100 Level

What The Experts Say About Index Investing

Photograph:  Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Research Center - New Mexico   Perusing the Bogleheads web site, I found this long list of quotes from well known investment writers and managers.  Here is what they have to say about index investing.  These bits of wisdom further explain why I favor tilting investments toward non-managed index vehicles.  Further, I favor ETFs for … [Read More...]

VWO And The ITA Risk Reduction Model

During this most recent market dip, if one asset class needed protection, it was emerging markets.  Just how did our Tactical Asset Allocation (TAA) or risk reduction model work with the VWO ETF.  Here is the current price and 195-Day EMA graph for emerging markets (VWO).  This morning the 195-Day EMA is $40.80. Since I rotate my review of different portfolios, the selling points … [Read More...]

300 Level

Benchmarking The Portfolio

Establishing an appropriate benchmark for a portfolio is essential if one is serious about investing.  Avoiding portfolio benchmarking is an act of self-deception, but all too common with the average investor.  Exactly what is the purpose of a benchmark and what are the requirements for a fair and reasonable benchmark.  Here is one definition of benchmarking. In the investing … [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...]

200 Level

Portfolio Performance: 22 January 2011

  While is was not a great week for portfolio returns, most of the updated portfolios showed gains in both the Sortino and Retirement Ratios.  Of the seven portfolios available to Platinum readers, five have positive SR and RR values, not a trivial accomplishment.  The Kenilworth is a very young portfolio so a few dollars difference away from the benchmark causes major swings in … [Read More...]

How Important Is Asset Allocation?

My favorite investment writer is William J. Bernstein, author of several investment books and the editor of the Efficient Frontier.  This morning I was scanning the data files of ITA Wealth Management and found where one reader clicked on one of the older articles from Bernstein's Efficient Frontier. [Be sure to read the section, 'Let George Do It.']  I myself have written about the Brinson et. … [Read More...]

400 Level

Working With The Basic Portfolio

Eventually I plan to move more of the ITA portfolios toward the following 20 ETFs.  In some portfolios I need to broaden the diversification and in others I need to reduce the number of securities in an effort to simplify.  Reducing cost is another motivation as all but two of the following ETFs can be purchased free if one is a TD Ameritrade client.  The two exceptions are GTU and VHT.  In this … [Read More...]

Bullish Percent Indicators Are Not Calling For a Panic

Regardless of the "fiscal cliff" problems, the Bullish Percent Indicators for both the broad indexes and individual sectors are not showing any signs of a panic or sell-off.  There are even pockets of strength as Platinum members will see in the following slides. The following material is not available for publication elsewhere on the Internet. … [Read More...]