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Our Funds Boat; week, -.01%, YTD, +3.32% AUG 20 2011

edited August 2011 in Fund Discussions

NOTE; back to the original format for this; so that new folks who visit this write, may know more about the reason(s) for the holdings.

Again, a thank you to all who post the links and also start and participate in the many fine commentaries woven into the message threads.
For those who don't know; I ramble away about this and that, at least once each week.

NOTE: For those who visit MFO, this portfolio is designed for retirement, capital preservation and to stay ahead of inflation creep; if and when it returns. This is not a buy and hold portfolio, and is subject to change on any given day; based upon perceptions of market directions. All assets in this portfolio are in tax-sheltered accounts; and any fund distributions are reinvested in the funds. Gains or losses are computed from actual account values.

While looking around..... I won't attempt to add anything to the numerous posts of the past couple of weeks; as these have been a lot to chew upon and I will presume most folks here have read the posts. I will be most curious as to what words or lack of words are expressed by Mr. Bernanke at the Jackson Hole summit this next week. The Fed can still fiddle around with which duration Treasury bonds it chooses to help "adjust"; but their influence is limited by "all in the global market place" who really "decide" what the yields should be, associated to all other risk in the world markets. I can not speak for others here at MFO who I know also live in Michigan; but our portfolio and related thoughts about any forward growth in the U.S. economy is still tempered from many years ago (1985 ish) and viewing (then) the slow unwind of the manufacturing sector in this state. Not unlike other states with a variety of large and small industry; the unwind continued with the closing of the 1,000's of many small machine and parts vendor businesses. Of course, all of this small and large company unwind affected the many businesses that benefited from the highly paid employed. Many of these small business operations have been closed for years. Related to this; and something that still makes me point at the tv (beginning in Dec 2008 through yesterday, Aug 19) to tell them they don't "get it" are the commentators who continue to compare today to the recession period of the early 1980's. Friday, Aug 19; on Charlie Rose's program, a Mr. Ip (the Economist Magazine) stated that the economy came "roaring" back in 1982; after the various experiments with monetary policy. Well, YES; but that is not where the economy is today !!! The manufacturing/industrial/middle class base is NOT even similar to 1982. My thoughts to these folks, including Warren Buffett (a most fine and knowledgeable person); is that this comparision is totally invalid, and perhaps from whatever life experiences shaping their viewpoints along with too much time with "data" and too little time with the "real folks world" has perverted their thoughts and that they may be caught in the; "they don't know, that they don't know." This syndrome, among many other problems has and is a most apparent problem in DC. Someone/some folks are wrong about the state of the economy; and I hope it is not this house. OK, enough jabber from this fella today; as I have rambled enough through the past week in the threads here.

Such are the numerous battles with investments attempting to capture a decent return and minimize the risk.

We live and invest in interesting times, eh?

Hey, I probably forgot something; and hopefully the words make some sense.

Comments and questions always welcomed.

Good fortune to you, yours and the investments.

Take care,



Portfolio Thoughts:

Our holdings had a -.01% move this past week. And yes, we are satisfied with our risk adjusted returns YTD. If the portfolio can pull a +10 to 12% for the year; you will not hear any whining from this house. (This sentence was from an April write; and I/we suppose a +5% for the year may now look good, too !) Our portfolio is at - 2% from the high point in mid-July. Obviously, the cash and some bonds are supporting the loses in the equity/high yield/income bond sectors. I will still maintain, as noted several weeks ago here; that a -25% in any of the broad indexes may be as low as the hedge funds, big traders and the machines may be able to tolerate; before buying again. Some sectors have already hit or are near the - 25% pull back. I can envision the "algos" set in the machines for the - 25% BUY signal. We continue to hold our equity positions, as the % vs the overall portfolio totals is low enough to not completely kill our monies invested; and any loss taken now with a sell; may be selling near a short term bottom. We may, however; sell into a short term equity rally. I/we, at this house; are surely not in a postion to "guess" where the equity markets are headed at this time.

Good investment fortune to all in the coming months.

The old Funds Boat may make 5% or 25% this year. I expect some rough waters, changing winds and opposing currents; causing the most serious attention being given to a firm hand upon the rudder control. (April report text)

The immediate below % of holdings are only determined by a "fund" name, NO M* profile this week

CASH = 8.3%
Mixed bond funds = 81.8%
Equity funds = 9.9%

-Investment grade bond funds 18.6%
-Diversified bond funds 18.5%
-HY/HI bond funds 25.8%
-Total bond funds 14.6%
-Foreign EM/debt bond funds 4.3%
-U.S./Int'l equity/speciality funds 9.9%

This is our current list: (NOTE: I have added a speciality grouping below for a few of fund types)

---High Yield/High Income Bond funds

FAGIX Fid Capital & Income
SPHIX Fid High Income
FHIIX Fed High Income
DIHYX TransAmerica HY
DHOAX Delaware HY (front load waived)

---Total Bond funds

FTBFX Fid Total
PTTRX Pimco Total

---Investment Grade Bonds
APOIX Amer. Cent. TIPS Bond
DGCIX Delaware Corp. Bd
FBNDX Fid Invest Grade
FINPX Fidelity TIPS Bond
OPBYX Oppenheimer Core Bond

