100 Level

Asset Classes: How Many Should You Own?

With much recent attention given to answering the money managers most perplexing question, what percent of the portfolio should be invested in each asset class, the whole idea of how many asset classes to include in a portfolio has been neglected.  William Bernstein answers the question this way.  "You might as well ask the meaning of life.  About all one can say is, more than three."  The major … [Read More...]

“Who Stole the American Dream?

I mentioned that I am reading Hedrick Smith's book, Who Stole the American Dream?"  Nearly 30% into the book I came across this bit of data.  "The 401(k) track record is not good.  After twenty-five years, the typical account balance was just $17,686 on January 1, 2011, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI), which tracks 401(k) records for twenty-two million people.  The … [Read More...]

300 Level

Curie Portfolio Update: 21 December 2011

After making minor adjustments in the Strategic Asset Allocation plan, I picked up shares of VB and RWX for the Curie Portfolio.  These few shares brought Small-Cap Blend (SCB) into balance, but we are still several hundred shares below target with International REITs.  One reason for not purchasing more RWX has to do with the large price differential between the current price and the … [Read More...]

Preparing the Maxwell for TAA Action

Platinum members interested in the quantitative approach to improving returns and reducing portfolio uncertainty for the Maxwell take note.  This morning shares of VTV and VOE were sold making room for VTI, VEU, VWO, VNQ, and RWX.  Check out the asset allocation plan below for this portfolio. … [Read More...]

200 Level

Rebalancing Portfolio: Blending Dashboard and Optimizer

Now that an optimizing tool is available, how does one rebalance a portfolio by combining the output of an optimizer with the Dashboard guidelines?  The larger topic is one of asset allocation so I will start with the following Dashboard that defines an asset allocation plan. Dashboard:  Assume the following Dashboard lays out the Strategic Asset Allocation plan for a portfolio.  Only pay … [Read More...]

Retirement Portfolio: What Are The Essential Asset Classes To Include?

A request came in from an ITA reader to put together a retirement portfolio that does not need to produce income since social security and a pension will cover those needs.  In other words, what should the retirement portfolio plan look like?  The first guideline is that this portfolio not include any individual stocks as that lays on an additional level of analysis.  I suspect most investors who … [Read More...]

400 Level

Sharpe Ratio: Why I prefer the Sortino and Retirement Ratios

The Sharpe Ratio is a measure of return-risk for a portfolio or individual investment.  Like many concepts that lend themselves to mathematics, it is easier to understand what the Sharpe Ratio means if written in the form of an equation. S = (R - T)/Sigma     (My editor does not have the correct symbol for Sigma.) Developed by Stanford Professor, William F. Sharpe, … [Read More...]

Retirement Portfolio: Part Four

Part four in this series of blogs on retirement confines the portfolio to ten critical ETFs.  Before I go further, let me point out to Platinum readers that this is a new Excel™ spreadsheet that comes from Peter Hoadley of Australia.  I am new to this spreadsheet and as readers can see, I do not have the correct entries for all the "Asset Groupings." The critical ETFs are:  VTI, IWN, VEU, VWO, … [Read More...]