100 Level

Disadvantages of Passive (Index) Investing: Are There Any?

The arguments in favor of passive investing are far too compelling to completely ignore.  If there are any disadvantages, what are they? 1.  At one time the availability of passive or index funds were limited, particularly in certain asset classes.  Availability of index funds is no longer a problem as ITA readers know.  We can find an index ETF to fill every asset … [Read More...]

Balanced Portfolio: Number 3

Portfolio number 3 in this series is what I call a Balanced Portfolio.  Bonds are lowered to 40% of the portfolio so this is still quite a conservative mix of assets.  This portfolio comes close to fitting the 60/40 equity to bond ratio, sort of a standard when it comes to building a middle of the road portfolio.  Note the changes that are taking place in the five key metrics.  … [Read More...]

300 Level

A Very Basic Three ETF Portfolios

In response to the keep it simple blog post, here is a three ETF portfolio analysis.  The 30% allocation to bonds (BND) pulls down the projected return to 6.2%.  Allocating that percentage to bonds also holds down the projected volatility to 12.8%.  Note that this simple portfolio outperformed the S&P 500 over the past five years, and did it with a lower standard deviation. With only three … [Read More...]

Portfolio Performance: 9 September 2011

The first full week in September was a mixed bag.  For starters, the market was down when measured by the VTSMX.  Several portfolios gained ground with respect to the ITA Index, our customized benchmark.  A few portfolio picked up fractions of a percentage point on the VTSMX.  A few also showed stronger Sortino ratios while others declined in value. Below is the performance … [Read More...]

200 Level

Stress Testing the Kepler Portfolio

Next week the Kepler Portfolio is up for review.  In advance of that update I am running what I call a "stress test" assuming this to be your retirement portfolio.  Given a set of assumptions laid out in the first slide, would this portfolio last through retirement? Here we have a 40 year-old who plans to retire in 2040 at age 68.  Having already saved $200,000 and planning to put away another … [Read More...]

Portfolio Stress Test: Part I

Stress Testing the Curie Portfolio Investors experienced a traumatic year in 2008 and it will likely happen again.  Are you prepared to deal with the risk? In the next two blog entries I will walk readers through a portfolio stress test using the Curie Portfolio.  To work through this analysis, I will use the Monte Carlo software, Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP).  Most of you are … [Read More...]

400 Level

Return and Risk Relationship

What is the relationship between return of a portfolio and the associated risk involved? Quoting from an “Active vs. Passive” paper I found in my files. “High potential returns always involve high potential risks. There are no low-risk/high-return investments. Investment risk comes in many forms but, to most investors, risk means the potential for losing investment capital and … [Read More...]

Ranking Vanguard’s Sector ETFs

One of the portfolios up for review this week is the Gauss.  In preparation for that update I'm looking for ways to improve the performance of this portfolio as it still lags the VTSMX benchmark.  I thought I would rank the Vanguard sector ETFs (minus VNQ) to see if there are any potential "momentum" ETFs among this group.  Below is the latest ranking. Sector Rankings:  The financial (VFH) ETF … [Read More...]