100 Level

Lost My Spouse – Part 1

Hundreds of thousands of husbands, wives, and partners lose their spouse each year. Statistically, women are the ones left with the job of picking up the financial pieces, and with the generation now dying it has been the man who managed the finances.  Those roles are changing.  However, if the individual still living did not pay attention to the family finances, how are they going to … [Read More...]

Stock Market Myths

Brett Arends writes an interesting article, "Ten Stock-Market Myths That Just Won't Die" for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network.  While I agree with nearly all of his ten points, there are a few that need further clarification.  Point #8 focuses on diversification using mutual funds.  I agree with that part of the point, but not the section quoted … [Read More...]

300 Level

Updating the Curie Portfolio: 5 October 2011

Below is the standard review for the Curie Portfolio.  Yesterday, all remaining shares of the ultra-short ETF, SDS, were sold out of the Curie.  The two SDS sales gave us a 7.8% Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for this particular ETF. adding value to the portfolio.  For a long time it looked like a loss would result from holding SDS, but the recent major market decline finally brought … [Read More...]

“Ten” Ivy ETF Portfolio

Ivy 10 Portfolio As you read through this 10-ETF portfolio, you may want to toggle back and forth between the latest analysis and this analysis I finished approximately four and one-half months ago. When I last analyzed the Ivy 10, little was gained by moving from five to ten ETFs. That is still the case.  In the 10-ETF portfolio, there are not ten different asset classes.  In my … [Read More...]

200 Level

Portfolio Performance: 6 April 2012

It has been several weeks since I last published a Portfolio Performance data table as I was away on a family emergency.  The following table contains current data as all the dividends for the first quarter are included in these results.  There was consistency up and down the portfolio columns.  In general, since the last post both the portfolios and the VTSMX benchmark lost a … [Read More...]

Portfolio Performance: 21 January 2012

This was a good week for most of the portfolios.  Not only did we see absolute gains, but relative improvement as well.  The majority of the portfolios gained a little ground on either the ITA Index, the VTSMX benchmark, or one of the three uncertainty measurements. The exaggerated figures related to Gauss are to be expected as this is a young portfolio.  Annualized calculations … [Read More...]

400 Level

Harry Markowitz

  Modern Portfolio Theory This morning I came across an interesting article on Harry Markowitz, the father of Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT).  Early in "The Big Bang" article are the fundamental principles of MPT. Quoting from the article, here are the three basic investment techniques or ideas that come out of MPT. "Those techniques are based on three foundational … [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...]