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...]

Portfolio Performance and Benchmarks

A few days ago there was a brief discussion concerning portfolio performance as it related to the ITA portfolios.  The question raised was, why are so many ITA portfolios lagging the VTSMX index fund?  The fundamental answer is that the VTSMX is not an appropriate benchmark unless the portfolio is only made up of U.S. stocks.  Note that VTSMX is comprised of stocks in the U.S. Equity market where … [Read More...]

300 Level

Twelve ETF Portfolio: Moving From HYG to LQD

Here is the link to a basic 12-ETF portfolio.  In addition to examining the ETFs that make up the portfolio, take time to look at the Correlation Matrix. Over time I plan to sell some shares in HYG and move those funds over to LQD.  View this comparison link to see why I might be inclined to make the change.  If looking for income, HYG does have a higher yield than LQD.   … [Read More...]

Asset Allocation Changes In The Madison Portfolio

With a number of asset classes below target, since dollars are on the sideline in cash, now is the time to rework the Strategic Asset Allocation plan of the Madison Portfolio.  The following Dashboard is a move to emulate the "Swensen Six" portfolio without adding individual stocks. … [Read More...]

200 Level

Disadvantages of Passive (Index) Investing: Are There Any?

The arguments in favor of passive investing are far too compelling to completely ignore.  If there are any disadvantages, what are they? 1.  At one time the availability of passive or index funds were limited, particularly in certain asset classes.  Availability of index funds is no longer a problem as ITA readers know.  We can find an index ETF to fill every asset … [Read More...]

Launching That $100,000 Portfolio

What does a $100,000 portfolio look like or how might one go about building a portfolio with this amount of money?  Before launching into the investment particulars, be sure to lay out a portfolio plan.  Think through what risks makes sense for your situation.  Will you be populating the portfolio using individual stocks or will you be using non-managed index funds or index … [Read More...]

400 Level

Current Condition of ITA Risk Reduction Model

Platinum members who implemented the ITA Risk Reduction model must be smiling.  Of the "Big Seven" ETFs used in this model, only VNQ is currently holding firm above its 195-Day Exponential Moving Average (EMA).  VTI, IWN, VEU, VWO, IGE, and RWX are all priced below there respective 195-Day EMAs.  ITARR users need to remember we are in the "neglect phase" of this … [Read More...]

Bullish Percent Indicators: 19 July 2013

What information can we glean from the Bullish Percent Indicators (BPI) this week?  Pay attention to our primary index, the NYSE.    When we examine the performance of individual sector ETFs with respect to the broad market (VTI) not many are outperforming the broad U.S. Equities ETF. BPI of Indexes:  Our primary BPI index, the NYSE, actually increased in the number of stocks showing a bullish … [Read More...]