100 Level

Portfolio Performance Data

Portfolios tracked using the Captool software have been updated as of 8/31/2010. All of these portfolios lost a little ground over the month of August to the Vanguard Total Market Index Fund, VTSMX, a primary benchmark. Portfolios tracked using the TLH spreadsheet will be available this Saturday (9/25/2010) and if the market holds, we expect most of the portfolios will show a positive separation … [Read More...]

Beat The Market

How many times have you heard the phrase, "Beat The Market?" Over a year ago, Mark Hulbert wrote an article on this subject. Here is an important quote from the Hulbert article. If you don't know who Mark Hulbert is, Google his name and learn about his contributions to the field of investing. "Even that, however, underestimates the difficulties of beating an index fund. … [Read More...]

300 Level

Creating The Customized ITA Index Benchmark For The Kenilworth And Other Portfolios

Constructing a customized benchmark to use as a performance standard is nearly as important as putting together a Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) plan for a portfolio.  If one does not benchmark a portfolio how is it possible to know how well the portfolio is being managed?  To understand what is required to come up with a good benchmark, check this reference.  I also recommend … [Read More...]

Screening For Dividend Stocks

Reducing Portfolio Risk With Stocks If you have been following the recent comments you noticed the recommendation to add a few highly selected stocks to a core of ETFs so as to reduce portfolio risk.  It is possible to find individual stocks that have a low correlation with respect to ETFs such as VTI, VEU, VWO, etc.  Let's see how this works when seven dividend stocks are added to … [Read More...]

200 Level

What Are The Disadvantages of Index Funds?

This morning I noticed a reader was searching for disadvantages associated with index funds, so I decided to do a little internet searching to find some of the drawbacks, if any.  As soon as one delves into this question, up pops the issue of passive vs. active investing.  Here are a few resources I located that deal with the question - are there disadvantages to using index funds?  I include … [Read More...]

The Retirement Crisis

In keeping with the series of articles on retirement, Gary Simms sent me a link to this PDF file on The Retirement Crisis.  I had problems opening this file using Firefox due to some add-ons they are attaching to their software.  If you have a similar problem, try Safari or Chrome browsers.  As the article points out, this is another financial crisis.  PERS programs are also in disrepair as too … [Read More...]

400 Level

“Delta Factor” Signals for a Variety of Equity ETFs

Delta Factor Analysis of Equity ETFs Which ETFs appear to be priced for purchase at this time?  In the screen shot below Platinum members will find all the basic ETFs we use in our portfolios to cover the global equities market.  There are only a few ETFs that are priced to buy. … [Read More...]

Bond “Delta Factor” Summary

As promised, below is a screen shot of a "Delta Factor" data table for AGG, BIV, BSV, HYG, JNK, IEF, TLT, and TIP.  The reference bond ETF I use in this analysis is BND.  I've done almost no testing with bonds so I don't know the quality of the predictive powers when it comes to bonds. … [Read More...]