---Global/Diversified Bonds

FSICX Fid Strategic Income
FNMIX Fid New Markets
DPFFX Delaware Diversified
TEGBX Templeton Global (load waived)
LSBDX Loomis Sayles

---Speciality Funds (sectors or mixed allocation)

FCVSX Fidelity Convertible Securities (bond/equity mix)
FRIFX Fidelity Real Estate Income (bond/equity mix)
FSAVX Fidelity Select Auto
FFGCX Fidelity Global Commodity
FDLSX Fidelity Select Leisure
FSAGX Fidelity Select Precious Metals
RNCOX RiverNorth Core Opportunity (bond/equity)


CAMAX Cambiar Aggressive Value
FDVLX Fidelity Value
FSLVX Fidelity Lg. Cap Value
FLPSX Fidelity Low Price Stock


  • Hi Catch 22, Skeeter here: Year-to-Date I am down 2.2%. In comparison my benchmark, the Lipper Balanced Index, is down 5.4% and the widely followed S&P 500 Index is down 10.66% as I write. Although nobody likes to be in the red with all things considered I'll take it. My current portfolio's asset allocation is 15% cash, 25% income 55% equity and 5% other. The yield on my portfolio is North of 5%; and, I have since a little before the Forth of July been buying equities at a measured pace while reducing cash.

    Have a great day; and, Good Investing,
  • catch, don't know how old you are or if a retiree, but its clear from your asset allocation that you confirm the importance of AA and have done a very good job with it.
    The number of funds is a bit too many and could be reduced and some eliminated. Equity types could be diversified, if possible with other fund companies.
  • Howdy ron,
    We're always pleased to have input about our holdings. The discussions help keep all of us alert, eh???

    As to the numerous holdings. We have several retirement accounts that can not yet be consolidated/rollovers. So, when attempting to be invested in particular sectors and/or funds; we are sometimes at the whim of choices available from various vendors. We are usually able get a bucket full of similar offerings; but from various sources; and this works out okay as these "group of funds" effectively become one large mix, as with the HY/HI bond funds.

    This house hopes to be out of the permanent work force within one year. Other opportunities for part-time decent work exists; but the full time grinder hopefully comes to an end. We'll both miss the additional income that could be had, the added SS increase and no more participation in company retirement plans. Tis the trade off and the decision, eh?

    We have been good with our savings and spending over many years; and don't anticipate that we will run out of money if we live to 90. On the other hand, we have already both had "work" since we were very young and it is time to move on with other "work", such as continued efforts with the portfolio.

    One may suppose in the long run, part of everything is some form of a gamble; we are/have just tried to keep the game in our favor.
    We have always been very good with keeping a running total of living expenses and know the "knowns" for food, gas, house, taxes, etc., and know some inflation will adjust some of these areas. There are bound to be some changes yet unknown, but we plan to have enough slack monies to not have to dig deep into other monies. Heck, if I gotta dial the winter heat way down and wear more clothing inside, than that is what it will take.

    Ultimately, IF we can stand back from drawing on SS too early to let that build, and coast with our pension and side work monies , and eventually at 70.5 age; have to start withdrawals on the IRA's; we just may be able to stretch things til the end.

    Another side of the retirement thing, is that we probably all know some who worked past the time of stopping; and in spite of longer live spans on the "average", there are those who are/were on the "young" side of the averages and never found much time left to discover the other areas of knowledge and pleasure.

    Retirement will find a bit more travel; but both of us travelled globally in our early twenties; when we didn't mind carrying our house and belongings in a 75 pound backpack. We could not do that today, so the travel will be different.

    If we err in our judgement about running out of money; we will have hopefully had enough time to add to our more pleasant retirement period. We will be just about as busy, but doing other things.

    Thanks ron for the questions and notation. You sure got me into a chatter box

    Take care of you and yours,


  • edited August 2011
    hi catch
    I think you have an awesome portfolio which show good YTD return despite we had this massive corrections.

    For my private portfolio [non-tsp] from all time high [-] 14%, which is not bad compared to sp500 & dows of >16.8s% down/corrections. The 401K/TSP about -4.4% [which is much better that what I've anticipated] still dispersing 80% equities and 20s% bonds distributions with monthly distributions...although portfolio show ~ 35s% in fixed income vehicles and 65s% of equities/EM/international] since I did not fiddle too much w/ the equities until late 2008 and most of my invesments were sitting in US govt bonds and CDs for 5 years previously since I did not know how to invest until finding fundalarm in late 2007/early 2008.

    These are just my thoughts but I would not buy stocks/funds now UNLESS you have EXTRA money that you don't need for at least anywhere from 12-36 months since we had this massive corrections, DOWS may reach high of 12.8k probably in about 12-36 months from today.... But you never know, it may come SOARING back once we know that market could be further stabilized and we less fear/more optimisms perhaps the end of this year... Be prepare to keep holding your portfolio for at least another few years. But equities and p/e ratio may show that US stock could be on sale again like what skeeter have been sayin' all along...

  • edited August 2011
    Reply to @johnN:

    YTD: S&P -9.53% DJI -4.95%

    From its early May high, however, DJI is down about 16%.

  • Reply to @hank: sorry hank these calculations reflection from all time high this yr..sorry
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