100 Level

Free TDA Trades for 100 ETFs

Important News! Here are the instructions to receive free trades for 100 ETFs through TDAmeritrade. 1) Log on to account and go to the Research & Ideas tab. 2) Click on the ETF tab. 3) Look to the lower left side of the page and click on Commission Free ETFs.  Here is the link directly. http://www.tdameritrade.com/trade/etflist.html 4) Read instructions and enroll.   Please … [Read More...]

Second Retirement Rule: Know Your Requirements

While there is no question about Rule #1 of following The Golden Rule of Investing, all rules thereafter could come in any order.  The second one I've selected is to know your retirement requirements.  How much will you need monthly to live comfortably?  It is not unusual to hear a figure of 80% of your last salary.  I would set that as a minimum figure.  If your last annual salary was $70,000 per … [Read More...]

300 Level

Newton Portfolio Update: 12 October 2012

Fifty years ago today, Oregon suffered what is now known as the Columbus Day Storm.  Fortunately, the weather is close to normal for this time of year and the Newton portfolio reflects that normality.  When I first updated the portfolio this morning, I noticed it contained $20,000 more dollars than were supposed to be in the account.  After searching the brokerage account I realized … [Read More...]

My Portfolio Is Performing Great. Really? How Do You Know?

One comment I frequently hear when folks talk about investments is the following. "My portfolio is performing great." This statement conjures up questions I rarely ask as it tends to put the investor on the spot. Here are a few question that run through my mind. Performing great with respect to what? When was the portfolio launched? Is the portfolio return calculated by an acceptable … [Read More...]

200 Level

Einstein Portfolio Review: 22 August 2011

This business week begins with an update of the Einstein Portfolio, an excellent example for the small investor.  This morning I picked up another 30 shares of RWX in an effort to bring International REITs back into balance.  Back on 8/8 25 shares of VEU were added to the Developed International Markets asset class.  Limit orders are in place to pull that class back up to … [Read More...]

Rethinking Asset Allocation

Keeping David Swensen's Strategic Asset Allocation model in mind, it is possible to use all seventeen asset classes available in the TLH Spreadsheet to fulfill his recommendations.  Platinum members will see how this is accomplished when the Gauss Portfolio is reviewed tomorrow.  Instead of using six ETFs as I showed in an earlier post, we will use many more, but still stick with … [Read More...]

400 Level

Risk Management: How To Reduce Losses

On page 167 of Mebane T. Faber and Eric W. Richardson's book, "The Ivy Portfolio: How to Invest Like the Top Endowments and Avoid Bear Markets" we read, "Our research has shown that returns are lower and volatility is higher when asset classes are below the 10-month moving average."  What investor is not interested in reducing portfolio volatility while increasing returns.  And possibly more … [Read More...]

Checking Up On ITARR Indicators

For those investors who are either following or implementing the ITA Risk Reduction (ITARR) model, here are the latest results for the following critical ETFs:  VTI, IWN, VEU, VWO, VNQ, RWX, TIP, TLT, PCY, DBC, and GTU.  Only TLT, DBC, and GTU were priced below their respective 195-Day EMA when checked earlier this morning.  The relative positions can change so here is a link you may wish to … [Read More...]