100 Level

Where To Begin If You Have Never Managed A Portfolio

If someone asked you what to do with an inheritance or 401(k) sum of money, what advice would you give them?  Here are some basic ideas for a novice investor. Assume the money is in your checking account and available to be invested. Open up a broker account with a discount broker.  For example, go to a "bricks and mortar" location if possible and fill out the forms.  A good idea is to print … [Read More...]

Can You Beat The Market?

As an investor, ask yourself the following questions. Am I selecting individual stocks as the primary building blocks for my portfolio? Do I use actively managed mutual funds as my investing vehicles? Do I even know what active management means? Have I turned my investments over to an investment manager? What are the total management fees charged by the investment manager? If the … [Read More...]

300 Level

Einstein Update: 12 December 2011

I've been compressing the time between portfolio reviews in order to keep up with year-end changes.  For the most part, this portfolio is in good shape  Asset classes are in balance with a few exceptions.  This portfolio does receive a small infusion of cash each month and we will be using it to pull up international REITs, the one asset class that is below target.  … [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

Portfolio Performance: 26 July 2013

Approximately two months ago I published the last set of performance numbers so it is time to update the table.  Compared to the last set of data, all the portfolios with exception of the Bohr and Kenilworth picked up ground with respect to the customized ITA Index.  The same cannot be said when we compare the Internal Rate of Return of each portfolio with respect to the VTSMX benchmark and there … [Read More...]

Asset Allocation: Selecting A Plan

In response to questions that continue to emerge from readers regarding asset allocation breakdowns for various portfolios, I put together the following data table.  The first thing I did was to select seventeen (17) commission free (free to TDAmeritrade clients) ETFs that can be used to populate all the asset classes one might need to put together a portfolio.  If a user so desired, the … [Read More...]

400 Level

Risk Defined

Portfolio Risk Risk is a messy word as it carries so many different meanings in the investing world.  In the most general sense, it means we don't know what is going to happen.  Here are several specific meanings of the term.  We will begin by defining "systematic" and "specific" risk. 1.  "Systematic" risk is risk we cannot avoid if we seek returns higher than the interest rates from a money … [Read More...]

Strictly International: What Is The Delta Factor Projecting?

Several weeks passed since I last updated the "Delta Factor" projections for international ETFs.  In addition to the usual Delta Factor projections, I also ran an optimization of these ETFs to see where the QPP indicates best buys.  First, the Delta Factor projections. … [Read More...]