100 Level

Setting Buy Limit Order

Within a TDAmeritrade account, how does one set a limit order to buy shares of an ETF?  The following video clip explains the process.  It is quite easy.  Just log on to your account and walk through the following steps.  As mentioned in the video/audio clip, I rarely set orders of any type outside NYSE business hours as the bid-ask spread all too frequently expands in after … [Read More...]

Portfolio Construction: Asset Allocation Percentages Are Vital To Success

 Photograph: Fisherman in Greek Islands   This Blog is dedicated to helping the beginning investor build and monitor a portfolio.  Here are a few of the basic guidelines. Skew the portfolio toward small-cap ETFs and play down large-cap ETFs.  Evidence for this shows up in the Portfolio Performance data tables. Emphasize value over growth as value outperforms growth … [Read More...]

300 Level

Eight Asset Porfolio

Photograph: When I first walked Devastation Trail in late 1961 or early 1962, there was no vegetation to be seen as it was soon after the eruption. Consider the following portfolio that holds eight assets including cash.  In this analysis, I am using the 20-year treasury ETF, TLT, to represent cash, a substitution that gives the portfolio a slight boost over current money market rates.  … [Read More...]

Newton Portfolio Update: 13 September 2012

Slowly, the Newton Portfolio asset classes are coming into balance.  The major move now required is to lower the holdings in bond and treasury ETFs and reallocate that cash into the few asset classes that are still under target. … [Read More...]

200 Level

Asset Allocation for Small Global Portfolios

If your portfolio is small and yet you want global diversification, this portfolio is one to consider.  This six asset class portfolio is built around asset allocation guidelines laid out by David Swensen in his book, "Unconventional Success."  Thirty percent of the portfolio is allocated to U.S. Treasury Bonds (TLT) and TIPs (TIP).  Domestic REITs are covered with the VNQ … [Read More...]

Portfolio Performance: 18 January 2013

One month passed since I last posted the portfolio performance data table.  While every portfolio increased in value over the last month, in many cases the benchmarks increased at a faster rate than the portfolios IRR values.  When comparing performance with the ITA Index, the Curie, Newton, Kepler, and Kenilworth gained ground on the customized benchmark.  Maintaining the same difference were the … [Read More...]

400 Level

Gauss Portfolio Launched

The ITA-RR Portfolio, renamed Gauss, is up and running.  Platinum members have access to the Dashboard worksheet below. … [Read More...]

Sharpe Ratio: Why I prefer the Sortino and Retirement Ratios

The Sharpe Ratio is a measure of return-risk for a portfolio or individual investment.  Like many concepts that lend themselves to mathematics, it is easier to understand what the Sharpe Ratio means if written in the form of an equation. S = (R - T)/Sigma     (My editor does not have the correct symbol for Sigma.) Developed by Stanford Professor, William F. Sharpe, … [Read More...]