100 Level

Portfolio From Hell

Perhaps the title is too strong, but why would any advisor or organization recommend the following array of expensive ETFs in the following configuration.  It is not unusual for me to run an analysis on a portfolio I find on the Internet.  In the analysis process, I hope to learn about a low correlated ETF or a combination of assets that show a high projected Return/Uncertainty.  … [Read More...]

“The Power of Passive Investing”

"The Power of Passive Investing" is the title of Richard A. Ferri's latest book. My copy arrived yesterday and I will be writing and amplifying on certain topics over the next few weeks and likely into the new year. It is a book filled with excellent ideas. A principle thrust of the book is one of pitting passive investing up against active investing or active portfolio management. … [Read More...]

300 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...]

Preparation for Einstein Portfolio Review

Next week the Einstein is up for review and here is the pre-update picture for this portfolio.  We first start with the Efficient Frontier graph, them move on the the Rankings table, and finally the Buy-Hold-Sell recommendations. This information is not available for publication elsewhere on the Internet. … [Read More...]

200 Level

Retirement Rule #4: Maximize Contributions to Employer Retirement Savings Plan

If you are fortunate and work for an employer who has any sort of matching savings plan, by all means take advantage of this offer and maximize your contribution.  To do otherwise is to leave good money on the table.  For example, assume your employer will match dollar for dollar any contribution you make to a saving plan up to 4% of your salary.  Further, assume you are earning $40,000 per year.  … [Read More...]

Optimizing the “Swensen Six” Portfolio

To answer the question of how much the "Swensen Six" portfolio changes when placed under the optimization microscope, here is the following analysis.  The percentage changes from asset class to asset class are not as different as one might expect. This material is not available for publication elsewhere on the Internet. … [Read More...]

400 Level

ETF Analysis Using Technical Indicators

The following ETF evaluator is a relative new development so be wary of the results until more data is available.  It is important to note that not every ETF in the following table was updated.  Only VWO, RWX, VFH, IDV, and EPP are current.  As you look at the far right-hand column, you will see that no ETF is considered a buy under the current conditions. The best prospects at … [Read More...]

Using Treasuries to Reduce Risk

Compare the following portfolio (QPP analysis) with the risk reducing portfolio I suggested last week.  In the following portfolio, I stripped percentages off several equity and REIT ETFs and allocated those assets to a combination of TIP and TLT.  While the projected return is reduced, the projected standard deviation comes down at a faster rate giving one a higher Return/Uncertainty … [Read More...]