100 Level

Investing 101

It is so easy to get down into the gears of investing and lose sight of the big picture.  Pulling back from portfolio management, necessary as that is, and laying out the long-range picture of investing is essential from time to time.  That is the situation today, so here are some fundamentals to investing. Follow "The Golden Rule of Investing" by saving as much as you can … [Read More...]

A Very Basic Three ETF Portfolios

In response to the keep it simple blog post, here is a three ETF portfolio analysis.  The 30% allocation to bonds (BND) pulls down the projected return to 6.2%.  Allocating that percentage to bonds also holds down the projected volatility to 12.8%.  Note that this simple portfolio outperformed the S&P 500 over the past five years, and did it with a lower standard deviation. With only three … [Read More...]

300 Level

Maxwell Portfolio Update: 9 October 2012

Since the last Maxwell update I sold and purchased a few shares in the blend areas to bring those asset classes back into balance.  Missing in the following dashboard is a recent purchase of VNQ, bringing REITs back into balance. … [Read More...]

X-Ray of Gauss Portfolio

The following two screen shots are the "X-Ray Analysis" of the Gauss Portfolio by Morningstar.  As you look over these results, how would you improve the make-up of this portfolio?  What ETFs would you add or subtract to improve the quality of this portfolio? I was unable to capture all the information in one screen shot and that is why the information is broken into two … [Read More...]

200 Level

Super Smart Portfolios from Solin

Daniel Solin, in his "Smartest Portfolios" book, recommends these nine index funds or ETFs when putting together smart portfolios.  While my preference is to use ETFs instead of index mutual funds, here are his recommendations. … [Read More...]

Portfolio Performance Update: 7 September 2012

It has been nearly a month since I last posted a Portfolio Performance data table.  The general overview for the eleven portfolios is that all gained absolute ground during the month of August, but nearly all lost relative ground to the ITA Index and VTSMX benchmarks.  There were a few exceptions. … [Read More...]

400 Level

Top Ranking ETFs For Week of April 26, 2013

Using three-month, six-month, and volatility data, the following table ranks the top 40 ETFs we use to populate most portfolios.  Many of these ETFs are commission free securities for TDAmeritrade clients.  Pay attention to both the ranking and momentum percentage. The following material is not available for publication elsewhere on the Internet. … [Read More...]

ETFs As Market Predictors

While our focus is on the long-term rather than market timing, it still makes sense to pay attention to market action.  This article is one I thought readers would find interesting.  In addition to following RSP and IYT, I recommend Platinum members also track VTI, Vanguard's total U.S. equities market and VT, Vanguard's Total World equities market. … [Read More...]