I finally get the 401k statement for some other reason. I requested that they provide year by year return number so that I can show that there is probably no year with negative returns. However, it does not have a break down for each year (maybe I will ask them again, which will take a while). But it does have a total return over the whole period. The total return from 4/16/2001 to 10/1/2010 is 109% (so over about 10 (9.5) years). And it is restricted to only a short list of mutual funds (generally the choice is less than 10). So it is a very constrained investment opportunity set and I do not have full time to trade this that frequently (and it has restrictions against frequent trading).
The annualized return, if you put into excel, is about 8.1% per year. I hope this does not disappoint my readers given the simultaneous markets' performance. If 8% annualized a year in the last decade sounds boring, how about no or almost no negative returns in any of the last 10 years ;=). So the Sharpe ratio, or the ratio of return to volatility, is likely to be quite higher, because of the relatively little volatility in performance. I also get every trade executed in and out of the mutual funds from this statement. If you or you know any one who have a chunk of money and would be interested in this kind of performance (or better), I would happy to provide the service. I have my own company to take care of the administrative stuff. The investments will be in highly liquid securities (or pure mutual funds, like my 401k), and will have relatively low risk exposure and low correlation with market performance through my 'impressive' asset allocation.
The reason for little volatility or negative performance in my performance is because I had everything in cash in 2002 and 2008, the two big market down year. There is no long-term T-bond fund in the 401k account so there is no way to capture the upside in those down years. But zero return is still way... better than 30-50% downside, right?
Another thought, I wonder how many are educated enough to recognize, this kind of long-term performance would be quite attractive in any environment (either at the start of 2000, when bull markets are raging, or at the depth of the bear markets in 2008). These are equity like returns with bond like risks. That is close to heavenly investing. I hope I can repeat this performance for the years to come. The paranoid survives.