New Returns Data for an Interesting New Year


With the volatile financial markets of 2022 mercifully in the history books, I think we’re all looking forward to a fresh start. To truly appreciate the way forward, however, sometimes it helps to fully understand the past. That’s why January is always a fun month here at Portfolio Charts — it’s time for new returns numbers! For investors like me who want to know not just the best times or even the average times but the truly painful times to invest in a given portfolio, this new data drop should be particularly educational.

Updating the underlying data always takes a bit of effort, so I bundled in a few more overall improvements in the process. Here are all the changes you’ll see around the site.

Up-to-date charts

All charts have been updated with 2022 returns. As is the norm this time of year, please keep in mind that not every source reports new data promptly. For example, the inflation numbers and cash interest rates are through November rather than December, which should be pretty darned close but open to revision as straggler data comes in over the next month or two. So please consider the numbers preliminary, and I’ll be sure to update them as new information becomes available.

Updated index fund list

Fans of the Fund Finder might want to check their favorite portfolio against the latest fund list. I added a few new fund options, deleted a handful that randomly changed their prospectus, and updated the expense ratios for every fund with the latest information. I find it exciting that I had to update so many expense ratios to lower numbers, as it means that competition in the ETF space is generating measurable savings for investors.

Fixed website bugs

One of the ongoing challenges in running a website is that there are always new technical gremlins to chase as outside vendors update their tools. I’ve noticed that the various embedded spreadsheets in the Portfolios and Charts pages have been inconsistently loading lately and that they’ve even been crashing the site on mobile devices entirely. Sorry about that!

While not every part of that experience is within my control, I’ve taken a few steps to improve the overall site performance:

  • I changed the way the tools are embedded to hopefully reduce loading errors. They appear to be working better for now, although a browser refresh is sometimes necessary to help move things along.
  • On mobile devices only, I replaced the embedded interactive tools with static images hid the interactive images by default, with the user option to open them.* While segregating content wasn’t my first choice, I’d much prefer to have most of the information display without issue than to have a misbehaving spreadsheet crash the entire page. The goal is simply to provide the best user experience possible for any given device.

So if you’ve experienced technical problems with the site lately, give it another shot. Please let me know if you have major issues or spot something that just doesn’t look right, and I’ll continue to keep an eye on how it performs moving forward.

(*) UPDATE: Based on some great user feedback, I tweaked the original design to simply hide the spreadsheets behind an access button on mobile devices. So the page will always load with no issues, and you can still use the charts if your device permits.

Revised spreadsheet downloads

If you’ve previously purchased a spreadsheet download, you should receive an unexpected email in your inbox soon stating that your new download is ready. No, you’re not going crazy and it’s also not a mistake! I recently updated the downloads to correct a few small bugs, and the updates are also available to all previous customers of the same spreadsheet.

  • Fixed a visual formatting issue in the main interface when you copy/paste returns numbers between sheets.
  • Removed a few extraneous chart labels.
  • Fixed a bug in the Drawdowns chart where it didn’t correctly account for years after 2021 in the summary stats.

So be sure to grab the updated spreadsheets, and feel free to contact me if you don’t receive that update email in the next few days. I’ll hook you up.

A time for learning

With all of these updates taken care of, my next step is actually the same as many of you reading this — setting aside some time to dive into the new data to see what I can learn.

So as we recover from the holidays and start getting back up to speed with normal life routines, let’s all take a moment to check in on our favorite Portfolios and tinker with the new numbers on the many Charts. I’m sure all of this new data will spur several new articles in the coming months, and I imagine it may also add interesting context to help many of you with your own investing decisions.

That data-driven approach is what Portfolio Charts is all about, and I hope you enjoy the new information as much as I like sharing it.

Happy New Year!

If you’re looking for a New Year’s resolution, may I suggest resolving to support the resources you care about most?