100 Level

Portfolio Construction: The Most Important Decisions

William J. Bernstein, in his most recent book, “The Investor’s Manifesto” writes, “Before diving into the most important issue faced by any investor–the asset allocation decision–you will need to understand four things: save as much as you can, make sure you have enough liquid taxable assets for emergencies, diversify widely, and do so with passive or index … [Read More...]

Active Managers: How Well Do They Do?

For a little excitement I Googled the phrase, "Active Managers Outperform the Market." Here are a few of the top sites I uncovered with this search. 1. Active Managers' Market-Beatings Claims Debunked. Give the irritating ad time to clear. 2) Active Managers Didn't Outperform in This Bear Market. 3) Active Managers Take a Beating in 2010. 4) Can Active Investment Managers … [Read More...]

300 Level

ITARR Working As Planned

When the ITA Risk Reduction model was instituted several months ago, the logic behind the plan was to take a few portfolios that were lagging their benchmarks and see if there was a way to turn that situation around.  So long as the market was moving up and the prices of the various ETFs never dipped below their 195-Day EMAs, I did not expect to see much change in the Internal Rate of Return … [Read More...]

Weighted Ranking SS Update

If your portfolio is approximately $100,000, the following percentages and shares are laid out for investors going into this coming week.  We first start with the most recent rankings data to start the week.  This information applies to all Platinum members regardless the size of your portfolio. ETF Rankings:  The following ranking is current as of 9/27/2013.  Note the change in the starting … [Read More...]

200 Level

Rethinking Asset Allocation

Keeping David Swensen's Strategic Asset Allocation model in mind, it is possible to use all seventeen asset classes available in the TLH Spreadsheet to fulfill his recommendations.  Platinum members will see how this is accomplished when the Gauss Portfolio is reviewed tomorrow.  Instead of using six ETFs as I showed in an earlier post, we will use many more, but still stick with … [Read More...]

Preparting for Retirement: A Financial Problem Demanding a Solution

Preparing for the financial aspects of retirement is reaching a crisis level in the United States - if articles and government statistics are close to truthful.  Here are a few sobering links to information about this growing problem. The End of the American Dream Americans Not Ready for Retirement Retirement ready--or not? It is difficult to advise someone to save if they … [Read More...]

400 Level

ITARR Style Portfolios: What Next?

Now that we are near the end of the month, what are the plans for the Maxwell, Euclid, and Madison portfolios?  A price check this morning show all seven basic ETFs are well under their 195-Day EMAs.  Should this continue until November 30th, and I expect that to be the case, we will not make any changes in these three portfolios even though we do hold partial positions in VTI, IWN, IGE, … [Read More...]

Optimizing QPP Analysis Asset Allocation Models

Some years ago I tested a Mean-Variance Optimization (MVO) software program that was designed for William Bernstein.  Manual data entry and knowing if it was accurate proved to be a problem.  Much to my surprise, I recently received an e-mail from the developers of Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP), pointing me to an article that an Excel™ guru developed an optimization spreadsheet that links to … [Read More...]