100 Level

Easy Portfolio: Starting From Scratch

If you have nothing, how do you begin saving for a retirement portfolio. 1. Pull the change out of your pocket every evening and stick it in a jar. 2. Carry your lunch to work and save the difference. 3. Use the library instead of purchasing books. 4. Drink tap water instead of bottled water. 5. Stop smoking as you are burning up your retirement. … [Read More...]

Ten Biggest Investor Mistakes – # 7

  ITA Wealth Management Mistake #7:  Lack of Portfolio Plan   Do you have a portfolio plan and is it written down?  If you can lay your hands on a plan, you are a rare investor.  What is involved in specifying a Strategic Asset Allocation plan? … [Read More...]

300 Level

Maintain Control of Portfolio

It is so easy to add bits and pieces to a portfolio to where it is out of control.  Several of the portfolios I track are in or getting close to this condition.  What happens is that an investor picks up information on a stock or ETF that appears too good to be true and that investment is added to the portfolio.  Sometimes the addition is in such a small percentage that it will … [Read More...]

Portfolio Construction: The Important Decisions

William J. Bernstein, in his most recent book, “The Investor’s Manifesto” writes, “Before diving into the most important issue faced by any investor–the asset allocation decision–you will need to understand four things: save as much as you can, make sure you have enough liquid taxable assets for emergencies, diversify widely, and do so with passive or index … [Read More...]

200 Level

Retirement Planning: A Conservative Approach

When planning for retirement, I always prepare with a conservative outlook in mind.  Even so, one will likely experience surprises, some positive and some negative.  The following portfolio is laid out with a 45 year-old in mind.  The investment vehicles are definitely tilted toward a dividend approach as I think that is where most of the portfolio return will come from over the … [Read More...]

Sample Retirement Portfolio

The following portfolio is one suggested by a Platinum member.  The first screenshot shows the original asset allocation.  For reference, the assumed growth for the S&P 500 is 7% annually.  Should I ever forget to include this assumption, readers can check by looking at the bottom right section (gray background) to see the projected return and projected standard deviation.  The time frame is … [Read More...]

400 Level

Portfolio Preparation for Euclid and Maxwell Portfolios

In preparation to activate the return-uncertainty plan for the two under performing portfolios, I set up several sell moves for each portfolio.  The first thing I did was to place trailing stop loss orders for each ETF now in the portfolio, but not part of the future plan.  Shares of VOE, VBR, VOT, VO, VTV, and VSS will be sold when the strike price is hit for each ETF. … [Read More...]

The Delta Factor and International Markets

Recently I was looking at Price-195-Day EMA graphs for a number of international countries and I came upon one for Italy, a country in distress.  While I normally view this graph over a one-year period to gain additional clarity, I changed the scale to three years as that is the time frame I used for the QPP and Delta Factor analysis.  I noticed that EWI hit a peak around May of 2012.  As a … [Read More...]