Permanent Portfolio Mid-Year 2010

I generally advise not looking at portfolio returns too often, but it’s about halfway through the year so we’ll take a peek because some people have wanted to know.

The standard Permanent Portfolio allocation is 25% split into stocks, bonds, cash and gold. So far Morningstar shows:

25% Stocks – Vanguard Total Stock Market (Ticker: VTI): -5.35%

25% Bonds – iShares Treasury Long Term 20+ year Bond Fund (Ticker: TLT): +14.37%

25% Cash – iShares Very Short Term Treasury Bond Fund (Ticker: SHV) [Equivalent to a Treasury Money Market Fund]: +0.04%

25% Gold – SPDR Gold Trust (Ticker: GLD): +13.0%

Total Return YTD: +5.4% (Total Returns including all interest and dividends according to Morningstar)

If you are using my modification which substitutes the Treasury Money Market cash for a 1-3 year Short Term Treasury Fund (Ticker: SHY) you are up YTD: +5.9%

For comparison I track a 60% Total Stock Market and 40% Total Bond Market portfolio as well:

60% Vanguard Total Stock Market (Ticker: VTI): -5.35%

40% Vanguard Total Bond Market (Ticker: BND): +5.10%

Total Return YTD: -1.5% (Total Returns including all interest and dividends according to Morningstar

Interesting year so far. Gold and LT bonds are showing some serious muscle at the same time – A very unusual thing. However the markets have been very volatile for the stocks yet the portfolio has been protecting and growing the value regardless.

Keep an eye on your asset allocation and be sure you are rebalancing if you need to do so.

Craig Rowland

I own the place.

  • James

    Thanks for the update! Assuming there are no other options, what Vanguard ETF’s would you say are the closest equivalents to TLT and SHY?

  • http://www.crawlingroad.com craigr

    The closest in Vanguard for the Short Term Treasury is VFISX – Vanguard’s Short Term Treasury Fund.

    The closest for the Long Term Treasury bonds is VUSTX – Vanguard’s Long Term Treasury Fund.