100 Level

Is It Wise To Pay An Advisor For Access To DFA Funds?

Save the Fees Save the fees and manage your own money using low cost ETFs.  You are going to be dollars ahead and here is the evidence.  Let me describe the process I went though to come to this conclusion - and I am not finished with the analysis.  This data is not going to win me friends among DFA advisors. I logged on to one of the premier web sites on the Internet to find … [Read More...]

Retirement Ratio: Portfolio Performance and Uncertainty Measurement

What is the Retirement Ratio (RR)?  I never heard of such a ratio, at least as it is defined below.  Before going into an explanation, let me digress and address similar ratios.  Portfolio performance measurements that combine both return and risk are readily available to investors.  The Sharpe ratio is perhaps the best known "efficiency ratio" where it measures the … [Read More...]

300 Level

Are Optimizers Anything But Error Maximizers?

Mean-Variance Optimization "Mean-variance optimization presents an illusion of precision that is seductive but generally fallacious and even dangerous."  So writes Richard O. Michaud in his book, Efficient Asset Management: A Practical Guide to Stock Portfolio Optimization and Asset Allocation.  Harold R. Evensky provides this MVO warning.  "In spite of my strong defense of Markowitz's … [Read More...]

Newton Portfolio Review: September 20

Shares of ALD, LLY, ELD, VEU, and RWX were added to the Newton during the month of September.  The purchases bring some of the under target asset classes just a little closer to their target percentages.  Below is the current asset allocation plan for the Newton. … [Read More...]

200 Level

Asset Allocation: Medium-High Risk Portfolio

This is the fourth portfolio in this series of relative risk allocation plans based on the data table found in this blog entry.  Note how the projected return is rising, but so is the projected uncertainty.  Return and Risk are highly correlated.  It is difficult to find a combinations of tickers that will increase the projected return while driving down the projected standard … [Read More...]

Index Funds Advisors Asset Class Comparison: Examining The Big Return vs. Risk Picture

Index Funds Advisors Asset Class Comparison:  As promised yesterday, the third video talk from Index Funds Advisors is located at this URL.  Mark Hebner provides the large picture of the relationship between return and risk.  If you missed the first two presentations, go back to this blog entry to pick them up.  While you are on the IFA web site, I recommend each reader take … [Read More...]

400 Level

ITA Risk Reduction Update

Photograph: One of the "Painted Ladies" in Eureka, California The broad market is taking a 3.5% hit today, not a trivial move to the downside.  Those of you following the ITA Risk Reduction (ITARR) model now have the opportunity to see the benefits in action.  While we are not fully employed with this model, holding off with VEU and VWO purchases worked quite well as both ETFs … [Read More...]

One Added Wrinkle to the ITARR Model

One change I plan to make in the ITA Risk Reduction (ITARR) model is the following.  When an ETF is out of the buy zone (priced below its 195-Day EMA), instead of waiting for it to cross from below to above the 195-Day EMA, pay attention to the Relative Strength Indicator.  Take a look at the following example. … [Read More...]