100 Level

Lost My Spouse – Part 1

Hundreds of thousands of husbands, wives, and partners lose their spouse each year. Statistically, women are the ones left with the job of picking up the financial pieces, and with the generation now dying it has been the man who managed the finances.  Those roles are changing.  However, if the individual still living did not pay attention to the family finances, how are they going to … [Read More...]

Sample Stock Oriented Portfolio: A QPP Analysis

The following portfolio was submitted by a Platinum member for analysis.  The first look is a Quantext Portfolio Planner (QPP) analysis of the holdings.  This is not the exact portfolio as I use IEF as a cash equivalent.  The portfolio actually holds a number of annuities so the yield is likely higher than the 2.64% shown in this analysis. QPP Analysis of Sample Portfolio:  MPC does not have a … [Read More...]

300 Level

Sample Portfolio Analysis

An ITA reader sent in the following portfolio for analysis.  Two funds, VXUS and VNQI, had short histories so the analysis is limited to 25 months of data.  Below is the QPP analysis and the correlation matrix for this group of holdings.  The S&P 500 is assumed to return 7.0% over the next six to twelve months. QPP Analysis:  Anytime a portfolio is projected to return approximately 100 … [Read More...]

Retirement Payout Spreadsheet

A few days ago I mentioned the possibility of a retirement payout spreadsheet coming to ITA.  The spreadsheet is now available and the link, provided below, is available to Platinum members.  The spreadsheet is authored by a friend and I customized it for individual investors.  The concept behind this spreadsheet is to see the change in the payout if one lowers it by some … [Read More...]

200 Level

Rule #8: Should I Invest In a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA?

Which type of IRA account should one use for a personal retirement account?  Is it best to use the Roth IRA or traditional IRA.  With the Roth IRA, one pays the taxes before investing and the money is available tax free in retirement.  With the traditional IRA, one deducts taxes going in and pays taxes when the money is withdrawn.  You may find this surprising, but it makes no difference which you … [Read More...]

Playing Defense With The “Holy Grail” Portfolio

While there is no such thing as a "Holy Grail" portfolio, humor me for a few minutes and think of this simple seven ETF portfolio as a sound basic portfolio. The purpose of this post is to test how one might play portfolio defense and when is such a move necessary.  First, we take a look at the current QPP analysis for this seven ETF portfolio. Platinum membership is available for … [Read More...]

400 Level

Best Buy Asset Classes

Which asset classes provide the best probabilities for growth over the next six to twelve months.  One of two ways to answer this question is to examine the "Delta Factor" for the "Big Six" U.S. Equity asset classes plus domestic REITs, international REITs, developed international markets, emerging markets, and commodities.  Bonds do not inter into this analysis. In … [Read More...]

ETFs As Market Predictors

While our focus is on the long-term rather than market timing, it still makes sense to pay attention to market action.  This article is one I thought readers would find interesting.  In addition to following RSP and IYT, I recommend Platinum members also track VTI, Vanguard's total U.S. equities market and VT, Vanguard's Total World equities market. … [Read More...]