100 Level

Pillars of Investing: William Bernstein Advice

  Photograph: The original Fitzcarraldo boat. William Bernstein's outstanding investment book, "The Four Pillars of Investing" defines four pillars of investing and these broad areas include the following. 1.  The Theory of Investing. 2.  The History of Investing. 3.  The Psychology of Investing. 4.  The Business of Investing. If I were asked to … [Read More...]

The Search For The Perfect Portfolio

Yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time trying to come up with a portfolio where the projected return exceeds 8% when assuming the S&P 500 would grow at 7% per year.  Additional goals were to bring the projected risk to something under 13% and reach the 40% level for Diversification Metric.  Below is the screen shot for one of my efforts. Platinum membership available for … [Read More...]

300 Level

Portfolio Performance and Benchmarks

A few days ago there was a brief discussion concerning portfolio performance as it related to the ITA portfolios.  The question raised was, why are so many ITA portfolios lagging the VTSMX index fund?  The fundamental answer is that the VTSMX is not an appropriate benchmark unless the portfolio is only made up of U.S. stocks.  Note that VTSMX is comprised of stocks in the U.S. Equity market where … [Read More...]

“Creme List” for 28 January 2011

We have a new leader to the "Creme List" this week and one stock is attractively, something that has not happened for weeks.  No companies were added or deleted from the list.  Examine the list below and keep in mind that this is a list of interesting companies.  No buy or sell recommendations come with this list of stocks.   … [Read More...]

200 Level

Portfolio Performance: 15 July 2011

Photograph: Mercedes All portfolios tracked using the TLH Spreadsheet lost ground this week.  Those are the absolute results.  On a relative basis, the vast majority gained ground on either or both the ITA Index and VTSMX benchmarks.  Most portfolios also picked up strength with both the Sortino and Retirement ratios.  Inflation dipped 0.01%, a modest positive signal. Asset … [Read More...]

Sample Portfolio For Thirty (30) Year Old Investor

The following portfolio was passed on to me by a Platinum member as an example of a Strategic Asset Allocation plan for a thirty year-old investor.  Nine ETFs are used in this portfolio and many of the investment securities are familiar to ITA readers.  In fact, all nine Exchange Traded Funds can be found in one or more portfolios with exception of RWO.  RWO is a global real estate … [Read More...]

400 Level

Risk Avoidance the Mebane T. Faber Way

Managing risk is a significant component of portfolio management.  We monitor risk through the Sortino and Retirement Ratios within the TLH spreadsheet, but we do not use the TLH as a technical analysis tool.  It is not designed to perform those functions.  This morning I pulled Matt Willson's article off Seeking Alpha.  Within the article is a reference to Mebane T. … [Read More...]

QPP Projections for “Swensen Six” On March 15 of 2009

What was the Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP) software projecting for the "Swensen Six" Portfolio back on March 15th of 2009?  I use the Swensen as an example portfolio since it is simple and it includes most of the basic asset classes we use with ITA portfolios.  In addition, March 15th was about the market bottom, so it is of interest to see what the projections were when we were all biting our … [Read More...]