100 Level

How To Use This Blog

  From time to time I write a help session, particularly for new Platinum members, on how to use this blog.  How to find information is essential, and there are two primary methods.  1) Use the Search tool.  This will bring up the latest information first.  For example, if you go to the Search option found in the right-hand sidebar and type in ITA Risk Reduction or ITARR, you will find … [Read More...]

“Delta Factor” for Maxwell & Euclid Portfolios

Initially, the plan is to hold only five equity ETFs in the Maxwell and Euclid portfolios.  Those five are: VTI, VEU, VWO, VNQ, and RWX.  Yes, there will be bond and income ETFs, but the equity investments will be confined to five ETFs - at least at the beginning of this experiment.  At the close of the market on October 4, 2011, what is the "Delta Factor" data telling … [Read More...]

300 Level

How Well Did The Beginner’s Portfolio Perform?

This weekend I posted an article over on Seeking Alpha on a Beginner's Portfolio.  One comment got me to thinking - how well did this optimized portfolio perform over the last five years, the time frame I used for the SA article.?  I considered this to be a beginner's portfolio in the sense that it holds only 10 ETFs and it is not all that sophisticated or complicated.  My personal preference is … [Read More...]

Using Treasuries to Reduce Risk

Compare the following portfolio (QPP analysis) with the risk reducing portfolio I suggested last week.  In the following portfolio, I stripped percentages off several equity and REIT ETFs and allocated those assets to a combination of TIP and TLT.  While the projected return is reduced, the projected standard deviation comes down at a faster rate giving one a higher Return/Uncertainty … [Read More...]

200 Level

Rule #7: Don’t Dip Into Your Retirement Savings Until Necessary

Eventually you will be spending your retirement, but don't withdraw funds before retiring.  This is a mistake all too many workers make without realizing the damage it does to their retirement fund.  When corporations moved from pension plans over to 401(k) plans, they shifted the savings burden from their companies over to their workers.  According to Hedrick Smith, Who Stole the American Dream, … [Read More...]

Portfolio Performance: 6 June 2012

Portfolio Performance It is time to post the Portfolio Performance data table after several weeks absence.  Since I last posted this table, all portfolios improved in absolute terms and several gained on the VTSMX benchmark.  The negative news is that all portfolios lost ground with respect to the customized ITA Index.  What this is telling me is the following - you got the … [Read More...]

400 Level

Bullish Percent Indicators Power Their Way To Offensive Positions

If anyone was in doubt as to the strength of the U.S. Equities market, take a close look at the following two screenshots.  Any cracks that were beginning to show a few weeks ago have been patched.  The Bullish Percent Index as illustrated by Point and Figure (PnF) graphs left no doubt this week that the offensive teams are in complete control.  Only the Utilities sector failed to make the jump … [Read More...]

Delta Factor: What Is It?

Exactly what is the "Delta Factor?"  While I don't plan to reveal the exact algorithm, here are the basic ideas.   1.  A growth projection is estimated for the S&P 500 for the next year.  In most cases, I assume the S&P 500 will grow at an annualized rate of 7% over the next several months. 2.  The historical period is set for three to five … [Read More...]