100 Level

“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...]

QPP Analysis of Swensen-Faber Merged Portfolio

Merging ideas from the "Swensen Six" and "Faber Ten" portfolios has the potential to generate a wide array of asset allocation plans.  In the following example I am sticking with the general percentages allocated to the broad asset classes, as recommended by David Swensen, but you will see that I am adding asset classes as suggested in the "Faber Ten" portfolio. … [Read More...]

300 Level

ITA Experimental Portfolio

The following portfolio is in the experimental stages of investigation so approach it with caution.  I have not checked out costs and expenses for every ETF included in this QPP analysis.  The portfolio includes seven unfamiliar stocks.  I will explain where they come from and the screens used to uncover them. Platinum membership is available for $5.00 per month.  Join ITA and … [Read More...]

The Art and Science of Portfolio Construction

Basic investment principles require long-term portfolios exhibit the following characteristics. 1.  Equity orientation. Equity orientation includes high-expected return ETFs such as VTI, IWN, VTV, VOE, VOT, VBR, VBK, etc. 2.  Diversification over the entire world market. International exposure is possible through ETFs such as VEU, EFA, VWO, EPP, etc. This blog post is not … [Read More...]

200 Level

Second Retirement Rule: Know Your Requirements

While there is no question about Rule #1 of following The Golden Rule of Investing, all rules thereafter could come in any order.  The second one I've selected is to know your retirement requirements.  How much will you need monthly to live comfortably?  It is not unusual to hear a figure of 80% of your last salary.  I would set that as a minimum figure.  If your last annual salary was $70,000 per … [Read More...]

Optimized Mosaic Portfolio

While the following portfolio is not exactly one of the eleven portfolios tracked here at ITA Wealth Management, there are many similar ingredients.  To create this portfolio I selected 26 ETFs that are frequently part of at least one ITA portfolio.  Familiar ETFs such as VTI, VEU, VWO, DVY, VTV, IWN, VOE, VOT, VNQ, RWX, etc. are among the 26 ETFs.  Nine (9) bond ETFs were in the group, but most … [Read More...]

400 Level

When Was The Last Time The Bullish Percent Indicators Turned Bullish?

"Do you have enough data yet to have a sense of how far in advance or behind these changes are for market down turns or up turns. Clearly they are trailing data but maybe they can help us avoid major declines?" Bob Warasila asked the above question this morning so I went back into my Bullish Percent Indicators spreadsheet for the answer.  The last time the BPI was oversold for most of the major … [Read More...]

Post-Modern Portfolio Theory

Serious investors interested in digging deeper into the issue of portfolio risk management will find the article titled, Post-Modern Portfolio Theory of great interest. Any link is bound to produce different references over time so here is a clue to finding the article. Google the term, “Post-Modern Portfolio Theory” and then look for the PDF article by the same name. The article is … [Read More...]