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The 'Where To Invest $10,000 Today' Portfolio: An Update

Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
Michael Fitzsimmons


  • This is the third update to the "Where To Invest $10,000 Today" portfolio that was first unveiled on Seeking Alpha in August of 2020.
  • Last review, the only tweak was swapping the consumer staples ETF into the SPDR Industrial Select Sector ETF for more direct exposure to infrastructure spending.
  • Meantime, the biggest change in the macro environment maybe the outlook for China-based companies. As a result, the change this time is swapping GXC in favor of semiconductors via SMH.
  • Although its performance since the last update was poor (primarily due to Bitcoin's pullback), overall the diversified "$10,000 Portfolio" has performed quite well since inception.

Graphs and charts
Henrik5000/iStock via Getty Images

In August of last year, Seeking Alpha published my Where To Invest $10,000 Today article. It was and still is a diversified portfolio that in many ways imitates my own personal investment style: investing for the long-term in some broad market ETFs, technology, growth, with

This article was written by

Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
Technology stocks, ETFs, portfolio strategy, renewable energy, and O&G companies. Primary goal is growing net-worth. I typically allocate a portion of my own portfolio and devote some of my SA articles to small and medium sized companies offering compelling risk/reward propositions. I am an Electronics Engineer, not a qualified investment advisor. While the information and data presented in my articles are obtained from company documents and/or sources believed to be reliable, they have not been independently verified. Therefore, I cannot guarantee its accuracy. I advise investors conduct their own research and due-diligence and to consult a qualified investment advisor. I explicitly disclaim any liability that may arise from investment decisions you make based on my articles. Thanks for reading and I wish you much investment success!

Analyst’s Disclosure: I/we have a beneficial long position in the shares of AMZN, GOOG, DIA, SPY, IGV, GBTC, COP, CVX, XOM, XLP, XMH either through stock ownership, options, or other derivatives. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

I am an electronics engineer, not a CFA. The information and data presented in this article were obtained from company documents and/or sources believed to be reliable, but have not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee their accuracy. Please do your own research and contact a qualified investment advisor. I am not responsible for the investment decisions you make.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (29)

The question of where you should put your next $10,000 should only be raised when every single one of your dividend paying positions is paying at least 90% of your average dividend payout. Then, and only then, should you ponder what to add.
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@2Reb - as I said in the article, focusing on dividends has been a losing strategy for many years now. It is still a losing strategy.

This portfolio is designed to take what the market wants to give, and I look for *total returns*, not simply dividend yield. There is not one investment in this portfolio taken for yield. Which is why it has delivered ~30% over the past year instead of 5-6%.
@Michael Fitzsimmons I keep track of total returns as well, and it is true that dividend strategies have been underperforming the market for several years. But not by much. My 75 positions are usually about 4% behind the SP 500 going back about 11 years; after that I do about 1.5% to 2% better than my benchmark. Dividends, unlike unrealized capital gains, compound. Realized capital gains do compound, but that, as I recall, is what Charles Ellis called "The Losers Game."
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@2Reb - the "Loser's Game" has been what so many SA contributors have been telling retirees day-after-day on the homepage: to invest in dividend stocks in energy like Exxon and losers like AT&T that have had massive opportunity costs during the biggest bull-market of our lives. I know, I have a few clunkers at the bottom of my spreadsheet and they are nearly all dividend yield stocks.

Stocks like Amazon and Google pay no dividends at all yet have doubled or tripled the total returns of the S&P500 over the past 5-years. There are many more examples.

Meantime, I kept noticing how popular all the articles on Exxon (a stock I described as "broken" many years before it was kicked out of the DJIA) and AT&T were and I finally figured out it was retirees that were soaking up all this terrible advice. That led to me to write the Seeking Alpha article:

