Gone Fishin’ Portfolio Posts Incorrect 2013 Numbers

In a previous post I speculated as to how the Gone Fishin’ Portfolio guys would react given how poorly their portfolio did in 2013.

I notice on their home page they now have a long explanation about asset allocation, diversification, etc, which is about half correct and half wrong. This is one of my major problems with them. They mix in deceptive principles like survivorhsip bias along with solid principles like diversification.

But more curious to me is that they have their 2013 returns posted as 15.3%. The paragraph is below:

“How did the Gone Fishin’ Portfolio perform in 2013? It returned 15.3%. You can easily derive (or verify) the annual performance – net of costs – by checking the performance of the 10 Vanguard funds that make up the portfolio.”

That’s what I did….and that’s not what I got. I did check the performance of the Vanguard funds in the portfolio – at least as they are posted by Alex Green himself on this webpage:


I get 10.91% return in 2013. Want to check how I got this?  Here is the Morningstar report on the portfolio. Look at the 1 year trailing returns for the portfolio under the growth chart.

Gone Fishing Portfolio 2013

There are always minor differences in how returns are calculated that can effect the results. For example, do the calculations assume rebalancing daily, quarterly, annually? But these methods should only produce tiny differences over a 1 year period of time.  Not almost 5% difference like we see here.

A far as I can see, they ended up responding to the bad 2013 numbers in a way I hadn’t anticipated. They decided to just make up results.