100 Level

Quotes from Charles Ellis

"It's not how good you are that counts, but how good you are compared with your competitors." "The really impressive characteristic of investment returns is that the variation in year-to-year rates of return on common stocks dwarfs the average annual rate of return on stocks." "Investment policy is the foundation upon which portfolios should be constructed and … [Read More...]

We All Love Ennio Morricone

The CD recommendation for the week is Soundtrack music from the "We All Love Ennio Morricone" recording. My recording has a few glitches so it is anything but perfect. If you are not familiar with Morricone, this is a good introduction.  Read the Amazon reviews as they are, in general, quite accurate. … [Read More...]

300 Level

Newton Portfolio Review: 9 August 2011

Review of the Newton Portfolio was moved forward as shares of VEU, VBR, VOT, and VOE were purchased last week.  Dividends also came in from EMB, TLT, BND, HYG, and TIP.  Below is the current Strategic Asset Allocation plan for the Newton.  The ETF additions were purchased in such small amounts that asset classes remain under target.  This is an intra-day Dashboard.  I … [Read More...]

Walgreen (WAG): A Service Company of Interest

As long-time ITA readers know, I am a strong advocate of using non-managed index ETFs to build portfolios.  However, there are times when I will add an individual stock, particularly if the Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP) analysis shows the stock will increase diversity and lower portfolio volatility.  While I have not run a QPP analysis with Walgreen (WAG) in a portfolio, this is a stock I've … [Read More...]

200 Level

Optimizing The Swensen Six Portfolio

The prior blog post shows what happens when no constraints are placed on an optimized portfolio.  To follow up on the Swensen Six post, assume we begin with the asset allocation plan recommended by Swensen and then optimize the six ETFs using reasonable constraints.  The following efficient frontier graph show the Swensen allocation (diamond dot) falling well short of the optimized portfolio (red … [Read More...]

Portfolio Performance – 20 August 2010

For some reason, I expected to see greater decline in the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) values this week.  In a number of cases, the portfolios picked up a little ground on the performance of the VTSMX. Obviously, this is due to the broad diversity of the asset classes held in the portfolios. In a few cases, the ITA Index increased significantly and that is due to the addition of … [Read More...]

400 Level

Fiscal Cliff: Time to Activate ITARR Model

We hear a lot about the coming "fiscal cliff."  If Congress does not act before taxes increase and spending cuts go into effect at the beginning of 2013, the country could go into another recession.  Rather than panic, now is the time to pay close attention to each major holding in your portfolio(s).  Instead of limiting the ITA Risk Reduction model to five portfolios, I plan to expand the number, … [Read More...]

Bonds Add Little Other Than Diversification

Using Delta Factor analysis, bonds will add little growth to portfolios over the next six to twelve months.  Their main benefit is to bring down portfolio volatility and I believe one can do a better job of risk reduction with some highly selected stocks and/or implementation of the ITA Risk Reduction (ITARR) model.  Below is the evidence for my tepid view on bonds going forward. Platinum … [Read More...]