“Couch Potato” Lazy Canadian ETF Portfolio Update – 6 Years Later

It’s about that time of the year when I take a look at the Lazy ETF portfolio aka the Couch Potato.

Brief recap:

  • Hypothetically invested $10,000
  • Chose to cash out the distributions (not re-invest)
  • Money was evenly split between 3 ETFs

In retrospect, and not even looking at the returns, which are abysmal, I see how stupid it was to buy both the S&P ETF and the TSX/S&P combo ETF. However, it actually illustrates the point very well. Someone who starts to independently build an ETF portfolio could easily make the same mistake, especially at the peak of the market. How can you not buy the winners, when it’s 2007 and the sky is blue? :)

Unfortunately Globefund is no longer available, so calculating distrubitions and precise returns is somewhat more difficult now. Here is a chart showing the value of the shares alone as of today.

20130311-ishares-lazy-portfolio

Value of all shares is $8,957.50 = 10.4% loss.

And here are the distributions. Without doing the exact calculations, you only need to look at the 5-year returns to realize that the 10.4% loss wasn’t offset by the distributions.

20130311-ishares-lazy-portfolio-distributions

And of course, you would’ve been taxed on the distributions, on top of all this.

Again, I admit, this is a terrible ETF selection, a bit of a horror story. If I were to do it again, I would diversify, A LOT.