100 Level

Year End Portfolio Hints

This year, the last business day arrives on December 31st and that gives us a chance to balance our portfolios to the nearest penny. At least TDAmeritrade clients have a high probability of receive access to their statements before the market opens the following week. Go through your portfolio Monday and see if you have any tax losses you might want to capture in 2010. If the loss is small, I … [Read More...]

Fama & French – Value Risk Factor

  Sculpture on Main Sacred Way to Ming Tombs Fama-French’s value risk factor is at the heart of their paper, The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns.  This link connects you to an abstract of their paper.  It takes someone like William Bernstein to explain the research study and its importance.  Let me quote from "The Intelligent Asset … [Read More...]

300 Level

Walking Investors Through Kepler Update

We begin the review of Kepler by examining the Dashboard.  The Dashboard is one of the critical worksheets found inside the TLH Spreadsheet, our portfolio tracking software program.  Several asset classes are out of balance and we will begin to make adjustments based on information found later in this blog post. Kepler Dashboard:  Depending of the optimization that is to follow, I expect to see … [Read More...]

Optimizing QPP Analysis Asset Allocation Models

Some years ago I tested a Mean-Variance Optimization (MVO) software program that was designed for William Bernstein.  Manual data entry and knowing if it was accurate proved to be a problem.  Much to my surprise, I recently received an e-mail from the developers of Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP), pointing me to an article that an Excel™ guru developed an optimization spreadsheet that links to … [Read More...]

200 Level

Rule #7: Don’t Dip Into Your Retirement Savings Until Necessary

Eventually you will be spending your retirement, but don't withdraw funds before retiring.  This is a mistake all too many workers make without realizing the damage it does to their retirement fund.  When corporations moved from pension plans over to 401(k) plans, they shifted the savings burden from their companies over to their workers.  According to Hedrick Smith, Who Stole the American Dream, … [Read More...]

A Lesson from Gauss

Carl Gauss is considered by some as the most brilliant mathematician who ever lived.  He is sometimes called called the "Prince of Mathematicians."  I even named one of my computers after him.  One of his contributions is the Gaussian Distribution where real valued random variables tend to cluster around a single mean variable.  Does that sound like prices dancing … [Read More...]

400 Level

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...]

Seasonal Timing Strategy Update

Now that May is not far away articles and blog posts are springing up around the adage:  "Sell in May and go play" or "Sell in May and go away."  That is, play or stay out of the market until after Halloween.  I've written about this seasonal timing model myself, but is there anything to it?  After all, is the market not efficient?  If you Google Seasonal Timing Strategy a long list of articles … [Read More...]