Grow Your Portfolio the Intelligent Way

End of Q1, So What Should You Do?


The first quarter of 2015 is in the books, and that means it’s time to do something that you should be doing every quarter at the very least. That something is taking a critical look at your portfolio to make sure it’s serving your goals.

Are you generating enough income from your existing assets to fund your retirement? Are you producing the kind of growth you want so that you can build up that nest egg for when you need it years down the road? Are you overweight in one market sector while not having enough exposure — and enough diversification — to weather inevitable market storms?

These are the kinds of questions that you need to ask yourself at least every quarter and, preferably, on a monthly basis. In this market, knowing what to do is a must, as circumstances such as when the next Fed rate hike actually will happen; what global growth metrics will tell us; and how the strong U.S. dollar and weak oil prices may determine the fate of your money during the second quarter.

So, what should you do now that Q1 is over?

Here are a few tips on what every investor needs to do right now:

  1. Act like a professional. All of the pros review asset allocation, positions and cash holdings at the end of every quarter. Follow that example with your money.
  2. Take inventory of your accounts. Know where your money is and where your accounts are, and think about how you can consolidate things to make it easier.
  3. Look at each position and how it performed. It may sound simple, but knowing how each holding performed in Q1 is the first step to making sure your money is in the right place for Q2.
  4. Think ETFs. Ask yourself, “How can I transfer my mutual fund or equity holdings into a better investment vehicle using exchange-traded funds (ETFs)?”
  5. Research new ideas. Always be on the lookout for new ideas, new market sectors and new areas to put money to work.

One good way to begin your research on new ideas is to take a look at our Q1 ETF Scorecard at This is where you’ll find the Top 10 list for a number of market sectors, including equity, fixed income, international, commodity and many other segments.

The table below shows the Top 10 U.S. Equity ETFs during Q1:

Ticker Name Category 2015 Q1 %
RZG Rydex S&P Smallcap 600 Pure Gr Small Cap Domestic 9.79%
RFG Rydex S&P Midcap 400 Pure Gro Mid Cap Domestic 8.84%
DWAQ PowerShares Dynamic OTC Mid Cap Domestic 7.75%
VO Vanguard Mid Cap ETF Mid Cap Domestic 7.42%
IJK iShares S&P MidCap 400 Growth Mid Cap Domestic 7.42%
IVOG VANGUARD S&P MID-CAP 400 Mid Cap Domestic 7.29%
FPX First Trust IPOX Small Cap Domestic 7.02%
IPO RENAISSANCE IPO ETF Small Cap Domestic 7.01%

If you are looking for domestic equity ETFs with strong track records, the Q1 ETF Scorecard at is a great place to begin your quest.

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