Lifetime deposits to my brokerage accounts recently exceeded $100,000 thanks to a nice 2012 tax refund. In total I have saved $100,760. Unbelievable! To commemorate, I added a Deposits Page to track my progress.
My brokerage accounts are currently:
It is evident that investing has been very rewarding. I'm up $34,000. That's higher than my annual salary... Pretty crazy! My portfolio page is scewed. Reinvested dividends and capital gains (e.g. the HNZ and UNS sales) increase my cost basis on my spreadsheet, yet there was a handsome profit. A better way to see how I'm doing is to compare how much I've actually deposited to what my account is actually worth.
To me, investing success is defined as a rising income stream. I do not care about beating an arbitrary benchmark such as the S&P 500. I've been blogging since December 2011 and can only remember talking about beating the market in one post. My brokerage account has a feature that allows me to see my rate of return. Here it is (just for shits and giggles):
Fidelity started the Rate of Return feature in October 2011, it would be interesting to see how I did before then. These percentages are annualized.
Without even trying, dividend growth & income investing can do pretty well. I'm nothing special, just an average guy who invests as a hobby. Lets not forget SPY would actually underperform the S&P 500 due to fees....