to mention one of many foremost inventory indexes I put money into. However an unintended win remains to be a win!

The bond market, which usually acts as a counter-balance to inventory market volatility, additionally obtained creamed this 12 months. Bond costs transfer in the wrong way of rates of interest, so when rates of interest rise quickly (like this 12 months), bonds go down. And boy did they.

An mixture bond index fund like VAB fell by nearly 14% in 2022. Double digit strikes in both path for bonds is extraordinarily uncommon, and was attributable to the quickest rising rates of interest in historical past. So whereas bonds dropped the ball as a dampener of volatility, it’s unlikely to proceed taking place sooner or later since these sorts of rate of interest strikes are extraordinarily uncommon.

That being mentioned, central banks had been good sufficient to telegraph the truth that they might be elevating rates of interest all the way in which again in 2021. Many individuals didn’t consider them, however I did, and in consequence changed our mixture bond holdings with a short-duration bond fund again in June 2021. And I’m tremendous glad I did, as a result of right here’s how our quick bond fund did relative to the medium-term mixture bond fund in 2022.

Brief-duration bonds are much less delicate to rate of interest strikes, so doing this meant that our portfolio’s bond holdings declined far lower than the principle mixture bond fund. Was this a little bit of energetic buying and selling? Possibly, however come on! Rates of interest had been at zero and solely had one path to go. I made a judgement name and it turned out to be proper in the long run.

So put all of it collectively, and right here is how our portfolio’s total efficiency seemed in 2022.

In some other 12 months, a 12% decline isn’t precisely one thing to have fun, however in 2022, that technically represents an 8% over-performance over the US inventory market. That ain’t too shabby on condition that we entered 2022 with a 90%/10% allocation.

We had related efficiency on Portfolio B, because it’s largely invested in the identical ETFs, however as a result of we add cash we earn all year long to this account, its true efficiency will not be as straightforward to see.

In our report generated by Passiv, the inexperienced line represents whole worth whereas the sunshine blue line represents contributions. You’ll be able to see that whereas inventory market volatility is swinging our portfolio’s worth round, its affect is hidden by the infusions of recent money into the account as we transfer guide and weblog earnings in all year long.

So although the portfolio was presupposed to go down this 12 months, it ended up greater on the finish, although that is attributable to new contributions slightly than something magical I did to our investments.

After we determined to separate our investments into Portfolio A and Portfolio B approach again when, the unique intention was to protect the integrity of the experiment and forestall any post-retirement earnings from “polluting” the FIRE portfolio we constructed up earlier than retirement.

Because it later seems, this had the added bonus of constructing it a lot simpler to measure the affect of our funding selections. As a lot of you who’re within the accumulation part of your FIRE journey have little doubt observed, while you add cash to your accounts all year long it’s not truly that straightforward to see how nicely or poorly your portfolio truly did as a result of the affect of recent cash being added clouds your reporting.

When you cease including cash, it turns into a lot simpler.

Listed below are our ultimate internet value numbers for 2022.

01-Jan 31-Dec
Portfolio A $1,480,089.00 $1,277,787.00
Portfolio B $418,200.00 $485,178.00
Whole $1,898,289.00 $1,762,965.00

So meaning we ended 2022 with a internet value of $1,762,965, for an total change of -7.1%.

It does suck that it’s destructive, nevertheless it may have been a LOT worse. I can pinpoint our 12 months’s monetary efficiency on 3 elements that triggered us to over-perform (any by that I imply not lose more cash than we should always have):

  1. The Canadian inventory market outperforming its sensitivity to grease costs
  2. Proudly owning short-duration bonds
  3. New contributions as a result of guide and weblog earnings

Dividend FIRE

I do wish to take a while to speak about one thing fascinating that additionally occurred this 12 months. At the start of 2022, we projected that even after shifting to an aggressive 90/10 cut up, our dividends would match our residing bills for the primary time. We projected that we’d obtain about $43,500. How did that prediction prove? Effectively, in line with Passiv’s handy-dandy dividend earnings report…

Truly, fairly damned nicely.

This truly demonstrates a slightly curious and under-reported phenomenon of the previous 12 months. Regardless of the battle, regardless of record-high inflation, regardless of the US inventory market slipping right into a bear market and near-universal predictions of an upcoming recession, dividends held up.

Truly scratch that. Not solely did dividend payouts maintain up, they really elevated over the 12 months.

This tells us one thing actually necessary.

Regardless of inventory costs having 20% of their worth shaved off by 2022’s market rout, these corporations are nonetheless making loads of cash. A lot cash, in truth, that they noticed match to extend dividend payouts. That signifies that the latest inventory market declines are largely pushed by compression of their P/E ratios slightly than a decline in earnings.

In different phrases, shares went down in 2022 as a result of the information spooked buyers. However the underlying corporations are nonetheless wholesome. In reality, earnings truly elevated throughout this time. And that signifies that there’s potential for a really speedy rebound within the inventory market if and when investor sentiment goes the opposite approach.

One other massive realization from this 12 months is that we’ve hit a brand new milestone in our FIRE journey. You will have heard of Lean FIRE, Fats FIRE, Coast FIRE, and even Barista FIRE, however right here’s a brand new kind of FIRE you could not have heard of…

Dividend FIRE!

That is when the dividends out of your portfolio fully cowl your projected residing bills.

Usually, the 4% rule assumes that you simply’ll be funding your retirement out of a mixture of harvested dividends and promoting shares which have gone up in worth. However in fact, in some years there aren’t any shares which have gone up in worth, like this 12 months. That is when the chance of dangerous timing (or sequence of returns threat, as we’ve written about previously) rears its ugly head, and methods we got here up with just like the Yield Defend and Money Cushion had been crucial.

