100 Level

Dividend ETFs & Commodities

We are always on the lookout for ways to diversify a portfolio.  Platinum readers see this in our QPP analysis efforts.  Here are a few references of ways to diversify using dividend oriented ETFs and commodities.  Let's begin with dividend references.  One place to go for yield is to search out bonds.  I use a number of bond ETFs in different portfolios depending on … [Read More...]

Keeping Portfolios Simple

Three Sample Portfolios Complicated portfolios discourage investors and that is why I am attempting to simplify the portfolios tracked here at ITA Wealth Management.  There are many examples of possible portfolios in the literature, particularly in books by Faber-Richardson, Swensen, and Bernstein.  Let's start with one of the simple portfolios laid out by David Swensen. While Swensen does not … [Read More...]

300 Level

Launching a New Portfolio and Initializing ITA Index

Platinum readers know about the funding of the new ITA-RR portfolio. Since tomorrow is the last business day of the month (December) I will take a careful look at the price points for VTI, IWN, VEU, VWO, VNQ, RWX, and IGE and compare them with their respective 195-Day EMAs.  If nothing were to change tomorrow, on January 3, 2012, I will take out a full position in VTI, IWN, and VNQ.  … [Read More...]

Kepler Portfolio Update: 15 December 2011

The Kepler Portfolio is a broadly diversified array of ETFs that encompass global markets.  We do not hold any international bonds and there are no plans to expand into that asset class for this portfolio.  Below is the Dashboard, the familiar worksheet extracted from the TLH Spreadsheet.  The international REITs asset class is empty as I sold all shares to take a tax loss for the … [Read More...]

200 Level

Bright Light To Shine On Fees Charged Against Retirement Plans

The first phase (annual expenses) of revealing the fees accessed against 401(k) retirement plans will go into effect by the end of this month.  If you think the financial community is not clipping a significant percentage off your potential earnings, think again.  According to an AARP study released last year, 71% of retirement plan participants think they pay no fees to participate in a … [Read More...]

Running Out of Money In Retirement

A few months ago I posted a blog entry about the probability of running out of money in retirement. What I did not do in that entry was run a stress test on a portfolio to examine what might happen should a retired investor experience another three standard deviation dip as we came through in 2008 and early 2009.  Later today I plan to take either the Schrodinger or Curie Portfolios as the … [Read More...]

400 Level

ITA Risk Reduction Followers

Early this morning I ran through the primary ETFs used to populate most portfolios and only commodities and gold are in the doghouse.  That is, DBC and GTU are currently priced below their 195-Day Exponential Moving average.  To see what this looks like, here is the link for DBC, our primary commodity holding. Portfolios managed using the ITARR model are out of gold and commodities.  I may hold … [Read More...]

Positioning the Maxwell, Euclid, and Madison

In preparation to launch the ITA Risk Reduction model for the Maxwell, Euclid, Madison, and possibly one or two more portfolios, the basic asset allocation is laid out below.  SDS is shown only as a possibility in unusual circumstances.  The percentages as shown apply only when the ETF price lies above its 195-Day Exponential Moving Average (EMA).  Such is not the case right now as … [Read More...]