100 Level

Second Analysis of Actively Managed Mutual Funds Plus ETFs

The following analysis of the actively mutual funds is supplemented by a few ETFs used in nearly all the ITA Model Portfolios.  The reason for adding the ETFs is to see how the actively managed mutual funds stack up against the ETFs in the ranking worksheet.  That is the second screenshot shown below.  In this analysis we begin with the Efficient Frontier graph.  The shares in the various funds … [Read More...]

ITA Receives Special Attention

A few weeks ago, while I was relaxing in the basement, a telephone call from a well-known investment house showed up on my caller identification screen.  Assuming it was a "chum for client" call, I did not pick up.  However, my wife answered the phone and told me "ABC Investments" wanted to speak with me. I was prepared to "stiff-arm" any requests to … [Read More...]

300 Level

Revisiting the ITA Index

Long-time readers of ITA are aware of ITA Index, our customized benchmark.  Why use a benchmark such as the ITA Index?  While we watch the performance of VTSMX, an index fund that covers the entire U.S. Equities market, it is not an appropriate benchmark if one holds assets outside the U.S. Equities market.  Emerging markets is an example.  For this reason, I came up with a way to measure the … [Read More...]

ITA Index: What Is It?

Calculating the ITA Index This morning I was searching through ITA Wealth Management to find information on the customized benchmark, ITA Index, and realized how little is available for the interested investor.  Lack of information spurred me to write a bit more about it, why it is useful, and some of the potential flaws related to its accuracy. Motivation to come up with a customized … [Read More...]

200 Level

“Decade” Portfolios

Age Appropriate Portfolios Several weeks ago a reader wrote and asked me if I had "age oriented" portfolios on the blog.  While those were not the exact words, the question was designed to extract more precise portfolio direction than descriptions such as Einstein, Bohr, and Schrodinger.  Rather than build portfolios around high growth or conservative yield, I chose to go with … [Read More...]

Putting It All Together: Portfolio Construction

David Swensen writes in his "Unconventional Success" book, "Construction of a financial-asset portfolio involves full measures of science and art.  The science encompasses the application of basic investment principles to the problem of combining core asset classes in an efficient, cost-effective manner.  The art concerns the use of common-sense judgment in the challenge … [Read More...]

400 Level

Using the Ranking Spreadsheet as a Timing Tool

This Post is in response to a comment from a member concerning whether the Ranking Sheet (and Momentum Percentage) might be useful as a general market timing tool for different markets (e.g. US Equities, non US Equities). As suggested by the member, I've setup the spreadsheet with only 4 ETFs, US Equities (VTI), Developed Markets ex-US (EFA), Emerging Markets ex US (VWO) and (the inevitable) … [Read More...]

If I Were To Add One Sector…

If I were to add one sector to my portfolio, which one of the eleven Vanguard sector ETFs would I purchase right now?  Check out the "Delta" and "Delta Factor" data in the table below for the quick and easy answer. … [Read More...]