"Dividend Investing: Still Overrated And Still Badly Lagging The Market"


which got over 450 comments, mostly from retirees that disagreed with me and are in denial about all the bad advice they have been following. Those are the ones playing the "Loser's Game" ... believing all the contributors that tell them they need "income to live" while watching their network fall way behind the returns the market would give them if only they kept a more well-balanced portfolio (like the one in this article) instead of over-emphasizing dividends from companies whose stock price goes down at a faster rate than there dividend yields.
I'd consider reducing Bitcoin position to 5% and swapping the extra 5% into IBB which I think is a better speculative growth bet.
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@Pippy54 - that's an interesting idea as biotech is certainly a growing field with great potential (I own some ARKG). That said, GBTC has outperformed IBB by over 7x over the past year. I think that is very likely to be the case over the next year as well.
almoni profile picture
I was hoping to read that the author threw an extra 10,000 on the table and told where he would invest it in August 2021. alas, I was wrong again because I did not see his advice .

logically, there are two options that would explain the reason for this
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@almoni - Sorry you were disappointed but the title clearly says an update. I think investors need to be able to track the returns of previous advice.

Besides, the composition of the portfolio as of today (after the one change) is exactly what I would recommend had I written a brand new article from scratch. That is what my "updates" do: real time portfolio management.

So just look at the spreadsheet and if you didn't read the article realize there was one change: the position in GXC was swapped out and put into the Van Eck Semiconductor ETF (SMH) instead. The rest of the portfolio is kept in the same investments. As I also mentioned in the piece, the core broad markets ETF holdings in the portfolio are unlikely to change for the long-term ... so you will continue to be disappointed if you are looking for big changes all the time.
almoni profile picture
@Michael Fitzsimmons
you are very polite thank you for your response
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@almoni - thank you and I appreciate you reading my work.
pro8 profile picture
I thought it was or should be "Bogleheads"...as in John Bogle ....
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@pro8 - of course, it should be. The editor obviously missed the extra "g" as well. Thanks and I will submit an edit.
lol wut profile picture
"I continue to advise investors to take advantage of oil cycle highs to lighten up on O&G energy positions. The combination of generally poor executive management teams, the new era of energy abundance as a result of technology disruption (i.e. fracking + Hz drilling), combined with headwinds from electric vehicles and ESG concerns with respect to global warming, means the energy sector is likely to significantly under-perform the broad market over the coming decade (just as it did the last decade). That being my view, there is no direct energy investment in the $10,000 Portfolio."

What's the point of lightening up when you pounded table against buying them last year. In theory, as you show yourself, no one should have any ownership. Regardless this entire paragraph is known as climbing the wall of worry.
@lol wut that same $10k invested in Cenovus would have done alright
Buyandhold 2012 profile picture
Where would I invest $10,000 today?

Former_User profile picture
@Buyandhold 2012 While I like Chubb, I recently added to my positions in Prudential and Aflac on dips. I'll take another look at $CB though. I got very lucky starting those two in March of last year. But I'm always happier to be lucky than smart. ;)
bbob68 profile picture
Hey Mike --FYI -- Yesterday on SA Ray Dalio wrote an interesting piece regarding the CHINA situation. Not sure if it would sway an investment decision right now but I thought it was an interesting perspective from someone worth reading..........
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@bbob68 - I'll see if I can find the Dalio piece (a link would have been nice :D).

I am still exposed to China - mainly vis-a-vis my investment in the Fidelity Emerging Asia Fund (FSEAX) fund. It was doing awesome until China pulled the plug on its companies (but FSEAX is still up nearly 30% over the past year). Hard not to invest in Asia given the overwhelming demographic and economic fundamentals. I just thought SMH would outperform GXC going forward, so I kicked it out of the portfolio. Thanks for reading and your comment.
bbob68 profile picture
@Michael Fitzsimmons I think you will find it of some interest. Just put his name in the SA search bar it comes right up.......
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@bbob68 - here is a link to Dalio's article on China's recent moves:


Didn't see any thoughts that were especially new or enlightening in the piece ... but I did find it notable that Dalio failed to mention one of China's policymakers' biggest goals: having enough control over the technology companies to prevent social unrest. Perhaps they learned from the US Capitol insurrection that was enabled - in part - by all the misinformation and Russian propaganda on FakeBook.
Rex Rode profile picture
Well 2 weeks ago I was having that conversation with someone and told them to buy AMD......
Michael Fitzsimmons profile picture
@Rex Rode - yup, the semiconductor sector is in the midst of a long-term bull run. As are software stocks. As I mentioned in the piece, it would take a true global economic calamity (which I suppose is always possible) to derail these trains. Thanks for reading!
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