100 Level

Portfolio Performance Data Table: 30 October 2012

Since the last portfolio performance update over a month ago, every portfolio with exception of the Euclid gained ground on the VTSMX benchmark.  All portfolios except for the Euclid and the Einstein gained ground on the ITA Index, the benchmark that is customized to measure relative performance for each portfolio.  These performance gains also improved the Sortino and Retirement Ratios. In … [Read More...]

Bright Light To Shine On Fees Charged Against Retirement Plans

The first phase (annual expenses) of revealing the fees accessed against 401(k) retirement plans will go into effect by the end of this month.  If you think the financial community is not clipping a significant percentage off your potential earnings, think again.  According to an AARP study released last year, 71% of retirement plan participants think they pay no fees to participate in a … [Read More...]

300 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...]

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

Active vs. Passive Investing: Part 9

Section Nine of the Active vs. Passive article focuses on the chance argument. "Indexers dismiss individuals' long-run record of outperformance with the argument that "It doesn't count because it was only to be expected from the random variable outcomes of cumulative 50/50 yearly probabilities of beating the index (i.e. luck not talent)". The intuitive error in that logic … [Read More...]

The Power of Asset Allocation

Photograph: River activity on the Rhine River With permission from a Platinum member, here are some statistic of a portfolio launched in early January of 2002.  At the close last week, this portfolio generated an annualized return of 8.1% vs. 4.8% for the VTSMX benchmark.  That 3.3% point difference on an annualized basis resulted in a $26,573 portfolio moving up to $47,235 over the … [Read More...]

400 Level

VTI PnF Graph

If the market holds or rises from this point, VTI will not be sold out of any portfolios.  That decision is according to the ITA Risk Reduction model rules.  With this in mind, what is the Point and Figure (PnF) graph of VTI telling us?  I expect PnF graphs are new to most readers and I am no expert, as mentioned in a prior blog post.  So we will ease into this topic.  … [Read More...]

Best Buy Asset Classes

Which asset classes provide the best probabilities for growth over the next six to twelve months.  One of two ways to answer this question is to examine the "Delta Factor" for the "Big Six" U.S. Equity asset classes plus domestic REITs, international REITs, developed international markets, emerging markets, and commodities.  Bonds do not inter into this analysis. In … [Read More...]