100 Level

Investing Review: Examining the Basic Principles

From time to time it is useful to go back to the basics and make sure we have an investment plan that makes sense and has a high probability of adding value, or as we like to say, adds alpha to the portfolio.  In one of his later posts, "HedgeHunter" recommends laying out an investment plan.  Here are a few basics. Follow The Golden Rule of Investing by living below your means and save as much … [Read More...]

Customized Benchmark: What Is Required To Calculate The ITA Index?

Long-time readers know the importance of benchmarking a portfolio, but some investors may not know what is required to calculate the ITA Index.  Understanding how to use the TLH Spreadsheet is at the core of calculating the ITA Index.  Assume you are constructing a portfolio using sixteen different classes.  Here is a list similar to what I use in nearly every portfolio.  I've included the … [Read More...]

300 Level

Dividend Aristocrat Stocks – 8 July 2011

Below is the screen I use to create a list of "Dividend Aristocrat" stocks using data as of July 8, 2011. … [Read More...]

QPP Analysis of ITA Risk Reduction Portfolio

Prices for all seven equity ETFs used in the ITARR model portfolio are not above their respective 195-Day Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs).  Nevertheless, it is useful to see what a Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP) analysis looks like if this were the case.  In the first analysis, I use a projected return of 5.3%, which is in line with one of my recent blogs.  Then I show readers … [Read More...]

200 Level

Retirement Rule #6: Develop Your Own Strategic Asset Allocation Plan

Continuing the theme of retirement planning, at some point one needs to develop an asset allocation plan.  If you neglect this suggestion, you have already made a decision.  To make no decision is to make a decision.  One may as well set up a plan with some logic and reasoning behind the process.  To develop a SAA plan, one needs to understand the options available or Rule #5. There are a … [Read More...]

Asset Allocation: Breaking It Down

Launching a new portfolio requires a portfolio policy or an asset allocation plan.  There is a significant body of research on the importance of this decision.  However, some of the latest research by Ibbotson and Associates show this decision to be less important than it was thought to be twenty years ago.  Here are some of the steps I go through in thinking through what it means … [Read More...]

400 Level

Watching Prices and 195-Day EMAs

I've been tracking or at least observing the prices of the eight critical ETFs and their respective 195-Day Exponential Moving Averages (EMAs) and was relieved to see the upticks today. The Madison is up for review this weekend and based on the closing numbers, I can place this portfolio on automatic pilot for another month.  That leaves the Gauss to be evaluated at the end of the … [Read More...]

Improving On The Simple Nine Global ETF Portfolio

While there are advantages to keeping a portfolio simple, there are also disadvantages.  For example, one will miss opportunities by not including asset classes that have been shown by Fama and French to add value to the portfolio.  Namely, value asset classes such as small-cap value (VBR).  We don't want to eliminate asset classes just to keep the portfolio simple.  The Ranking data table shows a … [Read More...]