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  • Quarterly Tactical Strategy Backtested To 2003: CAGR Over 28% And Consistent Positive Returns [View article]
    Cliff: Interesting article.

    If I want to use one strategy, and not guess when to switch between them, do I understand you correctly that the UTS strategy would be the best choice?

    In a scenario where your UTS portfolio screener called for (say) 40% bond ETFs, yet you expected interest rates to spike (an event that is not yet fact, and therefore has not yet degraded the performance of the bond ETFs), would you override the "system"?

    The process of trying many different investment periods, weights, etc must have been time-consuming, onerous, and perhaps even tedious, no? Thanks for doing it for us.

    I take it the ETFreplay is alive and well. I used it a few years ago to research a momentum strategy that I eventually abandoned. ETFreplay cut back its free version to something not useful, and I paid it no more attention. Do you recommend it still, or -- now that the heavy lifting has been done (you have determined the best selection criteria, and are working from a short list of ETFs / funds) -- would it be feasible to construct a spreadsheet to identify best ETF / funds?
    Aug 16 01:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Utility Stocks: Are They Really Safe In Bear Markets? [View article]

    Charlie Ponzi:
    I said "... if a utility stock declines 30% (eventually to recover), but continues declaring (and even increasing) its dividend, why worry?"
    You replied: "That my friend is a big if, and eventually can be a very long time."

    As misscbd has shown with actual numbers, "eventually" is only a few years with utility stocks, even when the market decline was as serious as the 2008 one. And, given the continuing dividends that utility stocks safely provided, a serious decline of even 30% or more is not a "big if", it's a bump in the road.

    If these realities (price decline and recovery time) seem excessive to you, would you educate us with an explanation of your investment method?
    Jul 12 11:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Utility Stocks: Are They Really Safe In Bear Markets? [View article]

    While it is true that total return counts, at least to me, those who invest in "safer" stocks for the dividends say they don't care so much about fluctuating market value because they intend to hold the stock "for ever" and cash the dividends.

    So, if a utility stock declines 30% (eventually to recover), but continues declaring (and even increasing) its dividend, why worry?
    Jul 11 12:32 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Valero: Buy The Dip [View article]
    Why is the administration approving oil exports? The USA has been a net importer of oil for decades, but finally is reaching oil self-sufficiency. Why endanger that?
    Jun 26 06:15 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Never Pay Someone To Actively Manage Your Portfolio [View article]
    The fact that the average actively-managed fund under-performs the index does not mean that all actively-managed funds will underperform. A few will outperform, and it is the dream of many investors to identify those funds, and know when to get out a moment before that fund starts to lose, which it eventually will.

    It is ironic that Buffett is lauding passive management, since he has outperformed the market on average, and he manages actively.
    Jun 22 09:03 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Investment Management: Beyond 'He's A Terrific Stock Picker!' [View article]
    Do you mean that the "good stock picker" portfolio manager would be relying on pure luck with the portfolio? Is that what you mean by treating the market "like a casino"? If so, I don't follow you on this. If the manager is truly a good stock picker, of all types of stock, not just mega stocks, he will get better than "casino-like" returns; he will consistently outperform the market, won't he? And if he doesn't, if his returns are haphazard, based on chance like casino returns, then obviously he is not a "good stock picker", by definition.

    The only risk management a superior stock picker needs is to maintain a certain balance among asset classes and sectors. I say "a certain balance" because the scientifically-rigorous methods of building an efficient , diversified portfolio are built on an illusion. Investors are led to believe that although a diversified portfolio won't do as well as a group of well-picked stocks on the upswing, the diversified portfolio will not decline as much on the downswing.

    Well, the first part is right: as Buffet once remarked, building a diversified portfolio leads to mediocre returns. But the second part is a disappointment. When the downturn occurs, suddenly "non-correlated" asset classes become correlated, and the protection the investor sought disappoints at the critical moment. Sure, the diversified portfolio won't decline as much as a portfolio stuffed with stocks, but the downside protection is exaggerated by the scatter graphs etc. The minimal protection of diversification in a downturn does not nearly compensate the investor for the lost profits during the upswing.

    What's the point of all this? Just that theoreticians overstate the value of analysis. Instead, keep it simple, buy good stocks, keep a reasonable (but not rigorous) balance among asset classes and forego the esoteric theory.
    May 30 09:55 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Investment Management: Beyond 'He's A Terrific Stock Picker!' [View article]
    This approach to analyzing a manager seems overly complex. If the manager picks stocks that go up, all else is secondary, as long as the portfolio remains balanced among sectors, and among asset types.

    The rest seems to be over-complicating the matter. The example of the apparently-good stock picker who underperformed -- apparently for want of proper risk analysis -- did not prove the value of risk analysis at all. It proved the value of measuring individual stock returns before bestowing the epithet "good stock picker". Surely this is elementary. The manager was good at picking smaller stocks, a minor component of the portfolio, but poor at the major component. He was therefore a "poor"stock picker, and no further analysis was necessary.
    May 29 08:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Markets And The Fork In The Road [View article]

    Your firm plays trends, does it not? (Free plug.) How has that strategy been doing in today's unpredictable environment?
    May 25 08:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pomboy: Fed to reverse course [View news story]

    From an author's point of view, it's just not fair to quote what the author -- a supposed market seer (Pomboy in this case) -- actually said in the past.

    You are the fact checker, and the scourge of false reputations.

    Well done.
    May 24 06:58 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 3 Opportunities To Grab Before The Great Market Crash Ahead [View article]
    To apply an old saw, Harry has predicted 8 of the last 3 market corrections.
    May 24 08:08 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • S&P 500 Earnings Data You'll Want To Bookmark [View article]
    " It is also worth noting the difference between operating earnings and as-reported earnings. When you hear market pundits quote P/Es, they are most likely using operating earnings."

    Why is it worth noting? Need to know what the point is, please.
    May 17 08:54 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Overdue Major Stock-Market Selloff Is Looming [View article]
    What I should have said was the PROFITS from cash won't put food on the table. If you're going to live off cash itself, reducing capital, you'd better eat fattening foods now, because sooner or later you won't have any food at all.
    May 11 10:00 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Overdue Major Stock-Market Selloff Is Looming [View article]

    If you're not buying stocks, what are you investing in? Cash won't put food on the table.
    May 10 07:38 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Overdue Major Stock-Market Selloff Is Looming [View article]
    It's a buying opportunity only if you have cash set aside for the purpose of buying when stocks decline.

    How much cash do you typically hold?

    Using the 2008 Bear market as a guide, when does one know the Bear has officially begun? To my eye, only after a considerable plunge is the Bear official. And at that point you never know (with all the head fakes and Bear market rallies) whether getting out is exiting at the bottom of the market.

    So, when investors explain what they will do during the next Bear market, they ever explain precisely how they will know it is upon us, and precisely when they will launch their defensive strategies.
    May 10 07:35 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Requiem For Fallen Dividend Aristocrats [View article]
    It is always prudent to advise monitoring stocks in your portfolio, but how to know in advance that a company is likely to suspend or reduce its dividend? Are most reductions/cessations of dividends not sudden events, precipitating a sudden plunge in stock price?
    Mar 30 06:42 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment