Correlation measures the relationship between two assets such as stocks and bonds and has a value of +1.0 for two assets that are perfectly correlated and -1.0 for two assets that move in the opposite direction. The most common example of correlation is that the S&P 500 has a correlation of about zero to US Bonds. The balanced 60 stock and 40 bond portfolio is familiar to investors as a way of building a portfolio of these two uncorrelated assets. In this article, I search for Continue reading →
Momentum is contrasted with “Buy and Hold” to develop a Tactical Sleeve. The objective is to increase risk-adjusted returns and benefit from the evolving business cycle.
I have written articles on Mutual Fund Observer about investing according to the business cycle, fund rotation, and trend following as well as finding funds that manage risk over the complete business cycle. As an individual investor nearing retirement, I like to evaluate Continue reading →
One Stop Mutual Funds with Good Multi-Year Metrics (CTFAX, FMSDX, JABAX, PRSIX, RBBAX, TRRIX, VTINX, VWINX)
As I imagine retirement in a few years here, my personal investing goals have been to simplify. I built my Ranking System around MFO Metrics to determine the best funds for a conservative investor nearing retirement considering long-term performance, momentum, consistency, downside volatility, risk-adjusted returns, quality, and income. These funds are in line with my preference to have Continue reading →
VictoryShares Enhanced Volatility Weighted ETF (CDC), a Great Owl with an Eye on Volatility
Each month, I sift through funds in my Ranking System, as well as trending funds, using the Mutual fund Observer MultiSearch screen. I search for high risk-adjusted returns across many asset classes for diversification. In March, I discovered VictoryShares Enhanced Volatility Weighted ETFs right under my nose. In this article, I look at the difference between low volatility funds and funds with high-risk adjusted returns.
This article is divided into sections for those who wish to Continue reading →
This past week has seen some significant market turmoil as the yield on 10-year treasuries climbed quickly to 1.5% while the S&P 500 dipped 2.5% on Thursday, February 25th. I show the Moving Average Convergence Divergence indicator below. The trends are short-term bearish. In this article, I focus on funds that lost less than a half percent on Thursday and were trending up over the past several months for clues on where to invest with the possibility of inflation rising.
This article is divided into four sections for those Continue reading →
Mention of “trending funds” often invokes thoughts of investors pouring into the hottest fund and that is probably true to an extent. This article looks at stages of trends for funds. This is an evolving experiment based on data about trends, moving averages and money flows from MFO Premium. As someone nearing retirement, I own core funds that are buy and hold for extended periods. I also invest a portion to take advantage of the economic and investing environment. Investors should develop storylines of why they own funds such as low valuations, a declining dollar, inflation, and stimulus expectations, but should look for confirming trends before investing.
The first stage of trending funds is after a correction for funds that are starting to recover, which I designated as the Continue reading →
I won’t grow up,
I don’t want to wear a tie.
Or a serious expression
In the middle of July.
And if it means I must prepare
To shoulder burdens with a worried air,
I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up
Several readers have asked that I expand on a comment I made about aging a few months ago. This is a hard article for me to write because it means looking at investing from a different perspective. The typical American works 30 to 50 years before retiring and must save enough to last another 20 to 30 years, or more. This means saving diligently and investing wisely while Continue reading →
How much is “enough” to retire when there are likely to be multiple decades of low returns due to high starting valuations with low yields and dividends?
- Section 1 of this article summarizes the investment philosophies of John Bogle, Warren Buffett, Ed Easterling, Charles Ellis, Benjamin Graham, and Howard Marks.
- Section 2 looks at the benefits of combining actively and passively managed funds to reduce risk.
- Section 3 shows the impact of high valuations and inflation for over 120 years.
- Section 4 covers stock and bond performance during secular bear markets with rising inflation and interest rates.
- Section 5 looks at nearly two dozen lower risk funds for investors seeking “all-weather” funds or safer yield.
- Section 6 provides estimates of “enough” for retirement in the coming decades.
Readers can skip to Continue reading →
In this article, I look at Janus Henderson Flexible Bond (JANFX), BlackRock iShares Aaa – A Rated Corporate Bond ETF (QLTA), Carillon Reams Unconstrained Bond (SUBFX), BBH Income (BBNIX), T Rowe Price Multi-Strategy Total Return (TMSRX), Advisory Research Strategic Income (ADVNX), and Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Inv (VASIX) as potential income funds to own during a lost decade that starts with high valuations and low interest rates. The second section looks at why I expect the next decade to have low returns for equity and bonds. The third section looks at Risk to Reward comparisons for Continue reading →
One of the questions that I am sometimes asked is why do I own so many funds? The answer is that I have a dual-income family with different employer sponsors, different types of tax-advantaged accounts, brokerage accounts, and that I like to set aside a portion of my assets to invest according to the business cycle and trends. With Mutual Fund Observer, computers, and the internet, it is no more difficult or costly to manage 20 or more funds than it is 5.
