100 Level

Investing And The Marshmallow Test

Kids Marshmallow Test What do marshmallows have to do with investing?  Check out this set of video links and one sees the connection, particularly as it relates to The Golden Rule of Investing. The first video simply demonstrates the test - without any conclusions.  Children are placed in a room with one marshmallow in front of them.  If they can refrain from eating the … [Read More...]

The Active vs. Passive Management Debate

Will there ever be a definitive answer to the active vs. passive management debate?  Likely not and here are possible reasons why we will never have a complete answer to which method is superior.  At the very core of the argument is lack of data, at least as it pertains to one level of the argument.  The active vs. passive argument is carried on at two levels.  One level is … [Read More...]

300 Level

Portfolio Construction, Maintenance, & Monitoring

To be a successful investor, the trio of portfolio construction, maintenance, and monitoring are all essential.  While the importance of portfolio construction is receiving less attention than it did in the 1990s, detailed research is yet to be conducted on its significance.  The research I've read is too broad with a focus on stocks, bonds, and cash.  Due to its complexity, it … [Read More...]

ITARR Working As Planned

When the ITA Risk Reduction model was instituted several months ago, the logic behind the plan was to take a few portfolios that were lagging their benchmarks and see if there was a way to turn that situation around.  So long as the market was moving up and the prices of the various ETFs never dipped below their 195-Day EMAs, I did not expect to see much change in the Internal Rate of Return … [Read More...]

200 Level

Portfolioist Portfolio: Looking For Additional Diversification

Before digging into the following Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP) analysis too deeply, read Geoff Considine's articles on portfolio diversification.  The first article lays out the basic logic for diversification and the second article goes into more details.  In the following analysis, I take the portfolio and run it through the QPP wringer to see what projections are in store for … [Read More...]

Putting It All Together: Portfolio Construction

David Swensen writes in his "Unconventional Success" book, "Construction of a financial-asset portfolio involves full measures of science and art.  The science encompasses the application of basic investment principles to the problem of combining core asset classes in an efficient, cost-effective manner.  The art concerns the use of common-sense judgment in the challenge … [Read More...]

400 Level

What Is A Good Sortino Ratio?

Before answering the above question, one needs to know what the Sortino Ratio is measuring.  Here is the Wikipedia definition.  To keep this idea as simple as possible, write down the equation, S = (R - T)/DR.  S = Sortino Ratio. The R is the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for the portfolio.  If you are using the TLH Spreadsheet*, the IRR is calculated for you by the Excel™ SS. T is the … [Read More...]

Bullish Percent Indicator: Six Risk Levels

Readers interested in digging deeper into Point and Figure (PnF) technical analysis will be served by purchasing Thomas J. Dorsey's book, Point & Figure Charting.  His latest edition is available in Kindle format, but I prefer this type of book in hardback as I want to easily bounce from section to section.  That becomes more difficult with a Kindle. A.W. Cohen is considered the … [Read More...]