A Year-End Assessment of My Stock Portfolio

Kathy Kristof put her real money into the market so she can help you be a better investor. Here's how she's done over the past year.

Ah, fickle fate. The thing I’ve learned over the past year of investing in public is that the answer to the question “Are you a hero or a bum?” depends on when you grade yourself. On any given day, I could be well ahead of or way behind my benchmark, depending on what a company in my portfolio said when it reported earnings or what some outside analyst said about the stock. Or it could depend on whether stocks were soaring or plunging, and much of that depended on what kind of mood investors were in that day. The market’s performance—and that of my portfolio—has convinced me of what I’ve suspected for some time: Mr. Market is bipolar.

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of SideHusl.com, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.