asset class

How Should Your Non-Core Portfolio Look?

I’ve written extensively about the role of an investor’s non-core portfolio. It’s one of the three cornerstones of a well-built portfolio (see figure below) and it always plays a complementary role to the much larger core portfolio and a person’s margin of safety container. If used properly, the non-core portfolio can greatly enhance an investor’s total …

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Contrarian Investing

Portfolio School: Put Things Where They Belong

People do the darndest things. For example, they put their investments in places where they don’t belong. This is a common problem suffered not just by retail investors, but by experienced professionals who are hired to advise them. In each case, there’s a poor understanding about the basic elements of a well-built portfolio. (In extreme cases, there may be knowledge of …

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Monster Tax Bills

Portfolio Report Card: Analyzing a Frugal $1.15 Million Account

Today, there is a singular focus by certain investors on minimizing investment cost. In their world, cost is the only thing that matters. Unfortunately, this exceedingly narrow view fails to acknowledge that curtailing your portfolio’s cost is only part of the overall puzzle for obtaining satisfactory investment results. What do I mean? Think about it …

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The Crowd Votes for Stocks over Cash

What do investors love and what do they hate? Where are they putting their money? Analyzing the money inflow/outflow data for ETFs gives us some clues. In a study of U.S. ETF flows just published by the SPDR ETFs, David B. Mazza, the Head of Research observed: “Equities drove a disproportionate share of September’s inflows with …

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Portfolio Management 3

Portfolio Report Card: A $200,598 Retirement Plan Stuck in Neutral

Whenever we begin a journey, the excitement of getting started frequently overtakes us. We begin with unrealistic expectations and end disappointed. The investing experience of many people follows this unfortunate pattern. If you’re in this situation, there’s hope. Before I do a Portfolio Report Card for J.W. in Nashville, TN, here’s some background on him: …

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6 Really Bad and Sad Portfolio Types

We live in a Golden Era of misaligned investment portfolios. These are rogue, poorly designed portfolios (401k, IRA, Roth IRA, UGMA, 529 plans, etc.) that are architecturally unsound. And for whatever reason, the people who own them are intent on self-destruction. The Portfolio Report Card method I invented for analyzing and grading portfolios uncovers most …

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