Seeking Alpha

Alex Bentley

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  • The Costs Of Playing To Lose [View article]
    Go back to the basics. Focus on the aspects of investing that you can control: costs, taxes, and asset allocation. Find an asset allocation that makes sense for you and invest accordingly. I know this advice sounds simplistic but it works. Hire an advisor if you have trouble making these decisions yourself. It is worth it.
    Jul 29 10:29 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BNDX: A Revolution In Diversification [View article]
    Some good questions. Vanguard did a lot of research and their conclusion is that international bond investing does add value to a portfolio, provided the currency effect is hedged away. So BNDX is fully hedged. You can poke around on the Vanguard website and read their white paper on it if you are interested.
    Jun 21 01:52 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BNDX: A Revolution In Diversification [View article]
    You would have to dig deeper into each index. The domestic equities are represented by the MSCI US Broad Market Index, according to Vanguard. This index explicitly says it represents "universe of companies in the US equity market", so my assumption is that ETFs are not included. I would assume that is true for all the market indices. I do not have an allocation to commodities for my clients because, in my opinion, commodity exposure is baked into each index because there are commodity buyers, sellers, users, etc in each index.
    Jun 19 05:25 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Costs Of Playing To Lose [View article]
    Not a bad strategy but there are some pitfalls. First, it is hard to own enough stocks to be diversified across market capitalization, value and growth, domestic and international. Also just looking for dividends means you are missing vast sectors of the market and perhaps over-concentrating in a type of company and certain sectors that pay dividends. Also, Kodak would have met your definition for years, but "never selling" would have been a very bad decision.
    Jun 17 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Costs Of Playing To Lose [View article]
    You could be the person buying into a defensive sector at a high valuation, so your return could end up being negative or a lot less than anticipated.
    Jun 17 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Just One ETF: Tying Fortunes to Broader Global Equities [View article]
    Great article! I've written an article talking about a simple portfolio and you are absolutely right about VT and the reasons for owning it.
    Feb 28 07:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Finding Your Circle Of Competence [View article]
    Solid advice. My only comment on your Vanguard know-nothing portfolio is that perhaps you should split your bond market allocation between BND and the upcoming Vanguard Total International Bond Market Index ETF.
    Feb 25 11:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Beat The Guy Who Beats The Market [View article]
    Saw that also. I guess I'm a major money management nerd, because I'm excited!!
    Feb 10 02:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 5 Scary Facts About ETFs [View article]
    Good article pointing out capital destroying ETFs. 99% of individual investors should be in broad market ETFs with rock bottom fees.
    Jan 21 11:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Beat The Guy Who Beats The Market [View article]
    From my perspective, rebalancing is just a way to stay within the risk parameters that you have created for yourself. If you decide that 60% stocks and 40% bonds is the right portfolio for you, then you rebalance as infrequently as possible to stay close to those percentages. If you use very broad index funds then you are only looking at two asset classes - stocks and bonds.
    Jan 17 06:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Beat The Guy Who Beats The Market [View article]
    David I tend to agree with your article. One reason I really like rebalancing (which you mentioned) is that it does tend to make you sell high and buy low, which is exactly the opposite of what the majority of investors do. Clearly it is not perfect, but I think at this point everyone knows there are no absolutes when it comes to investing.
    Jan 17 12:55 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Beat The Guy Who Beats The Market [View article]
    Thanks for the positive feedback to my article. I do believe in having a core portfolio of low cost index funds. If people want to speculate with simple or complex derivatives (which are great for generating fees for Wall Street and losses for clients), I would urge them to do so with less than 5% of their portfolio. Disciplined simplicity can be hard to do, but it usually beats frantic activity.
    Jan 17 12:43 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Beat The Guy Who Beats The Market [View article]
    Vanguard did a report titled California is not Greece and a recent follow-up article where they determined that the overall muni market in California is healthy. The municipal bankruptcies in California have mainly been smaller cities away from major population centers that had the biggest real estate boom and bust. There are clearly problems and questionable decisions made by politicians, but will this lead to widespread municipal defaults? Right now that is not looking likely.
    Jan 17 12:29 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • How To Beat The Guy Who Beats The Market [View article]
    Thanks David for your comment. Regarding rebalancing, Vanguard has a white paper on it that is interesting (http://bit.ly/WKOgfB) and I believe supports the theory that less is more. I'm inclined to rebalance only on an annual basis if you are more than 5% off your target, and only at a set time during the year. I would not all of a sudden rebalance due to a big market move. All of this is to keep things as simple as possible, minimize taxes and commissions, and emphasize the long term nature of the typical portfolio.
    You are correct on the expense ratios. But one reason I like VT is that you do not need to rebalance and also that Vanguard has a history of lowering fees, so perhaps that will happen to VT. You really can't go wrong with either approach.
    Jan 17 12:11 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
COMMENTS STATS
14 Comments
9 Likes