100 Level

Sortino Ratio: What Is It?

The following discussion of the Sortino Ratio may get a little "heavy" for some readers.  However, this information is very important for the serious investor, so stick with me and follow along.  Users of the TLH spreadsheet are familiar with the Sortino Ratio as one of the worksheets is built specifically to calculate this number.  The equation is quite simple but very … [Read More...]

Rule #5 of Investing

When we get to Rule #5, we assume a savings plan is in place and we have converted a frivolous spending habit into real dollars. Credit card debt is zero or in decline. After much reading and study, we are convinced of the importance of asset allocation. If you made it this far as a reader, you are in the process of escaping the “dark side” of investing and that is, you are no longer … [Read More...]

300 Level

Valuation Oriented Stocks

Screening for stocks based on several valuation models unveils 9 interesting companies.  Below is the screening criteria and the stocks that survived the screen. The following information is available only to Platinum members and may not be extracted for publication elsewhere. … [Read More...]

Low Risk Portfolio Using Dividend Oriented Stocks: Part III

Low Risk Portfolio Number Three Portfolio number three in this series of low risk asset allocations is shown below.  The percentage of funds was suggested by a Platinum member.  One of the major changes in this portfolio involves decreasing the allocation to VNQ from 7% down to 2%.  No dollars are assigned to TIP and we add a few more dividend stocks.  Since these are not … [Read More...]

200 Level

Seeking Alpha Article on Establishing Goals

Readers will find an article on some of the goals I set when building a portfolio over at Seeking Alpha.  Check it out.  I hope to elaborate on this goals in the coming weeks. Lowell … [Read More...]

If I Were Starting A New Portfolio Today

What would a portfolio look like if I were starting from scratch today?  Here are a few basic principles to consider before making the initial Strategic Asset Allocation decision. Begin by using index funds or index ETFs.  My preference, as Platinum members well know, is to use "non-managed" index ETFs.  Yes, someone needs to make a decision what goes into the ETF, but for practical purposes … [Read More...]

400 Level

ITA Risk Reduction Model Positions

Investors following the ITA Risk Reduction model are currently in "neglect" mode.  This simply means we are not trading any commission free ETFs, but we are watching the price action of several key markets.  Let's focus on two REITs to illustrate this point.  In our portfolios we include both domestic (VNQ) and international (RWX) REITs.  In the following graph we … [Read More...]

Launching a New Portfolio and Initializing ITA Index

Platinum readers know about the funding of the new ITA-RR portfolio. Since tomorrow is the last business day of the month (December) I will take a careful look at the price points for VTI, IWN, VEU, VWO, VNQ, RWX, and IGE and compare them with their respective 195-Day EMAs.  If nothing were to change tomorrow, on January 3, 2012, I will take out a full position in VTI, IWN, and VNQ.  … [Read More...]