100 Level

How Would You Balance the Federal Budget?

If Congress were to ask you how to balance the federal budget, what suggestions would you pass on? Place your suggestions in the comment section below.   Photograph: Longboat Key - Sarasota, FL … [Read More...]

The Golden Rule of Investing

The Golden Rule of Investing is simply, “Save as much as you can as early as you can.” The operative word is early. William J. Bernstein lays it out in stark language in his book, “The Investor’s Manifesto“ where he writes, “Each dollar you do not save at 25 will mean two inflation-adjusted dollars that you will need to save if you start at age 35, four if you … [Read More...]

300 Level

Avoid Losses

There is nothing quite so painful to the long-term investor as watching their portfolio experience a long and precipitous decline. Most of us experienced this in 2000 through 2002 and again in 2008 and early 2009. Diversification did not help all that much in the recent severe bear market. Asset allocation, no matter how carefully designed, did not perform as we expected. All asset classes seemed … [Read More...]

Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio

Risk-Parity Look at Permanent Portfolio Much is written about Harry Browne's Permanent Portfolio, particularly since it held up well during the "Black Swan" markets of the early 21st century.  Below is a look at the equal allocation plan as advocated by Browne, and a Risk-Parity examination of the same four asset classes.  Both the equal allocation and Risk-Parity … [Read More...]

200 Level

Portfolio #4: Ages 56 – 65

As with the portfolio for ages 36 - 55, this portfolio covers a critical period in life.  This is a time when one can normally increase the monthly savings rate.  The children are likely educated and the house is, or will be paid off.  Extra dollars can be funneled into this portfolio.  As the investor moves toward retirement, the portfolio becomes more conservative in that … [Read More...]

Please Keep It Simple: A Basic Seven-Eight ETF Portfolio

Is it possible to put together a simple portfolio?  I don't want anything too complicated, particularly when I am just beginning my investing career.  Such requests are common and the answer is - yes, it is possible to build a simple portfolio.  The diversification may not be the best, but that issue can be address later.  Below is a basic portfolio any investor can … [Read More...]

400 Level

Madison Portfolio Review Time

One of the five portfolios using the ITA Risk Reduction model is the Madison.  In preparation for the review we first look at the Dashboard to see if the asset classes are populated properly.  While there are a few out-of-balance classes, the percentages are nothing to worry about.  Most of the asset class are within the 25% Threshold range.  Not only are all eight critical … [Read More...]

Retirement Target Return

Retirement Target Return What is the Retirement Target Return (RTR) all about?  RTR is one of the factors found in the Retirement Ratio (RR) risk management equation. ITA Wealth Management readers know the importance of measuring portfolio risk and RTR is part of that process. Here is exactly how RTR is determined. RTR is the sum of the current inflation rate plus the percentage one … [Read More...]