I identified in Flexible Portfolio Funds With High Risk-Adjusted Returns that KL Allocation (GAVAX), a Flexible Portfolio Fund, is one Continue reading →
I am selective in the analysts that I receive market commentary from. They are overwhelmingly cautious. The buzz word “FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out” is used to describe retail investors piling into markets. The quote that sums up my feelings best comes from Liz Ann Sonders of Charles Schwab in “High Hopes: S&P 500 Hits All Time High Amid Pandemic/Recession”, published on Advisor Perspectives.
I worry about the signs of froth in the market and among some behavioral measures of investor sentiment: not to mention traditional valuation metrics that are historically stretched. This is not an environment in which greed should dominate investment decisions; but instead one for discipline around diversification and periodic rebalancing…
This article looks at a brief Continue reading →
I listened to Peter Navarro’s lecture, “The Modern Scholar: Principles of Economics: Business, Banking, Finance, and Your Life” (2005) on a recent return flight to the U.S. The discussion on budget deficits was timely. The planes, airports, and hotels had very few travelers. The hotel shuttle to the airport was not running. Coronavirus cases are increasing with vaccines not expected until early 2021. For reasons described in this article, I reduced my exposure in July for stocks from 25% to 20% by trading higher-risk funds that have risen this year for less popular funds such as value as well as Continue reading →
It has taken me nearly two decades to unlearn what I thought I had learned during my first two decades of investing. I started studying business cycles about 15 years ago which helps me determine how aggressive or defensive I want to be based on risks and trends in the economy and investment environment. This month, I describe how to create a Ranking System that requires about one or two hours per month to update and evaluate funds. The May results and composition of the Model Portfolios can be found in Continue reading →
Wow! What a year it has been so far! Coronavirus is at the top of the list. For me personally, there was a diagnosis, uncertainty, denial, surgery, and then recovery. After recovery, I took an assignment involving significant travel with less time to spend researching and investing for a couple of months followed by lots of free time. These two life events did not impact how I invest as much as the last rule, to “Develop a Simple Investment Process Based on Rules and Guidelines”. First, I wanted portfolios that were stable enough that I would be comfortable holding them unattended for months at a time during a bear market. For this reason, I created three relatively simple model portfolios that I follow with Continue reading →
Matthew Kenigsberg, Vice President of Investment & Tax Solutions at Fidelity Investments, summarizes the benefits of managing the impact of taxes on investments well in “Are you invested in the right kind of accounts?”
“You can’t control market returns, and you can’t control tax law, but you can control how you use accounts that offer tax advantages—and good decisions about their use can add significantly to your bottom line…” Continue reading →
I put some thought into the following paragraph. It is not gloom and doom, nor does it paint a rosy picture.
New cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. have stabilized at 25 thousand cases and 2,000 deaths on a daily basis which, if not improved soon, are terrifying numbers.
Worldwide, 81% of the closed cases are due Continue reading →
In this fourth of a six-part series on the Six Rules of Investing, I look at investing according to the business cycle. This article is divided into four sections: 1) The Investment Environment, 2) Assets that do well in stages of the business cycle, 3) February Fund Performance, and 4) My Target Portfolios.
How has your portfolio compared to the market or other portfolios? Does it offer sufficient reward for the risk that you are taking? Chart #1 contains the Continue reading →
In this third of a six part series on the Six Rules of Investing, I look at risks and the ability of the investment environment to withstand shocks. This article is divided into four sections: 1) The Investment Environment, 2) Looking for the “Known Unknown” Risks, 3) Investment Strategy For Uncertain Times, and 4) Funds for Uncertain Times.
In February 2002, Donald Rumsfeld, the then US Secretary of State for Defense, stated at a Defense Department briefing: “There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know.”
While writing this article, I am reminded of Alan Greenspan’s comment about “irrational exuberance” in 1996 and Ben Bernanke coining the phrase “global savings glut” in 2005. Roughly three years later we had the bursting of the Technology Bubble and the Housing Crisis. We now have inflated asset prices due to nearly of decade of “Quantitative Easing”. The CNN Fear and Greed Index is a Continue reading →
Ah, Rules Based Investing, the magic elixir to investing success! It is the answer to the gloomy conclusions of both behavioral finance scholars and Pogo. Guys with PhDs have taken reams of paper and thousands of hours of computing time to document what Continue reading →