100 Level

To Use or Not Use Short or Contra ETFs

ITA Wealth Management readers know that the ultra-short ETF, SDS, is held in several portfolios. That position may need more thought based on information from a recent article in the AAII Journal. SDS is an ultra-short or contra ETF. What that means is the SDS is designed to move in the opposite direction as the S&P 500. In fact, it is to move twice as fast in the opposite direction as the … [Read More...]

Rule #3 of Investing

Develop a family financial plan once a saving plan is in effect and sufficient dollars are available to be invested. A financial plan will include adequate cash reserves for that rainy day that is likely to occur. Also, make sure you have proper insurance, particularly health insurance. Once the basics are in place one can concentrate on developing a portfolio plan. Although not all that well … [Read More...]

300 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...]

Asset Allocation: A Look Back

Mosaic Portfolio Lookback - 10/1/2007 Asset allocation is at the core of our portfolio plans.  In the following screen shot, Platinum members see a generic portfolio that is Mosaic in nature.  By Mosaic I mean the portfolio contains both ETFs and individual stocks.  While this is not an ideal portfolio, it illustrates the points I am making over the next several blogs entries. The … [Read More...]

200 Level

Portfolio Performance Data: 23 September 2011

After this week, ITA Wealth Management readers will certainly be aware of the high Retirement Ratio (RR) standard.  Only one portfolio, the Einstein, managed to turn in a positive RR value.  Let's face it, it was a very poor week for both domestic and world markets.  IRR percentage points were shed by every portfolio.  The good news is that most of the portfolios gained on … [Read More...]

Asset Allocation for Small Global Portfolios

If your portfolio is small and yet you want global diversification, this portfolio is one to consider.  This six asset class portfolio is built around asset allocation guidelines laid out by David Swensen in his book, "Unconventional Success."  Thirty percent of the portfolio is allocated to U.S. Treasury Bonds (TLT) and TIPs (TIP).  Domestic REITs are covered with the VNQ … [Read More...]

400 Level

“Delta Factor” – What is it and is it useful?

Context is essential when developing an argument, and that is what this post on the "Delta Factor" is designed to do.  Rather than use ETFs in the "Delta Factor" argument, I selected 20 well-known stocks so I could dip back to the late 1900s for data.  Many ETFs we use did not exist in the late 1900s and early 2000s and most that did lack the necessary historical data … [Read More...]

Madison Portfolio Update: ITA Risk Reduction Model

This weekend was examination time for the Madison Portfolio, one of the ITA Risk Reduction model candidates.  Below is the Dashboard from the TLT Spreadsheet as of the market close on 2/17/2012. … [Read More...]