100 Level

Investing: What Should I Do?

"Pay no attention to the advisors. The Markowitz-Sharpe theory says what to do." So writes Michael Edesess in his book, "The Big Investment Lie: What Your Investment Advisor Doesn't Want You to Know." Just what does the Markowitz-Sharpe theory tell investors to do. 1. Develop a plan for the portfolio. Determine the percentage between equities (index stock funds), … [Read More...]

Investing Road Map

Searching for useful investing information is an ongoing task and yesterday I found something of use for every reader of ITA Wealth Management. Paul King has written a 50-page online investment book that is available to download if you will go to the right-hand edge of this page and look for Interesting Sites. Seek out the Investing Road Map link to download the PDF file. You will need to know … [Read More...]

300 Level

Asset Allocation: A Look Back

Mosaic Portfolio Lookback - 10/1/2007 Asset allocation is at the core of our portfolio plans.  In the following screen shot, Platinum members see a generic portfolio that is Mosaic in nature.  By Mosaic I mean the portfolio contains both ETFs and individual stocks.  While this is not an ideal portfolio, it illustrates the points I am making over the next several blogs entries. The … [Read More...]

Dividend Aristocrat Stocks

In contradiction to the many recent posts on the benefits of index and passive investing, I go against my own advice with the publication of this list of dividend aristocrat stocks.  This list might be of interest to Mosaic Investors who wish to add a few individual stocks to the core of their index oriented portfolio. The following information is not available for publication elsewhere. … [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...]

Portfolio Performance: 16 March 2012

Results for the week of March 16th shows the continued power of the broad U.S. Equities market.  The VTSMX benchmark moves forward while broadly diversified portfolios advance, but not to the same degree.  This difference in performance was again the case for nearly every portfolio in the following data table. Should we change the diversification within the portfolios?  Not at this … [Read More...]

400 Level

Containing Portfolio Risk

It will be a close call for many asset classes held in the Madison Portfolio when it comes up for examination on Wednesday of this week.  Developed international markets (VEU) is just one example of the narrow gap between the price of the ETF and its 195-Day Exponential Moving Average (EMA).  While most of the asset classes have a cushion before a sell signal is given, several of the … [Read More...]

Risk Reduction Model Clarification

In an effort to clear up some misunderstandings surrounding the ITA Risk Reduction model, permit me to go into a few more details.  My initial move, late last year, was to examine a number of portfolios I track and select several that were lagging the VTSMX benchmark.  Initially, I was only going to apply the ITARR model to three portfolios; Maxwell, Euclid, and Madison.  While the … [Read More...]