However when you use these methods to efficiently survive the primary few years of retirement, finally your portfolio grows to some extent the place the straight dividend yield is sufficient to reside on. At this level, managing your portfolio turns into trivially straightforward.

You don’t want a Money Cushion anymore, since a foul 12 months on the inventory market not means you need to make up the distinction elsewhere.

You don’t want to make use of Geographic Arbitrage to decrease your residing bills in a market downturn (a.ok.a our “If shit hits the fan, we’re going to Thailand” technique). We’re nonetheless going to go to Thailand, however as a result of we wish to, not as a result of we have to.

And most significantly, the day-to-day gyrations of the inventory market actually don’t matter anymore.

This has been an enormous change for me, however a fair greater change for FIRECracker. As a pure worrier and involuntary-lister-of-all-things-that-can-go-wrong, FIRECracker is often a bundle of nerves throughout market downturns that I’ve to relax. However this time, each time the information would report one thing scary in regards to the inventory markets, she would flip to me and ask “Are the dividends nonetheless OK?” I’d examine and report again that sure, they had been. After which she would go take a nap.

It’s been fairly nice, and fully sudden.

After spending a lot vitality developing with backup plans A, B, and C for each doable dangerous factor that may occur, reaching Dividend FIRE means we will’t actually be derailed by the inventory market anymore.

Getting a Increase with Preferreds

Which brings us to 2023. Are we planning on retaining the identical 90/10 cut up in 2023, or are we going to make any modifications?

After cautious consideration, we’re planning on altering our portfolio allocation from 90/10 to 75/25, with the 25% mounted earnings portion changed with a most popular share ETF, particularly ZPR.

Why? As we mentioned in a earlier publish, Most popular Shares can both be issued with a set rate of interest, just like a bond, or a floating price, which adjusts with rates of interest. And for some unusual purpose, floating price most popular shares have been pulled down alongside mounted price preferreds as rates of interest rose, even if they’re presupposed to go in reverse instructions.

This has created a novel worth play the place an ETF monitoring a floating-rate most popular share index (like ZPR) is at the moment yielding about 6%, which is implausible worth contemplating that these shares are issued by blue-chip corporations like banks and utilities.

So over the following few days, our portfolio will likely be shifting from this:

Asset Class Allocation Yield
Brief Bonds 10.00% 2.57%
Canadian Inventory Index 30.00% 3.19%
US Inventory Index 30.00% 1.52%
EAFE Inventory Index 30.00% 3.00%
Whole 2.57%

To this…

Asset Class Allocation Yield
Most popular Shares 25.00% 6.00%
Canadian Inventory Index 25.00% 3.19%
US Inventory Index 25.00% 1.52%
EAFE Inventory Index 25.00% 3.00%
Whole 3.43%

This transfer will enhance our projected dividend yield from $45,308.20 to $60,425.63, which represents a elevate of 33%!

Now, this isn’t a transfer that is smart for everybody, particularly when you’re nonetheless within the accumulation part of your FIRE journey. The reason being that dividends are tax-free, however provided that you’re not making different earnings. If you happen to’re nonetheless working, the next dividend earnings will imply you’ll be paying extra taxes for earnings that you simply don’t really want but. Why pay taxes while you don’t have to, proper?

This transfer is smart for us, as a result of we’ve very particular wants. Specifically…

  1. We want the earnings annually as a result of we’re retired
  2. We wish that earnings to return from dividends slightly than capital features
  3. We don’t care about volatility anymore

If these situations don’t apply to you, then there’s no want to vary your portfolio to observe us. Hold it easy and keep on with indexing.


2022’s been a reasonably loopy 12 months news-wise, however from a monetary perspective the most important adjustment for us has been the sudden look of excessive inflation and quickly rising rates of interest. Millennials have by no means handled this example earlier than in our lifetimes, and for many individuals in our technology, that adjustment has been very painful.

Individuals who purchased into the hype of house possession and went into large quantities of debt assuming sub-2% rates of interest would keep round without end obtained completely screwed this 12 months. Rising debt servicing prices and falling house costs meant that householders are trapped in a monetary vice of their very own making, and plenty of are being compelled to work a number of jobs simply to remain afloat.

Alternatively, our strategy of rejecting house possession and avoiding debt has completely labored out to our benefit. Relatively than seeing our residing bills squeezed by greater mortgage prices, as a result of our wealth is liquid, it’s straightforward for us to establish worth within the mounted earnings market and lock in a 33% elevate in dividends.

Subsequent week, FIRECracker will likely be reporting on our 2022 bills, so keep tuned for that!

How did everybody’s investments carry out in 2022? Let’s hear it within the feedback beneath!

Hello there. Thanks for stopping by. We use affiliate hyperlinks to maintain this web site free, so when you consider in what we’re making an attempt to do right here, think about supporting us by clicking! Thx 😉

Construct a Portfolio Like Ours: Take a look at our FREE Funding Workshop!

Journey the World: Get covid-19 protection for under $42 USD/month with SafetyWing Nomad Insurance coverage

Multi-currency Journey Card: Get a multi-currency debit card when travelling to attenuate foreign exchange charges! Learn our evaluation right here, or Click on right here to get began!

Journey for Free with Dwelling Trade: Learn Our Evaluation or Click on right here to get began.

Earn 15% Money-back: Earn an additional 15% again for a restricted time with a Tangerine World Mastercard! Click on right here to enroll!

Must Read

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here