portfolio report card

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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Portfolio Report Card: A $850,613 Portfolio with Sluggish Results

Your investment portfolio is nothing more than a reflection of who you are. In other words, it’s a personal statement about how you approach financial risk, investment cost, diversification, and taxes. If you’re disorderly when it comes to these aspects of your investment plan, the unwelcome consequences will be a disorderly portfolio with disorderly results. …

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Beware of Skewed Performance Comparisons

Many people and fund companies still use inappropriate benchmarks for measuring investment performance. Instead of getting truthful results, investors are given a distorted perspective of performance which leads to mistaken conclusions. (Audio) Ron does a Portfolio Report Card on a $26.9 Million Investment Account The mutual fund industry’s (NasdaqGS:MORN) widespread use of peer group comparisons is …

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Portfolio Report Card: A $294,439 Retirement Plan with a Tax Threat

Some of us got started late at saving and investing for retirement. And while the financial services industry enjoys browbeating people who lack discipline, got distracted or got into trouble and temporarily paused saving money, I think empathy is due when empathy is warranted. This week’s Portfolio Report Card is for K.E., a 60-year old …

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Monster Tax Bills

Portfolio Report Card: Analyzing a Self-Managed $1.45 Million Investment Plan

What are the hallmarks of a well-built investment portfolio? Low cost, broad diversification, tax-efficiency, risk compatibility with the owner, and performance that matches or beats an apples-to-apples yardstick. My latest Portfolio Report Card is for a married couple, C.J. in Orange County, CA. He is 57, she is 58 and they asked me to grade their …

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Portfolio diversification

Portfolio Report Card: A Poorly Designed $863,309 Advisor Managed Account

How can a person tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy investment portfolio? Naturally, it’s by how well (or poorly) a portfolio does at addressing crucial areas like taxes, cost, diversification, risk, and performance. Here’s the problem: Poorly constructed portfolios are usually ignorant about these first four things, which explain why unsatisfactory performance results …

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Portfolio Report Card: One Doctor’s Sick $503,929 Retirement Plan

Some illnesses can go undetected for many years. Others are accompanied by obvious warning signs like coughing, sniffling, shortness of breath, and other red flags. Similarly, we can distinguish between a healthy investment portfolio versus a sick one by how each deals with important matters like taxes, investment cost, diversification, risk, and performance. My latest …

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Portfolio Management 3

Portfolio Report Card: A Misaligned $182,000 Retirement Plan

What does the optimal investment portfolio look like? Is it the portfolio with the hottest stocks and ETFs? Is it the portfolio managed by famous money managers? Actually, the optimal portfolio is perfectly compatible with you. Furthermore, optimal portfolios deliberately minimize investment cost and taxes, diversify across a variety of asset classes, and deliver investment …

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Roller Coaster Ride 2

Portfolio Report Card: A Risk Heavy $696,000 Investment Plan

Your investment portfolio is nothing more than a reflection of you. Put another way, it’s a personal statement about how you view risk, taxes, diversification, and investment cost. If you’re negligent in building an investment portfolio that fails to correctly address these key areas, your performance results are likely to suffer. My latest Portfolio Report …

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Race Cars 2

Portfolio Report Card: A $496,000 Investment Plan with an Adventurous Flair

All investment portfolios are comparable to a novel, where each individual chooses their own personal genre and classification. If your investment portfolio was a novel, what genre would it be? Adventure? Comedy? Drama? Mystery? Horror? My latest Portfolio Report Card is for MD in Temecula, CA and he’s got an adventurous portfolio. He’s also 61-years …

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Binocular Man Searching

Prioritize This Task Before Buying Your Next Individual Stock

The age of not having a believable investment plan is over. But that still hasn’t solved the problem of having too many investment choices. That leaves the prudent investor with no other option but to establish a logical framework that increases the odds of investment success. What should you do before buying your next individual stock? …

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PRC Calculation

The Long-Term Investing Fallacy

The financial services industry likes to preach the benefits of compounding returns and long-term investing. Have they overstated or even misstated their cause? It’s common for industry types to illustrate unrealistic long-term time horizons of 100 or 200 years of equity returns (NYSEARCA:DIA) to prove that we should be long-term investors. The problem with this …

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Headache

3 Signs Your Mutual Fund is a Looming Tax Headache

Even if you don’t sell your mutual funds in 2014, you could still be on the hook for a hefty tax bill. The good news is you can limit the tax bite by paying attention to what’s going on with the funds you hold in your taxable investment account. Fund companies regularly distribute dividends (Nasdaq:VDIGX), bond …

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Married Holding Hands

Can a Marriage of Investing Opposites Produce a Good Outcome?

Most of the almost $20 million in investment portfolios that I’ve analyzed and graded this year have been on individual accounts. But a few, like my latest Portfolio Report Card on a $823,000 portfolio for a couple from Oregon,  are joint accounts. Joint accounts involve multiple people with varying personalities which can be challenging. Ideally, the joint …

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Portfolio Report Card: A $569,742 Retirement Plan with Sluggish Performance

Why do we take unnecessary risk with our investments? Is it because we’re gluttons for punishment or is it because we’re incredibly brave? Often, it’s because we’re simply distracted or unaware. Although the S&P 500 is still hanging on to its year-to-date gain, stock market volatility or “VIX” has advanced more than 30% over the …

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